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ArtworxTO Hub opens at Union Station with “I am land” exhibition

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Today, Mayor John Tory officially launched the ArtworxTO Hub at Union Station, located at 61 Front St. W.

The Hub’s inaugural exhibition “I am land”, is curated by Maya Wilson-Sanchez. “I am land” is a three-part exhibition; the first part is called “I am land that feels”.

The City of Toronto has partnered with Union Station to deliver this ArtworxTO hub. “I am land that feels” offers a public space for mourning, where death is tied to systemic violence and issues of injustice. This first part of “I am land” examines how artists document loss. It proposes art-making as a method for working through grief and examines how collective conversations about loss in public space can lead to healing. The exhibition explores grief through myriad themes and forms, from Glenna Cardinal’s and Carolina Caycedo’s mourning of land, to Anique Jordan’s work on Black grief and remembrance, Amber Webb’s memorial to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and a participatory and community-based altar by the Day of the Dead Collective. The exhibition is open to the public and can be viewed in person or online.

“I am honoured to launch the ArtworxTO Hub at Union Station and view the inaugural exhibition ‘I am land.’ Thank you to the artists who have created this exhibition. The City is honoured to partner with the revitalized Union Station to deliver this ArtworxTO hub. I encourage residents to visit this ArtworxTO hub and all the other hubs we have opened across the city.”– Mayor John Tory

ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art, 2021-2022, kicked off on September 22 at Cloverdale Common with the first of several hub openings. ArtworxTO Hubs are spaces for artistic and community activity led by the next generation of curators, collectives and artists. Through exhibitions, activations, workshops and experiences, the hubs amplify local artistic identities, recognize their global vibrancy and empower creative communities.

Year-long hubs are located at Downsview Park, Scarborough Town Centre, Cloverdale Common and Union Station, and have partnered with Local Art Service Organizations: North York Arts, Scarborough Arts, Arts Etobicoke, Lakeshore Arts, East End Arts, Urban Arts, Neilson Park Creative Centre and Sketch. These initial pop-up exhibitions, including the ArtworxTO Hub at Union Station, are available until Friday, December 31. More information about the year-long hubs is available here

In addition to the hubs, ArtworxTO has partnered with Driftscape, a mobile-friendly website and app that allows users to identify public artworks and engage in self-guided walking tours that include media clips and artist interviews. Tours in each of Toronto’s 25 wards, or works located at multiple TTC stations are available here

Finally, ArtworxTO’s Spotlight Emerging Artists Program invites artists with less than five years of experience to submit a video sharing their practice, journey and stories. Submissions will be accepted quarterly, and 52 emerging artists will be selected to be spotlighted — one per week during ArtworxTO. More information is available here

Grants provided by the City and Toronto Arts Council – and supported by corporate and government partners – will provide Toronto artists with more than $5 million to produce more than 350 new murals, installations, exhibitions, art events, performances and productions in 2021 and 2022. Funding has been provided to nearly 100 arts organizations, artists’ collectives, and Business Improvement Areas to create artwork and programs for ArtworxTO, such as community programs, film, live arts, projection-mapping, digital media, residencies and mentorship opportunities. More than 1,400 artists are involved in ArtworxTO projects.

Further opportunities for artists and participants are available through 16 City-administered programs and initiatives, including: the Public Art & Monuments Collection, StreetARToronto, Percent for Public Art Program, Cultural Hotspot, Nuit Blanche 2022, Toronto Sculpture Garden, Indigenous Affairs Office, Business Improvement Area Streetscape Program, Cultural Centres & Galleries, Museums and Heritage Services, Toronto Archives Photograph Collection, Parks, Forestry and Recreation Community Art Programs, Toronto Public Library, Artist in Residence, and Monument Lab x ArtworxTO.

ArtworxTO is part of the City’s new 10-Year Public Art Strategy, which renews Toronto’s commitment to public art and celebrates the incredible public artwork in the city, while also working to address gaps in the collection, such as the under-representation of equity-deserving communities and their histories, as well as geographic areas of the city where there are fewer public artworks. More information about ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022, including an interactive map of Toronto’s extensive collection of public art is available here.

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