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Visual Arts at Harbourfront Centre kicks off the 2010 season with
It’s a Big Deal exhibits, running Jan. 22 to April 4
HATCH: emerging performance projects launches in tandem
with live mini-performances & installations

TORONTO, ON (Jan. 22, 2010) Harbourfront Centre prepares to open eight extraordinary visual arts and architecture exhibitions under the title It’s a Big Deal for winter 2010, running Jan. 22 to April 4, 2010 at York Quay Centre. Also opening Jan. 22 is the new architecture show, COMMUNITY CENTRED. In tandem with the opening night of these exhibits, artists of Harbourfront Centre’s HATCH: emerging performance projects residency programme will present live mini-performances and installations in celebration of the HATCH 2010 season launch.

Join us for the public opening reception on Friday, Jan. 22 from 6-10 p.m. at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Admission to the reception and exhibitions is free. For more information, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

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.
Winter 2010: Visual Arts

It’s A Big Deal!: Featuring new work by Harbourfront Centre’s current artists-in-residence, this exhibit strives to communicate new ideas and shape perceptions about contemporary craft. Micah Adams, Alisha Marie Boyd, Norah Deacon, Niko Dimitrijevic, Margaret Lim, Shuyu Lu, Amanda McCavour, Adriana McNeely, Rose-Angeli Ringor, Johanna Schmidt and Patrycja Zwierzynska. Curated by Melanie Egan and Patrick Macaulay.
Labourious: Eight Canadian artists use techniques like weaving, papermaking and embroidery to create fibre art that carries on the labour-intensive traditions from central Canada to the eastern provinces. Hélène Brousseau, J. Penney Burton, Joanna Close, Margaret Forsey, Misha Gingerich, Rilla Marshall, Dorie Millerson and Natasha St. Michael. Curated by J. Penney Burton.
Hegel’s Department Store: Kate Wilson presents a new large-scale wall drawing installation that calls attention to often overlooked parts of our environment while subtly altering the viewer’s experience of space.
Grand Gestures: Jen Hutton uses thousands of thumbtacks to make a graceful statement in this text-based wall installation.
Big/Small: This exhibition brings together eight Ontario-based painters to reveal each participant’s unique approach to realizing a landscape. Melissa Doherty, Martha Eleen, Matthew Schofield, David Holt, Christopher Martin, Monica Tap, Suzanne Nacha and Clint Griffin. Curated by Patrick Macaulay.
Still Life: Carmen Cheung isolates and examines the rituals of life in this photographic series installed both inside and outside York Quay Centre.
Site Construction: Gareth Lichty rigorously manipulates construction site materials to create a sculptural installation.

Winter 2010: Architecture

Jan. 23 - June 13, 2010
For the upcoming COMMUNITY CENTRED, Canada's ERA Architects Inc, Public Workshop and du Toit Architects Limited create installations that explore current practices in shaping our communities through architecture. The exhibition begs three questions. How do architects define communities? How do architects collaborate with communities to share goals and achievements? How do architects revive neglected spaces in cities to serve communities? The exhibition also features an installation of paintings by artist Martha Eleen entitled Necessities of Life.

HATCH 2010

Artists of Harbourfront Centre's HATCH: emerging performance projects residency programme, in celebration of the HATCH 2010 season launch, present live mini-performances and installations inspired by their five upcoming works running January through April 2010. These are exciting, cross-disciplinary pieces that push boundaries and challenge notions.

Jess Dobkin engages with the audience through an autobiographical piece. She gives out buttons in costume and inserts herself into conversations, connecting listeners through her urgency, vulnerability and humour.
Alicia Grant and Cara Spooner merge ideas of architecture, the city and space through the use of their own bodies. Their micro-performances involve molding themselves onto the existing architecture of York Quay Centre.
Praxis Theatre explores Canadian civil rights through open source technology and interactivity. The audience can also preview the larger show and developmental process through a monitor outside the Studio Theatre.
Birdtown and Swanville employ a ‘tongue in cheek’ method to investigate the relationship between the thirst for power and physical manifestations. Balloon swords are handed out to spectators.
The Room focuses on the link between sound and perception. This installation plays with the transmission of sound in space and how the brain receives those signals.

Micah Adams, Alisha Marie Boyd, Norah Deacon, Niko Dimitrijevic, Margaret Lim, Shuyu Lu, Amanda McCavour, Adriana McNeely, Rose Angeli Ringor,
Johanna Schmidt, Patrycja Zwierzynska
Curated by Melanie Egan and Patrick Macaulay

This exhibition is about the opportunity to take risks, experiment; and investigate the potential of pushing an art practice to see it in a fresh context. To venture and to gain!

Micah Adams presents a continuation of his monument project in miniature diorama form which playfully discusses the role of monuments in contemporary society. Extraordinary historical events or figures are immortalized to inspire the everyday public. In a universe where Plain Jane monuments exist, being mediocre is pretty good.

Alisha Marie Boyd considers the limitations of a jewellery studio to produce hollowware and pushes her work in other directions by rethinking small-scale metal-making processes. A series of new enameled vessels will be presented, each utilizing different unusual approaches to create volume.

Norah Deacon combines Luneville embroidery with her present fibre art practice to create a series of headpieces exploring the practice of head covering and adornment as well as referencing theatrical costume through history. The works will represent a mélange of traditional practice and its contemporary applications in sculpture, wearable art, and haute couture forms.

Niko Dimitrijevic relies on multiples as the central component and creates an installation of blown glass insect parts.

Margaret Lim investigates the attributes of the gemstone in its enhanced form, but the most important considerations for this body of work are the facets, lines and proportions associated with cutting the stone. A series of metal pierced forms, “facets”, are the main design element to effectively reveal a stone’s beauty and gives tribute to those individuals who designed the cuts, and whose hard work and ingenuity we may take for granted.

Shuyu Lu presents a study of city views based on photographs through the use of embroidery as her drawing tool and fibre-based material as a construct for layered perspectives.

Amanda McCavour creates a multi-layered installation that imagines the artist’s home using thread. The threads both construct the imagery and in their unraveled state, refer to the temporal aspects of the idea of home.

Adriana McNeely presents a series of crowns that celebrate and recognize the importance of everyday activities and events. Modeled after the style of pageant or competition crowns, but inspired by the images associated with everyday achievements, these crowns present the idea that sometimes one should be awarded and appreciated for the expected and ordinary.

Rose-Angeli Ringor combines nonsensical, brightly coloured ceramic-based forms with non-traditional surface treatments in this installation that intends to emphasize the idea of altering and transforming.

Johanna Schmidt produces a series of ceramic work that plays with the idea of improbability, and the un-likeliness of how such forms could coexist together while simultaneously maintaining significance as individual pieces.

Patrycja Zwierzynska uses her current body of jewellery created with Mylar™ and acetate as a point of departure for a larger scale installation that amplifies the ephemeral qualities of her smaller scale work.

Hélène Brousseau, J. Penney Burton, Joanna Close, Margaret Forsey, Misha Gingerich, Rilla Marshall, Dorie Millerson, Natasha St. Michael
Curated by J. Penney Burton

This exhibition will showcase fibre art created by eight artists from central and eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) who work with time consuming and highly involved textile techniques and processes.

Hélène Brousseau explores the division between the person we present to society and our true identity. A padded cell hides the abnormal and insane inside; a flock of migrating geese incarnate the desire to live and escape our custom cages.

J. Penney Burton honours everyday pepper seeds by giving each its own delicate vessel in which to transition from one state to another. The hours of labour involved in the creation of this installation, from making the paper, to dyeing and forming it into its current state, allowed time to reflect and celebrate the everyday and mundane that we are often too busy to acknowledge.

Joanna Close prints a collection of her grandmother’s recipes on flour/feed sack fabric in order to show appreciation for farmer’s wives and the lives they nourished.

Margaret Forsey creates an altar to Mary Magdalene based on the idea of the humble, “sinful” woman who loved and understood Jesus best. She uses rug hooking, pottery, and offerings of candles, incense, herbs and poems, in order to honour the Magdalene.

Misha Gingerich finishes a work started by her grandmother, Kate. She fills the blanks left behind with blue sky and white clouds, in homage to a book she was read regularly as a child. She adapted patterns she saw while traveling through Rwanda and India to create an embroidered piece about distances.

Rilla Marshall investigates the way we experience the world around us through technology. Through the use of the perceived "low tech" hand loom, she translates statistics about Atlantic Canada’s environment and culture into woven graph-landscapes.

Dorie Millerson uses a lace technique to construct a miniature world of twists, loops and nets. Inspired by the ability of thread to connect one thing to another and by her attachments to people, places and things, this micro-threadscape creates the illusion of materials and forms through colour blending and stitch variations.

Natasha St. Michael explores the inter-connection of life bead-by-bead through creating intricate hand woven bead structures. Through the simultaneous effect of crystallized glass beads and the deliberate appearance of its supporting woven threads, each piece in and of itself captures the omnipresence of complexity and continuum.

Kate Wilson
Kate Wilson’s wall drawings can be defined as small-contained architectures. She works toward a new kind of notional intimacy that incorporates degraded visual conventions while inscribing an array of catastrophic imagery.
Jen Hutton
Thousands of silver thumbtacks make a graceful statement in this site-specific wall installation. This self-reflexive announcement, styled like a pixelated marquee, refers to the spectacular and even the historical “grand manner”, one of the highest genres of academic painting endorsed during the late 18th century. The work generates a monumental presence through an accrual of thousands of tiny, anonymous gestures fashioned into a ubiquitous typeface.

Melissa Doherty, Martha Eleen, Matthew Schofield, David Holt, Christopher Martin, Monica Tap, Suzanne Nacha, Clint Griffin
Curated by Patrick Macaulay
This exhibition brings together eight Ontario-based painters to reveal each participant’s unique approach to realizing a landscape.

Melissa Doherty is interested in the concept of how we perceive landscape, and the history of the landscape tradition, with its assertions and sentiments of identity, power and sexuality. The grand tradition of landscape painting looks outward at frontier space. By contrast, an “engagement” with the aerial view offers a re-presentation of landscape. As we look downward to a place of uncompromised introspection, conventional views of the world are revisited.

Martha Eleen’s painting of the arctic sky is the first in a series of paintings of an Arctic village entitled Distant Early Warning. The title is borrowed from the iconic local DEW line, a radar system set up to protect Canadian sovereignty against invasion during the Cold War. Now the threat to the Arctic has changed and it has become a sort of environmental ‘canary in the tunnel’, as the melting ice reveals a wealth of new resources to exploit, and the resulting pollution threatens this delicate eco-system

Clint Griffin builds images, draws and edits using collected material.

David Holt depicts subjects from natural history, architectural history, antiquities collections, and botanical gardens. Although he makes many small drawings of the subjects, the paintings themselves are derived purely from imagination and memory. He tries to evoke the motifs playfully with abbreviated forms and an economy of means.

Christopher Martin compositions are built on intuition, based on nature or borrowed from some synthetic pattern. When he pays attention to the process of perceiving the work, he is reminded that there is no representational material to create metaphors from, which the brain wants to do, because that is what it is used to doing for survival. He ponders the complex leap the mind makes in order to perceive reality. Then, he remembers that it is just artwork and maybe he should take another look at all the details, and focus in on the pleasure of doing so.

Suzanne Nacha focuses on imagery from underground mine shafts, cave systems and tunnels. Her current body of work entitled Origin seeks to present landscape as an internal, intimate location. In many of these paintings a struggle exists between the structure of the space, the shape of the canvas and the simple marks that define it.
Matthew Schofield’s painting is from a series of work called Making the most of Snap Decisions which began when the artist received his first point-and-shoot film camera at age 11. The resulting painting is a captured moment – a small painted image on a 4 x 6 inch wooden block – installed as a single event, or as an example of a person’s existence at a specific stage of their life.

Monica Tap paintings are landscapes drawn from tiny 30-second movies taken with a digital camera. She extracts video stills from any given video clip of landscapes in motion. Through the light of a data projector, she paints these extracted video stills onto canvas; sometimes a single frame, sometimes multiple frames overlaid.

Carmen Cheung
Cheung focuses on demystifying the attribution of inherent value given to modern rites of passage through this photographic series. Each image contains mannequin-like figures making mechanical gestures against a neutral background, giving the impression of an odd stasis in the midst of a ritual of transition. The purpose of Still Life is to question the possibility of authenticity in such rituals when we treat them as the purveyors of value in our lives rather than as signifiers of actually achieved value. The absence of personality of the figures mirrors the artificiality of these landmark moments, questioning the merits of each rite.

Gareth Lichty
Construction site materials are rigorously manipulated to create a sculptural installation.


Saturday, Jan. 23 – Sunday, June 13, 2010

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

For the upcoming COMMUNITY CENTRED, Canada's ERA Architects Inc, Public Workshop and du Toit Architects Limited create installations that explore current practices in shaping our communities through architecture. The exhibition begs three questions: How do architects define communities? How do architects collaborate with communities to share goals and achievements? How do architects revive neglected spaces in cities to serve communities? The exhibition also features a selection of paintings by artist Martha Eleen entitled Necessities of Life documenting a cultural phenomenon that influences how communities develop.

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:

Core Architects
Kohn Shnier Architects

Diamond and Schmitt Architects

We also acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

ERA Architects Inc.
Density is one of the key tools currently used for planning cities. Architects, planners and policy makers all use it as a calibration of the city. As our cities change, we need to understand density in order to make our cities better, more vital, more full of possibility. For this exhibit, ERA Architects surveyed different locations in our city and asked “How did density affect built form?” and “How did density affect the quality of the environment?” Thus, they are now able to consider how Toronto’s neighbourhoods compare.

ERA Architects is not your typical architectural firm. Its work in architecture, planning, heritage and cultural conservation, publications and exhibitions is indicative of a broadened approach to city building that engages and influences each of its projects. ERA regularly advocates for Toronto and critically engages city issues through various mediums. This is ERA's second installation at Harbourfront Centre and follows last year's Found Toronto project for the Building on History exhibition. For more information visit

TEAM: Kirsty Bruce, Philip Evans, Virginia Fernandez, Judy Gervais, Joey Giaimo, Jessie Grebenc, Jeff Hayes, Ben Huntley, Sara Jazaeri, Jan Kubanek, Chris Lawless, Will MacIvor, George Martin, Michael McClelland, Andrew Pruss, Alec Ring, Edwin Rowse, Matthew Somerville, Brendan Stewart, Graeme Stewart, Sonya Tytor, Scott Weir & Alana Young.

Special thanks to: Adrian Blackwell, Astley Gilbert, Paul Hess, Carolyn Humphreys (City Planning, City of Toronto) & Lindsay Reid.
Public Workshop
Under the Gardiner presents a call to action for the wider ‘Gardiner Community’ to discover the spaces under the expressway before they are lost. The Gardiner Expressway’s form was questioned even before it was completed but, for better or worse, the Gardiner has played a significant role in shaping the city and people’s perception of it. Architects and planners can offer ideas and shape construction – but, in the end, it is people’s use of spaces that make them work, or not. Many people have an interest in what happens to the Gardiner – those who drive, cycle and walk its course; those who live, work or play alongside it; and those who own property and businesses nearby – but is there a community for the public space under this piece of infrastructure?

Public Workshop is a practice based in Toronto that engages people with the design of architecture and public space through installations, events and education programs. It seeks to involve the people who will be most affected by physical changes to an area. Public Workshop’s projects are often temporary and only sometimes physical, but they often catalyze permanent improvements to buildings or public spaces. For more information visit

TEAM: Helena Grdadolnik & David Colussi
du Toit Architects Limited
L’Arche is an international organization of communities for people with disabilities and those living with them. The L’Arche Daybreak community, founded in 1969 on a 20-acre pastoral setting in Richmond Hill, includes a number of buildings, as well as a creek, pond and woodlot. The late 1980s wave of Toronto sprawl, in the form of low rise suburban residential development, brought many development pressures to this existing community, and threatened that peaceful setting. In this context, the L’Arche Daybreak community engaged Joe Lobko to assist them in developing a master plan for the site. In the end, L’Arche Daybreak chose to maintain the integrity of their physical place, despite numerous opposing pressures, a fundamental decision which has helped to foster the group’s sense of community and its own history. This is the story of how an existing rural-based community is confronted with, and ultimately integrates with, an encroaching suburban community. For more information visit

Du Toit Architects Limited / Du Toit Allsopp Hillier (DTAH), is a Toronto-based firm of 40 architects, landscape architects and planners dedicated to the creation of meaningful spaces, landscapes and communities. As one of Canada’s foremost interdisciplinary design practices, the firm’s work is characterized by the integration of landscape design and architecture within a solid planning framework. For more information visit

Team: Jordan Darnell, Kristen Dobbin, Erika Lobko, Joe Lobko & Megan Torza.
Collaborators: The entire L’Arche Daybreak community with special thanks to Joe Child, Debbie Dew, Alan Dobb, Carl MacMillan and Warren Pot for their assistance in making this exhibition possible.

Martha Eleen
Necessities of Life is a selection of paintings that explores the poetics of big box mall signage in the context of the cultural landscape. This is the fourth series in an ongoing investigation into suburban sprawl outside Toronto, which depicts an environment based on the unsustainable, and already collapsing, car culture. The language of the big box mall signage is a deeply significant description of our needs and desires. It is also an expression of our denial of the impending global ecological crisis. Marshall McLuhan talks about buildings as self-contained communication systems; the very architecture is a dynamic medium that conveys the message of
a high demand for social order. How does something as imposing and monolithic as a big box mall fall so beneath our notice as to become almost invisible? Institutions operate to control what we are able to see. To view a building as a medium enables us to see its social function.

Martha Eleen is an honours graduate of Emily Carr College of Art, Vancouver, Canada. Her paintings have been exhibited in public galleries in Canada, U.S.A and Mexico and will be shown in Japan in 2010. Martha Eleen is represented by Loop Gallery in Toronto. She teaches painting and drawing at Toronto School of Art. For more information visit

*MEDIA NOTE* High-resolution images available at:

Entering its seventh year, the HATCH: emerging performance projects residency and mentorship programme is a key initiative in Harbourfront Centre’s mission to develop local artists and their unique practices.

The HATCH mentorship provides resources and professional assistance to a new generation of engaging and innovative contemporary artists to reach their next career stage with a comprehensive understanding of process and challenges that artists must embrace.

The HATCH residency package includes one week rent-free in the Studio Theatre, technical and production assistance, box office backing and administrative assistance, marketing and media relations support and workshops, and professional development assistance.


Everything I've Got
Jan. 31, 4 p.m.
Jess Dobkin offers her newest performance art piece in progress - a raw and intimate examination of creativity and mortality where the artist offers up the entirety of her collection of artistic ideas.

Body Cartography
Feb. 25 & 27, 8 p.m.
Part installation, part dance and part Q-and-A session, Body Cartography emphasizes and distorts the idea of a city within a city within a city within a city.

Section 98
March 13, 8 p.m.
An original, open-sourced, interactive, work-in-progress using performance and technology to explore and debate individual and civil rights in Canada.

The Physical Ramifications of Attempted Global Domination
April 17, 8 p.m. & April 18, 2:30 p.m.
Hitler foamed at the mouth, and Napoleon suffered from extreme eczema: through debate, dance and melodrama, this Birdtown and Swanville presentation explores the mysterious and bountiful medical ailments suffered by many of history's most aggressive dictators.

Red Machine: Under the Knife
April 24, 8 p.m. & April 25, 4 p.m.
A theatrical journey into the meat of the human mind. Join us in-process as the company presents four abstractions of a single event as interpreted by four areas of the brain.

For more information please visit

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.

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront.


Rosie Shaw
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