Coffee & Conversation is a NEW interview series with tenants at Artscape Youngplace. Our first interview is with Midi Onodera. Midi is an award-winning filmmaker who has been directing, producing, and writing films for over thirty years. Her work spans from short to feature-length films and videos, and is exhibited internationally. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Midi in her studio, and get the inside scoop on her latest projects.
“For me, I feel like I have a lot of connections here, in the neighbourhood. I love seeing [the people at Artscape Youngplace] sitting out on my patio, and I love seeing them now here in their workplace. It feels good to be part of this.”
You might have noticed on our mezzanine The TwoPenny, a pop-up café led by Debbie Rix from the Lucky Penny, a one-stop grocery across the street. The pop-up is open for the month of May. So far, it has been a booming hit.
Debbie and employee Kenzie working at The TwoPenny
We’re delighted that Debbie is involved in Artscape Youngplace, as she is a bit of a Shaw Street legend. She has lived in the area for almost 15 years, and in 2014 transformed a former run-down building into the first commercial space on Shaw Street. The Lucky Penny has evolved according to the neighbourhood’s needs. “I didn’t start out with very many groceries,” Debbie says. “What people were asking for is almost exactly what ended up on the shelves.” The design for the Lucky Penny was inspired by an island cottage Debbie visited as a child. “In this marina you could get anything from marshmallows to worms to Wonderbread to comic books to milk, and all the candy. That was my favourite thing in the summer, and that’s kind of how those areas of the Lucky Penny developed.” We at Artscape Youngplace love taking a break in the Muskoka chairs just outside the Lucky Penny, which Debbie says are reminiscent of that cottage life.
About Artscape Youngplace, she says, “I used to come to this building with my kids when it was still a school and it closed shortly after. I have a very fond history with this building because at the time that we were putting on the fun fairs, I set up a haunted house in the old classrooms. We had a lot of fun in here. For me, I feel like I have a lot of connections here, in the neighbourhood. I love seeing [the people at Artscape Youngplace] sitting out on my patio, and I love seeing them now here in their workplace. It feels good to be part of this.”
Debbie has also played a role in local Givins/Shaw Junior Public School, running the Parent Council for five years and starting the school’s annual Fun Fair. “A cohort of us got together and said we were going to make this school great, and we did. I got handed the parent council money, it was $200 at the start of the year, and at the end of the year we had $10,000.”
So, what first to try off the Lucky Penny menu? “Definitely the chicken panini. It was the first sandwich we had and it stayed, it is definitely the best seller.” Be sure to stop by The TwoPenny and say hi to Debbie before the end of May!
Yes it’s that time of year again! The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival has graced the city of Toronto with contemporary photography through a series of exhibits, public installations, and events during the month of May.
Artscape Youngplace is thrilled to host participating exhibitions from The Koffler Gallery, Critical Distance and Workman Arts. If you haven’t already seen these amazing works, we suggest you come on down and take a wander through our enlivened galleries and hallways. Please read on to find out more information about our exciting exhibitors!
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The Koffler Gallery welcomes back Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist 2Fik for his first solo show in Toronto. A Primary Exhibition of the 2017 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, 2Fik: His and Other Stories streamlines three recent bodies of work that explore cultural legacies as well as individual and national identity constructs. His photo-based work brings to life fictional individuals, embodied by himself, in a satirical manner. The exhibition showcases his latest compositions that dismantle and reconfigure allegorical representations of nationhood portrayed in several historic paintings.
The exhibition takes place at the Koffler Gallery and runs until June 4th.
Gallery Artist: 2Fik
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Critical Distance is delighted to present a Featured Exhibition of the 2017 Scotiabank CONTACT Festival, Signals & Sentiments. This two-part exhibition examines how gesture functions as a mechanism for the production of identify. Exhibition curator, Katelyn Gallucci, has placed a unique selection of sculpture and photo-based objects in context with each other, exploring how seemingly opposite artistic expressions might fundamentally derive from inadequacies of language, disposition, desire, and whim.
Artscape’s stairwell spaces are also a feature of the exhibition, temporarily home to three site-specific installations, which address the more exterior and transitory dynamics of gesture; exploring themes of self-discovery, the relationship between perception and memory, and the search for emotional connection through time.
The exhibition takes place in the Critical Distance gallery (Suite 302) & Artscape Youngplace Stairwells and runs until June 4th.
Gallery Artists: Sebastián Benítez, Petar Boskovic, Shelby Fenlon, Maxwell Hyett, and Mickey Mackenna.
Stairwell Artists: Maggie Groat & Jimmy Limit, Karen Henderson, and Josee Pedneault
Curated by: Karen Gallucci
Exhibitor info: https://criticaldistance.ca/program/signals-and-sentiments/
In conjunction with Signals & Sentiments, Mountainburger is a glorious 8-foot image by Kitchener-based artist Aislinn Thomas, which can be viewed on our Billboard on Shaw Street until August. Thomas’ artwork was selected for the Spring 2017 Billboard on Shaw, a partnership with Artscape Youngplace.
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Workman Arts presents Mindset 2017, an annual juried exhibition presenting works by participant artists and artists who are members of the Workman Arts. The selected works featured in this exhibition explore how individual and collective experiences of trauma, illness, isolation and recovery are processed, supported by personal and interpersonal beliefs and behaviours.
Workman Arts is the longest running multidisciplinary arts and mental health organization in Canada and in the world. For over twenty-five years, Workman Arts has empowered aspiring, emerging, and established artists with mental illness and addiction issues to develop and refine their art practice through multifaceted arts training programs and public performance/exhibition opportunities.
The exhibition takes place on the Second Floor Hallway Gallery and runs until May 27th.
Gallery Artists: Teresa Ascenção, Stephanie Avery, Marco Buonocore, Cara Cole, Heather Fulton, Sheldon Laporte, Esmond Lee, Barbara Mann, Jaye Martin, Anita McKernan, Brad Necyk, Julie Riemersma, Annette Seip, and Tanya Louise Workman
Curator: Claudette Abrams
Jury Advisors: Jeff Bierk, Yuula Benivolski, and Tanya Louise Workman
Exhibitor info: http://www.workmanarts.com/mindset-2017/
We are lucky to have so many inspiring and active community members come through the doors every day. Patti Kain, a neighbourhood legend and Flex Studio member is one of these people. Having grown up in an artistic family, (her father is a children’s cartoonist) Patti was always encouraged to be involved in the arts. “I would consider myself in the Arts, to be a jack of all trades, a Master of none.” A trained dancer, Patti has studied Visual Arts and has worked with children over the years. “I dance 5-7 hours a week, I do visual artwork and I make music, and I book my own daughter’s gigs. The volunteer work that I do with kids in the arts really came together after I became a parent, when my daughter went to Givins-Shaw. Many of the parents are professional actors, musicians, dancers and visual artists and so the community really values creativity.”
In addition to running an arts-focused after-school program for kids using our Flex Studios, Patti organized and curated a kids and youth art show most recently on display in our second floor Hallway Galleries. “Artscape Youngplace has been an amazing place for me. I was involved in a lot of creative projects when my daughter was at Givins Shaw, and now that is no longer the centre of my universe. I find Artscape to be receptive to my ideas; its kind of a hot bed for creative community activity. There are people constantly meeting and talking about ideas here.”
This show has been a true representation and culmination of Patti’s work and dedication to these kids. “My feeling is that I don’t think people give kids enough credit. I think kids are generally brilliant human beings and it’s super sad that people don’t stop and pay attention. Children act the way that you treat them and they have a lot to offer. The kid’s artwork in this show is as interesting to me as any adult work I’ve seen.”
Patti’s experience with exhibiting work started by showing her daughter’s artwork in adult shows around the Queen West area, and has grown to include dozens of kids from the neighbourhood of varying ages. Patti is full of ideas for future exhibitions and programming opportunities. “Every year I think ‘why wouldn’t I do this show again?’ It was so successful and so pleasant for me. I have a million ideas, with dance, music, for this I would love to expand the exhibition and have an auction at the end.”
It is impossible not to be inspired by Patti. The joy and care for her kids and for the arts can be felt all around her. “That’s what excites me, pulling people into different art forms. You hear people say ‘oh I can’t sing, I can’t draw a stick man, I can’t do this’, but unless you’re showing work at the AGO, you should just go for it, make some art and not worry about what people think.”
For Patti, it’s all about participation, “All people are happier when they’re involved in the arts, and it takes absolutely zero skill to gain happiness, connection with community and fulfillment from involvement in any of the arts. Art should be shared, and not every piece of kid’s art should go from the fridge to the garbage. It doesn’t take very much to suggest to a child that they could fold it in half and give it as a card, or that they could give it to one off their neighbours. I think it brings people together.”
Her philosophy surrounding the arts is one that she carries in all aspects of life. “I believe that everyone’s self-expression is valid. It’s very important to make yourself happy. If you spend part of your life doing something that is ideal, you will in that segment of your life be your most brilliant self and you will show that to the world.” The roots of Patti’s philosophy are participation and the benefits when experiences come into fruition. “I don’t think there is any reason not to get up on a little platform and sing a song for 4 people, and it doesn’t have to be on a big scale. I don’t think we stop enough to share those parts of our day.”
“If I do something that is 100 or 99 percent me even if I can only do it for 2 hours a week, I am bringing into fruition a completely pleasurable experience where I will appear to be someone people want to be around. Generosity in art and in life does not have to be a sacrifice. Just say yes to opportunities and figure it out later!”
You can catch Patti around the neighbourhood and grooving in the hallways after school.
Artscape Youngplace has included a café space on the mezzanine level since the building’s opening in 2013. Artscape is seeking a new operator for this popular venue with an established clientele and is open to your ideas and concepts. The ideal food service operator will contribute to the programming within Artscape Youngplace and the facility’s overall vision.
With windows facing Shaw Street, the finished space accomodates 20 patrons and includes tables and chairs. An adjacent lounge area provides seating for an additional 55 people at no charge to the café operator. We plan to add an outdoor seating area on Shaw Street in Spring 2017. Leasehold improvements are at the tenant’s option. The space is outfitted with a café counter, water, drainage and electrical receptacles. The café is zoned for food service with the option to obtain a liquor sales licence from the AGCO.
HOW TO APPLY:
- Read the Call for Proposals document (PDF)
- Attend a tour (Optional)
- Submit your Application and supporting documentation by January 20, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
For information on short-term or event rentals visit artscapeeventvenues.ca.
Artscape (operator of Artscape Youngplace) has just posted the position of Superintendent at Artscape Youngplace and Artscape Sandbox. You can find the original posting on the Artscape website, or keep reading after the jump. This exciting position starts as soon as possible. The application deadline is Nov. 27 at noon. Join our team!
Position Type: Full-Time
Location: Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street and Artscape Sandbox, 301 Adelaide St. W.
Start Date: As soon as possible
Application Deadline: December 16, 2016 at 12:00pm but please note that qualified candidates will be interviewed upon receipt of application.
Reporting to the Director of Property Management, the Superintendent will maintain the building and grounds for two Artscape properties: Artscape Youngplace and Artscape Sandbox. The Superintendent is based at Artscape Youngplace, which constitutes the majority of duties. The Superintendent also works closely with the Technical Director to address building needs and repairs at Artscape Sandbox. Duties at Artscape Sandbox are on an as needed basis and typically require 2 to 4 visits a month. From time to time s/he might also undertake or assist with maintenance duties at other Artscape buildings. The work schedule may vary and may include weekends and/or evenings. The Superintendent will be required to be on-call. Unscheduled hours are paid with time off in lieu.
Artscape (operator of Artscape Youngplace) has just posted the position of Part-time Administrative Assistant at Artscape Youngplace. You can find the original posting on the Artscape website, or keep reading after the jump. This exciting position starts asap. Application deadline is Nov. 20 at noon. Join our team!
Join us for Nuit Blanche @ Artscape Youngplace starting this Saturday, October 1 at 7pm until Sunday, October 2 at 7am. We will be hosting a series of site-specific installations, art exhibits and experiences through the building from dusk to dawn.
The Coffeepub will also be open all night for a much-needed caffeine infusion!
Koffler Gallery and Artscape Youngplace
Sarindar Dhaliwal, Brendan Fernandes, Rafael Goldchain, Jérôme Havre, Luis Jacob, Esmond Lee, Julius Poncelet Manapul, Sanaz and Mani Mazinani, Divya Mehra, Zinnia Naqvi, José Luis Torres, 2Fik, Blue Republic, Diana Yoo, Jinny Yu, Z’otz* Collective
Exploring themes of intercultural translation, displacement and identity construction, this exhibition brings together a group of Canadian artists from diverse cultural backgrounds whose works examine the immigrant condition. Comprising recent and new works in a variety of media, including site-specific installations, Yonder approaches the notion of immigration through a process of “personal sociology,” moving from an investigation of subjective inquiries to larger questions and shared experiences. The project expands from the Koffler Gallery into the broader space of Artscape Youngplace, crossing the borders of the gallery setting and engaging shared public areas as well as the building’s exterior.
Flex Studio 107
The Incunabula Wall installation references the space, vernacular and procedures used at ports of entry. This installation includes video, sculptural relief and commercial signage to create a surreal and interactive experience for the audience. The participants can create take away ‘impressions’ from the various matrices in the installation. The main matrices are on two plinths; one shows the Canadian coat of arms, and the other a ‘proposed’ coat of arms. In 2002, Senator Vivienne Poy proposed to change the Canadian National Anthem, in 2008 another motion was introduced into the House of Commons calling on the government to amend the coat of arms and incorporate First Nations, Inuit, and Métis symbols. The Incunabula Wall continues the exploration of identity, lineage and diaspora through interdisciplinary print-based works. Alejandro Arauz is a Nicaraguan-Canadian interdisciplinary artist working in print, performance, video, photography and mixed media.
Flex Studio 108
Live coverage of violence – in Ex-Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Nicaragua, East Timor, Afghanistan – are mediated through television.People watch hospitals overloaded with wounded civilians; prisoners of war locked up in school bathrooms; a soldier shooting a gun from a bedroom window; and a swimming pool used as a morgue. All the clips have a common denominator: the backgrounds. They consist of swimming pool tiles, floral wallpaper, and two-toned painted walls. They are domesticated-institutional-communal spaces that are perverted by war and violence. These are spaces that people also use in their everyday lives in Canada. The room is in the theme of a swimming pool. The tiles depicts the acts of violence captured in the media. This is about bringing to mind how trauma has become a background subject in our daily lives. Novka Ćosović is an Architect and Designer. She splits her time working for Community, and writing for Site Magazine.
Front Lawn, Installation
Toronto artist Julian Majewski’s main interest in this project is how the #teetertotterencourages interaction while spreading a subtle yet powerful message towards celebrating DIY culture and aesthetic realization through recycling, repurposing, and scavenging. Built with the ability to “crowd surf” throughout Toronto communities, this highly unique teeter-totter was custom built. The feature component to the teeter-totter is its cedar tree trunk, which was repurposed after falling in result of being uprooted during a winter storm in 2012. Get ready for the #teetertotter and its highly unique appearance to evoke feelings of childhood joy and delight while interacting with it! Julian Majewski explores sustainability through industrial reuse and recycling. His art combines acts of use-value, preservation, and composition.
Flex Studio 109
A love of colour is an appreciation of the value of its impact in our daily lives. However, this appreciation is only measured by what you are willing to see. The colour patterns of this installation are created to ease the audiences’ anxiety and stress. The beauty of the colours are not apparent to everyone – take your time, engage, and allow the pleasing aspects to shine through. Yaw Tony is a Toronto-based artist/designer; he is the founder of Elohim Studio and LLiM (Pattern design, Artistic direction, Visual identity).
The Wabi-Sabi Collective
Flex Studio 106
A playful immersion in the wabi-sabi aesthetic and architecture of Renku –the collaborative linked verse popularized by the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho in the late 1700s, from which modern Haiku evolved. Then add your own verse or wish to the branches of our Tanabata-style Haiku tree and overnight the leaves will multiply and become a collaborative work of memory by morning. Projects by the Toronto-based Wabi-Sabi Collective explore and cultivate the aesthetics of wabi-sabi through community engagement in the arts.
The weekend of June 16-19 2016, the first ever Toronto Art Book Fair took over all three floors of Artscape Youngplace. Over the course of three days, this inaugural free public event flooded our building with over 75 Canadian and international vendors, curated exhibitions, speakers, readings, talks, launches and workshops. Founded by creative director Maxine Proctor, this celebration of print culture and visual arts was immensely well received. Maxine estimates that over 3000 people visited Artscape Youngplace for TOABF.
Beginning the festivities was an Opening Night Party featuring sweet tunes by DJ Cameron Hodge and Healing Power DJs. Also kicking off the fair launch was a sticker making party hosted by ZIPE-ers and Paddy Leung in partnership with Paperhouse and SKETCH. The remainder of the weekend was filled with various talks and tours including a lecture by award winning journalist, cultural critic and author Anne Elizabeth Moore.
The Sticker Making Party in Flex Studio 106 with ZIPE-ers
Independent artistic print culture has a rich narrative in Canadian art history, and is an often overlooked aspect of Canadian cultural identity. The Toronto Art Book Fair highlighted these personal and collective stories by presenting artists’ books, multiples, and printed matter by Canadian and international artists to a wide audience.
Given the immense success of the event, the TOABF team is more than excited for the fair’s potential and plans to host a second event next year in 2017.
Check out some snapshots from the event:
Left: TXTbooks publishing in Flex Studio 109
Right: ZIPE in Flex Studio 106
Left: Parawilbur’s table on the Second Floor
Right: Sergej Vutuc’s table
Left: Jackie Lee’s Table
Right: DNA Artspace (from London, Ontario) in Flex Studio 107
Both photos: IN SITU Exhibition – Curated by Gemma Warren (Toronto)
Photography credits: Emilee Girard and Erica Mason
The Intergalactic Arts Collective (IGAC) is a group of professional artists who have joined forces to share the studio space #103 here at Artscape Youngplace. IGAC is unique in the sense that all artists work individually on a freelance level running their own classes and programs, yet they operate in the space collectively by consensus. Since the group incorporated recently to all become members of the board of the corporation IGAC, some exciting changes are in store!
Started in 1993, the Intergalactic Arts Collective is a group of interdisciplinary performing artists that focuses on the research and presentation of new performance work, as well as widening audience perception and understanding of contemporary performance forms. IGAC’s 1,028 square foot studio at Artscape Youngplace is a hub for innovation in performance and a centre for artistic research and performance, teaching and coaching.
Meet some of the collective:
Jessica Runge is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She has performed to critical acclaim across Canada and internationally in the works of notable choreographers, and has danced for the Toronto Dance Theatre and Le Groupe Dance Lab. Runge’s work as a choreographer and interpreter investigates the way movement has meaning for audiences. She is interested in a range of expressivity, and has found potential in diverse physical vocabularies and structural forms (including: site-specific work, aerial dance, and interactive projects).
Since 2013, Runge has been working out of Artscape Youngplace, and is currently President of the Board of the space-sharing Intergalactic Arts Collective based in unit 103. She teaches, rehearses, and performs out of her studio. For more informaiton about her fall session after-school dance classes, please visit www.jessicarunge.com
For more than a decade, Toronto-based dance artist Tracey Norman has been a driving force in her community, splitting her time between choreographing, teaching, performing and researching dance. Her choreography has been presented on stages across Canada. Currently on faculty in the Department of Dance at York University, Tracey received her MFA in Choreography and Dramaturgy in 2010. Tracey has been a member of IGAC since 2012 and currently holds the position of Secretary. She mainly uses the studio for rehearsals and lately has been teaching movement classes which will continue again beginning in late August.
Jennifer Dallas is an established contemporary artist, working in performance, choreography and costume design. She is an artistic visionary who brings a unique combination of technical skill and playful insight to her work. Jennifer is currently working on a solo show, Kittly, with director John Turner, that will premier at the Theatre Centre January 11-15, 2017.
Image by Melanie Gordon.
Simla Civelek is a performance artist based in Toronto, Canada.
Her work has been presented at the FADO Performance Art Centre, 7A*11D International Festival of Performance Art, SAVAC, Nuit Blanche in Toronto, Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, Circa in Montréal, QC, Art Nomade in Chicoutimi, QC, Regart in Lévis, QC and OPEN Performance Art Festival in Beijing, China among other venues. Simla joined IGAC in 2010 and currently serves as the Membership Coordinator.
Creator, performer, arts educator in Canada & abroad, Maxine Heppner teaches and coaches improvisation & performance techniques (pure movement & interdisciplinary), choreography, integrated movement-voice technique, Action Theatre & her unique Cycles training.
“Cycles Practice” is a contemporary dance class that leads each dancer to enjoy the simultaneous experiences of physicality, emotional expression, and group communication. Appropriate for all ages and experience (recreation, physical training and professional) the session is structured for each individual to work at maximum capacity within your personal range and can be experienced as both high and low impact depending on your interests, abilities and needs.
More information and schedules: email@example.com
Other members of the IGAC board: Lo Bil, Sue Lee, Angela Blumberg and Sara Porter.
IGAC is working to find a way for the studio to better support the range of artistic practices that happen within their space. If you are interested in becoming a tenant or renting this incredible space for a long or short term event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit IGAC’s website for more information: https://intergalacticarts.wordpress.com