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Free Summer Programming Returns to the Gardiner with Community Arts Space: Art is Change

3 years ago

Six local cultural groups animate the Museum with public workshops, performances, talks, and more

Toronto, ON June 15, 2017—For the second time, the Gardiner Museum will open its doors to six community partners who will hold two months of free programming including hands-on workshops led by local artists, and original performances. These include a clay-making workshop by popular Toronto-based artist Ness Lee and a choreographic work performed on a bed of wet clay by queer video and performance artist Mikiki.

Through an open call, emerging artists, curators, and local cultural groups were invited to respond to the theme Art is Change. The Gardiner’s unique history and identity is rooted in the city, but its future is increasingly shaped by rapid high-rise developments taking place in the immediate Yorkville neighbourhood and surrounding areas. The projects in Art is Change address issues of identity, migration, community, and public space, using art to navigate the city’s changing urban and social landscape.

“The success of last year’s inaugural Community Arts Space project confirmed for us the importance of giving a platform to local artists and cultural organizations who are doing exciting, meaningful work,” says Kelvin Browne, Executive Director and CEO of the Gardiner Museum. “We have a responsibility to make art accessible and we hope that by offering free programming, thanks to the generosity and vision of our sponsors, that we’ll be able reach out to as many communities as possible.

The Community Arts Space: Art is Change will run from July 4 to August 31, 2017.


Works for Change
July 4 to13
Toronto-based art collective, Madeleine Co., known for projects that reimagine social issues through experiential storytelling and multimedia art, will invite the public to take part in free art-making workshops led by local artists Ness Lee, Kaya Joan, and Paddy Leung, and enter the colourful world of This Art Works!, an original CBC Arts digital series featuring socially innovative artists.

What Makes a Space a Place?
July 4 to 25
Led by Jonathan Friedman of PARTISANS Architects, a team of Waterloo Architecture students will create a site-specific installation on the Gardiner’s outdoor plaza. Coinciding with Waterloo Architecture’s 50th anniversary, visitors will be invited to embellish two large, colourful benches with mosaic tiles as part of a month-long communal art-making activation exploring the scarcity of meaningful public space in Toronto.

July 18 to 27
Queer video and performance artist, Mikiki, who identifies as a mixed-indigenous person of Mi’kmaq, Acadian, and Irish heritage, will address issues of identity and colonization through original choreography performed on a foundation of wet clay. Workshops held in the spring, in collaboration with the Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak Bluejays Dancing Together Collective and The 519, supported the creation of fired clay tiles made by local Two-Spirit artists. The tiles will be showcased at both The 519 and the Gardiner, as well as incorporated into the performance and displayed outside of performance times.

Feminist Art Museum
August 9 to 17
The Feminist Art Museum (FAM), conceived by Xenia Benivolski and Su-Ying Lee, is a national, multi-site pilot project comprised of a network of existing art museums, galleries, and organizations. Using brick as both a metaphoric and material reference, FAM will create a space for dialogue on institution building, place, space, and land. Amid an installation utilizing found bricks, the exhibition hall will also host “riot rock rattles” made in a workshop facilitated by artist Tsēma Igharas, and public rehearsals led by artist Christopher Willes of Pauline Oliveros’ “Sonic Meditations”.

Portable Stories
August 9 to 30
August Fröhls, the name of the collaborative practice of artists/curators Aman Sandhu and Swapnaa Tamhane, invites artists and creative practitioners to engage with local forms of storytelling, teaching, object histories, and music, within a site-specific installation on the plaza inspired by the portable classroom and the artists’ early educations in Scarborough and Markham.

Collecting Personal Archives
August 22 to 31
In partnership with Gallery 44’s OUTREACH program and the Truth & Dare Project, local artist soJin Chun is working with a group of young Muslim women from Toronto to present a group exhibition that brings their unique visions of Toronto to life through images of popular culture, videos, personal photo albums, and more. These works were developed and produced as part of an arts education program held in the spring at The 519.

Visit gardinermuseum.com/artischange to see the full schedule of programs and events.


The Gardiner Museum celebrates the art of ceramics and engages local and international audiences by promoting understanding of the long history of people crafting in clay. The Museum stewards a highly important collection, connecting visitors to the fundamental role of ceramics in many cultures throughout history, and offers special temporary displays, many highlighting the relevancy of ceramics to contemporary life.

The permanent collection comprises approximately 4,000 objects, and focuses on specific areas which have been collected in depth. These include the most important collection of European porcelain in Canada, with particular strengths in Meissen, Vienna, and Hausmaler decorated porcelain, as well as a comprehensive collection of figures inspired by the commedia dell’arte. The Gardiner holds the best collection of Italian Renaissance maiolica in Canada, and a superb collection of English tin-glazed pottery. It preserves highly significant collections of ceramics from the Ancient Americas, Chinese blue and white porcelain, Japanese porcelain, and contemporary Canadian ceramics. The Gardiner is among the few museums in the world focused on ceramics, and is one of the most important specialty museums internationally. For more information, please visit: www.gardinermuseum.com.


Media Contact:
Rachel Weiner
Senior Manager, Marketing
Gardiner Museum

Presenting Sponsor

Collecting Personal Archives Project Supporter
Noreen Taylor C.M. & David Staines C.M., O.Ont

Project Supporters
Dr. Lorna Marsden & Dr. Edward Harvey
Susan Crocker & John Hunkin

Programming Partners


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