Past Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions – 2017

2019   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014




ON VIEW SEPTEMBER 14–NOVEMBER 26, 2017, 12–5 PM | Critical Distance | Suite 302

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 14th from 6–9 pm

Critical Distance is pleased to open our landmark 5th year of programming with Fermenting Feminism, curated by Lauren Fournier and featuring Sharlene Bamboat, Hazel Meyer, Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint, Sarah Nasby, Kayla Polan, Walter Scott, and Agustine Zegers.

Kombucha, guts, bacteria, vessels, vitalism, effervescence, degradation, and decay. Fermenting Feminism brings together artists whose work fleshes out the intersections between fermentation and intersectional feminisms. As the process of microbial transformation, fermentation becomes both a metaphor and material practice through which to approach feminist practices in the contemporary. Is feminism a relic of the past, something that has soured? Or is feminism still a vital imperative? This exhibition positions fermentation as a vital and viable space to re-conceive feminisms’s pasts, presents, and futures. Working across art, science, performance, and design, the works in Fermenting Feminism make space for multidisciplinary experimentation and conceptual play. Fermentation symbolizes bioavailability and accessibility, preservation and transformation, interspecies symbiosis, sustainability and futurity, harm reduction and care. Spanning the speculative and the literal, the embodied and the ephemeral, the works in this exhibition revisit questions of importance to feminists—consumption, colonialism, hygiene, wellness, agency, ritual, sexuality, transformation, and tradition—through the theory and practice of fermentation.

Fermenting Feminism is a multidisciplinary project that takes different forms: beginning as a publication in collaboration with Lauren Fournier and the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, it has evolved into site-specific exhibitions, installations, and screenings in Toronto, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Kansas City. This exhibition at Critical Distance marks the Canadian launch of this project. The site-specific evolution of Fermenting Feminism instantiates the context-specificity of microbes and fungi, of fermenting bodies, and of feminisms.

Please join us for an opening reception with the curator on Thursday, September 14th from 6–9 pm. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

Our reception is the same night as Koffler Gallery’s fall exhibition opening downstairs — two for one at Artscape Youngplace this evening!


Sharlene Bamboat works predominantly in film, video and installation.  Based in Toronto and Pittsburgh, she has exhibited at galleries and festivals internationally, including Les Complices* (Zurich), the Images Festival (Toronto), The Art Gallery of Windsor (Ontario), and Vasakh Film Festival (Lahore).

Sarah Nasby works primarily in sculpture and drawing. She holds an MFA from NSCAD University and a BA from the University of Guelph. Selected exhibition venues include Mercer Union, DNA Artspace (London), and Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina). Sarah acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council for her work in this exhibition.

Hazel Meyer works with installation, performance, and textiles to investigate relationships between sport, sexuality, feminism, and material culture. Drawing on archival research, she bring various troublemakers—lesbians-feminists, gender outlaws, leather-dykes—into the performative space of athletics.

Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint investigate food, ecology, media, and memory, creating social sculptures that facilitate recovery from a cultural memory disorder they call “industrial amnesia.” Nadir is an Afghan-American critic, scholar, artist, and lecturer in Sustainability and Environmental Humanities; Peppermint is an Associate Professor in the department of Art and Art History—both at University of Rochester.

Kayla Polan is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice melds feminism and popular culture to explore sexuality, fetishism, domesticity, queer identity, autobiography, and consumer culture. She holds a BFA in Drawing & Painting from OCADU and her work has been exhibited in group exhibitions in Canada and Europe.

Walter Scott is a Kahnawake-born artist currently based in Montreal and Toronto. His practice includes writing, video, performance and sculpture, through which he explores questions of representation, cultural production, popular culture and narrative construction. His work has been exhibited in Japan, North America, and Europe.

Agustine Zegers is a Chilean visual artist and bacterial community, currently finishing a BA at NYU Abu Dhabi. They have exhibited work in Santiago, Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and New York

Exhibition curator Lauren Fournier (Regina, Saskatchewan) is a writer, curator, artist, and PhD candidate currently based in Toronto. In addition to her art and curatorial practices, she has worked as a frontline mental health and harm reduction worker. She has exhibited her work in galleries, artist-run centres, and screenings across Canada and in Berlin, Athens, and Houston. Her writing has been published in Canadian ArtMagentaKapsulaThe Journal of Comparative Media ArtsMilkweedCanadian Journal of Woman Studies, and West Coast Line. Recent curatorial projects include The Sustenance Rite at the Blackwood Gallery and Out of Repetition, Difference at Zalucky Contemporary.



Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace | 180 Shaw Street | Toronto | Ontario | M6J 2W5

click for map
Gallery hours are Friday–Sunday 12–5 pm and by appointment through November 26th. Office hours by appointment only.
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram


Critical Distance is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. Part gallery and publisher, part professional association and community, CDCC is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a forum for ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life. For more info, visit our website or social media pages, linked above.

image: Sarah Nasby, Living Things (Dorothy Hafner vessel, kombucha, lines pattern), 2017

Staring Back at the Sun: Video Art from Israel, 1970-2012

September 14 – November 26, 2017 | Koffler Gallery

Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 PM – 6 PM, Saturday & Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM, Closed Mondays & Statutory Holidays

Fall Opening Reception: Thursday, September 14, 2017 | 6–9 PM | FREE


‘Staring Back at the Sun: Video Art from Israel, 1970-2012’ traces the development of contemporary video practice in Israel and highlights work by artists who take an incisive, critical perspective towards the cultural and political landscape in Israel and beyond. Produced and circulated by Artis as an internationally touring exhibition and program (2016-2018), the project showcases the work of 38 artists, including early performances, films and videos never before presented outside of Israel. Divided into four historic and thematic sections, ‘Staring Back at the Sun’ focuses on the activist impulse in video art-making in Israel over the last four decades. Informed by the international history of video art, the exhibition traces the development of the medium in Israel and explores how artists have employed technology and material to examine the socio-political status quo, through themes such as the prominence of political conflict in mass media; the liberalization of the economy; and the impact of free market politics on Israeli culture.

IMAGE CREDIT:  Rona Yefman and Tanja Schlander, still from Pippi Longstocking, The Strongest Girl in the World, 2006 – 2008, single channel HD video.

Katrina Jurjans

for a moment it all comes together (and you’re the only one)

November 13, 2017 – November 24, 2017

Hours: Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm

Opening Reception: Thursday November 16, 2017 | 6-9pm 


Katrina Jurjans was awarded the fourth annual Artscape Award at the 2017 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.The award includes a residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point and exhibition at Artscape Youngplace.

Katrina’s paintings rely on the visual language of colour, pattern, layering and spatial tension to explore intimate relationships and ideas of loss, memory, love, grief, instability and transition. Formed by blurring these concepts, her work breaks free from a fixed meaning, instead becoming a layered solidification of thoughts and feelings.

Soft: transformative queer love and care

November 2, 2017 – November 24, 2017

Hours: Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm

Opening Reception: Thursday November 2, 2017 6pm-9pm 

The Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers at OCAD U congratulates Morgan Sears-Williams on the creation of this new photo documentary series and installation as the recipient of the 2017 Artscape Youngplace Career Launcher prize.

SOFT: transformative queer love and care explores the different manifestations of love and care and the intersections with politicized bodies, protest and reclamation of space. Where are the unexpected spaces where love and care manifest? What spaces are seen as more ‘legitimate’ than others? How can we challenge the idea of legitimacy of love and care within an intersectional queer lens?

As part of this Career Launcher, Madison Leeson, a graduate of OCAD U’s Curatorial and Criticism Practice program was commissioned to conduct an interview with the artist as well as a small essay to accompany the solo exhibition.

The artist would like to acknowledge the Mississaugas of New Credit, the Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, the original keepers of this land, for hosting us during the reception and for the duration of the show. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on this land.




September 8 – September 15, 2017 | 3rd Floor Hallway Gallery

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Featuring Competition winners: Ali Navidbakhsh, Evan Wakelin, Karan Manchanda, Sarah Gunawan, and Shelley Long; plus Runners-up: Anna Longrigg + Jason McMillan, Fionn Byrne, Kyung-Kuhn Lee + Mamata Guragain + Nubras Samayeen, Mitchell Gray, and Rob McIntosh; and Honourable mentions: Dominique Cheng, Émélie Desrochers-Turgeon, Emma Mendel, Stephanie Mauer, and Studio Ha-ha



Opening reception Friday, Sept 8th, 7–9 pm

Future Legacy: Design for Canada’s Next 150 Years is an exhibition featuring winners of The Site Magazine’s inaugural design competition. In the context of Canada’s sesquicentennial, entrants were challenged to develop proposals that considered the relationship between the nation’s history, current context, and possible future trajectories. The submissions, which came from across the nation, as well as seven different countries internationally, reflect the spectrum of Canadian geography, culture, population, and politics, and raise pertinent questions to be considered as we move forward collectively.
The winning projects, selected by a jury of Canadian and international designers and thinkers, represent a diverse range of notions of Canada’s identity and legacy, ranging from the scale of the entire country to that of a suburban single-family home. Along the third-floor hallway of Artscape Youngplace, images and text by the five competition winners, five runners-up, and five honourable mentions will be presented along with commentary from jury members and the editors at The Site Magazine. Together, this material presents not only a critical perspective on how legacy shapes the direction of political and ideological undertakings but also a window into the possibilities for architects, landscape architects, and designers to imagine alternative Canadian futures.

The Site Magazine is the current iteration of Canada’s longest running independent architecture magazine. Written by, and for, emerging designers and thinkers, we publish two volumes a year of original writing, design, and art from new voices with fresh ideas. By bringing a Canadian lens to pressing global issues, we aim to cultivate a community of creative and critical thinkers who can influence design futures in Canada and abroad. We are supported by funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and regular partners, including Arts Everywhere. Special thanks to Critical Distance for their support in facilitating this exhibition. Competition image by Shelley Long.







September 17 – September 23, 2017 | First Floor Hallway Gallery

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 9 PM

After three months of construction, Artscape Youngplace is thrilled to reveal its new exterior space!
In June of 2016, OTS hosted the 3rd Ontario Tire Stewardship Student Design Challenge at Artscape Youngplace. Thirty-two students from 5 post-secondary schools competed to have their landscape and industrial designs selected to form the redesign of our community entrance, using sustainable products made from recycled tires.
The newly enhanced outdoor area of the winning designs features added seating, more trees, and a large performance space. This space was redesigned for the community to enjoy, and uses creativity in the form of the student designs and recycled rubber materials.

OTS is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the responsible recycling of Ontario’s scrap tires. This site was redesigned for the community to enjoy, and used over 850 recycled tires in its landscape and seating elements.


May – August, 2017 | Billboard on Shaw Street

Hours: Gallery hours are Friday-Sunday from 12-5 pm, and by chance and appointment. Closed Statutory Holidays.

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 27 | 6:00-9:00 PM | Free

Critical Distance is pleased to announce the selected artwork for the Spring 2017 Billboard on Shaw, a partnership with Artscape Youngplace through which we are providing opportunities for curators and artists to present large format printed artworks for the freestanding mural/billboard outside our building on Shaw Street.

Mountainburger is an 8-foot image by Kitchener-based artist Aislinn Thomas.

Mountainburger will be on view outside Youngplace through August 2017. We wish to congratulate Aislinn Thomas, and to extend sincere thanks to the many curators and artists whose thoughtful proposals for our spring billboard were a pleasure to consider. Stay tuned for new opportunities to submit proposals again in the future.

Please join us to celebrate the new billboard on Thursday, April 27th from 6–9 pm
A reception for artist will take place in our third floor gallery at Youngplace and will coincide with the opening of Signals & Sentiments, our Featured Exhibition for the 2017 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC)
Suite 302, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location

About the Artist

Aislinn Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes video, performance, installation and text-based work. She culls material from everyday experiences and relationships, exploring themes of vulnerability, empathy, possibility and failure. Aislinn is a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo MFA program and earned a BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is the recipient of several grants and awards including a C.D. Howe Scholarship for Arts and Design, a Social Science and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Masters Scholarship, and grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Aislinn currently lives and works in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Critical Distance thanks Artscape Youngplace for their generous support of this project.

MOVING HOME (presented by Critical Distance)

The Art and Embodiment of Transience Emerging from Canada’s Child Welfare System

August 18 – 26, 2017 | Critical Distance | Suite 302

Hours: On view from 1-6 pm

Opening Reception: Thursday, August 17, 2017 | 6–9 PM | FREE



Critical Distance is pleased to announce our 2017 Summer Sessions exhibition, Moving Home: The Art and Embodiment of Transience Emerging from Canada’s Child Welfare SystemPresented by York University Human Geography master’s candidate Amelia Merhar, this project is the second to be hosted as part of our Summer Sessions initiative, a program through which we support emerging curators and artists by providing free space, mentorship, and installation support for their thesis exhibitions.

How is transience embodied, carried, and performed? How do repeated moves of homes, schools, and communities linger in the body, from the past to the present? What sort of people is the child welfare system inadvertently creating through so many foster and group home placements? Beyond pathologizing transience, what can we learn from the young and hyper-mobile?

Moving Home explores the embodiment of transience as experienced by young people who grew up in the Canadian child welfare system. It is part of Human Geography Master’s thesis research at York University coordinated by Amelia Merhar, inspired by her lived experience in care. Using arts-based, participatory, and Indigenous research methods, Merhar worked with 15 co-researcher artists in their chosen mediums to explore and compare urban/suburban and Northern/rural experiences at the partner youth art organizations SKETCH Working Arts in Toronto and Splintered Craft in Whitehorse. Artistic explorations of the theme of embodied transience include works of photography, textiles, silk-screening, collage, mixed media, dance, performance, music, spoken word, painting, text, jewelry, dream catchers, and installation.

The first Call to Action the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is to reduce the number of Indigenous youth in care in Canada. There are more Indigenous youth in care today than were in Residential Schools. In Toronto, research has shown that Black youth are disproportionately apprehended and stay longer in the system than their non-Black peers (although through recent efforts these numbers are declining). Art alone can’t solve ongoing violence and colonialism; however it is a way to transgress and re-imagine present social boundaries. The goal of arts-based research is to provoke conversations instead of static research conclusions, and we invite you to enter the conversation here with former youth in care and their art.

The show opening is preceded by a research presentation at the Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Office from 1-3 pm and the launch of the project zine, TL;DR, a thesis in a zine. All are welcome. 

This project was awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada–Master’s Scholarship –Award to Honour Nelson Mandela in 2016, recognizing its commitment to youth participation. Funding for co-researcher artist honoraria and art supplies provided by Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, and the Yukon Child and Youth Advocate. Northern travel and living expenses supported by Northern Scientific Training Fund–Government of Canada.

Plastic Coated (2017)

July 31 – August 25, 2017 | 3rd Floor Hallway Gallery

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Closing Reception: Thursday, August 24, 2017 | 6–9 PM | FREE

Over the last century plastic has taken over the planet. Our modern day living is easy, disposable, and plastic coated.  The material under fire is labeled both a miracle and a curse, saving lives in the medical industry while causing havoc in our oceans.  Plastic Coated is an exhibit by multidisciplinary artist Anya Mielniczek which explores garbage and plastic pollution through material collages that bring awareness to environmental degradation our consumeristic tendencies have.

About the Artist

Mielniczek takes easily discarded materials such as plastic bags and candy wrappers adding value to what is otherwise considered trash. Inspired by waste and the treatment of our natural resources her pieces are emotionally charged, experimental and compiled of layers, textures, and the energy felt in unaltered lines. Decidedly forming a greater narrative pertinent to environmental change –informing herself as well as viewers, of the obstacles our finite world faces in light of our hyper consumption.


June 22 – July 21, 2017 | 2nd Floor Hallway Gallery

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 22nd | 6:30pm – 9:00pm

The Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers at OCADU is pleased to present a Photography Exhibition of the recipients of the 2017 Artscape Youngplace Career Launcher. Congratulations to those who have been selected!

This exhibition will be held on the 2nd floor of Artscape Youngplace and presents recent work by the artists:

Lesia Miga:
Giselle Mira Diaz:
Aaron Moore:

Morgan Searswilliams:

Related Items

June 14 – June 18, 2017 | Third Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Artist Panel: Saturday, June 17th | Featuring artists; Tsēma Igharas, Basil Alzeri, Myung-Sun Kim, and Lisa Myers and hosted by curator Nasrin Himada | 4pm | Studio 101 | FREE



Curated by art Metropole’s Nasrin Himada and Michael Pace, and Emma Sharpe

Art Metropole is a not-for-profit organization focused on the distribution and contextualization of artist-initiated publication in any media, especially those formats and practices predisposed to sharing and circulation. It was founded in 1974 by the Artists’ Collective General Idea.

Publication is a social space. Through expanded conversation around artist publishing, AM aims to provide incentive for readers, ultimately creating new formats for the sharing of ideas, materials, and knowledge. For the Toronto Art Book Fair, AM has selected a series of multiples, prints, zines, and audio works that encourage participation around and through their format. AM’s booth will occupy the display, which will also host gastronomic editions, listening stations, areas for reading and resting, and more.

Posters + Student Work

June 14 – June 18, 2017 | First and Second Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Discussion: Friday, June 16th | Garry Neill Kennedy, Cathy Busby, and Roger Bywater | 6:30pm | Studio 101 | FREE



Image: Printed Matter class co-taught by Garry Neill Kennedy and Cathy Busby, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, with Cathy Busby’s We Are Sorry in Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, Belkin Art Gallery, UBC, 2013

Posters + Student Work is from the collection of Garry Neill Kennedy and Cathy Busby.

“Our poster collection is an accumulation found here and there among our possessions. We will show a selection from: The See Red Women’s Workshop (a feminist silk-screen poster collective, London, 1974-90); a selection from Portikus (the gallery of Stadelschule, Frankfurt) from the early 1990s; some Chinese propaganda posters (1960s); a selection of Halifax event posters (2000s); some individual artist posters by Claes Oldenburg; Lawrence Weiner; A-yo; Bruce Nauman; General Idea; Cathy Busby; Garry Neill Kennedy.

We’ll also present class books, 1990 – 2017. In these publications students contribute a work of one or many pages and the edition provides everyone with a copy of the resulting book. Garry started the ‘Class Book’ tradition when he began teaching printed matter in 1990, first at NSCAD and then UBC since 2013 with Cathy Busby. Following up on this exhibition, we’ll be making a publication about our student’s artist books, 1990 – 2017, to be launched at the Vancouver Art Book Fair, Oct 2017.” – Cathy Busby and Garry Neill Kennedy

Featuring the work of artists from Paperhouse Studio and Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG)

August 6 – September 2, 2017 | 1st Floor Hallway Gallery

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Closing Reception: Thursday, August 24, 2017 | 6–9 PM | FREE


Not Sad Cold And Dead (like you thought) 

July 24 – September 2, 2017 | 2nd Floor Hallway Gallery

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Closing Reception: Thursday, August 24, 2017 | 6–9 PM | FREE

Organized by An Dy and Emma Steen

From an Art College consistently defined by phrases such as struggling, underfunded, rising tuitions, financial woes, mitigating the debt, and so on, we see people ask—here directly pulled from one 2012 Art Threat article —“what’s the value in art school?”

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, or NSCAD, an opportunity to showcase the work coming out of a school whose students continues to thrive under less than ideal circumstances.  A university the size of NSCAD can take a lot of hits as the public eats up the drama in the death of an institution. While the administration peters around doing what it can to stop money leaking out of every crack and crevasse, we continue to see NSCAD students reacting to this environmental pressure and pressing on, creating work that has a distinct air of enthusiasm under what is now the fleeting passé that there’s not much happening east of Montréal.

CDCC and TOABF are pleased to present


June 16–18, 2017 | Opening Thursday, June 15th from 6–10 pm

Hours: Exhibition on view at Critical Distance in Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace during Fair hours, Fri–Sat from 12–8 pm and Sun from 12–6.

Preview Reception: Thursday, June 15 |  6–10 pm | Free

Discussion: Sunday, June 18 | 2 pm | with artist Erika DeFreitas, CDCC Director Shani K Parsons, and exhibition curator Anthony Stepter | Suite 101 (Small World Music) | Free

Artists: Erika DeFreitas, Edie Fake, Marc Fischer/Public Collectors, Dina Kelberman, Nellie Kluz, Sanaz Mazinani, Eric Oglander, and Leah Wellbaum

Curated by Anthony Stepter



Image left: Grace Ambrose, Marc Fischer and Public Collectors, Hardcore Architecture (cover), 2016; right: Eric Oglander, image from Craigslist Mirrors, ongoing

How do we see art in the age of image and information overload? Is a gallery the best place to look, or is the internet’s efficiency and long reach a better tool for engaging with artists’ ideas? What about the reliable old standby, printed books?

The artworks on view in this exhibition highlight the fluidity of media in contemporary culture. Each project in Generators is guided by a single idea, approach, or rule. These frameworks generate troves of material for the artists to assemble and present in a manner that invites viewers to make connections that might otherwise go unnoticed. Many of the artworks draw from, or exist as, both printed media and digital spaces. These transmutations afford artists and viewers illuminating points of entry for exploring the unique properties of both printed and digital narratives without being constrained by traditional definitions of the archive and the artist’s book.

Selected from a joint call for submissions, Generators celebrates the astonishing diversity of outcomes that can arise from intentionally constrained modes of collecting and creating. The exhibited works circulate through a variety of platforms, from humble Tumblrs to museum exhibitions. By focusing on projects that start with simple ideas but evolve to open up wide ranging possibilities for engagement and display, Generators pushes against notions of presentation that privilege one form of media over another.

About the Artists and Curator

Erika DeFreitas is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist who explores the influence of language, loss and culture on the formation of identity. She has exhibited internationally and is a recipient of the 2016 Finalist Artist Prize from the Toronto Friends of Visual Arts. Edie Fake was born in Chicagoland and is now based in Southern California. Through his comics, zines, prints, drawings, and installations, he imagines and reimagines the world. In 2007, Chicago-based Marc Fischer founded Public Collectors to address the lack of many kinds of cultural artifacts in the public collections of libraries, museums and other archives. Baltimore artist Dina Kelberman’s work spans a wide range of media including web-based projects, comics, photography, installation, and writing. She has exhibited and published internationally and is a founding member of the Wham City artist collective. Nellie Kluz is a Chicago-based filmmaker who often focuses on social interactions, belief systems and material realities. She received a 2016 Princess Grace Film Scholarship and her work has been presented at film festivals internationally. Sanaz Mazinani was born in Tehran and is currently based in San Francisco and Toronto. Her work ranges from digital collages and works on paper to large-scale installations, and is regularly exhibited in galleries, museums, and public spaces throughout the world. Eric Oglander is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist whose collection of sometimes humourous, sometimes poetic, found images from Craigslist has gained international attention. Los Angeles-based Leah Wellbaum is an artist and musician who has published four books of photography including The Fucking Ocean and The Fucking Ocean Part 2. Exhibition curator Anthony Stepter is the Graduate Program Coordinator for Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds an MA in Visual and Cultural Studies from the Art Institute of Chicago.

Complete profiles for all of the artists and the curator will be posted to our website soon.




Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram
Critical Distance is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. Part gallery and publisher, part professional association and community, CDCC is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a forum for ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life. For more info, visit our website or social media pages, linked above.

RSGC Art Graduates’ Exhibition 

May 21 – June 10, 2017 | Third Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 24 | 7:00 – 9:00 PM | FREE


“Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” Paul Gauguin

The works, which were created by the Grade 12 art students at Royal St George’s College, are based on the exploration on the themes of memory, sanctuary, conflict, work, relationships, and growing up. Students try to answer Gauguin’s questions that were introduced to them at the beginning of the year.

The show includes, drawing, painting, mixed-media, printmaking, collage, and photography.

I’m So Glad She Found Me

May 28 – June 10, 2017 | Second Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Artwork by Tanya Bruce

Welcome to a brave new world where curiosity, imagination and some googlie eyes can unlock the hidden potential in everything!

I’m So Glad She Found Me is an art show dedicated to seeing the natural beauty in our constantly changing environment. Humans are drawn to nature and see the beauty in evolution. When leaves fall from the trees, we press them in books. When a boulder breaks down, people start rock collections. Sea shells are treasures, tree stumps are stools and branches fill modern day vases. As one season draws to a close its departure isn’t seen as a failure but as a simple farewell.

Unfortunately, we don’t view our changing cities in the same kind of light. When our creations start to break down or break apart we call those disregarded pieces garbage, gather them up and banish them to a landfill far, far away. Asphalt breaks away from the road, send it to the landfill. Plastic shards from broken containers, metal from cars, shingles from roofs, all garbage and all without value. But I disagree.

I believe there is value in what we build and equal value in what it becomes when left to the elements. It is not a failure when the original purpose is over, it is evolution, the next step in the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature.


I’m So Glad She Found Me is listed as one of Pride’s affiliate events

Instagram: The_Good_Canadian  #GEart17

2Fik: His and Other Stories

April 6 – June 4, 2017 | Suite 104-105

Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 PM – 6 PM, Saturday & Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM, Closed Mondays & Statutory Holidays

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 6, 2017 | 6:00 – 9:00 PM | FREE


Assuming the multiple roles of artistic director, photographer and model, Montreal-based artist 2Fik stages elaborate tableaux in which he single-handedly plays a cast of characters, both male and female, often re-enacting familiar compositions derived from famous paintings. His photo and performance based works toy with reality and dismantle stereotypes, destabilizing the viewer’s assumed points of reference.

As 2Fik’s first solo show in Toronto, His and Other Stories brings together three recent bodies of work that examine cultural legacies as well as individual and national identity constructs. The centrepieces of the exhibition are his latest compositions that dismantle and reconfigure allegorical representations of nationhood reflected in several historic paintings.

Raising irreverent questions, these satirical reinterpretations subvert the absolutes of nationalistic discourses opening them up to the complex and pluralistic realities of today.

A Primary Exhibition of the 2017 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Signals & Sentiments

April 27 – June 4, 2017 | Critical Distance (Suite 302) and Artscape Youngplace Stairwells

Hours: Gallery hours are Friday-Sunday from 12-5 pm, and by chance and appointment. Stairwells open every day from 8 am-8 pm. Closed Statutory Holidays.

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 27 | 6:00-9:00 PM | Free

left: Sebastian Benitez, Untitled (from the series Not This Way Either), 2012; right: Josée Pedneault, NÆVUS, 2013–in progress




Critical Distance is pleased to present Signals & Sentiments, a two-part exhibition that examines how gesture functions as a mechanism for the production of identity. In CDCC’s third floor gallery, the exhibition takes the form of an intimate group show for which five Toronto-based artists, Sebastián Benítez, Petar Boskovic, Shelby Fenlon, Maxwell Hyett and Mickey Mackenna, consider the inner workings of the gestural urge. Placing a varied selection of sculpture and photo-based objects in context with each other, exhibition curator Katelyn Gallucci investigates how seemingly divergent artistic gestures might fundamentally derive from inadequacies of language, disposition, desire, and whim.

In Artscape Youngplace’s expansive stairwell spaces, three site-specific installations address the more exterior and transitory dynamics of gesture. Extending themes of self-discovery, the relationship between perception and memory, and the search for emotional connection through time, these encompassing spatial interventions by Maggie Groat and Jimmy Limit (working in collaboration), Karen Henderson, and Josée Pedneault condition the viewer’s bodily response as much as they embody gestural acts and intentions themselves.

Signals & Sentiments is a Featured Exhibition of the 2017 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

About the Artists and Curator

Sebastián Benítez is a Toronto-based artist and curator born in Caracas, Venezuela. His practice explores issues of memory and identity through photography and installation. Petar Boskovic is a photo-based artist currently residing in Toronto. Through generating imagery that inhabits the absurd and intuitive elements of urban space, his practice examines the duality of presence and vacancy. Shelby Fenlon is a Toronto-based artist whose process-driven practice considers the cultural expectations of the photograph, its material constraints, and how they relate to the female body. Maxwell Hyett is a Toronto-based artist whose practice is concerned with how information is made, kept, retrieved, and translated. Mickey Mackenna is a Toronto-based artist who uses gesture and happenstance to manipulate found and industrial materials that provoke relational narratives.

Maggie Groat and Jimmy Limit are interdisciplinary artists based in St. Catharines, Ontario. At the intersection of their individual practices lie mutual fascinations with gardens, the recontextualization of materials, and futurist/dytopic narratives. Karen Henderson is a Toronto artist whose photo-based practice is focused on the relationships between presence, time, and space. Through her “continuous environments”, she explores the mechanisms of photography and the boundaries of perception. Josée Pedneault is a Montreal-based artist whose crossdisciplinary practice poetically navigates the delicate structures and connections that exist between the world and herself.

Exhibition curator Katelyn Gallucci is a photo-based artist currently living in Toronto. She is interested in identity and the psychology of selfhood through the fluidity of representation.

Complete profiles for all of the artists and the curator will be posted to our website soon.


Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace | 180 Shaw Street | Toronto | Ontario | M6J 2W5

click for map
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Critical Distance is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. Part gallery and publisher, part professional association and community, CDCC is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a forum for ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life. For more info, visit our website or social media pages, linked above.

CDCC thanks Artscape Youngplace for their generous support of the stairwell installations.


May 1 – 27, 2017 | Second Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 4, 2017 | 6:00 – 9:00 PM | FREE

Image: Brad Necyk – Just A Hard Rain

This exhibition examines how individual and collective experiences of trauma, injury, illness, isolation, recovery, and adjustment are processed; aided and abetted by personal and interpersonal beliefs and behaviours.

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, Tanya Louise Workman

Curator: Claudette Abrams

Advisors: Jeff Bierk, Yuula Benivolski & Tanya Louise Workman

tdsbCREATES Art & Film Exhibition 

May 4 – 18, 2017 | First and Third Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM, Flex Studio 107 closes on May 14

Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 9 | 6:30-8:00 PM | Free

Students from across the city express powerful connections to the theme of CHANGE through painting, sculpture, photography and film. Teachers and artist mentors supported students as they developed their voices and artistic skills through engagement in rich creative processes. A jury of professional artists reviewed the students’ proposals, provided meaningful feedback, and selected works for the final exhibition at Artscape Youngplace (May 4-18). Please join us for a special celebration of student voice through art and film at the exhibition reception on May 9th, 6:30pm – 8pm.  Remarks at 7 pm.


April 10 – 28, 2017 | First, Second and Third Floor Hallway Galleries

The artwork produced in the Contemporary Photography program at Etobicoke School of the Arts is dynamic, insightful, courageous, and engaging. Forty-three Grade 12 students have developed their own unique and personal bodies of work exploring a range of themes, including relationships, defining personal space, and re-examining the Garden of Eden. These talented artists use photography in ways that can inspire us all.

Follow them on Instagram @esa_contemporary_photography.

Artists: Ashlyn Abbott, Andrew Alburger, Ben Alexandor, Linda Badgley, Kasia Borkowski, Julia Bradshaw, Jamie Brennan, Gemma Brown, Liam Carley, Ava Cvitkovich, Hannah Da Silva, Dakota Dimson, Grier Drummond, Ruby Evers, Jelena Gajdel, Charlotte Gregg, Emma Guy, Julianna Ham, Mikayla Harrison, Reed Hollett, Sam Holzberg, Catriona Iozzo, Liam Macaloney, Georgia Mackay, Josie Marshall, Max Martin, Michael Mazzei, Eliza McFarlane, Aoife O’Mahony, Krystyna Poremba, Alicia Salvador, Quinn Spurrell, Adrian Stathoukos, Basia Thompson, Gill Thorne, Emma Thomlison, Lianna Turone, Gloria Vytas, Lily Watson, Kennedy Wheller, Jada White, Sean Wilson, Xin Xin


January 2017  – April 2017 | Mural on Shaw Street by Ruth Adler | Presented by Critical Distance- Centre for Curators

Critical Distance is pleased to present the second in our series of Billboards on Shaw, a new initiative through which we are providing opportunities, in partnership with Artscape Youngplace, for curators and artists to propose large format printed artworks for the freestanding mural/billboard structure on our building’s front lawn.

In her 2015–16 object series, multidisciplinary artist Ruth Adler investigates the boundary between real and imaginary. After digitally photographing her own wood constructions, she extends the sculpting process into Photoshop, repurposing an application originally intended for the enhancement of photographic images. Using the computer as a tool to virtually poke, grab, smear, and cut open her constructions, she tests the boundaries of form and materiality, unleashing the sculptures’ inner affective qualities. While many of the works in this series evince a joyful abandon in their spirit of exploration, Lost in Shape embodies a more poignant realization. As Adler states, “When I cut out the object from the photograph, my intention was to use the cutout and discard the empty background. But instead I became interested in how the empty background held onto the shape that was no longer there. It occurred to me that this image mirrored my own life, particularly the recent loss of my father.”

Born in Winnipeg, Ruth Adler lives and works in Toronto and Tel Aviv. Her artwork includes paintings, digital works on paper, animation, and textiles and has been exhibited internationally since the 1980s. She has had numerous solo exhibitions at Jim Kempner Fine Art in New York and the Lonsdale Gallery in Toronto, as well as a retrospective at the Lorber Gallery in Tel Aviv. She has also been commissioned for art and design projects at the Iroquois Hotel in New York and the Schneider Children’s Medical Centre in Israel. In her work, Ruth Adler explores the emotive qualities of colour and form and their relationship to our feelings and thoughts.

Critical Distance is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. Part gallery and publisher, part curators’ association and advocacy, CDCC is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a forum for ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life. Lost in Shape is the second in our series of Billboards on Shaw, a public art initiative through which we are providing opportunities, in partnership with Artscape Youngplace, for curators and artists to propose large format artworks for the freestanding structure on our building’s front lawn.

Impressions and Reflections

April 24 – 28, 2017 | Flex Studio 107

Hours: Monday 1-6pm, Tuesday 12-6pm, Wednesday 10-4pm, Thursday 10-4pm, Friday 11-1pm

Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 26 | 6:00-10:00 PM | Free

Impressions and Reflections features artworks by Madison Winters and father David Winters.

RSVP to the exhibition show on Wednesday, April 26 from 6:00-10:00 PM here.

David R. Winters

David was born in Port Arthur (now part of Thunder Bay) and raised in Schreiber, Ontario. The oldest of nine children, he attended primary school and high school in Schreiber and left the area in 1969 to study Architectural Technology at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto. After three years of working in construction and then at Ontario Hydro as an exhibit designer, David enrolled at the Ontario College of Art to study Environmental Design (Interiors). In the late nineties he enrolled in and completed the Facilities Management certificate program at Ryerson University in Toronto.

As a youngster David was always interested in drawing and painting and started lessons early with Iris Lidkea, a local artist in Schreiber. In the early 2000’s David and his daughter Madison decided to take art classes together with Toronto artist Dianne Koci. Both David and Madison mounted exhibitions in Toronto, and David exhibited in Elmira Ontario as well.

Upon retiring David began to paint full time and has exhibited frequently in Schreiber and Thunder Bay ON. Since March, 2015, Edgeview Restaurant in Nipigon ON has hosted a continually changing show of his paintings. David is a member of artist run Definitely Superior Art Gallery (Defsup) www.definitelysuperior.comand his work has been included in many Defsup shows and events.

He paints abstract, impressionism, landscape and portrait pieces in acrylic on canvas, hardboard and plywood.

Madison Winters 

Madison was fortunate enough to grow up and live in downtown Toronto for her entire life. Being exposed to so many cultures, ways of life, food, art, and communities has impacted her lifestyle and values. She will be forever grateful to her mom and dad for letting her experience the beauty of Toronto, the arts, and self-exploration.

From a young age, Madison has been inspired by creativity; whether it was performing arts, calligraphy, jewelry design, pottery, or painting. Madison has studied acrylic, oil, and water colour painting for upwards of a decade with private teachers and independently. Her first art show at the age of 15 was a success with over 15 paintings and commissions sold. Although she never went to school for art, it has remained a beloved hobby and form of self-expression throughout her life.


April 6 – 9, 2017 | First, Second and Third Floor Hallway Galleries, Flex Studios 107 & 109

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Closing Reception: Saturday, April 8 | 5:00-8:00 PM | Free

Image: Jiayi Luo, (digital print), 2017

SUPERMARKET is an exhibition of photography, video, sculpture, installation, performance, painting, and works on paper by senior students in the Studio program, Department of Arts, Culture, and Media (ACM) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC).

For more information about this exhibition:

Twitter/Instagram @Supermarket_17

Facebook @Supermarket2017

or contact Juliana Pivato or Alexander Irving

The Studio program (B.A.) in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough offers students a rigorous academic and interdisciplinary setting to explore photography, video, animation, sculpture, installation, performance, drawing, and painting. We offer specialized courses in digital imaging, kinetic sculpture, sound art, and thematic seminars that explore the relationship between art and globalization, art and politics, and time-based art practices. UTSC Studio students develop a rich combination of technical, theoretical, conceptual, and critical skills that enable them to communicate in a variety of visual languages. Our students explore art as a tool to examine and intervene in visual culture, and to consider the role of creativity in shaping communities locally and globally. This exhibition includes works from senior students in Advanced Studio Practice.

Participating Artists | Patrick “P-Trizzle” Atienza | Syeda Bristy | Cao Cao | Siyuan Cheng | Carol Cheong | Allison Clayton | Idil Djafer | Rachella Du | Kelly Dundas | Roxanne Garcia | Zoe Harvey | Shelley Gu | Jin Li | Zhida Lu | Jiayi Luo | Sally Pang | Mavigail Sergio | Andy Shi | Yi Shi | Xinqi Tian | Claudia Wong | Micah Wong | Valerie Xu | Jingyao Yan | Kristina Zaja | Maggie Zhang | Ming Zhang | Yuxuan Zhu

Precious Commodity

March 5 – April 9, 2017 | Suite 302

Hours: When exhibitions are on – Friday to Sunday 12 PM – 5PM and by appointment, Closed Statutory Holidays

Opening Reception: Sunday, March 5, 2017 | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM | FREE


Biliana Velkova, Untitled Spruce Tree, fluorescent light tubes, 2014

Critical Distance is pleased to present Precious Commodity, a group exhibition of recent
works by Eunice Luk, Ella Dawn McGeough, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, and Biliana Velkova, curated by Alison Cooley.

Articulating a tension between objects and their ways of being—their forms, their significance,
their social and economic circulation—Precious Commodity brings together artworks that examine the complicated sweetness of things. Unanchoring objects from their exchange within capitalism, the artists in the exhibition resignify them as vessels for fantasy, desire, and alternate possibility. Reflecting on the nature of a world populated by things with definitive practical uses and monetary values, each artist playfully contends with form, usurping existing representations in the service of building new meanings. Ultimately, the exhibition asks how we come to identify with the world of stuff—how we negotiate the fraught ethics of consumerism, how we arrive at and move beyond “sentimental value,” and how we understand the lives of things often considered inanimate. Together, the artists in Precious Commodity look to objects not as static, fixed entities, but as tools for thinking with.

Alison Cooley is a critic, curator and educator based in Toronto, Ontario. Her research deals with the intersection of natural history and visual culture, socially engaged artistic practice, and experiential and interpretative dimensions of art criticism. She is the 2014 recipient of the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators, and her work has been published in Canadian Art, C Magazine, FUSE, Blackflash and Magenta, among others.

Eunice Luk is currently based in Yokohama, Japan. She has recently exhibited at The Embassy of Canada Prince Takamado Gallery and VACANT (both in Tokyo), Swiss Institute and Printed Matter (both in NY), The Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff) and Art Metropole (Toronto). Luk also publishes artist books and multiples under the imprint, ‘Slow Editions’. Slow Editions regularly exhibits at art book fairs in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo.

Ella Dawn McGeough holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and a BFA from the University of British Columbia. She has exhibited across Canada and internationally (Finland, Beijing, New York), with residencies in Peru and Norway. McGeough is a co-founder of, producer of online arts publications, and Friends of Ogden Park, a Toronto-based artist collective whose purpose is to organize games and activities that function as forms of research.

Juan Ortiz-Apuy was born in Costa Rica and has been based in Montreal since 2003. He holds a BFA from Concordia University,a Postgraduate Diploma from the Glasgow School of Art, and
an MFA from NSCAD in Halifax. Recent exhibitions include Gallery 44, Museum London, galerie antoine ertaskiran, and the Quebec City Biennial: Manif d’Art 7. Residencies include Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Atlantic Centre for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center.

Biliana Velkova is a Vancouver-based artist whose practice incorporates photography, performance and installation to explore issues of consumerist culture, diaspora and social identity. Velkova earned an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan and a BFA from Concordia University. She is currently the Arts Coordinator for the City of New Westminster, and prior to that she was Executive Director of PAVED Arts in Saskatoon.

Critical Distance is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. Part gallery and publisher, part curators’ association and advocacy, CDCC is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a forum for ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life. Precious Commodity is the part of our annual program of exhibitions, through which we provide opportunities for curators and artists to exhibit and publish within a critical framework.

Heavy-hearted garden party

March 20 – March 31, 2017 | First Floor Vitrines

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 | 7:00 – 9:00 PM | FREE

Heavy-hearted garden party depicts the duality of the Internet’s impact on the human condition in turbulent times.  A constant data stream can be disheartening, consuming, and infectious but it can also be the motive and catalyst for change.  This exhibit includes living plants integrated with ego-systems and cyber relics– objects that depict my anxieties, fears and hopes for the future through clay.

Kaley Flowers is an artist who creates functional and non-functional ceramic sculpture. Each piece she constructs is elaborately decorated- through colour, texture, or illustrated surface.  A graduate of OCAD U, Kaley is influenced by digital culture, Web nostalgia, and the impact of the Internet in this post-Information, post-Internet, tech-focused era. She explores her ideas through a mythology of characters and “cyber artifacts”, creating objects that become ritualistic in purpose.  Her work has been featured in Canadian Art, The Creators Project, The Globe and Mail, and CBC Arts, and is the recipient of the Best of Student Award in the 2016 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.

Homework Illustrative Painting Explorations Exhibition 

March 27 – April 1, 2017 | Second and Third Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM, Exhibition closes at 3 PM on April 1

Image: Homework 2016 exhibition – installation detail.

Sheridan College’s Illustration Program students, working in 16 small groups in their 3rd Year Illustrative Painting Explorations course, curated and developed the exhibition themes and artwork for this collection of group exhibitions.

Homework Illustrative Drawing and Painting Exhibition

March 20 – March 25, 2017 | Second and Third Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM, Exhibition closes at 2 PM on March 25

Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 | 7:00 – 9:00 PM | FREE

Image: Homework 2016 exhibition – installation detail.

OCADU’s Illustration Program students, working in nineteen small groups in their 4th Year Illustrative Painting course, curated and developed the exhibition themes and artwork for this collection of group exhibitions.


Leopold Plotek: No Work, Nor Device, Nor Knowledge, Nor Wisdom

January 19 – March 19, 2017 | Suite 104-105

Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 PM – 6 PM, Saturday & Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM, Closed Mondays & Statutory Holidays

Conceived as Leopold Plotek’s first survey, this exhibition spans five decades, including the debut of his most recent paintings alongside pivotal earlier canvases that establish the artist’s formal investigations and his intellectual rapport with Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein and Adrian Stokes.

Born in 1948 in Moscow to Jewish parents, Plotek later moved to Warsaw with his father who became an economic attaché to the Polish Embassy in Moscow during the late Stalinist period. Living and working in Montreal since 1960, he has created a substantial body of work that has been extensively exhibited and collected, carving an essential place in Quebec’s artistic history. Initially a protégé of prominent Plasticien artist Yves Gaucher, Plotek became a teacher and major influence himself, forming a new generation of artists who are at the forefront of Canadian painting today, including Allison Katz, Etienne Zack, Martin Golland and Ben Klein.

While staging a picture of Plotek’s evolving subject matter and existential world-view, this exhibition foregrounds his drive to forge a studio production of unique works. The discordance of form and genre that Plotek favours and explores invest his oeuvre with a depth and complexity that defies both modernist traditions and contemporary art market pressures.

Plotek’s radical, immersive works mine the territories of memory and experience, the subconscious and the intellect, the abstract and the figurative. Positioning pictorial space as a vehicle for both narrative content and emotional exploration, Plotek re-imagines architecture and objects, artists, philosophers and gods, displacing the cultural pantheon onto precarious grounds and offering poignant commentary on the current state of Western civilization, its enduring folly and persistently dark psyche.

Guest Curator : E.C. Woodley

About The Koffler Gallery

The Koffler Gallery is located within The Koffler Centre of the Arts, Suite 104-105 in Artscape Youngplace. The mandate of the Koffler Gallery is to offer a dynamic forum for the presentation of contemporary art, developing a year-round program of exhibitions, publications, public programs and educational initiatives, and fostering the production of new works by Canadian and international artists in all stages of their careers. Reflecting diverse cultural, material and aesthetic orientations, the program highlights the contemporary Jewish experience in a unique framework that invites a comparative examination of narratives among people of varied heritages within a larger discussion of identity, memory and place.

2017 Edge: Youth Art Show – Presented by Arts Etobicoke

Wednesday March 1 – Tuesday March 7, 2017 | First Floor Vitrines and Second Floor Hallway Galleries

Now in its 20th year, Edge: Youth Art Show is a free arts education and public exhibition program for youth.

Edge: Youth Art Show showcases work from secondary school students (grades 9-12) in TDSB & TCDSB schools and young people (14-18 years) from agencies across the GTA. This free 7-day exhibition is a non-juried event with over 100 youth from approximately 20 schools and agencies participating each year. All participating schools/agencies receive a scholarship to be used toward enriching their arts education departments.

It’s a great opportunity for young artists to experience exhibiting in professional art gallery, participate in a critique of their work, and connect with working artists and arts communities.

edge mark


The Path, The Divide

January 19 – February 19, 2017 | Suite 302 | Exhibition by Brynn Higgins-Stirrup


Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC) is pleased to present The Path, The Divide, a solo exhibition of recent works by Canadian artist Brynn Higgins-Stirrup, curated by Oana Tanase.

Fascinated by the ways in which we confront and reconcile intuitive inquiry with organized thought and form, Higgins-Stirrup has developed a distinctive visual language and practice that revolves around learning systems, geometry, mapping, and writing. Seducing the viewer through technical exactitude and material subtlety, her artworks speak of the space that lies between knowledge and truth, information and meaning.

For this exhibition, curator Oana Tanase has selected a series of works on paper and a mixed media installation that reveal how Higgins-Stirrup incorporates traditional elements and makes use of written language in her art practice. Playing with notions of cognitive processes, such as contemplation and unlearning, The Path, The Divide challenges visitors to an exercise in stationary movement.

A limited letterpress print edition by Brynn Higgins-Stirrup, and catalogue with curatorial essay by Oana Tanase, interview between artist and curator, and full photographic documentation, will accompany the exhibition.

Please join us for an opening reception and edition launch with curator and artist on Thursday, January 19 from 6–10 pm.

Refreshments will be served and all are welcome. Opening coincides with Koffler Gallery’s reception for Leopold Plotek from 6–9 pm on the first floor.

Brynn Higgins-Stirrup received a BFA Honors at Queen’s University in 2013 and studied at Monash University in Australia in 2012. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Penny W Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. She has exhibited across Canada, the United States and Europe. In 2016 Higgins-Stirrup was awarded an emerging visual artist grant by the Ontario Arts Council and her artworks have been presented at DNA Artspace (London, Ontario), Truck Contemporary (Calgary, Alberta), Transmitter Gallery (Brooklyn, New York), and the international art exhibition The Lesson of Nature, during Bucharest Art Week (Romania).

In House – Benefit Art Show

February 17 – 24, 2017 | Third Floor Hallway Galleries


Image: Megan Price, For All That Was Soft, detail process shot, 2017, cotton, wool, cashmere, marble, variable sizes.

For the 2017 In House benefit art show, Paperhouse Studio has invited eight emerging and established artists to create new work exploring contemporary approaches to working with handmade paper. These artists, whose practices feature an emphasis on materiality and process, have taken to working with handmade paper in a myriad of different ways. The resulting works highlight strong interconnections between notions of labour and temporality, contextualized in relation to personal histories, geologic time, and commonplace objects. Each artist has donated a portion of the new work that they have created in support of the studio and its programming.

Yael Brotman​, ​Melanie Chikofsky​, ​Doug Guildford​, ​Tessar Lo​, ​Tim Manalo, ​Roula Partheniou​, ​Meghan Price​ and ​Natalie Wood.

Paperhouse Studio is pleased to host a panel discussion with select In House artists, beginning at 6:00PM on February 24th. Following the panel discussion, please join us for the opening reception at Critical Distance Centre for Curators and the Third Floor Hallway Galleries at Artscape Youngplace from 7:00PM until 10:00PM.

During the reception, bid on artworks incorporating paper made at Paperhouse Studio, on view in the Third Floor Hallway Galleries at Artscape Youngplace and participate in our draw prize

​*​for a chance to win a variety of exciting handmade goods, books, art supplies, gift certificates for classes, art works and more! Delicious cocktails, oysters, and hors d’oeuvres will be provided by our event partners.

February 24th, 6pm at Paperhouse Studio (Studio 102)


February 24th, 7pm – 10pm at Critical Distance Centre for Curators (Studio 302)

Preview and buyout starts February 17th. Closes at 8:30PM on February 24th. Located at the Third Floor Hallway Galleries, Artscape Youngplace. Event night (Feb. 24) is bidding only.

Friday to Tuesday, Suite 302
12pm to 5pm or by appointment

​RSVP here.​

​*​Draw prize tickets available for purchase now! ($5 each)

Paperhouse Studio​

102-180 Shaw Street, Toronto ON. M6J2W5

w:  e:

t: 647.868.2258 / 416.886.9827

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


College Montrose Children’s Place Family Art Program Exhibition 

January 30 – February 25, 2017 | First Floor Vitrines


This exhibit was created by children who participated in CMCP’s Family Art program that ran at 5 of our locations. Our Family Art Program is designed to engage families in new creative activities that encourage interest in the arts and demonstrate how the arts contribute to important small motor, cognitive and sensory development.

Through the arts children develop their sense of self and build self-esteem, while developing school readiness skills by gaining experience with independent play, routines and sharing.



Visit College-Montrose Children’s Place (CMCP) in unit LL2 and discover the largest free, accessible, and purpose-built space dedicated to early learning and family support in downtown Toronto. CMCP is a Family Resource Program and Ontario Early Years Centre that, in collaboration with community partners, provides comprehensive, integrated and flexible early learning programs and services, complemented by parenting support and education services to support healthy families and communities across Toronto.

Patti and Rose’s 4th Annual Kids and Youth Art Show – MYTHICAL BEASTS

February 12 – February 25, 2017 | Second Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Building Hours are everyday 8am-9pm except Statutory Holidays


Come and see what lurks in the minds of our seemly innocent neighbourhood kids at the 4th Annual Community Kids and Youth Art Show hosted at Artscape Youngplace along the Second Floor Hallway.

See the art of 120 Fabulous Beasts and Mythical Creatures! Please feel free to bring a snack to share on the snack table for the opening reception party.

Farihah Aliyah Shah: Billie Said “Strange Fruit”

January 26 – February 11, 2017 | Exhibition by Farihah Aliyah Shah in the Second Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Building Hours are everyday 8am-9pm except Statutory Holidays


The Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers at OCAD U congratulates Farihah Aliyah Shah on this photography exhibition as the recipient of the 2016 Artscape Youngplace Career Launcher prize.

Using self-portraiture and simple installations, Billie Said ‘Strange Fruit’ aims to respond to the current Black Lives Matter movement and past civil rights movements advocating for justice and equality whilst commenting on the lack of representation of black bodies in the history of photography. The series reflects on the significant history of still-life photography and botanical objects and challenges the viewer to elevate fragmented or disenfranchised bodies to the same respect as the popularly photographed succulent. The series lends its name from the 1930s poem “Strange Fruit” which was popularized by Billie Holiday. The poem speaks about the common practice of lynching in the American South. Despite the literal disappearance of this act, the figurative and systemic lynching of black bodies from the contemporary socio-political discourse remains. The series is dedicated to my Uncle Bob, a civil rights activist.

Toronto Offsite Design Festival: Models & Drawings

January 16 – January 22, 2017 | Exhibition in the Third Floor North Hallway Gallery

Hours: Building Hours are everyday 8am-9pm except Statutory Holidays


Models and drawings of built and speculative work by Polymétis, an architecture and landscape design studio based in Toronto, led by Michaela MacLeod and Nicholas Croft. Exhibited work highlights an interest in experimental material applications, phenomenology, and the fusion of manual and digital means of representation.

Projects include Pink Punch (Jardin de Métis 2012, Grand Métis, Québec), Hotbox (Winters Stations 2015, Toronto, Ontario), IceBox (IceBreakers 2017, Toronto, Ontario), Contour Corridor (Public art proposal 2015, Ancaster, Ontario), and Noisy Water (Public art proposal 2015, Bellingham, Washington).

Toronto Offsite Design Festival: Performance Design

January 16 – January 22, 2017 | Exhibition in the Third Floor South Hallway Gallery

Hours: Building Hours are everyday 8am-9pm except Statutory Holidays


‘Performance Design’ is an installation exhibiting the work of performance designers who are shaping contemporary performance in Toronto. Delving into each designer’s relationship to text, collaboration, site, and material, this exhibit showcases individual process and wider creative conversations between artists and audiences. Inherently collaborative, ‘Performance Design’ engages space, time, and object to communicate story and create imaginative possibility.

The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) is the largest design festival in Canada, with over 100 events and exhibitions taking place across the city of Toronto from January 16-22, 2017. Going into its 7th year, TO DO transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking design and art out of the studio and into the urban sphere, bringing people together to celebrate contemporary culture. We provide opportunities for emerging talent, and engage the community with exceptional and accessible public programming.

Connect with TO DO:

Hillary Matt: Vitrine works 2016

January 17 – January 27, 2017 | Exhibition by Hillary Matt in the First Floor Vitrines

Hours: Building Hours are everyday 8am-9pm except Statutory Holidays


Hillary Matt (b. 1990, Peterborough, Canada) holds a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Her process involves art-based research that follows phonetic, metaphoric, and poetic associations across pop culture. Visual content for often large-scale, flat work is generated from her findings. Matt recently had her first solo exhibition Chances and Dangers which featured a dozen new works that included painting, drawing, collage, plaster works, and found objects in Gallery A at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Canada). She has also shown her work with Carrier Arts Organization (Toronto, Canada). In the spring of 2017, Matt will begin a project surrounding a Hollywood film titled 3 Women, written and directed by Robert Altman in 1977. She will travel to the Palm Springs area of California, USA to search for and document two mural paintings created for the film.

The artist would like to thank and acknowledge Shannon Lea Doyle for organizing Vitrine works 2016.