Public Art Projects

 

 

Photo by Jahmal Nugent

Reconstructions of Home is a multi-sited progression of installations and soundscapes under the Gardiner Expressway through which community artists examine the tensions and violence of displacements, while honouring and celebrating the experiences of joy and community of those who have survived homelessness under bridges in Toronto.

Artist Ryan Weaver creates a soundscape of stories and recollections from homeless community members as the backbone to understanding the hidden histories of Toronto’s homeless culture and frames the ongoing conflict between the city and displacements of these communities. Collected stories will create audio files later to be mixed and synthesized into a cohesive soundscape for several sites under the Gardiner. Presented in partnership with The Bentway.

 

Photos by Jahmal Nugent

NOVEMBER LAUNCH AND ACTIVATIONS AT THE BENTWAY

As part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022

Join us virtually or in person for a commemoration walk remembering lives lost to the opioid crisis, to houseless winters, and challenges faced while navigating deep precarity.

WATCH FOR FUTURE ACTIVATIONS IN SPRING OF 2022

Photo by Jahmal Nugent

Photo by Jahmal Nugent

Installation Story

The Think Tank is the curatorial committee for this project who met for 8 weeks developing strategies for community engagement and guiding principles to carry the project through to installation and animation. This group conferred often on the “unresolvable tension” this project illuminates about development and its displacing impact on those living houseless; about constant experiences of loss and being pushed out contrasted with people’s housing and community commitment, creativity and ingenuity.

Project in Process

We have been in design, sharing stories, concerns, and experiences. Every day, we created a Mentii-word tree as a group reflection tool here’s one reflecting on our process:

 

Artist Team

Creative Lead: Sue Cohen

Associate Artist: Jess De Vitt

Curatorial Artist Team

Olympia Trypis

Verity D’Eon

Emmet Reed

Sound Artist: Ryan Weaver

Project Advisory

– The Think Tank –

Emmet Reed

Lisa Petrunia

Ryan Weaver

Amelia Mehrar

Verity D’Eon

Olympia Trypis

Sue Cohen

Though primarily a painter, often utilizing classical techniques, playing with surrealism and collage with a keen interest in figurative imagery. My arts practise led me to learn to play in a variety of materials, sculpture, papermaking and book binding, and more recently environmental arts.

I have worked as a community artist in Toronto for the past 25 years. Currently at SKETCH working arts for street involved and homeless youth, as a Program Coordinator.  I have a deep passion for experiences that explore human relationships with the environment – focusing on integration of the arts and nourishment through urban gardening, horticulture, wild crafting and culinary arts.

Themes throughout my work focus on creative rejuvenation, exploring communal arts practise and inclusion, and finding joy together in the process. The healing act of arts creation and how that fosters a sense of deep community connection are sacred to me, and where all humanity truly shines.

Jess De Vitt (she/they)

Jess is a visual artist, educator and muralist based in Tkaronto. Jess has had experience working with community through the arts offering instructional workshops for a range of mediums and art making techniques both digitally and in person.

Jess is currently the Visual Arts Associate at SKETCH Working Arts and a Visual Arts Educator for the TDSB through KickStart Arts, focused on incorporating collaboration through access to art and community. Their approach to art making focuses on finding new ways to create, teach and learn from the artists and inspirations around them. The techniques Jess teaches range from watercolour, acrylic, oil, image transfer, charcoal, resin, jewellery, bookbinding, soft and oil pastels, knitting and more.

Ryan Weaver

Ry King is a singer/songwriter, music producer and music educator. He sees music as one of the most powerful forces to promote peace, love and empathy and to heal all humanity. His music is created with these goals at heart.

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Ry relocated to North Vancouver, BC, where he graduated from SAE Vancouver’s Audio Engineering and Music Production program.

Instagram

Soundcloud

Olympia Trypis

Olympia (they/she) is an artist who doesn’t like labels, identifies as a human who is trying to live and create in harmony with earth, which is our home.

Lisa Petrunia

My art often has themes; creating worlds; overlapping different realities or creating completely alternate ones, telling stories in 3D. I tend to work in sculpture, collage/ assemblage, working in 3 dimensional space, photography, video.

When designing and creating I think in terms of 3 dimensional space; I enjoy considering how and when to transfer things to print, photo and bring the 2 D world into the 3D. Feels good to show a snapshot of stories.

I’ve always worked in advocacy for social change and my art is an extension of that; and my art is where I can communicate steps towards further inclusion

When words fall short art evokes feeling, and offers a healing journey for those that have experiences of marginalization particularly. When change is slow to come and our deeper selves go unseen, creating worlds that can show the mystical and other worldly under-tones to light, blending the past, present and future together, it’s a way to showcase microcosms of what I see that needs to happen in the world…drawing awareness to deeper levels of existence, mystical to mundane, inclusion, wholistic visions for all beings; evokes dialogue for social change

Emmet Reed

My name is Emmet Reed, I am a Queer, Non-binary community artist and performer in Toronto.  I have been creating works for the past 25 years. I was an inaugural member of SKETCH, the Toronto Art studio for street youth which has been vital in bridging marginalized and vulnerable communities back to the arts.

My theatre works include A social justice theatre troupe here in Toronto where we performed and educated people around Violence against women, Homelessness and  LGBTQQTI issues. I have also worked to create soundscapes for theatre works including Africville which played at the Factory Theatre.

I have been a performance artist and Drag King within the community since the late 90’s representing Toronto at IDKE4 and performing in collaboration with the Toronto Drag Kings  and have performed at Harbourfront, Vazeleen, Buddies in Bad Times and numerous PRIDE stages Including our own KINGSIZE stage.

KINGSIZE went on to create  legacy works  within the Toronto Archives which centered around pushing the boundaries of body image, beauty standards and gender with innovative performances and film.

I have worked with other community artists to create multimedia installations. “Deconstructed” was an exploration of gender shown at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. This installation included pre-filmed body parts and visceral imagery which could be configured by the participant to explore identity and authenticity.

I am currently Working on pieces that push the boundaries of what is community, communication and self-identification within virtual spaces as well as documenting the impact of the pandemic through the lens of marginalization with a focus on homelessness and the barriers it presents to intimacy and connect

See my current work on Instagram: @brawnandbone

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