Public Art Projects

 

 

 

Photo by Jahmal Nugent

Working in Queering Place has been an amazing way to connect with land and community. The experience has really highlighted all the ways that these relationships are intertwined.

To me the project is best summed up as a constant unfurling. I think Queering Place lives both in the roots of the plants that make and have made their home there, and also in the spaces left between ever-present unanswered questions. – Zephyr McKenna, Artist-in-Residence

OCTOBER 1 – 30, 2021

QUEERING PLACE

Exhibition is Open

at

Garrison Commons

100 Garrison Road at Fort York Blvd.

As part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art!

Queering Place presents: Queered Place – A Mini Site Activations Festival!

October 22-24, 4-7PM @ Garrison Commons

Register Here

Friday, October 22 – Queer Gathering & Storytelling

Register Here

Saturday, October 23 – Friends of Queering Place: A Community Gathering

Register Here

Sunday, October 24 – A Queer Cabaret featuring Artists from Queering Place!

Register Here

Emerging young artists bring natural and digital worlds together at Garrison Common to build reflective gathering space for Queer communities.

 

Accessibility

Our public events will have ASL interpretation available.

The installation is located within a grassy park space (which may be challenging for some mobility devices), connected by a gravel & paved pathway. It is possible to drive directly up to the installation via Fort York Drive. There are all gender washrooms & potable water available at the Fort York/Bentway visitor centre during operating hours, reached by stairs on the east side & fort york drive on the west side.

The installation includes tactile, visual & auditory components.

The nearest transit options include:

  • 511 Bathurst streetcar, which is not wheelchair accessible, travelling west and requires walking up an incline through the Bentway.
  • The 29 Dufferin kneeling bus then travels east 9 minutes along the sidewalk to the Bentway. There is a slight incline up Fort York Blvd. towards the park.
  • The 63 Ossington kneeling bus then travels south on Strachan which involves an incline & decline

Queering Place proposes a tactile land-based and digital art installation weaving together natural materials, plants, medicines, text, story and imagery with audio and digital inflections, as an inclusive community resting and gathering space that welcomes and nurtures Queer, Trans and 2Spirit young people while critically and creatively exploring the roots of Queer* identity & ecology.

Medicine Wheel Garden, part of Force Field Exhibition. Photography by Jahmal Nugent

Experience the Exhibition

Orange T-shirt by creators at Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction Network

 

Plant Stories

Planters in process by Bert Whitecrow, Zephyr McKenna and Madeleine Lychek

Photography by Jahmal Nugent

Story

What makes a place “Queer”? What does “queering space” look like? Is it a mark, a gesture, a flag, a story, a feeling? What characteristics of place bring queer people together? Though Queer communities often lack access & resources to regularly inhabit natural places they have a long history of doing so, somewhere between the public and private. What are the characteristics of queer plants? Where & how does queerness show up in biodiverse ecosystems? Join us in exploring these questions.

Queering Place engages 2SQTBIPOC Artists in Residence to plant and tend a medicine wheel garden in collaboration with the Force Field Indigiqueer art installation curated by Logan MacDonald for the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. Each artist has created a planter installation using beautified repurposed tires with native pollinator plants & an accompanying sound-story piece that moves like a river (ode to water) traveling south-west to north-east across the garrison commons. This leads past wind chimes (ode to wind) in the Burgundy maple grove to a traditional medicine wheel garden (ode to earth) & a queer circle seating arrangement made (ode to fire) with woven tire stacks that invites audiences to stay awhile and sit with their inqueeries.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Artists in Residence begin at The Weave and Mend Garden. Photography by Jahmal Nugent

Early installation design sketches by Naty Tremblay

Artists & Creative Team

Naty Tremblay

Creative Lead - Queering Place

Naty Tremblay

Creative Lead - Queering Place

Naty Tremblay believes deeply in the radical & transformative power of the arts leveraged for community rooted education, organizing, healing and visioning. Naty’s experiences as an identical twin, a poor muskrat french-metis farmer, a rambler, and a gender-queer feminist have greatly shaped their creative social change practices. Naty has co-created a broad body of interactive multi-media stories, performances & workshops, gatherings & community-engaged artworks exploring identity & power, regenerative reciprocity, healing justice & magics of the natural world. Naty has a BA of Integrated Media for Social Change from OCADU.

They co-founded the Xpace artist-run center & The People Project, an organization doing creative activism with LGBTQ youth. Naty has coordinated media, community arts & transformative justice programs at SKETCH Working Arts for 8+ years, building creative leadership capacity with poor young people. Naty is the Executive Director of Rittenhouse: A New Vision, Canada’s oldest abolitionist organization, supporting Transformative Justice capacity building with communities impacted by violence & criminalization.

They are a proud member of the Drawing with Knives shadow puppetry troupe, The Switch Collective – creating political multi-media street performance, and the Trans Healing Arts Collective – visioning spaces that center the healing & creativity of Trans* peoples.

Facebook: Naty Tremblay

DRAWING.WITH.KNIVES

The Switch Project Toronto

The Smiling Room

Rittenhouse

Lisa Myers

Curatorial Mentor

Lisa Myers

Curatorial Mentor

Lisa Myers is an independent curator, artist and educator with a keen interest in interdisciplinary collaboration. Based in Toronto and Port Severn, she is a member of Chimnissing, Beausoleil First Nation and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University. Myers is an artist and curator and her research focuses on Contemporary Indigenous art and curatorial practice, Indigenous food systems and food sovereignty. Through socially engaged art, she creates gatherings that respond to place, sharing Indigenous foods and reflecting on underrepresented histories and collective forms of knowledge exchange.

 

The Making With Places: Public Art Projects have been designed and developed with curatorial mentorship from Lisa Myers.

Ty Sloane

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Ty Sloane

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Tyler J Sloane (They/Them) is a multidisciplinary performance artist. Their art emphasizes marginalized voices that intersect mixed-race and queer identity. They are currently the Performance Arts Artist Associate with SKETCH Working Arts running the Queering Place residency with Naty Tremblay, the In-Conversation Series Buddies In Bad Times Project host with LeZlie Lee Kam at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Company, and also the Education and Mentorship Director at Elevate Equity.

Instagram: @tylerjsloane

The Noise Witch

Project Lead - Queering Place

The Noise Witch

Project Lead - Queering Place

The Noise Witch is a multi-disciplinary creative with a focus on music performance and art direction. Their art is inspired by drag, burlesque and experimentation within digital media. They are a practicing Reiki Master, Teacher, Tarot reader, and Astrologer, with a focus on Ancestral healing and reclamation. Their work is centred around decolonization, healing, Trans rights, sexuality and Spirituality, while also aiming to provide joy and inspiration for those experiencing their offerings.

Maddie Lycheck

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Maddie Lycheck

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Madeleine Lychek is a Filipino-Canadian queer performance and video artist. She uses social media as a digital playground to engage with conversations surrounding power and play, exploring how a body and it’s consumption can be used as a radical act of self-discovery.

Em Dial

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Em Dial

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Em Dial (she/they) is a queer, non-binary, multiracial, chronically ill grower, poet, and educator, who was born and raised on Ohlone lands, in what is currently known as the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Their work plays against the idea of the (un)natural, with words and seeds rooted in histories of resistance and nourished by communities of care.

In addition to working with organizations like CommunityGrows and Black Creek Community Farm to increase access to growing space and food sovereignty, Em is also a 2022 Kundiman Fellow and a recipient of the 2020 PEN Canada New Voices Award and the 2019 Mary C. Mohr Poetry Award.

Bert Whitecrow

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Bert Whitecrow

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Bert Whitecrow is a 2 Spirited, Anishinaabe multidisciplinary artist from Seine River First Nation. Their work explores themes of healing, preserving and practicing ancestral knowledge. As a conceptual artist, Bert works with a variety of media, often combining traditional and unconventional materials.

They are a member of MilkWeed collective, which is a mixed Indigenous collective that focuses on building relationships with Indigenous communities through art making workshops, facilitated conversation and permaculture. Bert is currently attending the Indigenous Visual Cultures program at OCAD University and plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in April 2022.

Zephyr McKenna

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Zephyr McKenna

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

I’m an urban Anishinaabe and Lunaape Two-Spirit person with relatives from Alderville and Munsee Delaware First Nations, as well as Irish, Scottish, and English ancestry. Illustration and animation are the mediums I feel most at home with, but I’m very much a multidisciplinary artist, and love finding connections between varying and unconventional mediums.

I’m currently studying 3D modelling and animation in George Brown College’s Game Art program, building skills to create games and other digital media that focus on language revitalization, celebrating two spirit stories, and imagining Indigenous futures.

Pogi the Artist

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

Pogi the Artist

Artist-in-Residence - Queering Place

At heart, I am an abstract and conceptual artist, with a style influenced by graffiti and realism. I like to bend the rules, but not break them, with my work exploring spaces between traditional and non-traditional styles and perspectives. On the surface, my quick work consists of images of coffee, vices, brick walls, and tunnels abstractly morphed together with nature and concrete structures. In depth, often through journaling and sketching, my work explores ambiguity, space, and “finding home.”

Poetry and music also help me express these depths in nuanced ways. If I had more space, I would further explore these concepts through relevant large scale paintings, sculptures, and installations. Currently, I’m exploring my style of painting more deeply, researching and experimenting with more ways to develop my creations through materials, mediums and concepts.

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