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Forty artists at six Harbourfront Centre visual art exhibitions explore the blurring of craft and art

TORONTO, January 15, 2004-The blurring of craft and art are explored through six Harbourfront Centre visual art exhibitions. Forty artists display their work in textiles, ceramics, jewelry, glass and more at York Quay Centre and Canada Quay beginning January 30 through March 7, 2004. Admission to all six exhibitions is free. For more information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfront.on.ca

York Quay Gallery presents Same Time Same Place, a biennial craft studio residents exhibition, curated by John Armstrong. Twenty current residents of the Harbourfront Centre Craft Studio residency program working in textiles, ceramics, jewelry and glass are joined by seven additional artists and designers working in paint, illustration, photography, furniture and sculpture. The artists and designers in the exhibition have created objects that engage or comment on day-to-day experiences. Many of these objects may be used in homes as practical items or as decoration or worn as an accessory. The works in Same Time Same Place mediate the disparate ideas and materials that have a place in domestic life - such as television, consumer products and children's illustration. All of these makers speculate about how studio practices that may involve traditional or new media (or both) might have poignancy for us today.

Exhibiting Craft Studio residents include: Metal - Anneke van Bommel, Sarah Troper, Gillian E. Batcher, Andree Wejsmann and K. Michele Perras; Ceramics - Ying-Yueh Chuang, Robin Tieu, Kimberly Davy, Pattie Chalmers and Hilary Masemann; Glass - Eva Milinkovic, David Thai, Gordon Webster, Catherine Vamvakas Lay, Rachael Wong and Julie Gibb; Textiles - Rosario Galvez, Peggy Mersereau, Karen Thiessen and Nika Feldman. Guest artists and designers include: Terry Pidsadny, Graham Roumieu, Caroline Andrin, Kevin Willson, Erin Finley, Rhonda Weppler and Andrew Birse.

UncommonObjects presents Epergne by Susan Rankin. Epergne are large, ornamental centerpieces consisting of several dishes or receptacles on extended arms or branches used for holding flowers or fruit - primarily used in the Victorian era. Rankin, a former glass studio resident, draws much of her inspiration from the natural environment of flowers, leaves and vines. Her vessels flower as well as containing flowers. Rankin has chosen to represent this highly decorative object in a contemporary context. Curated by Melanie Egan.

Case Studies presents Scratch, an exhibition exploring the expression of eight ceramic artists who draw, scratch and carve into vessels to convey their ideas. Exhibiting artists: Dale Pereira, Lisa Parsons, Michelene Lewis, Laura Kukkee, Janet Macpherson, Marc Egan, Kirk Mangus and Hilary Masemann. Curated by Patrick Macaulay.

The Photo Passage presents, Historia Naturalis by David Donald, an ongoing series of images that catalogue different categories of natural history with 19th-century rigour. Not only is Historia Naturalis intended as an examination of the tension between science and art, but it is also an inquiry into the nature of photography and its mimetic power. The artist utilizes a toy camera (the Diana, manufactured in Hong Kong in the 1960s). The crude optics of this all-plastic instrument blur and distort the light captured within its frame creating a subjective impression as a counterpoint to the scientific Latin name labeled below each image. The contrast highlights the gap between the intended objectivity of scientific practice and the resultant subjectivity of the captured impression in the picture.

Studio Works is a new non-commercial exhibition space consisting of twelve vitrines located in the craft studio corridor. Exhibitions will present contemporary craft work by current artists in residence. Constructed presents former and current metal studio residents Gillian E. Batcher, K. Michele Perras, Gina Fafard and Sarah Troper. Curated by Melanie Egan and Patrick Macaulay.

A Gathering by Susan Warner Keene is featured at Canada Quay. This web-like assemblage of handmade paper gathers various words and phrases from the artist's life as part of her ongoing investigation of paper as a means of recording personal expression. Text organization is visual rather than verbal, obscuring literal meaning while emphasizing the physical presence of the "page". The paper finds its own shape in the drying process; like the human body, it responds to and is altered by nature and circumstance. Susan Warner Keene is a Toronto artist working in handmade paper and textiles who has exhibited in Canada and abroad since 1980. In 1991 she was awarded the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Crafts.

A Public Opening Reception for all exhibitions takes place on Friday January 30, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the York Quay Gallery. Opening remarks at 7:00 p.m. Admission to the reception is free.

Regular hours for York Quay Gallery (open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and open Wednesday's until 8 p.m). Hours for Case Studies, The Photo Passage and Uncommon Objects (open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m). Hours for Studio Works and the Craft Studios (open Tuesday's and Sunday's from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m). Galleries are closed Mondays except holiday Mondays - when they are open from noon to 6 p.m.

All exhibitions can be seen at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Admission is free. For more information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfront.on.ca

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For information on all of Harbourfront Centre's visual arts exhibitions please consult our Visual Arts webpage

Media Contact:
Shane Gerard
Publicist - Harbourfront Centre
416-973-4655 (tel)
416-973-6055 (fax)
shaneg@harbourfront.on.ca
www.harbourfront.on.ca
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