In recognition of the many arts institutions and cultural hubs across the city that have made Toronto a centre of public art, ArtworxTO funding was provided to the following projects. View our full list of amazing Program Partners here.
What We Like with partners: W Gallery & What I Like Studio.
A creative approach to hosting and viewing art in the city, Project Reframed seeks to provide visibility for emerging artists of colour, and to challenge notions of belonging in traditional art spaces. Taking shape as a versatile multi-platform experience spanning print, digital, web and social platforms, the initiative creates avenues for culture and connection – especially significant during this time.
View current works at:
ArtBuzz is a project led by documentary producer David Tarnow. The digital program explores the real stories behind Public Art and Monuments within the City of Toronto. Through the integration of the ArtworxTO Interactive Map, users can access audio recordings of detailed information of over 75 artworks. Each recording features commentary from the artist and curator involved in making the art come to life. All clips are available in the ArtworxTO On Demand media library.
The mission of AccessArt is to explore and expand who shapes and enjoys the benefits of creative public spaces. Asking the question: how ‘public’ is public art, activities include dialogue, open source research and co-developing new solutions. Research work is led, co-led, and implemented by Neurodiverse / Deaf / Disabled Artists, arts workers with disabilities and allies. We aim to produce sustainable improvement to both the accessibility of physical spaces and the processes that shape our shared spaces. The project is incubated by ArtsPond / Étang d'Arts and made possible thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts and ArtworxTO. Check out www.AccessArt.ca for more information or to get involved.
Art Nest Incubator
Coinciding with ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair will present Art Nest Incubator, six public art installations by emerging artists representing underserved groups.
Using the ArtworxTO Hubs, this project is an opportunity to empower the next generation of artists interested in animating public spaces.
Seeing the Invisible, An Augmented Reality Contemporary Art Exhibition
MOCA Toronto, Sorauren Park, High Park
MOCA is presenting a major public art programme from October 2022 to September 2023. Seeing the Invisible, an interactive exhibition featuring augmented reality art works, will be exhibited at MOCA and in Sorauren Park and High Park, in collaboration with the City of Toronto and Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation. Originally initiated by the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, this will be the first time Seeing the Invisible is made accessible through a contemporary art museum, in public parks and completely free for visitors to experience. Co-curators Hadas Maor and Tal Michael Haring worked with participating artists and MOCA Chief Curator, November Paynter, to create site-specific positioning of each AR artwork. The exhibition features artists from around the world, including Ai Weiwei, Issac Julien, El Anatsui, Sarah Meyohas, and more.
The Power Plant, curated by Ala Roushan; with artists: Donna Kukama, Flaka Haliti, Marguerite Humeau, Julius von Bismarck.
A multifaceted project that considers the urgencies evoked by today’s air crises, including a global respiratory pandemic, racial injustice (“I can’t breathe”), forest fires, carbon emissions, and uncertain futures. BREATHLESS will take shape as an immersive installation on The Power Plant’s South Terrace, opening May 2022. In advance of the exhibition, the BREATHLESS book will launch in September 2021 and a program series Fall 2021 - Winter 2022.
Brian Jungen Commission
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has commissioned artist Brian Jungen to create a large scale work of public art for the south-west corner of Dundas and McCaul Streets in Toronto. Scheduled to be unveiled in the summer of 2022, it will be the first public artwork commissioned by the AGO in its history. An artist of Indigenous and European heritage, Jungen (b.1970) uses a multidisciplinary art-making approach, exploring a long history of cultural inequality. Jungen’s new sculpture will transform the AGO’s entrance and the Dundas/McCaul corner into a more dynamic public space – creating a sense of identity for the community and becoming a source of civic pride.
Broken Circle and Mashrabiya
MOCA Toronto and Ghazaleh Avarzamani
Two new artworks developed by Ghazaleh Avarzamani. Mashrabiya plays on Islamic window screens, which permit views from inside out but not from outside in. Installed on the façade of MOCA, the work invites us to question the public accessibility of institutions through modes of open and obscured visibility. Inside the free entrance space of MOCA is Broken Circle, a project combining play and power dynamics. Both projects are presented at MOCA as part of Greater Toronto Art, a new museum-wide triennial exhibition: September 29, 2021 – January 9, 2022. Check out this artwork page.
Clouds of Colour
Harbourfront Centre with Amanda McCavour
This piece, commissioned for Harbourfront Centre’s main entrance foyer, will be conceived as both drawing and sculpture. Hundreds of units will be hung from single points creating a tactile setting filled with line, colour and movement that activates this passageway and gathering place. The accumulation of multiple units of formed wire, ranging in size will create a large expansive canopy to envelop the viewer. These units will cast filtered light to create an environment of moving light and shadow. Through the repetition of flora imagery and circular motifs, the cumulative presence will be both delicate and substantial.
The Bentway with Esmaa Mohamoud
Through the illogical use of basketball motifs, Toronto artist Esmaa Mohamoud transforms The Bentway into a surreal basketball court. Double Dribble is comprised of basketball nets of varying diameters and court lines running dysfunctionally throughout The Bentway site. Nets are installed at heights impossible for a human to reach, as well as low enough for a toddler. The project points to the creativity and resilience born of what happens when the rules of the game don’t validate our experience — when, instead, we make our own rules.
Little Portugal Barcelos Rooster Art Project
The Municipality of Barcelos donated a large, 2.8 metre tall, 100-kilogram Portuguese Rooster sculpture to the City of Toronto. While the roosters in Portugal have a traditional style, the City of Toronto saw an artistic opportunity. Toronto Artist Julia Prajza was chosen out of 32 talented candidates, with her theme of ‘new beginnings, hope, and optimism.'
Pillars of Change
Led by artist Sean Martindale for No.9 Contemporary Art & The Environment
Take Part - Make Art! Pillars of Change is a participatory public art initiative that encourages action on pressing social and environmental issues. The project raises awareness and amplifies the work of both prominent and emerging BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ identifying artists, collaborators, partners, and the public. Artists include: Leeay Aikawa, Kellen Hatanaka, Sab Meynert, Mango Peeler, Brian Jiang, and Vivian Rosas.
Playing In Public
Playing in Public is a neighbourhood exhibition that explores the history and future of play, and its role in shaping decisions about public space. How does space shape the rules of play, and how can non-traditional spaces teach us to play differently? How does play influence our interactions in public space? How has the nature of play changed in a mid/post-COVID city? As we begin to emerge from this pandemic and look towards recovery, we can use play as a guide for reengaging with the city, and with each other.
Project T-Dot is a definitive visual story that sheds new light on the city’s hip-hop scene, presenting a Toronto subculture in a way that exemplifies the cultural richness of Toronto. Artist and photographer Ajani Charles presents large-scale prints on the main and second floor windows of the south west corner of Toronto City Hall. The exhibit will depict intimate images of Toronto's most renowned hip-hop figures, as well as many who are lesser known, including members of the 2SLGBTQ+, Black, and Indigenous communities, women, youth from equity deserving neighbourhoods, recent immigrants, and other marginalized groups.
Recreate Place designs child-friendly experiences that prioritize the meaningful participation of children and young people in community projects. A Child’s Vision of Public Art will engage three Toronto schools (Edgewood, Pierre Laporte and West Glen) in an immersive experience where children will share ideas about their role in public art. Local artists will collaborate with children to create a publicly accessible art installation on their school grounds, encouraging them to reimagine their outdoor spaces in new ways. Artists include: Kreecha, Wandy Cheng and D+S Projects.
Image courtesy James-Iain McLeish, Blantyre PS, 2021.
Scarborough Arts with Curtia Wright
The Scarborough Sign is a community-developed public art installation that showcases and brings together Scarborough’s many artistic communities and neighbourhoods.
Our latest activation, “Out for a Stroll,” by muralist Curtia Wright is available for viewing until November 2021 at the Scarborough Town Centre.
Scarborough Local Discoveries
From animating the East Hub to #LocalDiscoveries programming, will showcase the talents, stories, public artworks, local businesses, and restaurants within the incredible communities that we call home in Scarborough. Follow Scarborough Arts for guided, digital and self-guided tours, animations of the iconic Scarborough Sign, artists talks, and engagements centered around the more than 100 public art pieces that already exist throughout Scarborough.
Created 20 years after the events of 9/11, September Song is an immersive visual and sonic installation based on Heather Nicol’s first-hand experience and lingering memories of that cataclysmic morning in Lower Manhattan. The passage of time is gently embedded in the commemoration of 9/11 so many years later; there is a distant, frozen-moment aspect to the fall of the “Twin Towers.” The installation is an invitation to the public to safely gather and collectively reflect on that disruptive event, its links and resonance with our current pandemic times, and to remember those lost.
Harbourfront Centre with Robert Young
Unmask Fear is a project created by Toronto-born artist Robert Young in response to the devastating global pandemic and the international outcry for racial justice. The exclusive multiple content series features photographic portraiture and filmed stories of Black Canadians who have made remarkable contributions to community, culture and country. Larger-than-life portraits will be installed on the windows of the Harbourfront Centre Main Building and the associated link to watch personal, detailed, and uncut expressions of triumph and success through online video interviews.
October 7 through November 30, 2021.
Within the Folds
Art Gallery of Ontario with Thomas J. Price
Internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Thomas J Price makes his AGO debut with a towering public sculpture that centres the Black experience – on the corner of Dundas and McCaul. The sculpture is presented in collaboration with ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022, a year-long celebration of Toronto’s exceptional public art and the community behind it. The striking nine-foot bronze figure depicts a Black male subject standing upright in a relaxed position, gazing forward, wearing a casual hooded sweatshirt and pants.
Between May and September 2022, TPP will conduct 5 writing workshops, where participants will convene at notable locations of public art in Toronto in order to conduct the workshop in situ. Each workshop is co-facilitated by a writer and an art educator. learn, and develop craft. Participants will learn about the specific piece pf public art and, for each workshop, will look at and consider the work that inspired different writing prompts.