Orphan Well Adoption Agency

Thursday, July 27th, 2017 — 7:00pm – 10:00 pm.
Stride Gallery
Multiple contributors

Part of


Orphan Well Adoption Agency (OWAA) is preparing for its official launch in September 2017. Throughout the month of July, 2017, OWAA workers will continue documenting orphan well sites in rural areas outside of Calgary, Alberta.

The OWAA is dedicated to finding “forever homes” for abandoned oil wells through symbolic adoptions. In an effort towards remediation and healing, the OWAA is in pursuit of facilitating relationships of divestment.

As the oil and gas industry enters rocky times, the orphanage is growing. With over 80,000 inactive oil wells across the province of Alberta, there are 1,400 orphan wells up for adoption this year. At this time, it is critical to ensure that orphan wells receive time, attention, and care, not only for their wellbeing but for the health of their immediate environment.

This summer, donate to the Orphan Well Adoption Agency:

A donation of $15 or more you will receive a postcard of an orphan well that is currently in need of a caretaker.

A donation of $150 or more, you will receive an artist’s rendering of an orphan well.

A donation of $250 or more, you will receive a postcard of an orphan well, an artist’s rendering of an orphan well, a personalized letter from an orphan well, and a drawing from the Inner End (Service Roads) series.

*The Orphan Well Adoption Agency (OWAA) is not to be confused with The Orphan Well Association (OWA), a not-for-profit association funded by the oil and gas industry that manages the abandonment of Alberta upstream oil and gas orphan wells and the reclamation their sites. OWAA has no affiliation with the OWA, the Alberta Energy Regulator and is not funded by the oil and gas industry. The Orphan Well Adoption Agency is a public art project by artist Alana Bartol. All adoptions are symbolic.

Alana Bartol (Windsor/Calgary) is an interdisciplinary artist that comes from a long line of water witches. Investigating alternate epistemologies within and beyond the human body, her site-responsive works propose dreaming, walking, and divination as ways of understanding across place, species and bodies. Her work has been presented and screened nationally and internationally at various galleries including PlugIn Institute of Contemporary Art (Winnipeg), ARC Gallery (Chicago), Karsh-Masson Gallery (Ottawa), Simultan Festival (Romania), Museo de la Ciudad (Guadalajara, Mexico), Access Gallery (Vancouver), InterAccess (Toronto), Art Gallery of Windsor (Windsor), and Groupe Intervention Vidéo, (Montréal), amongst others. Recent residencies include The Banff Centre, Neighbourhood Time Exchange (Prince George, BC), The City of Calgary’s Public Art residency Open AiR, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. She currently teaches at Alberta College of Art+Design.

Orphan Well Adoption Agency


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