Alexa Fraser

Reception Sunday 3 February 2019 1PM-3PM
On display until end of April 2019
At NAC’s Flea Market Gallery
St. Catharines’ Factory Outlet Flea Market

“Uh-oh” is a reflection of the high level of anxiety and fear we are feeling at this time in history. Two figures dressed in business clothes hide in bushes behind a worried man trying to enjoy a day at the park; the marshmallows in his hot cocoa spelling out his feelings, like reading tea leaves, but sweeter. The hidden figures represent those in power and/or holding the world’s wealth who don’t have the safety and well-being of the people and the environment in mind.

Alexa Fraser is a Textile and Installation Artist, Puppet Maker and Puppeteer, Designer and Seamstress from St.Catharines, Ontario. Alexa holds a B.Des in Fashion Design from Ryerson University and has studied puppetry construction and performance with the Old Trout Puppetry Workshop at their New England Intensive and with the Puppetmongers and CLUNK Puppet Lab at the Humber College Puppetry Intensive and the Toronto School of Puppetry. Alexa has displayed work in many solo and group art exhibits, teaches textile art and puppet making workshops, makes and performs puppets for Theatre and designs costumes for Theatre.

Recent credits include puppet construction and performance of Birdwatching for Beginners a short puppetry piece as part of Carousel Player’s Culture Days 2018, puppet construction and performance for Canada 225, a historical play celebrating Canada’s 150 in 2017, puppet construction and installation at XPT Xperimental Puppetry Festival at the Centre for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia (with Clelia Scala as the Enormous Elsewhere) in 2017, puppet construction and performance at the Voix de Ville Extravaganza (with Clelia Scala as the Enormous Elsewhere) in 2016, watercolour + embroidery pieces at the Niagara Artists Centre Member’s Gallery for duo show with Katalin Koos in 2017, installation pieces the In the Soil Arts Festival and has been Head of Wardrobe for Carousel Players since 2015.  Alexa is very proud to be part of the Enormous Elsewhere, a puppetry performance and installation company with Clelia Scala.


Presented by the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) in partnership with the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market

SMALL FEATS 2019 / Call to Artists

Call for submissions

It’s that time again.

Look it! Across the drifting snow, just beginning to distinguish itself on the horizon, it’s the weirdest art buying frenzy and spring hip-drop on the Peninsula!

SMALL FEATS is coming on!

This is a shout to all the artist members of NAC to bring it!

We looking for red-hot art works to sell-off in support of your friendly neighbourhood Artist-run Centre.

For the most part the same game plan is on the locker room chalkboard: we’ll be hucking sweet one foot by one foot works of art—SMALL FEATS! NAC will supply the materials, either a 12”x12” canvas or hard board. All will be sold for $200.

We’re also messing a little with the mix to make this cake bake up beautifully. NEW for 2019, we’re accepting printed works on paper. Pitch us a mock-up, sketch, whatever, and we’ll hand over the keys to NAC’s print studio so you can have the run of the place and start churning out some sweet little printed things (no larger than 12” x 12”) in an edition of 25. Each print will sell for $50. CHEAP! There are bunch of printing options serigraph, etching, lino, and wood block and Risograph!

Send an email to nacsmallfeats@gmail.com with ‘Hit Print’ in the subject line to get the immediate and particular lowdown.

Once again, we’ll cram the space with work in April, but only the best will be accepted.

As per usual, contributing artists choose to donate all or half the proceeds of their work to NAC.

Work on materials other than those supplied by NAC (canvas or Masonite board) such as photos, mixed-media, or works on paper will also be considered.

You must be a member in good standing to participate.

Let us know if you intend on making work by filling out the form (available HERE) and emailing it to nacsmallfeats@gmail.com by Friday 1 February before midnight. Small Feats takes place at NAC on Saturday 6 April. Save the date!


> Friday 1 February 2019 before midnight > Applications to emailed to nacsmallfeats@gmail.com
> Saturday 23 March 2019 12PM-4PM > Artwork to be dropped off at NAC
> Saturday 6 April 2019 7:40PM VIP / 8PM GENERAL > SMALL FEATS!

We will email you when the materials are available for pick up.


TZT : TNT / Fri 1 Feb 2019

E X P E R I M E N T A L  /  P O E T R Y  /  M U S I C

TZT are Gregory Betts, Arnold “Frothing” McBay, Benjamin Mikuska, Devon Fornelli, and Gary Barwin
with special guest Lillian Allen.

Friday 1 February 2019
Doors 7:30 / Show 8:00


Bar by Mahtay Cafe


Thanks to Dan Paquin of Blackbeard’s Barbershop!

NAC hats are off to Dan Paquin of Blackbeard’s Barbershop at the corner of Bond and St. Paul. When Dan moved his business to our neighbourhood just under a decade ago we immediately saw positive change—people coming and going all day to what has to be the busiest shop in the city. Dan is keen on community and he lead the organization of a couple of successful street parties over the years, reaching out to NAC and Liberty Bikes to get BBQs and music happening on the street.

Recently, Dan in his typically modest way, made an outright donation to NAC of $2,000. He dropped by, took out his cheque book, wrote it up, dropped it on us, and without fanfare said simply, “I like what NAC does for the community”.

Short and sweet and out of the blue.

On behalf of NAC’s members, our board, and staff, I thank Dan for his benevolence and his solid commitment to making St. Catharines a more interesting and vibrant place to live.

Thanks Dan!

Stephen Remus
Minister of Energy, Minds, and Resources


congrats + thank you!

NAC Member James Brown won the 2018 Volunteer of the Year award at this year’s Annual General Meeting! James has been volunteering with NAC every Wednesday for the last year and a half.

We’re grateful for our amazing volunteers.

We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers like you!

Holiday Gift Idea #4

Holiday Gift Idea #4

2018 is coming to an end and that means the 2018 tax season is wrapping up too. Why not become a donor member of NAC? Or, make an outright donation because the spirit is moving you? We issue charitable tax receipts lickety-split! at your friendly neighbourhood artist-run centre.

If you’re already a member you can upgrade your membership to a Sustaining ($100), Patron ($240), or Champion ($300+) and we’ll write you up that CRA approved receipt!

And you can do it online here!

Holiday Gift Idea #3

Holiday Gift Idea #3

NAC programs the films that screen in The Film House at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre—simply the best place in Niagara to experience the rich world of cinema. Great films, cold beer and fine Niagara wines make a good mix with a piping hot bag of popcorn!  Get your membership before prices go up in January!

Film House members are trendsetters: attend the first screening of any new feature run film (any film screened three times or more) and you qualify for a buy-one-get-one-free discount. As an added bonus, members also receive a voucher for an additional two free tickets to any subsequent screening of that film during its run to give to friends.

Visit the PAC Box Office or website to buy a membership for that special film-loving someone!

•   $25+HST. Valid for one year from date of purchase.
•   $7 entry to all films (2 tickets limit per membership)
•   VIP access to meet and greets, artist chats and receptions

$9 – general admission
$7 –  film house member  // 13 and under

Holiday Gift Idea #2

Holiday Gift Idea #2

Based on the original pen and ink drawing by Alice Crawley

This print, entitled Stilt City, was created based on an original pen and ink drawing by my mother, Alice Crawley, circa 1972. The drawing was used as the cover for the fourth edition of Twelve Mile Creek magazine, a magazine of art and literature edited by Alice that served as a forum for local, national, and international artists and writers.

Note from John Crawley about the Stilt City print:

Alice was the matriarch of Niagara’s artists, with a career beginning in the 1950s and continuing until her death in 2011. She was one of the founding members of the Niagara Artists Co-operative, now the Niagara Artists Centre, along with Dennis Tourbin, John Moffat, and John B. Boyle.

My wife Gaby and I have made the decision to share this work with the help of the Niagara Artists Centre. We commissioned NAC printmakers Stephen Remus, David Legge, and Natasha Pedros to create a limited edition of fifty hand-screened prints on Arches watercolour paper depicting this view of downtown that has since disappeared, but more importantly, to create a legacy for my mom. We are offering this print for sale with all proceeds donated to the Alice Crawley Endowment, a fund held by the Niagara Community Foundation that will support exhibit fees for women artists showing at the Niagara Artists Centre.

Each numbered edition of the print is offered for sale at the price of $400+hst (unframed). They are available at NAC Thursday and Friday 12NN to 5PM and Saturday 12NN to 4PM this week.

John Crawley
NAC Champion Member

Holiday Gift Idea #1

Holiday Gift Idea #1

NAC works with one sole purpose: to make St. Catharines and Niagara a more interesting place to live. It’s what our programming is about and why we support the contemporary visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, and performers.

Get someone on the inside track with a NAC membership. We’ll loop them in on all that’s happening, get them cut-rates, and welcome them to the fold.

This is a great krewe, over 300 strong, of creators and their supporters who are all pushing to make Niagara a culturally distinct place to live.

– AND – 

It’s CHEAP! NAC Memberships are a paltry $40 + HST ($35+HST for students) for a year’s enrollment!

Act before this Saturday at 4PM and we’ll get you a sweet little package of NAC publications and a limited edition print! Or sign up online right here anytime.

NAC Members also get discounts!

  • 15% off on coffee and coffee equipment at Craft Arts Market
  • 15% off any Health First Brand vitamins or supplements (sale items excluded) at The Peanut Mill
  • 20% off at Out of the Past
  • 20% off Roly Poly items at the NAC Studio Shop
  • Free admission to over 80 Ontario art galleries through the Ontario Association of Art Galleries


Deadline Monday 31 December 2018
Email to artists@nac.org with the subject line: Idiocinema.

Marplot’s Guide to Film
In the fall of 1995, a man with a briefcase suffered a fatal seizure in a dépanneur in Montreal, after an agitated and confused exchange with the proprietor. Apart from his name –Walter Marplot– authorities could not determine anything else about the man: no one seemed to know him and the few identification documents matched no known official offices or protocols. Stranger still were the contents of his briefcase: a manuscript for an encyclopedia of films, along with several still photographs identified in cramped handwriting as still shots from some of the films discussed in the manuscript. However, none of the hundreds of films described therein were recognized even by experts, yet they seem to cumulatively depict some alternative history not just of cinema, but of the world.

That’s the jumping-off place for a multi-artist project called Idiocinema, which will culminate in the publication of a book with that title by the Niagara Artists Centre. The text of the book is being written by Tim Conley. The book is to include images that suggest an entire film that will be used in conjunction with Tim’s synopses.

Idiocinema publication will consist of capsule, alphabetized descriptions of over 100 films, with lines of connection between them by which readers can follow particular storylines, such as that of a given actor’s career or of a particular trend in film in this alternative history (for example, the vogue for Swedish films about “legal technicalities” in the 1970s, or the British Mr. Whiffle comedies of roughly the same period). However, much of the book remains to be written, and the writing will be informed and inspired by the images chosen for inclusion.

NAC member artists are encouraged to lend their creativity to creating ‘film still’ images in a variety of styles, eras, genres, locations, and techniques. A black and white close-up of a nostril might be as powerful and suggestive as a full colour rooftop shot of a falling watermelon. We want images that hint at a scene, of the moments before and after the still image that’s submitted.

There’s only one absolute constraint: in Marplot’s world, there is no such place as Canada (it disappeared when cinema began), so images cannot include recognizable Canadian locations, landmarks, or symbols. In fact, the guide is to international film, so shots taken of/in the markets of Cairo, the clubs of Hong Kong, or the swamps of Louisiana are at least as welcome as those in an uncertain setting. Likewise, people may or may not be in the shot. Photos selected will be assigned a caption and presented as a scene, or still, from a particular film.

We plan to include 50 photographs in the published book. Artists may submit up to ten images for consideration. Modest remuneration of $50 will be paid for each photograph selected. Artists will receive printed credit and a copy of the book. They will retain copyright of the image and the right to sell the original and/or reproductions of their image(s). If there is sufficient interest, at a launch party for the book, an exhibit will be organized where the images can be presented and sold.

Submission criteria
a) Film stills may imply the different styles of filmmaking: Film Noir, the Musical, Italian Neorealism, Arthouse, and Sci-fi, for example. They may also imply the historic eras and shifting technologies of filmmaking: the silent era, animation, New Hollywood, etc.

b) Film stills should be formatted to reflect popular cinema and video aspect ratios: 1.85:1, 2.39:1, 4:3, and 16:9

c) Images should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.

d) Submission should be attached or file shared by email to artists@nac.org with the subject line: Idiocinema. Please include your name, address, and phone contact in the body of your message. The deadline for submissions is 31 December.

Sample film descriptions from Idiocinema
American. Dir. Dalton Webby. Colour, 85 minutes.

A holiday cruise ship loses its way and runs ashore an uncharted island inhabited by savage cannibals whose one weakness is their inability to resist a good dance tune. The failed ironies of the film include the strange casting (the cannibals are all played by white actors, the tourists by blacks) and the double-entendres in the dialogue of the original script (written by Webby), which mocked specific racist views espoused by the then-governor of California, were lost in the rigorous editing that the studio enforced.
Trudy Trust is vaguely amusing as a fainting-prone socialite on the make for a husband, but the drinking may not be all acting. In her tell-all memoir, What Didn’t I Do (1984), she succinctly said of this film, “the lighting people seemed to know what was going on.”

American. Dir. Fintan Hold. Colour, 121 minutes.

The first of Hold’s films of people strangling each other, this one is the only one to include dialogue, and critics are divided as to whether it is thus an entirely extraneous feature or very meaningful precisely because it is so rare. The most shocking strangulation takes place in the library, a scene that takes only 12 minutes in the film but which took three whole days to shoot to Hold’s satisfaction. Fans will want to see this, but novices might better start with the later chapters in the cycle, such as Innocence to the Innocent (1992) and Gruzz Geduzz Alack (1994).

Swedish. Dir. Birgitta Lifsovgrass. Colour, 90 minutes.

A smuggling ring is cracked using a little-known regulation about noise levels in airports. Claes Kladdig plays the lead detective with unparalleled detachment, while Jannike Oregelbunden (better known for her later career in music) plays the nameless girl with acute hearing (and, in the dream sequence, the figure of Death). Keeping It Down initiated a surprising revolution in Swedish cinema and is recognized as the first
of a series of “legal technicalities” films, including director Lifsovgrass’s own Uncle’s Income (1975) and The Sorry Barber (1976).

Czech. Dir. Andìl Všední. B & W, 88 minutes.

“I wanted to make a film so joyless,” the director Andìl Všední later acknowledged, “so utterly without hope, that an audience might feel that their own lives were not so miserable and wretched as all that.” The narrator recalls his family’s vain efforts to convince the by turns morose and truculent Miroslav to give up his dream of finding a cache of diamonds allegedly stolen decades before by his grandfather but never found. Všední exclusively used uncredited amateur actors, whom he found in hospitals and paid with watered down alcohol, and it may thus be unsurprising that the dialogue is often hard to make out.


TEAMS of FIVE – $25 per PERSON for the SEASON


Season Begins Friday 9 November 8pm
Call or email NAC to register your team
artists@nac.org 905-641-0331


uSEless BEAuTY
DiG some uSeLESS  
ThE winteR
DoLDRuMS witH a
THiCK wooden
stiCK sWunG
MUsic, hisTORY,
aRt, FiLM – on
an ESpeciaL