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The Gardiner Goes Outside. All summer. All free.

1 year ago

Pop-up window exhibitions, public art projects, outdoor dining and more

Toronto—This summer, the Gardiner Museum is breaking down barriers and moving beyond traditional museum spaces to increase access and meet our communities where they feel safe in light of the pandemic.

We’ve reimagined the Linda Frum & Howard Sokolowski Plaza to create outdoor space for creativity and connection. Join us for pop-up window exhibitions, outdoor dining, and public art projects, followed by family clay activities, wellness workshops, performances, and more as Toronto moves into Steps 2 and 3 of its reopening plan.

It’s time to rebuild and reconnect. And it starts with art. All summer. All free.

“With the reopening of indoor attractions still weeks away, we want to offer our neighbours a safe outdoor space to gather responsibly and enjoy some of the things we’ve all been missing this past year,” said Kelvin Browne, Executive Director and CEO. “We believe that art in particular can offer some much needed joy after a long and difficult winter.”

When the doors to the Museum do reopen in Step 3, admission will be free until Labour Day.

Discover art on the plaza

On now, visitors are invited to the Gardiner’s plaza to safely view a series of mini exhibitions through the windows of the Museum’s glass entryway (Portico Gallery) and the repurposed Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney Community Clay Studio (Window Gallery). An audio tour, which also features the Museum’s garden and public sculptures by Shary Boyle and Jun Kaneko, provides visitors with an outdoor art experience that can be enjoyed right on their smart phones.

The artworks in Window Gallery and Portico Gallery will rotate three times over the course of the summer, beginning with works from the Gardiner’s European Porcelain and Modern and Contemporary collections, including new acquisitions by Montreal-based Indigenous artist Nadia Myre and Bangkok-born Canadian artist Linda Sormin.

The Museum’s street level light box signs will also be animated by art. The Gardiner has partnered with No.9 Contemporary Art + Environment to encourage action on important social and environmental issues, and amplify the work of prominent and emerging BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ identifying artists. The first participant to be featured is Stratford, Ontario-based multidisciplinary artist Kellen Hatanaka, whose work is centered on heritage, tradition, identity, and representation.

The public is also invited to download customizable versions of the onsite artwork at pillarsofchange.art for a chance to have their work displayed around the city.

Dine at Clay Restaurant

Enjoy lunch among the art. Starting on June 24, from Wednesday to Sunday, visitors will be able to snack on confit chicken baos, smash burgers, fresh pasta, house-made donuts, and more at Clay Restaurant’s outdoor terraces overlooking Queen’s Park.

Art making, artist talks, performances, and more

As restrictions are lifted in Step 2 and 3 of the province’s reopening plan, the Gardiner will begin to safely host free outdoor clay activities, live artist talks, wellness workshop, performances, and more on the plaza. The Museum will also continue to offer online programs.

Visit gardinermuseum.com/gardinergoesoutside to learn more.

Thank you to our visionary supporters for helping us build community with clay.

Presenting Partners
David Staines & Noreen Taylor
Kim Spencer McPhee Barrister PC
Mary Janigan & Tom Kierans

Supporting Partners
Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney
Linda Frum & Howard Sokolowski
Weston Family Foundation

Thanks To
The Citrine Foundation
HUB International
Margaret McCain
Andre Morriseau
Rosemary Phelan
The Raphael Yu Centre of Canadian Ceramics
Diana Reitberger


The Gardiner Museum brings together people of all ages and backgrounds through the shared values of creativity, wonder, and community that clay and ceramic traditions inspire.

The Gardiner Museum’s collection of ceramics comprises approximately 4,000 objects, and focuses on specific areas which have been collected in depth. These include a world-renowned collection of European porcelain, with particular strengths in Meissen, Vienna, and Hausmaler decorated porcelain, as well as a comprehensive collection of figures inspired by the commedia dell’arte. It holds the preeminent collection of Italian Renaissance maiolica in Canada, and a superb collection of English tin-glazed pottery. The Gardiner preserves highly significant collections of ceramics from the Ancient Americas, Chinese blue and white porcelain, Japanese porcelain, and contemporary Canadian ceramics. It also houses a research library and archives, clay studios, award-winning Shop, and a restaurant.

The Gardiner Museum is among the few museums in the world focused on ceramics, and is one of the world’s most notable specialty museums. For more information, please visit: gardinermuseum.com.


Media Contact:
Rachel Weiner
Senior Manager, Marketing
Gardiner Museum

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