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Visual Arts at York Quay Centre opens new spring exhibitions
Friday, April 15, 2011

TORONTO, ON (Tuesday, April 12, 2011)Harbourfront Centre presents a variety of new visual arts projects at York Quay Centre this spring that focus on the idea of witness. Exhibits run from Saturday, April 16 through Sunday, June 12, 2011.

The featured artists in spring visual arts at York Quay Centre include Lois Andison, Peter Flemming, Marla Hlady, Max Streicher, Joanne Tod, Johan Hallberg-Campbell, Surendra Lawoti, Jesse Louttit, Mike Andrew McLean, Meghan Rennie, Erin Riley, Kate Subak, Sami Siva, Robert Hengeveld, Alex McLeod, Rachel Robichaud, Catherine Allen, Colleen Baran, Anneke van Bommel, Sylvie Altschuler, Bridget Catchpole, Emily Gill, Shannon Kennedy and Paul McClure. The spring exhibit also includes a photo display on rodeo culture by Peter Sibbald which will continue in the Fleck Dance Theatre lobbies.

Neighbourhood Maverick, continuing in the architecture gallery, features design firms Reigo & Bauer, Drew Mandel Architects, studio junction inc., and Luke Painter.

Life is more than a spectator sport. It’s a tango, a boxing match, a camera lens, an invitation to cross the thresholds. Being a witness to your world is not about observing; it’s about vision. This season, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: Do you look or do you see?

On any given day, there are dozens of ideas to explore at Harbourfront Centre, across a broad range of artistic disciplines and cultural programmes. Our curators have an eye for original trends and connections in contemporary culture – and they want you to see what they see – through the lens of “witness”. Often, we observe a recurring idea emerging across various disciplines and events. We call this “The Big IDEA” and present it for you to consider as part of your Harbourfront Centre experience. It's our way of highlighting just one of the many ideas you’ll find here year-round.

Join us for the public opening reception on Friday, April 15 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.

Spring 2011: Visual Arts

STOP.LOOK.LISTEN: Four artists present works which ask the viewer to actively witness the exhibition by intently stopping, watching and listening.
OH, CANADA – A LAMENT: Portraits of the Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan are interspersed with fragments resembling the Canadian flag.
I WITNESS is an exhibition of eight photographers exploring the idea of the photographer as witness to an event.
PICKLED TENSE participates in witnessing a moment, a brief period that rests upon the accumulated actions that have come before, a point in time that will itself recede beneath the perpetual descent from above.
HIDDEN MYSTERY is a photographic series based on incredible hyperrealistic constructed environments.
NATURIUMS is a work that represents the notions of both nature and domesticity through nature and animals.
YIELD: Eight artists ask or answer the question, "Is anything going on in Canadian jewellery?”
ROUGH STOCK: A Photography Exhibition About Rodeo Culture: Peter Sibbald explores the contemporary North American small-town rodeo subculture. Part of Visual Arts at the Fleck Dance Theatre – access to exhibition by ticket holders only.
Spring 2011: Architecture

NEIGHBOURHOOD MAVERICK: Architecture firms Drew Mandel Architects, Reigo & Bauer and studio junction inc. explore the insertion within the Toronto streetscape of those houses which are designed of our times in contrast to the existing neighbourhood aesthetic. Toronto visual artist Luke Painter further comments on the subject by providing some fantastical imagery to the exhibition.

More about Spring 2011 Visual Arts at York Quay Centre:

Lois Andison, Peter Flemming, Marla Hlady and Max Streicher
Curated by Patrick Macaulay
STOP.LOOK.LISTEN, curated by Patrick Macaulay, includes Time and Again by Lois Andison, an innovative exhibit using a time lapse video composed of still images shot from a fixed vantage point; Leak to Lower Lazy Levitating Load by Peter Flemming, which includes a seven-foot tall tower and a hanging barrel that is gradually levitated as a small pump sips away at water, moving it up to the tower; Marla Hlady’s Paper Bag Machine, a video exhibit focusing on the sounds and movements of two performers slowly unfurling a suspended paper bag; and Max Streicher, who uses inflatables as part of his sculptures and installations.

Joanne Tod
Since 2007, Joanne Tod has been painting portraits of the Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Her interest was sparked while learning of a family member’s death in the Second World War. Tod’s portraits are interspersed with other panels painted to resemble a fragmented Canadian flag. The modular nature of the artwork allows it to be installed in different configurations, making it adaptable to almost any space.

Johan Hallberg-Campbell, Surendra Lawoti, Jesse Louttit, Mike Andrew McLean, Meghan Rennie, Kate Subak, Erin Riley and Sami Siva
I Witness explores the idea of the photographer as witness to an event. This exhibit includes photographs by Johan Hallberg-Campbell, who focuses on the resettlement of residents in the coastal town of Grand Bruit, Newfoundland; Surendra Lawoti, whose work brings together a variety of photographs taken in and around Boston, including constructed imagery, landscapes, portraits and self-portraits; Jesse Louttit, who explores people in the workplace and how professions shape character; Mike Andrew McLean, whose two-part series includes interpretive photographs of people and places from his travels; Meghan Rennie, who tells a story of the urbanization of cities on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea; Erin Riley, who focuses on how conceptual strategies borrowed from the world of fine art can function as tools in contemporary documentary practice; Kate Subak, who documents the process of losing a loved one and the accompanying emotional landscape; and Sami Siva, who records a series of road trips through Eastern Europe and India.

Robert Hengeveld
Robert Hengeveld’s work follows a slow progression of time. We observe a faint, but perceivable, trickle of salt falling from a small hole in the ceiling. The change evolves at a similar tempo to the empty pit, which in time develops into a 30-storey tower. It explores a rhythm that is present all around us, but often situated in the back of mind in the instantaneous nature of our contemporary culture.

Alex McLeod
Toronto-based artist Alex McLeod presents a photographic series based on his incredible, hyperrealistic 3D environments filled with crystalline mountains, fiery lakes and rotund clouds, all rendered in a sickly sweet and gooey candy-colored palette.

Rachel Robichaud
Rachel Robichaud hopes to tap into the assumptions and preconceptions of day-to-day life by using the idea of animals straddling the urban and wild divide that have become the central motif in her everyday work. This exhibit includes the interpretation of nature, including the way we classify its space, and its construct of underlying values that attempt to draw nature into a familiar and understandable sphere.

Catherine Allen, Sylvie Altschuler, Colleen Baran, Bridget Catchpole, Emily Gill,
Shannon Kennedy, Paul McClure and Anneke van Bommel
Curated by Melanie Egan
"Is anything going on in Canadian jewelry?” Yield is an exhibit that showcases eight talented Canadian jewellers and provides insight to the “goings-on” in Canada. Yield includes: Catherine Allen, a jeweller from Nova Scotia who focuses her creation of jewelry on its proximity to the body and relationship to the surface of the skin; Colleen Baran, whose work is inspired by the exploration of ideas of preciousness, writing and hidden messages; Anneke van Bommel, who explores the icons, symbols and clichés of Canada and exploits them through the anonymous souvenir pendants you find in any souvenir shop; Vancouver artist Bridget Catchpole, who incorporates catchpole into her work (includes plastic from empty beauty product packaging as a raw material); Emily Gill, whose work is inspired by a longtime curiosity about biology, botany, science fiction and the microscopic world; contemporary artist Sylvie Altschuler from Quebec; Paul McClure; and Shannon Kennedy, who focused on surrendering to her inner child and creating a fantasy world for this series.

Rough Stock: A Photography Exhibition About Rodeo Culture
Peter Sibbald
(Fleck Dance Theatre –access to exhibition during performances by ticket holders only)
This series explores the contemporary North American small-town rodeo culture through portraits of the lives of people who participate in this tribal sub-culture. Rodeo culture now thrives in the countryside surrounding Toronto, helping sustain a rural way of life for many who produce our local food.

More about Spring 2011 Architecture at York Quay Centre:

Neighbourhood Maverick
Drew Mandel Architects
Reigo & Bauer
studio junction inc.
Luke Painter
Neighbourhoods are largely defined by the houses that are situated within their boundaries. In Toronto, Corktown is known for its turn-of-the-century workers’ townhouses and Leaside for its post-war bungalows. As the city transforms, these neighbourhoods evolve with both old and new residences, and existing buildings with bolder architectural pursuits. Why should the existing streetscapes be maintained? What considerations do architects take into account when designing for an existing streetscape? What effect does the intervention of maverick architecture have on the design character of a neighbourhood?
Participating firms explore the insertion within the Toronto streetscape of those houses which are designed of our times in contrast to the existing neighbourhood aesthetic. Architects were asked to explore the challenges, the benefits and negatives to neighbourhoods and the possibilities for creative expression.

Beyond Lines
Drew Mandel Architects
Beyond Lines maps a typical residential Toronto streetscape on which five Drew Mandel Architects houses have been modeled. Five string-models emphasize our interest in the three-dimensional experience of architecture rather than a focus on a two-dimensional image of a house. Like three-dimensional sketches, they express the dematerialized building. It is architecture, not about assembling cues adding up to "house" or the image of the thing only, but rather the slow, unfolding experience of a place. The string line drawings underline the interconnected spatial relationships that reach outside the boundaries of the building envelope and into the sites, the sky and to the landscapes beyond. The base of the exhibit describes the figure-ground relationship and highlights the urban design aspects of the projects. Unlike the now-common McMansion developments, these projects resist the convention to simply fill the maximum zoning envelope with an object-building largely undifferentiated from site to site.
TEAM MEMBERS: Drew Mandel, Jowenne Poon and Rachel Tameirao

Developer X
Reigo & Bauer
Developer X is an installation piece that chronicles a fictional philanthropic, vigilante development endeavor that anonymously drops prefabricated modern houses on empty lots throughout the city overnight. Troubled by the disconnect between our present day lifestyles and new housing that emulates the past, Developer X believes that, given the chance, Torontonians will embrace houses of today – houses that adopt new and innovative technologies in construction and design and express our new ways of living. Residential architecture that looks forward, not backwards, is a plausible alternative.
TEAM MEMBERS: Merike Bauer, Stephen Bauer and Ryan Trinidade
COLLABORATORS: Group Two Design Inc. and Studio 8 Graphics

studio junction inc.
Mid-block properties are properties located in the middle of the urban fabric or city block. These properties are without a traditional street frontage or a backyard, and thereby without a traditional face to the city. These under-utilized, residual lots are surrounded on all sides and are accessed by a public or private laneway, or a right-of-way across a neighbour’s property.
Spaces for living can come from various environments, and increasingly the desire to live downtown is often reconciled with a less-than-ideal lot. mid-block discusses the idea of infill housing as small insertions into a dense urban fabric. The unique site conditions of these properties are associated with difficult issues such as reduced size, view, privacy from your neighbour, access and legal challenges. Without a traditional streetscape, exterior facades become less important. mid-block explores creative ways to introduce light into an enclosed space and thereby form new connections to the outdoors. In addressing small space living, mid-block housing presents viable alternatives for contemporary urban dwelling while developing new, rich layers and relationships with the existing streets, neighbourhoods and city.
TEAM MEMBERS: Peter Tan, Christine Ho Ping Kong, Joe (Che Yu) Lin, Thomas Barker, Mazier Shafiee and Andrew Waller

Fiction and Intervention: Utopic Visions for the 21st Century
Luke Painter
Luke Painter contributes to Neighbourhood Maverick with a series based on the intensive fictional architectural scene-making he has been creating in a variety of media. His animations depict sites in both Toronto and Montreal that have experienced heavy condo development and gentrification over the last
This component of the exhibition is presented by Visual Arts at Harbourfront Centre as part of an ongoing interdisciplinary focus.

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West, at the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

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 four 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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