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Schwitters' Army Logo

On Friday 9 September to 10 September 2022,
The Schwitters' Army Reunion Weekend
is a gathering of Veterans of The Schwitters' Army
and their friends in Sanquhar, Scotland.

REUNION WEEKEND | ABOUT SCHWITTERS' ARMY | OFFICIAL HOTEL |
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
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COLLAGE ARTIST RESIDENCIES
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Schwitters' Army Reunion Weekend
9-10 September 2022,
MERZ Gallery, Sanquhar, Scotland

On Friday, Veterans of Schwitters' Army and their friends will have an informal reception at The Nithsdale Hotel in Sanquhar, Scotland. On Saturday, we will have brunch and then parade through town to MERZ Gallery where we will unveil a blue history plaque installed on the exterior of MERZ Gallery that commemorates The Schwitters' Army. After some pomp and circumstance, we will spend the afternoon making collage and visiting the collection, which is in a secure location underneath MERZ Gallery. The collaborative collage, The Ritual, will be available for those who would like to contribute to it. Later that evening, we will return to The Nithsdale Hotel for an informal evening in the pub.

READ THE DECLARATION | REGISTER

WHAT IS THE SCHWITTERS' ARMY?

The Schwitters' Army Collection of Collage Art at MERZ Gallery is a permanent collection of international collage art curated by Ric Kasini Kadour in January and February 2020. Kadour writes, "Why? Because this is what we do in the collage community: we engage, we exchange, we manifest with one another. We emerge into a new state of being together. That is what makes art powerful. It connects us and takes us into the future." The Collection is a survey of art by active collage artists in 2020. Artists who contributed artwork to the collection are Veterans of The Schwitters' Army. The Collection lives at MERZ in Sanquhar, Scotland and online at the The Schwitters' Army Website.

ABOUT | COLLECTION | FINDING AID | COVENANT

David Rushton Interviews Ric Kasini Kadour in February 2020

If the video does not load, you can watch it HERE.

OFFICIAL HOTEL

The Nithsdale Hotel

One High Street, Sanquhar, Scotland [map]

Per Official Declaration, The Nithsdale Hotel is the Official Hotel of The Schwitters’ Army. Located not more than 112 steps from MERZ Gallery, we will have brunch in the hotel's restaurant and the hotel's pub will be the site of our evening gatherings. Book rooms directly from the hotel's website or call +44 1659 50133. Let them know you are a Veteran of the Schwitters Army when you book.

For more places to stay, the Visit South West Scotland website has more information.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Images: Merz Gallery (above) and the bunker underneath (below) where the Schwitters' Army Collection lives.

Friday, 9 September

7PM
Meet & Greet at the Nithsdale Hotel Pub

Saturday, 10 September

10AM
Schwitters Army Reunion Breakfast

11:30AM
Parade from the Castle to MERZ

Noon
Unveiling of the Schwitters' Army Historical Marker & Declaration Signing

12:30-5PM
Collage Making & Visits to MERZ Bunker

(Folks are on their own for dinner)

7PM
Film Screening of Kurt Schwitters - Hannah Hoch Movie at MERZ

8PM
Evening at the Nithsdale Hotel Pub

REGISTRATION

Event registration includes Brunch on Saturday, 10 September; a copy of the Schwitter Army Book; a commemorative print of "Covenant Concerning the Schwitters’ Army Collection of Collage Art"; and a welcome packet with some other goodies. The cost is £50

REGISTER TODAY!

COLLAGE ARTIST RESIDENCIES

After The Schwitters' Army Reunion, Kolaj Institute will be hosting a series of Collage Artist Residencies at MERZ through the month of September.

Collage Artist Residency: Scotland is a week-long artist residency designed for artists working in collage who seek to engage with place in their practice. Using the rural community of Sanquhar, Scotland as a laboratory, artists will spend a week making artwork; learning about the place, its people, and its history; and discussing how art can capture, share, reflect, comment, and otherwise engage with a sense of place. During the residency, artists will make an artwork that will be exhibited at MERZ Gallery as part of “Mythical Landscape: Secrets of the Vale,” an exhibition by an international group of artists, all of whom traveled to Sanquhar to investigate a sense of place and make artwork that speaks to the rich history and folklore of the region. Artworks reference stories from the past (true or otherwise), consider the history of the region, and speculate on future myths and legends. An evolving exhibition at MERZ Gallery in September 2022 will culminate with the Festival of Folklore, 22-25 September 2022. The artwork will be the subject of a film by David Rushton and used to illustrate a forthcoming, abridged version of William Wilson’s 1904 book, Folk Lore and Genealogies of Uppermost Nithsdale.

Space is limited and we would like to extend an invitation to Veterans of The Schwitters' Army to apply before opening the Call to Artists to the larger collage community. If spending a week making collage in Scotland interests you, read the full the prospectus and submit an application. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis until space is filled. For those attending the Schwitters Army Reunion Weekend and staying on for the Collage Artist Residency, early check-in to the residency housing at MERZ is available.

READ THE PROSPECTUS | APPLY FOR A RESIDENCY

About Sanquhar

Sanquhar is a rural Scottish community with a rich agricultural and manufacturing heritage. Located on the River Nith, the area has been an important crossroads going back to Neolithic times and is the site of several prehistoric British forts and a Roman outpost. A 15th-century castle ruin overlooks the town. Mary, Queen of Scots came to Sanquhar in May 1568 after her defeat at the battle of Langside. In the 17th century, Sanquhar was the site of unrest during the Covenanting period when Scottish Presbyterians fought to maintain the Church of Scotland. Agriculture, coal mining, and wool production and related industries such as knitting and carpet making flourished in the 18th century. The town hosts the world’s oldest working post office (established in 1712) and the world’s oldest curling society (formed in 1774). The Church of St Bride’s sanctuary was dedicated to a lost, then found World War I soldier. The village of Crawick on the edge of town had once been known as a haven for witches. The Tolbooth Museum was designed by the influential 18th century Scottish architect William Adam. Sites of Interest include the Tolbooth Museum, Sanquhar Castle, Crawick Multiverse, Old Town Hall, River Nith, Saint Bride’s Church, Sanquhar Declarations Monument, and A’ the Airts (home to Sanquhar Knitting Patterns).

How do I get to Sanquhar?

For those visiting from outside the United Kingdom, we recommend flying to Glasgow. From there, take Scotrail from Glasgow Central to Sanquhar.

AIRPORT BUS | SCOTRAIL

For those visiting from inside the United Kingdom, Sanquhar is serviced by Scotrail from Carlisle via Scotrail.

Other Things to Do in Sanquhar

Sanquhar and the Upper Nithsdale offer a variety of activities, including walks, historic buildings, museums and galleries, breweries and distilleries and more. Visit South West Scotland’s webpage has more information.

HEALTH & WELLNESS

What is the COVID-19 policy?

COVID-19 is still a public health concern. You can catch it even if you’ve been vaccinated or had it before. In Sanquhar, we will follow all of the local health authority’s standards and guidelines. Please arrive vaccinated. For more information on COVID in Scotland, please review NHS Scotland’s COVID-19 guidance page.

When we all do our part, we got this!

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About Kolaj Institute

The mission of Kolaj Institute is to support artists, curators, and writers who seek to study, document, & disseminate ideas that deepen our understanding of collage as a medium, a genre, a community, and a 21st century movement. We operate a number of initiatives meant to bring together community, investigate critical issues, and raise collage’s standing in the art world.

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Kolaj Magazine is a quarterly, printed, art magazine reviewing and surveying contemporary collage with an international perspective. We are interested in collage as a medium, a genre, a community, and a 21st century art movement. Kolaj is published in Montreal, Quebec by Maison Kasini. Visit Kolaj Magazine online.

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