Event Category: Exhibition

Being Scene 2020

"Workmain Arts Presents Being Scene: 19th Annual Juried Exhibition" against a detail of "aftermath" by Shannon Taylor Jones, 2019

Workman Arts presents BEING SCENE, a sweeping exhibition encompassing more than 100 artworks by 66 artists. These artists give shape to compelling ideas and narratives, covering a wide range of conceptual and material approaches from diverse experiences.

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Being Scene 2020 is free to attend, and runs March 7-26 at Toronto Media Arts Centre (TMAC). The exhibition also includes a series of events during the run that provide opportunities for discussion, reflection and exploration.

Each event will have an active listener on site. We do our best to accommodate any interpretation, transportation assistance, navigation assistance, financial assistance or any other accessibility needs by request. If you require any accessibility supports in order to attend any of these events, please get in touch with Justina Zatzman at justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com or 416-583-4339, ext 9.

Image: Shannon Taylor Jones, aftermath, 2019 (detail)

A Big Heritage with A Glorious Past

Still from Sunlight Vandalism (2019) by Marina Xenofontos with the caption "I closed all the windows and now everything is one room."

A Big Heritage with A Glorious Past
Curated by ma ma (Magdalyn Asimakis and Heather Rigg)

“A Big Heritage with A Glorious Past” presents the work of Eleana Antonaki and Marina Xenofontos in an inconclusive dialogue around the migratory experience. In their practices, both artists explore transnational feminist perspectives, honing in on the adversities of migration and strategies of settling and creating homes while in exile.

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Love My Dysfunctions

Promo image for "Love My Dysfunctions" with red lettering on a black background, and a red line drawing of a chair with clothes draped over it

LOVE MY DYSFUNCTIONS by Rebecca Sweets is an immersive installation which explores her mad, neurodivergent + disabled identity through the lens of executive dysfunction, a dominant symptom of ADHD. The exhibition is concerned with social constructs of dysfunction, within the context of “higher education” that normalizes neurotypicality by reinforcing systemic ableist, sanist, and capitalist modes of existence.

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Shannon Finnegan: Lone Proponent of Wall-to-Wall Carpet / They Forgot That We Were Seeds

Katherine Takpannie, Niriqatigiit (detail), 2019 (digital photograph) Shannon Finnegan, Do you want us here or not [Drawing 5], 2017, (digitized drawing)

Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG) will host a party to celebrate the opening of its two new winter exhibitions. During the event, the gallery will launch a new catalogue featuring the work of former Ottawa artist Dennis Tourbin and sell prints by Robert Houle to benefit Minwaashin Lodge.

Shannon Finnegan: Lone Proponent of Wall-to-Wall Carpet
Curated by Heather Anderson and Fiona Wright

The Brooklyn-based artist and activist Shannon Finnegan makes cheeky work about disability culture and access. Her furniture, murals and drawings call out ableism in art galleries and other public places, and imagine a world committed to ongoing, responsive and collective care.

They Forgot That We Were Seeds
Curated by Kosisochukwu Nnebe

Featuring artists KC Adams, Deanna Bowen, Roxana Farrell, Bushra Junaid, Amy Malbeuf, Meryl McMaster, Cheyenne Sundance and Katherine Takpannie.

This ambitious group exhibition brings together black and Indigenous women artists around the subject of food. Their compelling works about the production, trade and consumption of such goods as cod and sugar firmly embed Canada in the global history of colonialism.

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Image: L: Katherine Takpannie, Niriqatigiit (detail), 2019, digital photograph. R: Shannon Finnegan, Do you want us here or not [Drawing 5], 2017, digitized drawing.

Yellow Peril; The Celestial Elements

Promo image for "Yellow Peril; The Celestial Elements" - close up photo of red tulle fabric draped over railroad tracks

Yellow Peril; The Celestial Elements is a visual art exhibit inspired by the Chinese Five Elemental forces, seized by the urgent tensions between Queer Chinese diasporic identities. A collection of multichannel installations, visual and sculptural activations provoke a cosmic encounter of our living past and present as we ‘race’ towards a healing future. These elemental activations attempt to collapse the linear temporality to dislodge an emotional, spiritual, cosmological, and metaphysical enunciation of our Queer ‘Chineseness’. Rather than focus on the trauma that queer people of colour face, this project is fundamentally an invitation to an exuberant celebration of queerness that is unabashedly Chinese.

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Every Person is a Unique Creation

The Schwartz/Reisman Centre is pleased to host an Art Exhibition in honour of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month this February! Participants from Reena, DANI, and the Schwarz/Reisman Centre’s Art and Creative Club will be showcasing their masterpieces, and you are invited! Support children, teens and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder as they showcase their amazing work.

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Sensory Friendly Saturdays

Four smiling people standing around a table in a darkened room, lit by an overhead light. One person is looking through a Viewmaster while the other people look through photo reels from a box on the table.

On the first Saturday morning of ever month beginning from Saturday 4 January, all galleries and public spaces in KWAG will be programmed with reduced light and volume levels to provide a more welcoming environment for individuals living with autism and any others who require or prefer environments with less visual and auditory stimuli. While KWAG has a long-standing policy of accommodating the special needs of our visitors by adjusting light and sound levels accordingly, these new standard hours create dedicated time and space for our guests to experience a welcoming environment that is already suited to their needs.

We have been fortunate to receive the support and guidance of local artist Aislinn Thomas, who exhibited at KWAG in our 2018 exhibition, The Brain is wider than the Sky, and has presented and written extensively on the topic of access and the arts. As an artist who lives with sensory sentivity, both her practice and advocacy have foregrounded the creative potential found in negotiating barriers to access. Her installation for KWAG, A people’s history of the sublime: TOTALITY (21.08.2017), found human unity in a shared experience of being in the dark of the 2017 solar eclipse, while her recent project for the Banff Centre, A distinct aggregation / A dynamic equivalent / A generous ethic of invention: Six writers respond to six sculptures, drew on audio description to poetically replace the act of seeing with one of listening. Aislinn will be contributing a commissioned response to our upcoming Permanent Collection exhibition, The Myth of Consensus, that will build on this creative use of audio description, and her input has been instrumental in the introduction of Sensory Friendly Saturdays here at the Gallery.

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Here’s what visitors can expect when they visit on the first Saturday of the month from 10:00am to 12:00pm:

  • Reduced lighting levels in the lobby
  • Reduced volume on audio-visual artworks such as video projections
  • Light level adjustment in video projection spaces to reduce contrasting darkness
  • Relaxation area for visitors provided in our Community Access Space

We encourage our visitors to take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy a more relaxed environment in the new year, and continue to connect with our Front Desk should you require any further accommodations to enjoy your art-viewing experience.

Image: Gallery visitors explore Aislinn Thomas’ A people’s history of the sublime: TOTALITY (21.08.2017) at KWAG, 2018. Photo: Mike Lalich.

The Myth of Consensus

"Asor" by Rita Letendre. Serigraph with diagonal lines in yellows, greens, browns and blues

Featuring works from the Permanent Collection and a commissioned response by Aislinn Thomas. Curated by Crystal Mowry.

On February 15, 1965 Canada debuted its new national flag – an act bound up with aspiration and declarations of so-called sovereignty. Ubiquitous and deceptively simple, the national flag is something to which we now give little thought. By looking closer at its form, we might be surprised to find similarities with a basic understanding of what a painting can be: a piece of fabric with brightly coloured lines or simplified shapes that hold symbolic meaning for a group of people.

The decade following Canada’s adoption of the maple leaf flag as a symbol of national unity would reveal a country fraying at its seams. The bloom of counter-cultures and constitutional separatism mobilized a rebellious new generation of citizens. Against this cultural backdrop, artists sought out innovative ways to give voice to an era of rapid societal change, turning away from traditional modes of representation and towards abstraction.

The Myth of Consensus convenes rarely-seen abstract works from the Permanent Collection dating from the 1960s and 1970s. Bombastic, moody, and rich in hue, these works provide a snapshot of a different nation taking shape in the studios of artists across the country.

On the occasion of this exhibition, KWAG has commissioned Kitchener-based artist Aislinn Thomas to create a contemporary response to selected works on view. Working closely with intergenerational volunteers from the public and adopting an experimental approach to visual description, Thomas will develop her project while the exhibition is on view and share the results during the latter half of its run.

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Image: Rita Letendre (Canadian, b. 1929), Asor, 1979. Edition 57 or 100. Serigraph, 46 x 61.2 cm. © Rita Letendre. Photo: KWAG.


Spoons by Gloria C Swain. Horizontal medium and light grey rectangles on a black canvas

HIDDEN: Gloria C Swain, Peter Owusu-Ansah, Tamyka Bullen, Kyisha Williams

About the Exhibition
‘Hidden’ explores intergenerational trauma [hauntology], isolation and lived experiences of Black artists with hidden disabilities. What is hidden is kept concealed, and what is concealed is done to hide our uniqueness. As we navigate through unwelcome spaces that create exclusion and anxiety, we recognize how ableism, according to Dustin P. Gibson’s definition, is an “anti-black system that assigns value based on our ability to produce profit, excel and behave, and enforces a false idea of normalcy.” But we find each other in spite of invisibility, concealment and what is hidden. We strengthen each other by centering our communities from the peripheries, celebrating our shared spaces, ideas and experiences with other like-minded individuals.

Through our intersectional approach to disability arts, we reject single narratives of disability. Our collective understanding of disability is one that is political and relational. As we begin to uncover what is hidden, we move towards a rich and vibrant diversity of movements that work to confront our own cultural priorities.

Even though our practices are different, each artist adds to the exhibition in unique ways that results into a powerful show. We are stronger together than separately.

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