Art Gallery


Regular Gallery Hours:
Monday-Friday | 10:00am – 4:00pm
Saturday by appointment  for group bookings



Each year, the Cape Breton University Art Gallery invites artists of all ages and levels of experience to participate in a non-juried community exhibition to celebrate our island’s creativity. We welcome both new talent and artists returning to the exhibition.

Proletariart is open to everyone and celebrates amateur, folk, experimental, and avant-garde art in addition to more traditional art forms. No matter what age or skill level, artists from across the island are welcome to show their creative talents at Proletariart! With this exhibition, artists can broadcast their ideas to the public and other artists, while also fostering and building our strong arts community in Cape Breton. Put yourself out there and give your art a chance to be enjoyed by all islanders at Proletariart 2019

Important dates

  • Exhibition dates: Saturday November 2, 2019 – Friday January 17, 2020
  • Submission period: Saturday October 5 – Friday October 11, 2019 (Not including Sunday)
  • Submission deadline: Friday October 11, 2019 4:00 PM
  • Exhibition opening reception: Saturday November 2, 2019 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Artwork pick-up: Monday January 20 – Monday January 27, 2020 (Not including Sunday)
  • Last day to pick-up work: Monday January 27, 2020 4:00 PM

Please note:             

  • Submission Forms must be submitted with artwork when dropped off at CBU Art Gallery between Saturday October 5 – Friday October 11. You may submit only 1 work of art. Artwork must be dropped off and picked up during gallery hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Please note that the gallery will remain open for drop-off and collection on Saturday October 5 and Saturday January 25, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. The gallery is otherwise not open on Saturdays.
  • Copies of the Guidelines with Submission forms are available at the gallery and as a print-ready PDF file here

Current Exhibitions

First You Dream: Celebrating 75 Years of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust

August 16, 2019 – October 4, 2019

Artist: Charley YoungDan O’Neill, Despo Sophocleous, Emily Vey Duke, Jordan Broadworth, Lucy Pullen, Lux Habrich, Pamela Ritchie, Sandra Brownlee, Sara Hartland-Rowe

Organized by MSVU Art Gallery in partnership with Cape Breton University Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust was founded in 1944 and has been awarding scholarships to visual artists since 1949. To celebrate the NSTT 75th Anniversary, First You Dream developed out of a call for entries to all scholarship recipients, inviting submissions of recent work. The final exhibition selection resulted in a broad range of media, including drawing, ceramics, fibre, jewellery, mixed-media, painting, printmaking, sculpture and video. The generational mix of the artists (indicated by the dates of their Talent Trust scholarships) ranges from 1979 to 2016—a span of 37 years. The exhibition includes work by Jordan Broadworth, Sandra Brownlee, Lux Habrich, Sara Hartland-Rowe, Dan O’Neill, Lucy Pullen, Pamela Ritchie, Despo Sophocleous, Emily Vey Duke, and Charley Young.

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust and partner galleries recognize the support of the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Regular Events


Artists’ Gatherings @ the New Dawn CSI on Nepean Street, Suite 200. Emerging and established artists of all ages… bring in a work for critical discussion and mentorship. These gatherings are intended to provide a fun, social space for exchange, mentorship and development (both creative and professional). The Gathering meets at the New Dawn Centre in downtown Sydney (old Holy Angels High School, 37 Nepean Street, Suite 205 on the second floor). The event is FREE. Just bring yourself (and maybe a friend!). Next gathering TBA.

Crit Theory Sessions @ Doktor Luke’s Coffee House (54 Prince Street, Sydney). Crit Theory Sessions are FREE to the public and provide a forum for discussion on key theoretical developments in the history of art and related fields. An ideal compliment to our Artist’s Gatherings, the Crit Theory Sessions are open to all interested members of the public. Next session TBA.

Curator’s Talks: Free public talks by CBU Art Gallery curator, Greg Davies. Subjects range from topics in art history to art practice and curatorship. Next talk TBA.

The Uniqorn Café. Re-Opening October 2019!  

 The CBU Uniqorn Café is a Queer Friendly open mic night + café held at the Cape Breton University Art Gallery on the second Friday of every month. The café is a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community, including youth. Allies are welcome. Admission is always free.

For more information, visit

Past Exhibitions

Mythologies & Truisms

May 31 – July 26, 2019


Red Rising Hoods

Drawing from popular and commodity culture, Teresa Marshall’s artistic practice uses familiar objects to address Aboriginal issues and to analyze relations of power. Through antagonism and humour, her artwork reveals and criticizes neo-colonialism as well as the impact of structural and systemic violence. In particular, she uses visual and verbal puns aimed at deconstructing stereotypes, challenging dominant worldviews. Marshall’s work urgently proposes alternative histories and truths in the twenty-first century.

The exhibition will present selections of the artist’s work produced over the years, including her most recent paintings and sculptures. Inspiration for new work has been drawn from the traditional regalia of Mi’kmaq women, especially peaked caps and garments.

Teresa Marshall is an award-winning multimedia artist who creates sculptures and installations that address the ellipses and absences in the dominant Eurocentric version of North American history. Marshall grew up in a bi-cultural military family, partially on the Millbrook reserve, before studying at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (BFA, 1990), where she won numerous scholarships and academic awards. Since the early 1990s Marshall has worked extensively as an instructor, juror, visiting artist and lecturer across Canada and the United States. Marshall is also a published poet and playwright who participates in a wide range of art-related activities that focus on issues faced by Native Peoples, with a specific concern for the well-being and celebration of the Mi’kmaq culture.

The CBU Art Gallery acknowledges the kind support of Arts Nova Scotia, Unama’ki College and the Indigenous Art Centre, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada | Relations Couronne-Autochtones et Affaires du Nord Canada. The Gallery also extends its special thanks to Jeff Bear and Urban Rez Productions for their generosity in facilitating recording of the exhibition installation and related events.

Steve Jansen Digital Catalogue Now Online!

Our digital catalogue for the recent Steve Jansen exhibition, ‘Through a Quiet window’ is now available online! The text includes an essay by CBUAG curator, Greg Davies and an interview with Steve Jansen. Click the image to access the catalogue.

The Permanent Collection is now online!

Click the picture to access our website. About our collection

Volunteering Opportunity

Are you thinking about volunteer opportunities for the new school year? The CBU Art Gallery offers a great opportunity for students to get involved with the arts here in Cape Breton! Creating a welcoming atmosphere for visitors and helping with exhibitions and events are all things you could be doing to help out our local art gallery.  Volunteers are a very important, and very appreciated,  part of Cape Breton University Art Gallery.

Gallery volunteers perform a variety of tasks as part of the public face of CBUAG. These tasks include front desk reception and gallery monitoring duties, working at openings and events, and maintaining notice-boards. For front desk reception duties, we ask a basic commitment of one three-hour shift at a regular time each week. Training is provided. For more information on volunteering in the gallery contact our general inquiries email 

Sign up for our newsletter. We send a newsletter about once a month listing upcoming exhibitions and events including openings, artists talks, tours, and workshops!

Banner image credit: Skull Stories, Jordan Bennett (2012) from the ArtSci exhibition Winter 2017/18 (photo taken by: Greg Davies)

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Art Gallery Front Desk

Phone: 902.563.1342

Greg Davies

Phone: 902.563.1852

Catherine Arseneau
Director, Cultural Resources

Office: CE-271-A

Phone: 902.563.1326