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For Immediate Release
Monday, Nov. 9, 2009

Harbourfront Centre to unveil eight new visual arts installations for winter exhibition,
Nov. 14, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010
Opening reception Friday, Nov. 13 from 6-10 p.m.

TORONTO, ONMonday, Nov. 9, 2009 Harbourfront Centre will present eight extraordinary visual arts and architecture exhibitions for winter, running Nov. 14, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010 at York Quay Centre. Works being showcased include paintings and drawings, glasswork, photography, video, performance and mixed media installations, and unique skateboard decks. Ideas being explored by these new exhibitions include working from the periphery and the concept of distance. The current architecture exhibit, A Question of Place, will continue until Jan. 3, 2010.

Join us for the public opening reception on Friday, Nov. 13 from 6-10 p.m. (opening remarks at 7 p.m.) at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Admission to the reception and exhibitions is free.

On Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m., as part of Harbourfront Centre’s ongoing Innovators & Ideas lecture series, featured artist Jesse Watson (Homegrown Skateboards) will speak about the artistry surrounding skateboard culture and the reasons he felt it necessary to open up a studio. Bucking the urban skateboarding clichés and stereotypes of bigger, higher, louder, badder, Watson's values and ideas are strongly aligned with craft. Entitled “Roots Manufacturing in Times of Mass Production”, this lecture series is (as always) free. Visit Harbourfront Centre’s Innovators & Ideas page for more information.

Main Gallery Exhibition Hours: Tuesday, Thursday through Sunday, 12-6 p.m.; Wednesday 12-8 p.m., closed Mondays except holidays, 12-6 p.m.

Craft Studio Regular Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

BOUNTY Contemporary Craft Design Shop Hours: Monday to Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday & Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

For more information, please call 416-973-4000 or visit

Winter 2009: Visual Arts at York Quay Centre

Hinterlands: Featuring works by Fastwürms (Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse), Sky Glabush, Diana Thorneycroft and Colette Urban, this exhibition explores the mysteries and myths surrounding the unfamiliar geographic spaces set at a distance from the centres on which urban society tends to focus. Curated by Patrick Mahon.
Apian Screen:Penelope Stewart’s exploration of beeswax as architectural material and of the beehive as a model for both city society and urban architecture will engage visitors through sight, smell and touch.
Homegrown Skateboards: Artist, craftsperson and entrepreneur Jesse Watson presents a selection of distinctly custom-made decks from his LaHave, Nova Scotia skateboarding studio/shop.
National Treasure: Toronto’s Seth Scriver presents a truly monumental drawing.
Landscapes and Contemplations: This series of photographic work by Finnish artist Kalle Kataila touches on our human vulnerability in nature.
Winter’s Edge: A new series of winter-inspired glasswork by current Harbourfront Centre artist-in-residence Benjamin Kikkert.
Directed North:Garett Walker & Eamon Mac Mahon present two unique, photo-based series of works that seek out communities in the northern wilderness.
• Also featured will be paintings by Scott Griffin on found materials from Toronto’s streets and back alleyways.

Continuing: Architecture at York Quay Centre

A Question of Place
Sept. 26, 2009-Jan. 3, 2010

For A Question of Place, Canada’s Atelier Big City (Montreal), Richard Kroeker Design Incorporated (Halifax), and Urban Arts Architecture (Vancouver) were invited to create installations depicting or defining the unique architectural typology of their city. The exhibition also features an installation of photo-realistic paintings by artist Mike Bayne.



Fastwürms, Sky Glabush, Diana Thorneycroft and Colette Urban
Curated by Patrick Mahon

Hinterland n. 1 a remote or fringe area; backcountry. 2 the often deserted or uncharted areas beyond a coastal district or a river’s banks. 3 an area served by a port or other centre.

Hinterlands focuses on the works of contemporary Canadian artists; each of the four projects in the exhibit is predicated on the idea of a place “out there”, beyond the reach of everyday experience. Through painting (Glabush), photography (Fastwürms, Thorneycroft) as well as video and performance-installation (Urban), the artists of Hinterlands bring the areas in periphery to the centre, maintaining a fascination for the particular and the psychologically charged qualities of the unknown places between here and there. Taking on the ideas of wilderness and our curiousity with geography’s unseen places, Hinterlands calls into question centrist notions of space and society. The exhibition proposes reconsideration of the potential of “lost” zones to be engaged for the purposes of play, psychological speculation and cultural and environmental criticism.

Formed in 1979 by Toronto/Creemore-based artists Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse, Fastwürms mixes media, disciplines and art forms to explore nature and the environment, high and popular cultures, bent identity politics and power issues, social exchange and a Witch-positive DIY cinematic sensibility. Fastwürms has exhibited and created public commissions and installations, performance, video and film projects across Canada and the U.S., Europe, Korea and Japan. At October 2009’s Nuit Blanche in Toronto, they performed “Skry-Pod”. Their cultural politics are complex and strategically subversive, their critical aesthetics relational and inclusive with a bent towards the working class, craft collaborations and queer alliance.

Sky Glabush was born in British Columbia and raised alternately between the West Coast and the prairies. He has exhibited across Canada, in the U.S., Europe and Australia, has had solo shows at the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery and Arch 2 Gallery (University of Manitoba) and his work is in many public collections. Glabush is also an essayist and critic who regularly contributes to publications such as Border Crossings and Canadian Art, and has published a number of monographs on contemporary Canadian artists. He recently took a faculty position at the University of Western Ontario.

Winnipeg’s Diana Thorneycroft has exhibited various bodies of work across Canada, the U.S. and Europe, as well as in Moscow, Tokyo and Sydney. A multiple award-winning artist, Thorneycroft’s latest series of photographic work, Group of Seven Awkward Moments, was selected by Canadian Art Magazine as one of “The Top 10 Exhibitions of 2008”. The entire series is currently being shown at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (until Nov. 29, 2009), and will be exhibited at Carleton University in the summer of 2010. Thorneycroft has taught for 25 years at the University of Manitoba.

Colette Urban’s video and performance installations have been shown at many venues across Canada and Europe. In 2006, Urban established Full Tilt Creative Centre in McIvers, Newfoundland as an art residency facility to attract contemporary art makers to the west coast of the province.

Patrick Mahon’s work as a writer and curator focuses on issues related to post-colonialism in Canada, print culture and esthetics. He is currently a professor Chair of Visual Arts at the University of Western Ontario.

Apian Screen
Penelope Stewart

Penelope Stewart has created a beeswax room, tiled floor to ceiling (about 5,000 tiles), which invokes the beehive metaphor found in the utopian architecture and ideas of Gaudi, Bruno Taut, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and others. Individually, each tile is a tiny scale model of an aerial-view scene; collectively they transform the walls into imaginary landscapes and cities.

Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts this year, Stewart will be in residence at The Tree Museum (Gravenhurst) for Summer 2010, followed by a solo touring show of her works beginning at Musée d’Art de Joliette and Tom Thompson Gallery (Owen Sound) in 2011.

Homegrown Skateboards
Jesse Watson

Artist, craftsperson and entrepreneur Jesse Watson says of his exhibit, “For me Homegrown is about skateboarding, building a quality product, and promoting the honest and genuine parts of skateboard culture.” Watson is the founder of LaHave, Nova Scotia’s Homegrown Skateboards studio and shop where they pride themselves on the maxim, “it’s all in the details” – materials, design, quality and community are paramount to his practice.

Watson will also speak on “Roots Manufacturing in Times of Mass Production” on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 at 7 p.m. as part of Harbourfront Centre’s Innovators & Ideas lecture series. Admission is free.

National Treasure
Seth Scriver

Toronto-born and raised Seth Scriver presents a monumental drawing with the following message:

“Some may think they have bigger and better treasures, some may inaccurately claim that their treasures are superior, but let it be assured to you: this is the biggest unsurpassed treasure our nation has to offer and any other thoughts are false. Not only would you line up to view this, you would pay top dollar if you had too. From Hoseheads to the Head of State, all will want to examine this wonder…”

Scriver’s stream-of-consciousness drawing style pushes his visual aesthetics toward the fantastical, but somehow he presents a totally believable world (albeit chaotic) where unknown entities play out small dramas.

Landscapes and Contemplations
Kalle Katalia

This photographic series from Finland’s Kalle Katalia captures the experience of being present in a moment and observing the landscape in stillness. Connecting to and being part of the landscape can lead us to explore our understanding of the environment around us. This helps us to reflect on our role as humans in the planet’s ever-changing natural diversity. Landscapes show nature in all its beauty, but they also reveal the negative impact of our actions. The relationship between society and the environment is constantly redefining itself as we continue to build and change our climate and surroundings. The challenge is to preserve the beauty of the natural world, and to alter it wisely.

Katalia’s work is based around concepts of landscape, awareness and personal stories. In this installation he hopes to give us the opportunity to pause, carefully observe and consider what we want to see on the horizon.

Winter’s Edge
Benjamin Kikkert

A new series of work in glass by one of Harbourfront Centre’s current artists-in-residence. With the diverse beauty of Canadian winter in mind, Kikkert has created a series of sculptural and functional objects inspired by winter’s starkly simplified landscape of smooth and jagged textures.

Directed North
Garett Walker & Eamon Mac Mahon

Two artists present two unique photo-based series of works that seek out communities in the northern wilderness.

Walker’s work involves documenting regional and lesser-known cultural festivals, celebrations, events and rituals seldom seen outside their locales. In hopes of including these hidden treasures in the larger picture of how we as Canadians view our country, he uses these photographic explorations to begin to understand his own relationship to the multifarious notion of Canadian identity.

Since 2004, Mac Mahon has spent up to three months of each year working in the wilderness of northwestern Canada and Alaska. These slow journeys via bush plane have allowed him to capture remote, landlocked communities and the vast areas of uninhabited land surrounding them.

Scott Griffin

Oshawa-born Scott Griffin presents drawings and paintings on found materials from Toronto’s streets and back alleyways. His work is connected with folk and outsider art and he is inspired by his own life experiences as well as the “treasures” he salvages. Griffin’s work can be found in many U.S. and Canadian collections and museums.

Continuing: Fall 2009 Architecture at Harbourfront Centre

September 26, 2009 – January 3, 2010

Atelier Big City (Montreal)
Richard Kroeker Design Incorporated (Halifax)
Urban Arts Architecture (Vancouver)
Mike Bayne (Kingston)

Harbourfront Centre’s architecture gallery presents exhibitions which educate, challenge and question the thoughts and ideas which inform contemporary architecture. It is a multi-functional space which is able to present exhibitions, be a classroom and meeting space for the discussion of issues relating to architecture.

For A QUESTION OF PLACE, Canada’s Atelier Big City (Montreal), Richard Kroeker Design Incorporated (Halifax), and Urban Arts Architecture (Vancouver) were invited to create installations depicting or defining the unique architectural typology of their city. The exhibition also features an installation of photo-like paintings by artist Mike Bayne.

Harbourfront Centre thanks the architecture advisory committee for their assistance: Valerie Gow, Margaret Graham, John Ota, Marco Polo, Lisa Rapoport, Scott Sorli and Tim Scott.

This exhibition space devoted to architecture is brought to you in part by the generous support of our corporate donors.

Atelier Big City – FAZADISM
By North American standards, Montreal is an old city. Topographically, it is a city of extremes, featuring both sprawling plateaus and huge hills with the Central area between the island’s shoreline and Mont-Royal. There is also an underground counterpart to the city, with as many subterranean tunnels as there are hills above ground. Both the age of the city and the terrain it is situated on have influenced its distinctive architecture.

Atelier Big City is known for its innovative and unrestrained approach to architectural design. They constantly push forward towards the impossible, seeing how far they can get in transforming restrictions, rules and limitations into work that celebrates the incredible potential and optimism of life.

Richard Kroeker Design Incorporated – CHEBUCTO
In Chebucto, architecture is represented as an aspect of the natural world, intensely conditioned by human presence. The impact and weathering from the proximity of the ocean and the strength of the four distinct Maritime seasons are the biggest informers and connectors of the city’s life, culture, architecture and history.

The installation explores formal responses to natural flows and the shaping capacity of the environment. Architecture is seen as an active force in creating cultural and natural continuity.

Urban Arts Architecture – CITY LIMITS
Urban Arts Architecture is inspired by the natural environment, resources and people of the diverse regions of British Columbia. Specializing in community and cultural projects, their work explores innovative and sustainable uses of wood – the major building material of the region.

The City Limits exhibit concept uses wood as a significant building material in the development of the city. It reveals Vancouver to us from a very specific position – sitting on a log at one of the myriad beaches in the area. The singular beach experience becomes a communal event; the linear beach logs are rearranged to create a threshold and form an enclosed gathering area – a vibrant space of interaction.

This selection of paintings focuses on the architecture of suburbs. Working from photographs, Bayne uses a grid mapping system to create small, intensely realistic pieces depicting unremarkable but incredibly familiar places. The artistry and exacting detail of his work elevates the deliberately banal subject matter.


York Quay Visual Arts is made up of 10 exhibition spaces which are both traditional and unique. These venues are located within and outside York Quay Centre and range in size from a 1,400 feet square exhibition gallery to individual vitrines which are nine feet square. York Quay Centre exhibits the works of contemporary artists creating new works in fine art, craft, new media, design, architecture and photography. The exhibition schedule changes six times a year in all of the venues except the site-specific spaces. For more information, please contact 416-973-5379.

*MEDIA NOTE* High-resolution images available at:


Media Contact:
Rosie Shaw
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