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ArtworxTO Partnership Grant Projects

The following projects were awarded ArtworxTO Partnership Grants after a competitive process in the fall of 2020. These projects are a key component in the year of programming, signalling the City’s commitment to the value of creativity and community in building a vibrant, diverse and thriving city.

A Place to Put Your Things

Sandra Brewster at The Power Plant

5 February to 30 September 2022  


This new sculpture, A Place to Put Your Things, is the Sandra Brewster’s first public artwork. As Brewster describes it, the piece invites participants to “a place to rest and be at peace, to unburden oneself, and simply sway at one’s own pace and rhythm. Play being a central element of the work, the sculpture connects to an inner child and can be engaged by children and adults alike.” Facing Lake Ontario, the swing gives new purpose to the location in which it is installed, and its movements can be felt from both near and far. 

A Long Story I by Lauren Pirie installed at MOCA Toronto July 2019

A Longer Story

Lauren Pirie with Phillip Aaron Pax, Karin de Wolfe, Emma Chorostecki, Natalie Boustead and youth mentees

A site-specific installation, incorporating a large-scale tiered planter structure with illuminated soft sculptural elements. Soft sculptural forms, glowing from within, will wrap around and embrace a sculptural planter structure hosting plant species. This piece aims to illuminate inherent interconnectedness—between human and human and to our shared environment—and at the same time, a yearning for connection. It will explore how desire for human connection and physical touch intertwines with a desire for physical and spiritual connection to the earth.

The Ark

Project rendering by Oluseye

Black Ark

Oluseye Ogunlesi

Coming Summer 2022.

A vessel. A threshold. A space for reflection.  

Nigerian Canadian artist Oluseye Ogunlesi explores Canada’s role in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade through his installation Black Ark. Referencing the slave ships that were built in Canada, this cathedral-like structure invites you into the hull of a ship, creating passage and revealing the fractured and erased history of enslavement in Canada.  Built of wood, metal and found materials, Black Ark is an invitation to look back and move forward.

The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us By Us)

Image care of Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us, By Us)

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and Esmaa Mohamoud

A two-part project that confronts gender dynamics and the ways in which racialized bodies navigate public space. Toronto-based artist Esmaa Mohamoud’s massive photographic mural and urban monument will challenge ideas of intimacy and vulnerability to focus on the closeness and fragility of Black men.

View mural on the Interactive Map.

Dish Dances

Dish Dances

Jumblies Theatre + Arts with Ange Loft, Alaska B, Amplified Opera and Centre for Indigenous Theatre. 

Composition for Talking Treaties by Melody McKiver with Rosary Spence performed by Amplified Opera Co-Founders Asitha Tennekoon, Teiya Kasahara and Marion Newman. Complete credits at talkingtreaties.ca


The latest work within Talking Treaties, a research-based arts project, DISH DANCES reanimates the Credit River, a place of council watching over the Dish with One Spoon agreement. Presented as an art film and live movement workshops in partnership with Toronto Biennial of Art and Historic Fort York, complimented by pop-up installations of wearable sculpture, historic text, and video at Jumblies Theatre + Arts.

Communication Mural

Communication Mural

Elicser Elliot

As a constant fixture in Queen West neighbourhoods since the 1990s, Elicser's artwork articulates the community’s soul, creates points of connection, and is a core driver of dynamic exchanges flowing from his work. The new mural will be a collage of soft characters and organic shapes, emphasizing those who build the true warmth in any community, those who create that love story and heart in any city: its people.

View on the Interactive Map.

Chalking

Chalking

Anandam Dancetheatre, Padmini Chettur, Maarten Visser

What does it mean to align oneself in space and time? Chalking deconstructs a body’s rotational possibilities - turning, spinning - into a vocabulary of tension and resistance, inscribing absence at the very heart of the body’s presence with others. A performance and 4 channel video installation, Chalking offers a material grid that stages the politics of dance, of what it means to align oneself in absence, in the presence of others.

Create Space

CreateSpace

STEPS believes public art has the ability to challenge the systemic inequities that exist in public space. This is the inspiration that led STEPS to launch the CreateSpace BIPOC Public Art Residency, a national program designed in consultation with advisors from coast to coast, to provide emerging BIPOC artists with the skills, relationships and practical experience needed to take their public art practice to the next level. 10 artists from across Canada were selected to participate with 5 located in Toronto, including: Yasmeen Nematt Alla, Jieun June Kim, Amanda Lederle, Charmaine Lurch, and NUFF.

Dupont Street Mural

Dupont Street Mural

Troy Lovegates (aka Other)

The site location on Dupont holds a long-standing creativity-centred history, a place where stuff was made. Dupont continues to vibrantly grow evolving its connections within the rich creative goodness of its past. Lovegates will work with local community organizations to identify best engagement practices to select a local portrait model.

This project is sponsored by: CollecDev

Jordan Bennett Mural

Muralpi'tawita'iek: we go up river 

Onsite Gallery, OCAD University

Coming June 15, 2022.

Part of an on-going program of Indigenous public art at OCAD U, the project will feature a new mural by Mi’kmaq artist, Jordan Bennett in OCAD University’s Butterfield Park. Rich in shape, colour and composition, his paintings are rooted in a deep history of Mi’kmaq porcupine quillwork. In visiting with these cultural objects Bennett connects with their visual language, remembering and reimagining our relations to each other, to our histories and with the land.

Alongside the outdoor mural, Onsite Gallery will also present a solo exhibition by Jordan Bennett within the gallery.

State of Emergency

State of Emergency

Cody Punter

Coming Spring 2022.

March 17, 2020 brought a province-wide state of emergency in response to Covid-19. The City's subsequent decision to limit public park access forced Torontonians to make further sacrifices to slow the spread of the disease. Punter created a photographic diary of people seeking solace in the great outdoors at a time when doing so was being discouraged. The project is a love letter to the city's greenspaces and the people that bring them to life.

Dis/Play

Image care of Ophira Calof

Dis/Play

Ophira Calof with ReelAbilities Toronto

With Covid-19 having affected all facets of day to day life, the disability community has all but disappeared from public spaces, discourse, and policy decisions. Dis/Play is a project that shines a light on disabled people telling their own stories, woven into a multi-media display projected across Tkaronto, with original musical accompaniment and embracing disability aesthetics.

Image care of Camilo Calderón

Expressway

Camilo Calderón

Expressway is an online digital video installation that aims to re-signify our relationship with one of Toronto’s main arteries: The Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway. Once a symbol of progress, this massive, artificial frontier both connects while dividing our ever-growing city. Lines that were drawn for some, now create uncertainty and disarray for many. In this web experience we witness the impact of our modern borderlines, exposing current challenges caused by private modes of transportation and their footprint. Also, it allows us—who cross them—to look up and share an undivided vision for our waterfront’s future.

Fire by Trial

Fire by Trial

MABELLEarts with artists Val Vint, Leah Houston, Janna Levitt, Nicolette Felix

A community-engaged public art project collaboration with Mabelle Avenue resident groups. The project involves designing a cooking fire and meeting place in the centre of Mabelle Park that begins a dialogue between the currently unknown history of First Nations activity and presence in what’s now the Mabelle Park and the various culinary cultural practices currently at home there. 

Detail Images of Garden Court (1989-93) by Paul P. 

Garden Court

Rui Mateus Amaral and Paul P. 

This project revisits one of Toronto’s socially provocative, yet least known, works of public art: Garden Court by Scott Burton at Brookfield Place. Burton was celebrated for art that leant inflections of queerness, and a spirit of generosity, to the cool austerity of minimalism. Though Burton died of AIDS before its completion, Garden Court was meant as a place to sit, sunbathe, snack, or chat. Through a free publication, audio guide and performance, this project invites Torontonians to join in the excavation of something immense and in plain sight. Most importantly, it invites citizens to enjoy a storied spot in our city designed for them.

The Guest's Shadow

The Guest's Shadow

Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky

Beginning in Fall 2021 - A series of ten activations that take the dreamlike form of glowing picnics. Appearing after sunset for a couple of hours in various publicly accessible locations in Toronto, these light installations will be comprised of lanterns which mimic picnic items such as casseroles and lemonade. The lanterns will be printed from photographs the artists take of real food they prepare, using recipes sourced from the community, via an open call. Lanterns will be given away on the final night.

Generally Speaking

Generally Speaking

By Nina Chanel Abney, curated by Ashley McKenzie-Barnes. In partnership with Yorkville Murals and D.PE Sho Art Foundation.

A monumental public mural intentionally placed in Yorkville to challenge the status quo. With the continuous calls for justice against racial, cultural, and gender-based violence, discrimination, hate crimes, abuses of authority, and wrongful displacements across nations, we assert the notion of alliance, humanity and togetherness—reinforcing the power and influence of love.

View on the Interactive Map.

Morse Street Storytelling Mural & Healing Garden

Healing Corridor and Playable Road Mural

Monica Wickeler, Nyle Miigizi Johnston, The Laneway Project

A collaboration between Nyle Miigizi Johnston (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation), Monica Wickeler (Luxembourg) and The Laneway Project. The project transformed two neglected public laneways into beautiful, welcoming shared neighbourhood spaces.

View the Healing Corridor and Youth Murals and Playable Road Mural on the Interactive Map.

House of Baby

House of Bâby

Camal Pirbhai and Camille Turner, with photographer Koray Erkaya

House of Bâby is a 35’ lenticular image. As the viewer moves, eighteen people come into focus from the blurred crowd. They represent eighteen of the Black and Indigenous people who were enslaved by the Bâby family in Toronto, Windsor and Detroit. Their unpaid labour produced great wealth for the family. This artwork imagines the group in our contemporary moment, no longer constrained by the past as property nor languishing in the obscurity of the archive. The artists brought this group to life by representing them in this country’s busiest hub. Union Station’s majestic architecture symbolizes stability and civic pride but it is the people who are responsible for its strength. 

Built on Genocide

Image care of Luminato Festival Toronto

Built on Genocide

Luminato Festival Toronto with Jay Soule | CHIPPEWAR

Launching September 22, 2021 at Harbourfront Centre.

A large-scale installation reflecting the events and policies throughout Canada's history that have deliberately undermined and destroyed Indigenous livelihood. The project addresses an underacknowledged but foundational aspect of “Canadian” history: the direct correlation between the genocide of the buffalo and the genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Intangible Adorations Caravan

Intangible Adorations Caravan

Lisa Anita Wegner

An immersive, travelling theatrical & film experience that fuses Carnival with science-fantasy biography, performance ritual, circus and disability culture. When the Caravan rolls into a neighbourhood as darkness falls, mysterious magics will be unleashed in a spectacle suitable for all ages as we attempt to make contact with the Icon, a legendary figure who vanished several years ago.  A multi-sensory interactive experience with robust accessibility built into each performance. 

LASOTO

Local Discoveries

The LASOs: Arts Etobicoke, East End Arts, Lakeshore Arts, North York Arts, Scarborough Arts and UrbanArts

A network of tours, artists talks and engagements centered around the more than 100 public art pieces that already exist within neighbourhoods throughout Toronto - many created by the local community and artists. These self-guided, digital and guided tours will showcase the amazing public artworks, local businesses and restaurants within the incredible communities that we call home. Check out the full Local Discoveries program here.

MASHUP

photo credit: ariane laezza. pictured: (L-R) liza paul & bahia watson.

MASHUP PON DI ROAD

bahia watson & liza paul, with why not theatre

with their signature blend of vaudeville irreverence and sweet island vibes, ringmasters bahia and liza and their band of misfits proudly present the world’s only travelling bashment circus! spinning you into an absurd carnival universe where big fun, big laughs, and big, black feminism reign supreme MASHUP PON DI ROAD is a variety show extravaganza that rum punches up at the ruling class through fast-paced vignettes, original music and nuff jokes. touching road summer 2022. come one, come all. welcome to di circus.

Making With Place

Making With Place

SKETCH Working Arts

Based on the Making with Place research project of 2020, this year-long initiative, launched development in January with young 2SQTBIPOC artists navigating marginalization, homelessness and precarity. Considering the complexities of place, artists design, animate and archive hidden, forgotten or invisibilized environmental and social histories, to innovate models of care and community through three immersive and interactive installations. Learn more about these installations at @sketchpublicart.

Our Home and Haunted Land

Our Home and Haunted Land

Oya Black Arts Coalition with Nadine Valcin

May 20 - 22, 2022

Sponsored by the Waterfront BIA, created by Nadine Valcin and Priam Givord produced by Ngardy Conteh George & Alison Duke of OYA Black Arts Coalition, Our Home and Haunted Land is a large-scale 2D projection made to explore the colonial legacy linked to key landmarks in our city. Located along the Toronto Harbourfront at the Canada Malting Silo at Queens Quay and Bathurst, the ten minute visual journey reveals the hidden histories that haunt us and make visible the Black and Indigenous presence on Turtle Island and Tkaronto. The stories will be projected nightly from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Over Floe

Over Floe

John Notten

Five geometric forms have somehow floated into this urban setting.  Animated by the gentle breeze of the square, this grouping of small icebergs presents a mystery: viewed from all sides it becomes clear that they are more than merely chunks of ice floating in the hot sun.  The ironic use of materials used to construct these 'natural' forms and their unlikely presence in the heart of the city presents questions about the environment for the audience to consider. 

View on the Interactive Map.

The Parkette Projects

The Parkette Projects

Gallery TPW, curated by Shani K Parsons, with artists: Amy Lam, Jessica Karuhanga, Marisa Gallemit, Mitchell Akiyama, Raven Chacon, Ronnie Clarke, and Vanessa Dion Fletcher.

Defined as small pieces of leftover or unsaleable land acquired and converted by a city into public common spaces, Toronto's parkettes provide oblique glimpses into the city's socio-political, economic and geographic histories. The Parkette Projects probe the tensions between, and potentials for, changing poetic and political relations between self, body, site, and society through newly commissioned performances and installations.

The Places we once were are

The places we once were are

Tea Base, InnerGenerational: Trauma & Healing, Tam

58 Cecil Centre Ave – Saturdays May 14 (12pm-4pm) & 21 (12pm-4pm) and 222 Chinatown Centre (courtyard) – Sundays May 8 (12pm-8pm) & 29 (12pm-4pm)
 

“the places we once were are” hopes to gather in celebration of community by doing what we do best; a shared meal with mahjong and music. As Tea Base will be closing its physical space at the end of May, these events are offerings of gratitude. We invite you to create lasting memories with us through queering Chinatown, once more – until next time.   

The Prospect Project

The Prospect Project

VIBE Arts with artists Shashann Miguel-Tash, Rowell Soller, Frannie Potts, and Jason Julien

Four youth artists under the mentorship of professional muralist Ryan Dineen take their artistic skills to new heights by creating their own large-scale public art pieces in four communities across Toronto. These murals will be an artistic outlet and amplify the voices of the communities where the artists live while bringing ideas of a brighter future. It concludes by cumulating, like puzzle pieces, in the heart of Downtown Toronto to show the beauty and connection of our city.

Public Works

Public Works

SummerWorks is engaging with projects by Rodney Diverlus, Syrus Marcus Ware, Switch Collective, Action Hero, Mia & Eric, Mark Reinhart

Explore possibilities for the public realm through large-scale projects synthesizing outdoor installation, performance, and extensive public participation with distinct communities across the city. Incorporating collective storytelling, handmade crafts, dance, poetry, visual messages, and much more – Public Works is a city-wide exploration of how the public can connect, communicate, reclaim space, and imagine what else is possible.

reach

Rendering from Soulpepper Theatre Company

R.E.A.C.H.

Soulpepper Theatre Company with Javid Jah

R.E.A.C.H. consists of a phased process from design through fabrication and installation of six public art installations that reimagine the phone booth. Members of the public will be invited to enter the booth and share a story, hear a story, or call one of the other phone booths and speak to whoever answers. The first stories placed into the booths will be Indigenous perspectives curated by a partner Indigenous artist. These experiential installations weave storytelling, placemaking, and personal interaction in a way that builds understanding, empathy, and human connection.

The River

The River

Evergreen

In Which We Draw a People’s Map of the Don River Valley, by New York-based art collective Mare Liberum, explores the relationship between Toronto’s Lower Don River and its constituents, building a series of boats and visioning plans for the future of the watershed. Presented in partnership with Waterfront Toronto. Curator Candice Hopkins and scholar Dr. Dylan Robinson will lead the knowledge-sharing forum Indigenous Water Protocols, to establish Indigenous-led protocols for creating ethical public art in relationship to waterways and shorelines.

Sacred Fire

Sacred Fire

Outside the March, with Philip Cote, Ishai Buchbinder, Nick Blais, Anahita Dehbonehie, Sébastien Heins

For hundreds of years, the Anishinaabe have shaped trees to mark an important route or event. The Seven Fires Prophecy speaks of a new world in which both western and Indigenous ways of understanding will come together. From the earth, veins of colourful cedar rise and intertwine to form a marker tree that resolves as a crystalline branch. Sit. Listen. Ignite. Grow.

Sites of Significance

Sites of Significance

Arts Etobicoke with Albedo InformaticsLakeshore ArtsSusan BlightPhilip Cote, Nyle Johnston & Quinn Hopkins, Nicolas Sanchez, Khaula Mazhar, and Khadija Aziz

This immersive digital art project combines public art, technology, and placemaking in Etobicoke. Through Augmented Reality (AR), commissioned artists have identified and animated six sites of historical and cultural importance: two sites in each of the three Etobicoke wards, some of Indigenous significance and some of importance to the Newcomer / Immigrant community. The resulting experience will be unique depending on the artists’ perspective and style, and how audiences choose to engage with the art and site.

Stolen People, Stolen Land

Stolen People, Stolen Land

Zaenab Ojoawo

September 17, 24, and October 1, and 8, 2021. Event details.

The stories of diaspora, grief, and survival: films and poems from Black and Indigenous artists, the project presents the similarities of our experiences being colonized and brutalized on our lands. It connects us through our resilience and determination to survive and take back what has always rightfully belonged to us. Stolen People, Stolen Land shows us that there is no Black liberation without Indigenous sovereignty, none of us are free until all of us are free.

Talking Earth

Project rendering care of Santee Smith

Talking Earth

Gardiner Museum and Santee Smith

A new commission to honour the ongoing Indigenous presence on Turtle Island, Santee’ Smith's installation "Talking Earth" is an embodied experimental entanglement between forms which honours Haudenosaunee pottery making. It’s a lived encounter with clay, etched from our memory of and from land, ancestors and projected into a present day space. The installation offers a site for education/teachings, contemplation and reconnection to earth. The juxtaposition between traditional inspired material and new media and performance, bridges ancient to present and fracture to intactness.

Toronto Island Postcard

Toronto Island Postcard

Elizabeth Littlejohn

"The Toronto Island Puzzle Tour” is an augmented reality smartphone application which re-creates the Toronto Island’s invisible history. Visitors follow five signposts to collect puzzle pieces through their smartphones for an Island-based guided tour, including the Island's role as an Indigenous place of healing, the Lakeside Home for Little Children, Babe Ruth’s first home run, Manitou Road, and the confrontation with the sheriff in the effort to save Toronto Island homes. After all the pieces are collected, they snap together to become a virtual vintage postcard which points to the feature documentary.

Watermarked

Photo by Justin Morris.

Watermarked

Mural Routes

Coming Summer 2022.

An experimental mural project that will allow artists and community members of all ages and abilities to experiment with rain-activated paint while co-creating a public artwork along the Ron Moeser Waterfront Trail in Scarborough. Community members will be able to participate in stencil workshops and leave their mark on the mural, while they reflect on the role of water and its importance to them spiritually, mentally, and physically. The resulting public artwork will be “naturally” revealed every time it rains.

Unveiling Heroes of the Block

Unveiling Heroes of the Block

BSAM Canada, curated by Queen Kukoyi & Nico Taylor

Uncovering the buried and lesser-known stories of prominent African Canadian figures that contributed to the foundational fabric of the Toronto we experience today, the project will result in several public art installations celebrating heroes of the Black community. Artists Meighan Morson, Gerda Boateng, Adeyemi Adegbesan, Quentin VerCetty, and Danilo Deluxo create visual interpretations that depict the rich legacies and valiant attributes of each African Canadian figure. Presented in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit and Heritage Toronto.