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Gardiner Museum makes space for local histories with five community projects

2 years ago

Community Arts Space: Recent Histories features full summer of free programming

Toronto—The Gardiner Museum presents a full summer of free programming, including community exhibitions, live performances, and hands-on art workshops led by five local partners.

The third installment of the Community Arts Space project, presented by TD Bank Group, is inspired by the theme Recent Histories, illuminating stories that have been marginalized in an attempt to make space for local histories and represent the experiences of the city’s diverse publics.

The projects, which were selected through an open call, include an outdoor installation of ramp sculptures addressing the architecture of access; a series of public performances featuring a nomadic choir repeating demands made by women throughout history; and an exhibition of clay vessels inspired by ancestral Wabanaki forms representing the eight Mi’kmaqi districts.

The Gardiner also teamed up with local community organizations including The 519, Art Starts, and Akin Collective to offer support to the project partners, including studio and workshop space.

“TD is proud to support the Gardiner Museum’s Community Arts Space project, which sparks dialogue and engages local communities in artistic projects,” says Andrea Barrack, Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. “Through our new corporate citizenship platform called The Ready Commitment, we are helping to open doors to a more inclusive tomorrow by investing in opportunities for diverse groups to come together, and in arts and culture initiatives that reflect all voices in our communities.”

The exhibition launches on Thursday July 5 with a live choreographic work by jes sachse and British-born dancer Alice Sheppard, non-chair and chair and users respectively, as well as the opening of Invisible Footprints 0.2: Deep Cuts, an exhibition highlighting the marginalized histories of Toronto’s East and Southeast Asian LGBTQ communities.

The Community Arts Space: Recent Histories
 runs from July 5 to September 17, 2018.


Invisible Footprints 0.2: Deep Cuts
The Visibility and Representation Project
Co-presented with The 519, Invisible Footprints, Rice Roll Productions, Asian Community AIDS Services
July 5 to 19

Invisible Footprints 0.2: Deep Cuts visualizes and documents the lived experiences of Toronto’s queer and trans East and Southeast Asians. Organized by Mezart Daulet, artists Aries Cheung, Heidi Cho, Vince Ha, and Khanh Tudo have developed this multimedia exhibition through community-based intergenerational art-making at The 519.

I wanna dance with some body
Public Space Intervention
Outdoor Plaza
August 1 to September 17

Local artist, writer, and curator jes sachse addresses the negotiation of bodies moving in public/private space with a trio of outdoor ramp sculptures, executed at industrial scale, and considers how bodies interact with the architecture of access.

Reclaiming Artifacts
The Young People Project
Co-presented with Art Starts
August 2 to 16

Reclaiming Artifacts invites visitors of all-ages to explore the “discovery” of artifacts found during the construction of a condo in the year 2050. Design researchers Calla Lee and Prateeksha Singh collaborated with youth artists from Lawrence Heights to create these fictional clay objects, resulting in a multimedia exhibition that meditates on the neighborhood’s ongoing revitalization.

Panic in the Labyrinth
Performance on the Plaza
Co-presented with Angry Asian Feminist Gang, Margin of Eras Gallery
August 2 to 19

Multidisciplinary artist Annie Wong organizes a series of outdoor performances centering on intersectional feminist poetics. From a nomadic choir recalling and repeating the demands made by women and feminist movements across geography and history to a reading series for local women writers, Wong’s project transgresses traditional poetry reading and spoken word events to explore a feminist durational aesthetic of holding space through speaking and listening collectively.

Maldewin Weskijinu / Blood Soaked Soil
Museum Intervention
Co-presented with Akin Collective, Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak // Bluejays Dancing Together
August 23 to 30

Artist, writer, and illustrator Louis Esmé (Mi’kmaq, Acadian, Irish) is a Two-Spirit, non-binary person. They have created eight distinct clay areas in the Gardiner to represent the eight Mi’kmaqi districts. These districts feature conical vessels that reference ancestral Wabanaki forms, and are activated both by visitors and through an audio installation by musician Christa Couture.

Visit gardinermuseum.com/recenthistories 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.

The Gardiner strives at all times to provide goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We are committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access and benefit from our services in the same place and in a similar way as other customers whenever possible.

For more information, please visit: gardinermuseum.com.

Media Contact:

Rachel Weiner
Senior Manager, Marketing
Gardiner Museum

Presenting Sponsor

Community Partners


Programming Partners

Angry Asian Feminist Gang

Asian Community AIDS Services

Invisible Footprints

Margin of Eras Gallery

Rice Roll Productions

Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak // Bluejays Dancing Together Collective

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