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Harbourfront Centre launches visual arts exhibitions exploring how we
individually relate to Ontario's natural environment - May 3 to June 22, 2008

TORONTO, April 24, 2008 - Harbourfront Centre launches seven diverse exhibitions in craft, photography, video and mixed media. Some artists examine their relationship with and impact on Ontario's natural environments while others challenge how we view human production and consumption. All exhibitions run from May 3 to June 22, 2008. An free opening reception takes place May 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. - Admission to all exhibitions is free.

Exhibition hours for the main gallery: Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.; closed Monday. Regular hours for The Craft Studio: Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday & Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed Monday.) For information call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com. Exhibitions are located at Harbourfront Centre - 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto.

Featured exhibitions include:

FishNet: The Great Lakes Craft & Release Project
(supported by Fresh Ground new works, Harbourfront Centre's national commissioning programme)

An exhibition of craft and textile works from the FishNet project - which combines and coalesces the creative talents of over 2000 Toronto students, educators, artists and designers for the purposes of exploring and engaging in the themes of sustainability, collaboration and activism, in order to strengthen the community ties that bind us within the Great Lakes bioregion and beyond. The crafting phase (beginning in the Fall 2007 until March 2008) centered on 26 Toronto-based schools each building a regionally specific school of textile fish as well as researching and sharing information about their species. The exhibition release phase begins on May 3 (and continues until June 22) when Harbourfront Centre metaphorically acts as a fish hatchery, sponsoring the release of the crafted textile fish to the public. In this way, FishNet identifies absence or neglect as a subtle creative form of protest art - one that provokes an engaging solution. Also funded in part by the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto District School Board and Inner City Angels. More FishNet project information can be found at www.projectfishnet.org and www.harbourfrontcentre.com/noflash/freshground/current/fishnet.php


Disturbance: Greg Staats (Part of CONTACT 2008)
Disturbance is comprised of eight vitrines of video and photographic works that examine restorative aesthetics and provide a mnemonic continuum of cultural remembrance and complexity of the artist's contemporary experience. Staats (born 1963, Ohsweken, Ontario) has lived and worked in Toronto since 1985. He is a photographer and video maker who draws on a traditional Mohawk restorative aesthetic that defines the multiplicity inherent in relationships. Staats has developed eight works around the notions of animose (full of spirit), errance (wandering with purpose), the performative aspect of objects, and repetition. Staats resultant videos are contemplative and require viewers to adapt to the rhythms of the natural world. Staats has had solo exhibitions at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery; Walter Philips Gallery (Banff); Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery (Owen Sound); Mercer Union: A Centre for Contemporary Art (Toronto); and Gallery TPW, (Toronto). Staats received the Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography. More artist information at: www.re-title.com/artists/greg-staats.asp


Accumulated Histories: Collections of Family Photographs - Jenna Edwards (Part of CONTACT 2008)
Toronto photographer Jenna Edwards investigates the unique way in which families and individuals amass memories and the physical space those images occupy. The series represents an individual or family’s entire collection of photographs. There is no information about the people who created these photographs other than the provided name and visual clues that appear in the images such as glimpses of written text. By denying viewers the pleasure of actually seeing the photographs, slides, or Polaroids themselves, the images exclusively investigate the photograph’s intrinsic characteristic as a tangible object. The photographs are instead carefully stacked to resemble architectural-like towers that emphasize the space they occupy and alter the conventional relationship between an individual and a photograph.

Edwards graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and received the Best Graduating Student award. Since graduating she has traveled to Paris for a photographic workshop, and is actively exhibiting her work within Toronto, and received an honourable mention in Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward: Emerging Photographers 2007 publication. More artist information at: http://www.jennaedwards.ca/GalleryAccumulated.htm.


Mores Revealed - Various artists
Artists draw attention to the mores of their society and hold them up to the light of artistic scrutiny. Including works by: Cynthia Archer Amy Johnson, Pattie Chalmers, Brad Copping, Danielle Crampsie, Kate Jackson, Brian McArthur, Kasia Piech, and Karen Tam, Curated by Melanie Egan.


Adjustable Landscape: Rob Cruickshank
Inspired by 19th century automata and driven by modern robotics - Adjustable Landscape is a constantly shifting slice of animated space. Earth, animals, and trees are hidden, revealed, or transformed. More artist information at: www.robcruickshank.net/home/art.html


Rocks of The Great Lakes: Gene Threndyle
A new video, mixed media and sound installation with a written component. Ontario is the only jurisdiction that has shoreline on all the Great Lakes and all of waterways flowing between them. They are the major geographical feature of this place and the largest system of fresh water lakes in the world. They have a geological history that goes back to the earliest periods of Earth’s existence. This exhibition looks to rocks collected on each of the great lakes not only to see the past and the present but also to see the future. Gene Threndyle is artist/gardener who has worked in Toronto for over 20 years. His work has been included in the ‘Wade Project” and exhibited at the Art Gallery at Glendon College in Toronto. He has been part of The Artists’ Gardens at Harbourfront for over 10 years and has been published by George Brown University. In 2006 he was a feature garden writer for the Toronto Sunday Star.


Sketches of Simple Beauty: Graeme Marrs & Sally McCubbin
Marrs (furniture design) and McCubbin (glass) join forces to examine process, design and uncertainty – and the steps taken towards developing exciting works.


Bubbles: Ilona Staples (Service Canada)
Over 20 geodesic spheres made of hundreds of recycled green and transparent plastic pop bottles make up a hanging installation whose clustered arrangement evokes the effervescence of carbonated beverages. Ilona Staples is a Toronto-based sculptural artist whose work is primarily focused on food, consumption and the body. She is a graduate of Concordia University and the Ontario College of Art and Design and has exhibited in Canada, the U.S., England and Hungary.More artist information at www.ilonastaples.com


Exhibition hours for the main gallery: Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.; closed Monday. Regular hours for The Craft Studio: Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday & Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Closed Monday.) For information call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com. Exhibitions are located at Harbourfront Centre - 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto.

For media information, please contact:
Shane Gerard, 416-973-4518 or sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com
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