All are welcome to events and there are no admission fees.

Opening Reception

Saturday, September 22
2:00 pm-4:00 pm

Please join curator Julie Hollenbach and participating artists for a relaxed reception with refreshments. Artist Emily Davidson will install her wallpaper piece, How It’s Made during the reception.


Saturday, September 29
1:00 pm-2:30 pm

Artist Carrie Allison will introduce the basics of beading and discuss her current collaborative project The Shubenacadie River Beading Project and its sister project Shubie River. These projects invite people to map the Shubenacadie River in beadwork, raising awareness about Indigenous sovereignty and land rights in the process. The workshop is free but capacity is limited and advanced registration is required – please email by 26 September to register.

Roundtable Discussion

Saturday, September 29
3:00 pm-4:30 pm

Please join El Jones, Sherry Pictou and guests for “Unpacking Colonialism and Environmental Racism in Halifax” a roundtable discussion of these topics and the destruction and displacement of the communities of Turtle Grove and Africville. The discussion will be followed by a relaxed reception and refreshments in the gallery, sponsored by the MSVU Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies. A free, wheelchair accessible shuttle is available for this event. Shuttle capacity is limited and seating will be offered on a first come, first served basis – more information about the shuttle can be found here.

– to MSVU Art Gallery –
2:00pm meet at Dalhousie University in front of the Killam Memorial Library 2:15pm depart for MSVU Art Gallery drop-off in front of Seton Academic Center.

– from MSVU Art Gallery –
4:30pm meet outside MSVU Art Gallery in front of Seton Academic Center (same as drop-off spot) 4:40pm depart for Killam Memorial Library (same as pick-up spot)


Wednesday, October 3
12:00 pm-1:30 pm

Join artist Ruth Marsh for a hands-on workshop, using deceased bees and retro-electronic components, to learn about how environmental change is affecting delicate bee ecology. The workshop is free but capacity is limited and advanced registration is required – please email by 26 September to register.


Saturday, October 20
2:00 pm-4:00 pm

WORK OUT | WORK OUT is a two-phase collaborative performance piece by Julie Hollenbach and Gambletron challenging idealized feminine gender performance through an immersive theatrical romp that includes culinary sculpture, hobby craft kitsch, and a multi-media dance. The first phase (2:00-3:30pm) follows a group of friends as they attempt to construct self-portraits. The second phase of the performance (3:30-4:00pm) sees the friends forgo the arduous task of performing femininity to perfection. Opting instead to glitch, disembody and otherwise intervene in the prescriptive works of mainstream feminine gurus such as Jane Fonda, Martha Stewart, Sheryl Sandberg, and Iliza Schleslinger. This phase of the performance witnesses the friends’ collective embrace of the queer pleasure of gender failure.  Visitors are invited to drop-in or attend the whole performance.

About the Exhibition

Unpacking the Living Room explores the many dynamics of domestic environments by staging a radically re-imagined living room in the gallery space. During the exhibition, Unpacking the Living Room will host thoughtful community discussions about craft and art, amateurism and professionalism, leisure and labour, and the private and the political. Through playful and insightful interventions and programs, visitors are invited to reflect on the histories and ideologies that ground understandings of self, home, belonging, and resilience.

Contributing artists include Carrie Allison, Pansee Atta, Candice Baldwin, Chrystal Clements, Emily Davidson, Charles Doucette, Kaashif Ghanie, Barb Hunt, Neon Kohkom, Gary Markle, Ruth Marsh, Allyson Mitchell, Kim Morgan, Robin Muller, and Anna Taylor.

Unpacking the Living Room and MSVU Art Gallery are situated in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people, and within sight of the historic location of the Africville community.


MSVU Art Gallery is committed to accessible practices and offers interpretive services such as: – audio guide with supplementary information and verbal description of select works – Gallery Attendants available for tours and verbal description – American Sign Language interpretation of exhibition description

American Sign Language interpretation is available for all public events on request. Two weeks’ notice prior to an event is recommended but arrangements will be made whenever possible based on interpreter availability. Please email to request an interpreter. For more information on accessibility, exhibitions and public events visit