Past Exhibitions 2019

Share it!

2019   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014

ACCESS IS LOVE and LOVE IS COMPLICATED: Presented in partnership with Tangled Art + Disability
October 3 – December 8, 2019/ Opening October 3rd, 6-9 pm – FREE Critical Distance Centre for Curators, Studio 302

CRITICAL DISTANCE and TANGLED ART+DISABILITY are pleased to present ACCESS IS LOVE and LOVE IS COMPLICATED, an exhibition and event series featuring Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Kat Germain, Wy Joung Kou, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Andy Slater, Elizabeth Sweeney, Aislinn Thomas, and Adam Wolfond and Estée Klar. This program is co-curated by CDCC Education and Accessibility Coordinator, Emily Cook, and Tangled Art + Disability Director of Programming, Sean Lee and represents the next level in our ongoing series of programs providing opportunities for curators and artists to consider new and more collaborative aesthetic and conceptual approaches to accessibility within and beyond the gallery context. In addition to the exhibition opening on October 3rd, there will be additional programming occurring throughout the month of October and November. Please visit the Critical Distance website at for more information and to keep up to date with all programming and events in relation to this exhibition.

September 18 – November 17, 2019
Koffler Gallery and all three floors of the Hallway Galleries


Artists: Mary Anne Barkhouse, Gwenaël Bélanger, Katherine Boyer, Sandra Brewster, Hannah Claus, Erika DeFreitas, Julie Favreau, Nicolas Fleming, Iris Häussler, Lucy Howe, Gunilla Josephson, Lewis Kaye, Valerie Kolakis, Carmela Laganse, Heather Nicol, Dainesha Nugent-Palache, Gord Peteran, Birthe Piontek, Yannick Pouliot, Adrienne Spier, Karen Tam, Kevin Yates, Shaheer Zazai, Shellie Zhang

Curator: Mona Filip
Art Director: Nicolas Fleming

Fall Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 7–9 PM | FREE

Guided by survival instinct, the human impulse to domesticate the environment has transformed landscapes and ecosystems in search of shelter, security and nourishment. With both positive and negative impact, these transformations seek to eradicate or control “the wild” in pursuit of economic as well as psychological benefits. These attitudes toward nature are paralleled in the home environment where domesticating tendencies can fully manifest in a persistent pursuit for comfort and ease.

Undomesticated brings together a range of works by artists who subvert domestic objects and the settings of dwelling spaces, revealing the flawed human attempts at achieving a sense of belonging. Detouring notions of home and domesticity, the exhibition addresses an underlying impossibility to adapt to and conversely tame our environments in order to construct places where our bodies and psyches can fit in.

Engaging with different aspects of the domestic realm and its inherent politics, the artists in Undomesticated approach a range of themes and voice diverse critical perspectives. Working in a wide range of media, they transform the everyday to reveal its hidden, unyielding strangeness. Ubiquitous furniture, tools and materials are stripped of their familiarity to access deeper states of engagement.

The exhibition extends from the Koffler Gallery into the public spaces of the entire Artscape Youngplace building, taking over its corridors and stairwells. The presentation and service function of these spaces is disrupted, in conceptual alignment with the project’s premise. As art director, artist Nicolas Fleming takes on a multifaceted role as the curator’s collaborator and conceptual designer of the exhibition space, reframing the architectural context for the project and staging the artworks in an immersive environment. Working with construction materials and techniques developed in daily work, Fleming diverts the primary functions of commercial building supplies, especially drywall and plaster, blurring the status of these materials and techniques. The architectural structures he meticulously builds undermine the neutrality of the white cube.

As the initial functions of domestic objects are thwarted, the tension between their practical and artistic status generates uncertainty, leading us to hesitate and ponder which behavior to adopt towards the environments encountered. Through intimate investigations of the domestic realm, Undomesticatedconsiders the psychological, political and emotional layers that shape our notions of home and belonging.

Lead Exhibition Sponsor

Luxury and Value: Paperhouse Studio’s 2nd Annual Members Show
31 July – 15 August 2019

Opening Reception: July 31st, 6pm to 9pm

Image: “Mom’s Favourite Brand”, Process shot, Mai Vy Nguyen, paper, cardstock, graphite, sharpie, acrylic paint, silk scarves, ornate lacquered box, watch box, 2019
Image description: White, blue, and pink with birds, flowers, branches printed silk scarves background. Foreground – marble printed box, opened with red fabric inside and bag made out of paper with “CD” pattern drawn on top. To the right: round black box with watch made from paper.

Artists: Akiko Lamb and James Spyker, Jill Smith, Mai Vy Nguyen, and Priya “Pree” Rehal
Curated by Lucia Wallace

Often regarded as a disposable substrate, paper is overlooked and undervalued; not fully recognized for its potential as a medium. “Luxury and Value” takes a critical look at the shifting position of craft materials, playing with and within the hierarchy of what is seen as valuable. Considering the act of creating and it’s inherent value, five artists utilize paper to create permanent, finished objects and installations which hold significant emotional and monetary value.

Through mimicry, five artists are recreating everyday objects as well as recognizable luxury goods. The works simultaneously bring to light the absurdity and joy of the everyday, and our tenuous relationships with objects we associate with success or wealth. In their own way, each artist is subverting the current position of paper, while simultaneously using inexpensive materials to challenge why we value luxury goods so highly.

Jill Smith’s sculptural works consider our intimate relationships with objects, evoking a feeling of nostalgia to connect the viewer to simultaneously familiar and obscure objects. Pree Rehal’s installation speaks to their experiences of class trauma and the importance and value of language. Connecting written text, food, and watercolour paintings adorned with spices, oral discourse and consumption play a vital role as markers of success and happiness.

Using the inexpensive to convey the expensive, Mai Vy Nguyen uses paper to recreate luxury products, drawing on her familial relationships and experiences with high end brands as markers of status, incorporating both personal belongings and hand-made objects in her installation. In their collaborative work, James Spyker and Akiko Lamb negotiate value, creating a set of rules to evaluate the value of objects, represented through a hierarchical, material structure.

For the first time in Paperhouse Studio’s Annual Members Exhibition, The Magic Gumball Machine of Fate, an artist multiples project created by Catherine Heard, will feature three limited editions on rotation by Jill Smith, Mai Vy Nguyen, and Pree Rehal. The Magic Gumball Machine of Fate brings an interactive component and an additional layer to the conversation surrounding the monetary value and accessibility of art to “Luxury and Value”.
As a whole, “Luxury and Value” looks at the tensions within our relationships to objects; the contrasts between personal treasures, and the pressures of “having” and ownership in order to achieve the (North) American Dream.


An industrial designer, Akiko Lamb loves the structure, problem solving and the aesthetics of book arts. Teaching credits include: OCADU, libraries, schools, private classes and portfolio preparation for entrance into art/design programs. Her work also encompasses designing for interiors, retail and costume for professional theatre. As designer and teacher, Akiko continues to explore and share her love of the visual arts.

James Spyker is a bookbinder and box maker, focusing on historic techniques and structures. He enjoys vending his wares at book fairs.

Jill Smith is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto, Ontario (1995). She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honors Specialization in Studio Art) from Western University in London, Ontario. Her work is centered around material, relying heavily on experimentation and process. Smith has exhibited work in spaces across Ontario, such as VSVSVS, Forest City Gallery, and Open Studio, as well as Friends and Neighbours Gallery in Montreal, Quebec. Smith has participated in artist residency programs at Sparkbox Studio in Picton, ON (May 2017), AGA LAB in Amsterdam, NL (September 2017), and Luminous Bodies at Artscape Gibraltar Point (Toronto, June-July 2018). Selected work is currently available through 100% Silk Shop and Samara Contemporary in Toronto, as well as through GIFC, a travelling exhibition organized by 0-0 LA. Upcoming exhibitions include booksbooksbooks at The Brandscape.

Mai Vy Nguyen is a new Toronto-based artist who focuses on community arts and paper-based arts. She continuously confront personal discomforts and traumas with every crease, fold, cut, and slice.

Pree (they/them) is basically a trans Batman, Account Manager by day, artist by night. Their creative research interests include cosplaying, critical race studies, navigating non-monogamy for racialized trans and queer folks, and the Punjabi diaspora. You can generally find Priya playing Yoshi’s Island, making zines or buying more plants. You can find some of Pree’s art at

Lucia Wallace is a queer Toronto based artist and recent graduate of OCAD University (2018). She has exhibited and studied in Toronto, Canada and Florence, Italy. She uses sewing, embroidery, and knitting as alternative modes of painting; using traditional craft materials to challenge the artificial hierarchy of mediums. She explores her identity, memories and storytelling through graphic, geometric patterns derived from black out poetry. Her work explores translating digital media into analogue, digitally creating works of glitch art that then inspire the compositions and colours of knit works. She aims to combine and contrast the meditative processes of writing, drawing, knitting, and coding.

Accessibility info: Artscape Youngplace is in an accessible building with a ramp at the front of the building (Shaw Street entrance) and automatic doors. There is an accessible bathroom on the 1st floor, but it is not gender neutral. There are single use bathrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor, with change room stations. Please reach out to us (flora[at]paperhousestudio[dot]com) for any questions or concerns.

Code of conduct:
Land Acknowledgement:

Winter Island 2019
29 July – 19 August 2019

Opening Reception: 1 August, 6pm – 8pm

Beat the summer heat with the second annual Winter Island Artist Residency Exhibition, proudly presented by Artscape Gibraltar Point and Artscape Youngplace!

Kite-created maps, and physical and spiritual journeys between the Toronto and Hawaiian Islands all feature in a new exhibition opening at Artscape Youngplace starting July 29!

This year’s exhibition featuring artists Alison Rowe, Sandra Smirle, Brendan George Ko and Addae Nurse will showcase works inspired by, and created during Artscape Gibraltar Point’s Winter Island Artist Residency program.

About the Artists

Allison Rowe – Toronto, ON
Allison is an interdisciplinary artist who in partnership with children at Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, created a Winter Fun Day for families. Activities including a kid created scavenger hunt of the island, which has been adapted for the exhibition

Sandra Smirle – Montreal, QC
Sandra is a multidisciplinary artist based who uses drawing and video to explore ideas around surveillance and viewership. Using aerial mapping techniques, Sandra has created a “map” of the ever-changing shoreline of Toronto Island

Brendan George Ko – Toronto, ON
Brendan is a photographer, video artist and storyteller living between Toronto and Maui. For Winter Island he will present stories collected from the Indigenous oral traditions of the Hawai’ian Islands as he translates them through spoken word, documentary video and, landscape photography.

Addae Nurse – Toronto, ON
Addae Nurse is an emerging Toronto-based artist whose work often involves the investigation of class and the re-contextualization of race through appropriated imagery. Addae was the winner of this year’s Juror’s Emerging Artist Award.

Now approaching its fifth year, Winter Island is an annual, community arts and public programming initiative developed by Artscape. In exchange for creating public programming, the artists were awarded the opportunity to live and work at Artscape Gibraltar Point’s world-renowned artist residency and studios on the Toronto Islands this past winter.

Peter’s Proscenium: Christian Hidaka & Raphaël Zarka
20 June – 18 August 2019
Curator: Mona Filip

Summer Opening Reception: 20 June 2019 (Thursday), 7 – 9 pm
Artist Talk: 23 June 2019 (Sunday), 2 pm, FREE

Bringing the work of artists Raphaël Zarka and Christian Hidaka to Toronto for the first time, this major exhibition extends their decade-long dialogue around shared interests in the connected histories of scientific, philosophic and artistic invention.

Referencing science, industry, philosophy and the perpetual human search for new paths of discovery, the work of Paris-based artist Raphaël Zarka relies on the collection and re-contextualization of iconic forms that range from minimal to complex geometries. The point of departure for his artistic production is fundamentally sculptural, within an expanded field that encompasses photography, video and the written essay. Working within existing vocabularies of spaces and volumes, Zarka’s artistic process parallels his practice of skateboarding as a re-writing of spaces, repurposing and mining structures as an ecology of critical and contemporary relevance.

Japanese/British artist Christian Hidaka creates imaginary, limitless worlds, drawing upon distinct sets of representational languages. His paintings mediate references that inform the depiction of the pictorial plane: those of the 1480s, of Piero della Francesca and the influence of Euclidean geometry; and others which infer a boundless unfolding of space as in Chinese calligraphic landscapes or 1980’s computer games. The intrinsic ambiguity of Hidaka’s compositions suggests that whether we roam nature, shopping centres or virtual worlds, we navigate countless, interweaved cultural forms, codes and stories.

For Peter’s Proscenium, Hidaka and Zarka consider the gallery as a site of intellectual reflection where ideas and thoughts are distilled, creating a site-specific painting and sculpture installation investigating space and perspective. Inspired by the original architecture of gallery – the repurposed library of a former elementary school – the artists’ vision derives from their awareness of a concealed archway and proscenium now hidden by the renovations. These buried vestiges of previous use along with a sustained interest in the visual explorations of Renaissance artist and craftsman Peter Halt inspire an immersive installation that stages the gallery as a space for observation and reflection. Hidaka’s murals surround the viewer creating the illusion of endlessness while focusing attention inwards, where Zarka’s mysterious sculptural characters offer grounding objects of contemplation.

Exhibition is generously supported by Institut français and The Cultural & Science Services of the Embassy of France in Canada.

Publishing Against the Grain
July 4–August 17, 2019

Opening: Thursday, July 4th from 7 – 9 pm

CRITICAL DISTANCE and INDEPENDENT CURATORS INTERNATIONAL (ICI) are pleased to announce the co-presentation of Publishing Against the Grain, a unique exhibition that provides visitors with a rare opportunity to engage in a variety of conversations from across the world. In the context of today’s corporatization and commodification of cultural institutions, and in many political situations where free speech becomes ever more precarious, independent publishing has shown extraordinary vitality and importance as a platform for disseminating alternative, progressive and autonomous positions.

Publishing Against the Grain is a traveling exhibition that highlights the current state of publishing and art criticism as it exists in small journals, experimental publications, websites, and podcasts, as well as other innovative forms. It is organized around projects that connect theoretical, social, political, and aesthetic questions with a focus on community, whether understood in relation to a particular place, or defined in identitarian or diasporic terms. In bringing these projects together from around the world, Publishing Against the Grain reveals how their material and discursive activities respond to intersecting subjects such as contemporary aesthetics, diaspora, sex and gender, gentrification, race, language, and art history.

Alongside the international network of publications sourced by ICI, Critical Distance will present a “capsule” exhibition of arts publishing projects currently being produced across Canada today. Aligning with the values, modes, and methods of production embodied by ICI’s global grouping, our selection will be similarly focused on grassroots/independent projects that demonstrate critical, socio-political and aesthetic engagements with topical issues and ideas, in thoughtful relation to their respective artistic communities as well as broader regional, national, and international publics.

This selection is not intended to be comprehensive or conclusive at this stage of our organizational research, but just the first of an ongoing series of explorations and resulting exhibitions that will seek to evince the incredible diversity and criticality that Indigenous and Canadian arts publishers have brought, and continue to bring to bear, upon global discourses in publishing and its potentials. Visitors to the exhibition will be invited to fully engage with all of the publications on display, with the opportunity to make a case for any of the capsule selections to be nominated for inclusion in ICI’s exhibition for future stops on its international tour.

Finally, Critical Distance is thrilled to announce the first additions to its nascent Curators Library+Archive, including the complete back catalogue of Lola Magazine, which was produced by artist/writer Sally McKay, curator John Massier and arts writer and editor Catherine Osborne from 1997–2003.

Stay tuned for more information on library- and exhibition-related events coming soon!

Publishing Against the Grain is initiated by Alaina Claire Feldman, Becky Nahom, and Sanna Almajedi with contributions from: Adjective / AEQAI / Art Hopper / Art Against Art / Post Capitalism: A Guide to our Future, Telematic Embrace, The Transhumanist Reader / Bisagra / ramona / Chimurenga & Selections from the Chimurenga Library / Curatorial Dictionary / / East of Borneo / Artes Visuales / Exhausted Geographies / SCROLL / Fillip / Art-Language / Glänta / Bidayat / Makhzin / Souffles, Soufless-Anfas / New Culture / Top Stories / Our Literal Speed / Collective Actions / Pages / Pumflet / Corrections and Clarifications / Counter-Signals / PISEAGRAMA / Urbânia / Raking Leaves / Aar Paar / SALT. / LIES / Start Journal / Uganda Press Photo Award / Stationary / Blackbird / Lenny Kwok / Tráfico Visual / Félix Suaz / White Fungus / Life Is A Rip Off / X-TRA

OCADU Career Launcher 2019 Exhibition
2 July – 26 July 2019

Opening Reception: July 4, 2019

The Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers (CEAD) is excited to announce the finalists for the Artscape Youngplace Photography Career Launcher: Sabrina Carrizo Sztainbok, Margaret Cornell Kirk, Lily Lü Yùnrú, Bidemi Oloyede, and Alejandro Rizzo Nervo. They will exhibit their works in the hallway galleries of Artscape Youngplace in July 2019.

The 6th annual Artscape Youngplace Career Launcher is geared towards graduating Photography students. This year, students are offered the opportunity to participate in an extended group exhibition in the Hallway Galleries of Artscape Youngplace. The curatorial team at Artscape will work with faculty and CEAD to transform the Hallway Galleries into a showcase of emerging contemporary photographic practices, for select recipients. 

As part of the Career Launcher, a jury comprised of faculty members, a graduate of the CRCP program, and the curatorial committee at Artscape Youngplace will select an artist from the group exhibition and award them a featured solo exhibition during the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in May 2020.

Additionally, an essay will be commissioned from the CRCP graduate to accompany the solo exhibition.

15 June – 23 June 2019

Festival + Art Crawl on June 15, 7pm till late
(Please note that Artscape Youngplace closes at 9pm)

Come play with us! NUIT ROSE returns for it 6th edition with the theme ARCADE. Featuring 30+ projects, parties and presentations, NUIT ROSE electrifies Toronto with art, music, dance, film, new media, and the fabulous Light Parade.

Featured Artists at Artscape Youngplace

Ebrin Bagheri
Humboldt Magnussen
Alexi Pedneault
Joey Suriano
Michael Stecky
Texas & Glory
Alejandro Rizzo Nervo
Kyle Yip

The NUIT ROSE festival is presented by the Throbbing Rose Collective, a group of artists, curators, producers, and art advocates. It is produced with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

Key Venues
The 519
The Art Bar (562 Church)
The ArQuives
MaRS Discovery District
Artscape Youngplace
Gladstone Hotel

Room For Shifting Expressions: Critical Distance at NUIT ROSE 2019
15 June – 23 June 2019

Opening: Saturday, June 15th from 5 – 8 pm

Critical Distance is pleased to participate in Nuit Rose 2019 with a presentation of new work by Eric Chengyang and Ebrin Bagheri curated by CDCC Curatorial Programs Coordinator Emily Peltier.

Chengyang and Bagheri’s work will be situated in the Critical Distance gallery (Suite 302). Additional work by Bagheri will also be on view the 3rd floor hallway outside our door at Artscape Youngplace as a part
of a group exhibition curated by John Rubino for Nuit Rose. Beyond Youngplace, Nuit Rose will takes place at multiple venues across Toronto with its focus in the Church-Wellesley Village.

Gallery hours are Wednesday–Friday, 12–6pm, Saturday–Sunday 11am–5pm, or by appointment through June 23rd. 

Schoolscapes on Tape
by April Aliermo and Koffler Centre of the Arts
June 3 – 8

Schoolscapes on Tape is a collaborative, multidisciplinary arts project with Grade 5 students from Rose Avenue Junior Public School and Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School. Working together with sound artist, April Aliermo, students recorded interviews, gathered field recordings and captured performed sound on analog tape recorders. Paired with a student from the opposite school, the students also learned about each other – sharing personal experiences and stories from everyday life. Using only the recordings from the students, Aliermo remixed the sounds. She cut them up, filtered, rearranged and added effects to them, creating looped soundscapes – echoes and reflections of one another through a young person’s emotions. The vibrant prints were created with visual artist, Leah Gold, to further illustrate the work.

Schoolscapes on Tape is a collaborative student art project and educational program of the Koffler Centre of the Arts. This program is generously supported by Agnico Eagle.

Literally / Figuratively
May 26 – May 31

Closing Reception: Friday, May 31, 6 – 8 pm

Literally/Figuratively, Rosedale Heights School of the Arts Exhibition

Literally / Figuratively exhibits explorations of the human figure created by students in the Life Drawing program at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts. Using a range of media, surface, and technique, students have each embarked on their own journey in studying the human form. Through anatomical studies, drawing from professional models for over three months and various creative challenges, students have had the opportunity to hone their observational drawing skills and investigate contemporary and historical representations of the figure.

At Rosedale Heights School of the Arts we believe that the arts are for all young people, that they enrich the academic lives of students, and that “talent” should not dictate a young person’s access to learning. Our approach to the arts emphasizes creative process in addition to technique. We cultivate student voice through students developing, planning and curating their own shows.

Works have been selected by a jury consisting of Anthony Cooper, Julian Majewski and faculty. For any inquiries about purchasing artwork or about our program, please contact:

Follow us on Instagram @rhsavisualarts.

Spectra Gallery 44 Members Exhibition
May 20 – June 1

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 23, 6 – 8 pm
Artists’ Talk: Saturday, May 25, 2 – 3 pm, led by Fred Lum
June 1 open only until 3 pm.

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Spectra is an exhibition by a dynamic group of members from Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography. Gallery 44 is committed to creating programs and exhibitions that reflect the continuously changing definition of photography by presenting a wide range of practices that engage timely and critical explorations of the medium.

Spectra showcases the innovative work of twelve G44 members in conjunction with the Scotiabank CONTACT 2019 Photography Festival:

Annie Tong | Atia Pokorny | Broma | Celina Virani | Christina Shivcharan | David Brandy | Elsie Nisonen | Gustavo Jabbaz | Janne Reuss | Jude Marion | Robert Caspary | Sandy Middleton

Selected works from the show may be viewed at
IG:@g44members / Twitter: @g44members / FB:

An Archive, But Not An Atlas
April 27 – June 2, 2019

Alex Jacobs-Blum, Curtiss Randolph, Camille Rojas, Eve Tagny
Curated by Liz Ikiriko

On view: April 27 – June 2, 2019
Opening reception: Saturday, April 27th, 1 – 3pm

“An archive, but not an atlas: the point here is not to take the world upon one’s shoulders, but to crouch down to the earth, and dig.”

— Allan Sekula

An Archive, But Not An Atlas is a group exhibition that explores personal and social histories as they are unearthed through movement, gesture, language, and land. Four emerging artists address unconscious memory as it is embodied across generations and geographies. Through photography, performance, and film, the artists’ knowledge is rooted in observing subtleties expressed in familial, domestic, or cultural locations.

For many marginalized people the denial of dominant culture to acknowledge inherent, embodied knowledge, acts as a form of erasure. The trauma experienced by the denial of intrinsic relationships to self and land becomes a silencing force, muting creative production. Art critic/historian Hal Foster writes of the incompleteness of the archive as a bridge between the found and the constructed, the factual and the fictional, the public and private. To accept this amorphous state is to accept multiple ways of knowing one’s past, present, and future. An Archive, But Not An Atlas makes space for these four artists to cultivate power and presence through body and land as they converse with history.

An Archive, But Not An Atlas is a Featured Exhibition of the 2019 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, and is presented in dialogue with Developing Historical Negatives, curated by Gabrielle Moser for Gallery 44. These thematically linked exhibitions investigate how artists engage the archive to question experiences of belonging, displacement, and situatedness in the Canadian landscape. Mining both personal and institutional narratives, the projects activate overlooked and marginalized histories, drawing attention to their ongoing resonance in the present.


Opening Reception and Curator’s Tour with Liz Ikiriko
Saturday, April 27th, 1–3pm
Join us in the gallery for refreshments and a curatorial walkthrough of the exhibition (tour will start at 1:30). See below for location and accessibility information.

Live Performance
System of a Gesture by Camille Rojas
Saturday, May 11th, 1–3pm
Free public premiere of System of a Gesture, choreographed by Camille Rojas. Performance will take place outside Youngplace; in case of rain, an alternate location will be announced closer to the date.

Reading Groups at Gallery 44 and Critical Distance
Saturday, May 18th, 12-3pm, at Gallery 44 and Saturday, May 25th, 1–3pm at Critical Distance
Join curators Gabrielle Moser and Liz Ikiriko in a conversation about the gestures artists and researchers use to activate the photographic archive. Reading out loud from performance studies scholar Diana Taylor’s book, The Archive and the Repertoire (2003), and photography theorist Tina M. Campt’s book, Image Matters (2012), the group will meet across both gallery spaces to consider the “archival choreographies” deployed by artists to develop alternate histories from private and public collections.

Free but please RSVP to for more information.


Brain Injury Society in Toronto Promotional Graphic

#braininjuryinthe6ix marks the Brain Injury Society of Toronto’s ( 3rd Annual Expressive Art show featuring work by brain injury survivors/thrivers. Opening Tues May 21, 4 to 7pm and running ’til Sat May 25, 2019. Check out the stunning work, learn more about and support an artist with a brain injury, promote us on social via #braininjuryinthe6ix.

All proceeds from sales go directly to the artist.

Nevet Yitzhak: WarCraft
April 4 – May 26, 2019
Guest Curator: Liora Belford

Spring Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4, 2019 | 7–9 PM | FREE
Artist and Curator Talk: Sunday, April 7, 2 PM | FREE

A Primary Exhibition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Living in Israel as a Jewish artist of Kurdish, Syrian and Yemenite heritage, Nevet Yitzhak’s practice raises questions about cultural heritage, suppressed histories, collective forgetfulness, and identity. The artist looks to the Afghan war rug, a unique product of the region’s traumatic history of conflict and foreign military presence, as a departure point in exploring the significance and potential of this unconventional medium to protest violence and occupation. Expressing her minoritized position within Israeli society and her dissent from its current politics, Yitzhak’s three-channel video installation, WarCraft (2014), looks to the eastern world for kindred forms of expressions.

The installation comprises three large-scale projections of digitally constructed rugs. Reimagining their iconography to reference contemporary warzones, Yitzhak introduces 3D models of weaponry deployed by existing armies and battlegrounds. Translated into a new medium, these digital designs pay tribute to the traditional war rug’s intent while moving from cultural specificity to address other conflicts and articulate a bold indictment of aggression. Yitzhak’s digital patterns expose a vastly destructive potential, reminding us of the ubiquity of war imagery and of our numbness to its violence.

Co-presented with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, in partnership with Images Festival.

April 30 – May 17, 2019

Poster for Etobicoke School of the Arts Contemporary Photography Grade 12 Graduation Show

An exhibition of the 2019 Graduating Class from the
Contemporary Photography Program at Etobicoke School of the Arts.

Etobicoke School of the Arts’ (ESA) photography program underwent a philosophical transformation eight years ago. The direction of the program moved from a technically focused approach to photography to a contemporary, conceptually driven pedagogy of art making. Now, at age15, students are supported to learn how to make work about their lived experience. By the middle of grade 10 theme-focused assignments are completely eliminated and each student makes art about specific topics that are important to them. By the end of Grade 11 the majority of our students have established a legitimate artistic practice containing honest, thoughtful work that is uniquely their own.  Success has been built around a community that shares, listens and creates time and a space where ideas can be communicated, investigated and realized.

The results from this approach speak for themselves. In 2018, fifty-five Contemporary Photography ESA graduates had a 98% success rate of acceptance into their post secondary programs of choice and received over $10 million dollars in scholarship offers to some of the worlds top International and National art programs. Amazingly, every year, over the past eight years, our student’s achievements grow.

From day one we treat our students like artists. Whether they are applying to exhibitions, curating, or speaking publicly about their art, we work to introduce them to real world art practices. Through this CONTACT exhibition we will highlight the three-year journey of each graduating student and the program that helped get them here. You will be introduced to young artists who have re-formulated their history by recording alternative measures of time, who find refuge and strength in “drag”, or have discovered unity and control over their place in the world through their art making process.

For any questions about our program or inquiries about purchasing an art work, please contact us at:

Follow us on Instagram @esa_contemporary_photography

Seneca College Illustration Graduate Exhibit

April 19 – April 27, 2019

Seneca College is excited to present the 15th Graduate Exhibition from a program that produces a diverse array of talented artists in both digital and traditional mediums. These skills, combined with the entrepreneurial business knowledge produce individuals ready to work in many different specialties including comics, indie arts, children’s books, concept art, spot and packaging illustration. Aboveground Art Supplies is again sponsoring the exhibit with Best in Show award and the Japanese Paper Place is sponsoring with the Japanese Paper Place Traditional Media Award. Both awards will be selected at the reception on Wednesday April 24 from 7-10PM.  Please RSVP.

Banner Illustration by Ziyi (Ian) Jiang – 4th semester graduating student

April 5 – April 16

tdsbCREATES Arts Festival 2018 – 2019
A System-wide Celebration of STUDENT VOICE and CREATIVITY Through the ARTS
Presented by The Toronto District School Board  & The Toronto Arts Council

Reception & Film Screening: Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

TDSB students, with support from teachers and professional artists, have responded to issues and questions that are speaking to them through the theme of TRUTH. Their work honours the expressions of youth, centres the importance of inclusivity and well-being and provokes dialogue around ideas and art forms used for communication. This celebration of student work acknowledges student voice and the important role that artists and teachers play in modelling creativity and artistic expression.

Administrative support for the festival provided by Prologue to the Performing Arts.

Illustrated Dioramas by Soyeon Kim

March 3rd – March 30th, 2019
1st Floor Hallway Gallery

Reception: Saturday, March 16th, 12pm – 2pm
Books and prints will be available for sale during the reception.

The exhibition will present selected dioramas from my children’s books trilogy: You Are Stardust, Wild Ideas – Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking, and You Are Never Alone. All these books focus on the message of how we are all connected to the natural world. Specializing in fine sketching and painting techniques, I carefully arranged the painted and texturized paper cutouts to create three-dimensional dioramas. Each diorama contains two to three spreads from the books, yet all of these different scenes come together as one body of artwork.

16 Themes: Illustrative Painting Explorations Exhibition

March 25 – March 30, 2019
2nd and 3rd Floor Hallway Galleries

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 small group exhibitions.

Exhibition closes at 2pm on March 30

Homework OCADU Illustrative Drawing and Painting Exhibition

March 18 – March 23, 2019
2nd and 3rd Floor Hallway Galleries

Facebook Event

OCADU’s Illustration Program students, working in 20 small groups in their 4th Year Illustrative Painting course, curated and developed the exhibition themes and artwork for this collection of group exhibitions.

Exhibition closes at 2pm on March 23

Informal artist reception March 22, 7 – 9pm in the 2nd and 3rd Floor Hallway Galleries.

PUBLIC SYNTAX: SAW Video at Critical Distance 

February 7th – March 31st, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 9th from 2pm – 4pm

Curated by Neven Lochhead and presented in partnership with SAW Video Media Art Centre, Ottawa. Featuring work by naakita feldman-kiss, Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Henry Andersen, Mara Eagle, Phil Rose, Molly Teitelbaum, Anna Queen,and The Video in the Public Sphere Working Group.

In partnership with SAW Video Media Art Centre (Ottawa), Critical Distance is pleased to present ​Public Syntax, ​an exhibition that highlights the distinct time-based practices and approaches of seven artists, as well as those participating in the Video in the Public Sphere Working Group, the majority of whom are either Ottawa-based or connected. Situated in-gallery at Critical Distance and across multiple public spaces at Artscape Youngplace, the works in the exhibition embody and expand upon the recent and ongoing programming initiatives of SAW Video and their Knot Project Space​, ​launched in early 2018​.

Responding to Critical Distance’s mandate to advance curatorial inquiry and encourage collaborative frameworks, exhibition curator Neven Lochhead employs a conversational mode to form ‘syntactical’ relations between these various practices, identifying collective editing processes where the ‘sequence’ becomes a vector on which to group together. In the gallery and public spaces, artists in this exhibition generate affinities not through the question of ​where will we meet,​ but rather ​when will we occur?

Ghazaleh Avarzamani: Never Never Land

January 17th – March 17th, 2019

Winter Opening Reception: Thursday January 17th from 6pm – 9pm

photo by  Ghazaleh Avarzamani, Fortuneteller (installation detail), moulded USG hydrocal, 2016.

Ghazaleh Avarzamani’s artistic practice encompasses a variety of artistic forms, including textiles, embroidery, sculpture and installation. Driven by research on manifestations of global powers, their impact on and manipulation of history, geography and knowledge, her work explores the ways in which diverse contexts and systems transform ideas and forms, generating new meaning.

Never Never Land, Avarzamani’s first solo exhibition in Canada, expands on a recent body of work that examines the relationship between experience-based knowledge, memory construction, modern rationality and traditional beliefs. Considering a range of spaces and devices for interactivity and play, her game-based installations, drawings, sculptures and fibre works question the rules and methodologies used to educate and shape the players’ existential outlook.

Game of Goose positions board games as master plans. Based on the oldest existing printed game sheet, the monumental mural piece comprises a 63-space track that maps medieval spiritualist values and superstitions, intending to instruct the player on matters of moral, social and religious import. Complicating the reading of the game, the entire map is embroidered onto a grid of 180 dark blue kisseh (Middle Eastern washcloth/loofa) and reproduced as a blueprint for the architecture of modern games. Used as support, the washcloths are quietly undermining the reality of the game itself. As objects meant to clean and remove, the blue loofas remind the viewer that no structures of power are eternally stable.

Further exploring these ideas in new works created for the exhibition, Avarzamani aims to expose the paradoxical realities behind the surface of society and its traditions, educational methodologies and cultural utopias.


March 5th 2019 – March 16th, 2019
2nd Floor Hallway Gallery

Special Event: Friday, March 8th, 2019 (tickets available on website)

skinwork is a striking exposition of the female form with the ambition of raising awareness for skin cancer prevention. The project was initiated by Heather Mundle and Bettina Bogar in mid-2018 just before Heather tragically lost her life to metastatic melanoma, an all-too-common form of skin cancer. Heather’s passing shifted the focus of the project to become more than a simple photoshoot – skinwork is now an awareness movement in her honour. Featuring more than 60 Canadian women, skinwork is a two-week-long photo exhibition. It will launch on March 5th, 2019 with a special event on International Women’s Day (March 8th, 2019). The exhibition will be open to the public until March 16th.

Edge: Youth Arts Show

By: Arts Etobicoke

February 12th – 22nd, 2019 | 1st, 2nd & 3rd Floor Hallway Gallery

Closing Reception: February 21st from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Edge: Youth Art Show is open to all Secondary School Students (grades 9-12) in TDSB & TCDSB schools and agencies across Toronto. It is a free 7-day exhibition of student artwork. It is non juried with over 100 high school students & youth from approximately 20 schools across the City of Toronto participating in the program each year.
 It’s a great opportunity for youth to experience exhibiting in an art gallery, and connect with working artists and arts communities.


By: Taboo Health & OCAD University’s Design Studio

January 18th – 27th, 2019 | 1st and 2nd Floor Hallway Gallery & Critical Distance Gallery Suite 302

Reception: TBA

Would you dare to face your mortality? Would you dare to lie in a coffin? A do-it-yourself cardboard coffin seeks to turn death into a sustainable enterprise through design, technology, and open source methods, while daring you to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Come on in and stay a while, for this is a unique chance for the living to get cozy with one of life’s certainties…death. #coffinselfies allowed, (dare I say encouraged).

In 2008 in the US alone, 1.8 million bodies were buried in coffins that resulted in the approximate disposal of 1,632,932 kilograms of material, not including the energy used in the processing of the materials for those coffins, such as shipping, labor, manufacturing, finishing, et cetera. In this speculative piece we ask: Can we promote a process of death which uses design, recycled materials, and technology for a more ecological practice of grieving?

We can’t stop from dying but we can die smarter and more ecological – we can D-I-Y.

Grim or enlightening? Curious or distasteful? You make your call at this quirky installation that is part of the multi-site Death and Dying installation series.

The ‘Death and Dying’ series explores the theme of end of life through the lens of design and art. Through participatory and observational experiences, the Series invites you to think about your relationship with death and dying as an individual, a member of a family and social network and as a human being in society. The ‘Death and Dying’ series is a collaboration between OCAD University’s Design for Health graduate program and TABOO Health.

Lois Schklar: Timelines

January 18th – 27th, 2019 | 2nd Floor Hallway Gallery North End

Reception: Thursday, January 17th from 6pm – 9pm

Timelines is a series of poetic narratives that connect the past with the present. Using an extensive collection of objects I have accumulated over a lifetime, each installation attempts to create a visual testimony to the power of memory. Timelines re-imagines the aesthetic association that first brought these objects to my attention, references former bodies of work and re-purposes materials I no longer use or need. Each installation builds on the ideas of preceding installations and are primarily site specific.

Each work in Timelines is suspended on elastic cord and embedded with found and bought objects to create a metaphorical “time line”. The objects become “mark making” tools. Knots, the irregular bumps in the cord, refer to the Quipu, knotted strings used by the Incas to keep records of information related to their daily life. The time lines are ephemeral like the illusory shadows that suggest a third dimension in space.

Timelines is also an exploration of divesting; an entangled, cumbersome undertaking, personal and therefore complicated. At some point in time my collection will be dispersed along with their memories. I will no longer have control over what happens to it. In relation to contemporary practices, I ask: “Where will this collection or work of art eventually reside and what (if any) is its value?” This question addresses the personal worth of the materials I collect and use in my practice and their relevance in relation to and referencing the escalating price of work so prevalent in today’s art market.

Sam Loewen : All Bound Up

January 14th – February 1st, 2019 | 3rd Floor Hallway Gallery

‘All Bound Up’ explores the intricacies of queer online intimacy. As app-facilitated/digital intimacies have become increasingly common, a dissonance between how bodies reveal, conceal, and interact has emerged on and off apps. In this exhibition, representations of app-facilitated intimacies become knotted bedsheets and anonymous portraits.

Humble Raja: Forbidden Forest

Bhavesh & Reena Mistry

January 18th – 27th, 2019 | 3rd Floor Hallway Gallery

Reception: Thursday, January 17th from 6pm – 9pm

Throughout time, humankind has caught glimpses of fantastic creatures. Whether these legendary forms were seen emerging from the depths of the sea, rustling through tree tops, taunting villages or peacefully drifting amongst the stars, they have stirred our creativity and played a powerful role in our collective imaginations.

Of the ancient world’s legendary creatures, we may know Greek mythology’s divine winged stallion Pegasus, or perhaps the dull-witted trolls of Norse folklore. However, this exhibition explores the less familiar ancient creatures of Hindu mythology. Expect to encounter the dueling monkey brothers Vali and Sugriva, the infinitely long cosmic serpent Ananta, or valiant Garuda, king of birds and sworn enemy of snakes. And Mahishasura, a near-immortal demon buffalo who goes to war with the gods and eventually loses to a tiger-mounted goddess in an epic showdown that is still recited today.

Over thousands of years oral storytelling was the primary tool for sharing the cultural identity and values embodied in these myths.To share these stories with you, the design duo Humble Raja has brought these fantastic beasts to life by illustrating them as a set of playing cards organized into suits by the exotic environments from which they originate (the sky, the sea, the jungle and grasslands). The mythical creatures each take their form as the face cards allowing the theme of their environment, colour and common patterns to stitch each suit together.

The exhibition is a nod to the mystery and allure of these lesser-known creatures. Pairing contemporary design with old folklore, ‘Forbidden Forest’ celebrates the art of storytelling through a series of illustrations, making it accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.


The Bell at the End of Time
by PEJVAK (Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson)

Billboard on Shaw co-presented in partnership with C Magazine, featuring The Bell at the End of Time (detail), by PEJVAK (Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson), 2019.

“We came across the following documents during our research residency in Tbilisi at Georgia’s State Silk Museum in March 2019. Reviewing the extensive archives maintained by the museum’s library, in preparation for our upcoming film on the Silk Road, we were captivated by a series of notes and illustrations that felt oddly out of place in the collection. These documents stood out from the rest of the archives not only because of their seemingly disconnected subject matter but also because of their disparate sorting logic and clandestine placement amongst various expedition reports and personal notes written by Nikolay Shavrov, a Russian biologist and the founder and first director of Tbilisi’s Sericultural Station. At first glance, these records appeared to be little more than incidental entries or misplaced files, but soon, with the help of Darejan Demetrashvili, the librarian, and Mariam Shergelashvili, our research coordinator, we uncovered a series of interconnected narratives concerning a monumental intervention in the environs of Mount Ararat in modern-day Turkey.”

So begins the accompanying text written by Pejvak which unravels this mysterious project, originally commissioned for the Summer 2019 issue of C Magazine themed on “Monument.” An uncanny and productively beguiling blend of fiction and non-fiction, The Bell at the End of Time pivots away from questions explored elsewhere in the issue around the legacy of domineering statues in fathomable space and toward a more speculative and imaginative—although still decidedly political—study of monuments and monumentality.

To read the full text, visit:

About the Artists

Pejvak (PJVK) is the ongoing collaboration between Felix Kalmenson and Rouzbeh Akhbari. Through their multivalent, intuitive approach to research and living, they find themselves in a convergence and entanglement with like-minded collaborators, histories and various geographies.

Rouzbeh Akhbari (Tehran, Iran, 1992) is an artist working in video installation and film. His practice is research-driven and usually exists at the intersections of political economy, critical architecture and planning. Through a delicate examination of the violences and intimacies that occur at the boundaries of lived experience and constructed histories, Akhbari uncovers the minutiae of power that organizes and regiments the world around us.

Felix Kalmenson (St. Petersburg, Russia, 1987) is an artist whose practice navigates installation, video and performance. Kalmenson’s work variably narrates the liminal space of a researcher’s and artist’s encounter with landscape and archive. By bearing witness to everyday life, and hardening the more fragile vestiges of private and collective histories through their work, Kalmenson gives themself away to the cadence of a poem, always in flux.