Fall may have arrived, but Toronto’s waterfront is heating up as a destination for art lovers
TORONTO, ON., Sept. 29, 2020 — Toronto waterfront art shows — Grab your pumpkin spice latte and head to the Toronto Waterfront for your latest art fix. Nuit Blanche may be online this year, but there is no shortage of art events taking along the waterfront from exhibits to installations. With social distancing guidelines and protocols in place, of course read on for details.
“We are extremely excited about the art programming happening down at the waterfront – both this year and into the next,” says Tim Kocur, Executive Director of the Waterfront BIA. “We have a range of compelling options whether you’re planning an exhibit visit or exploring some of the public art on your bike.”
Projections at The Canada Co. Malting Silos, Donald D. Sommerville Olympic Pool and The Power Plant
BigArtTO – Ward 10 – The Canada Co. Malting Silos: An exciting art projection initiative called “The Essentials” in partnership with the Bentway, the city of Toronto and the Waterfront BIA. The first installment features work by Erika Defreitas, which is being projected on the Malting Silos from September 30 to October 3 from 8-11p.m. You can view the Toronto-based artist, who has been working on a series based on tracing where she uses her hands/fingers to reveal architectural patterns. The projections are viewable on the west side of the building, facing east.
In the east end of Toronto and running from Wednesday, October 21 to Saturday, October 24 the second part of the initiative will feature projections by artist Alvin Luong at the Donald D. Sommerville Olympic Pool (at the foot of Woodbine). The third and final installment will take place from Wednesday, November 18 through Saturday, November 21, where artist Winnie Truong will present at Canada Post’s South-Central Letter Processing Plant (on Eastern just south of Greenwood).
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery- 231 Queens Quay West: From September 24- October 30, The Power Plant will be hosting Site Alive, a series of large-scale outdoor evening projections on the building’s exterior with safe viewing from its spacious outdoor site. Check out augmented reality, immersive contemporary dance movement and visual art.
Three new exhibits at The Power Plant
In addition to the projections, starting September 26 there will be three new exhibits by Nathan E. Carson, Manuel Mathieu and Howie Tsui. Interestingly these are the first solo institutional exhibits for all three.
Nathan E. Carson’s ‘Cut from the same cloth’ presents several interrelated bodies of work. He is known for figurative explorations of hybrid creatures, animals, and human figures.
Manuel Mathieu’s ‘World Discovered Under Other Skies’ features a collection of new and past works—including paintings, drawings, and ceramics—shedding light on Haiti’s relationship to the world. He is known for vibrant, colourful paintings that seamlessly merge abstraction with figuration.
Howie Tsui’s ‘From swelling shadows, we draw our bows’ showcases his blend of classical and contemporary Chinese art, particularly wuxia—a popular martial arts genre advocating for resistance against oppressors that emerged in China during the mid-20th century—with Western popular culture to examine the complexities of the diasporic experience and question official Chinese culture.
‘Framework’ part of Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in the Port Lands
Framework – 312 Cherry St & Villiers St Median: Part of Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, ‘Framework’ is a collaboration between Toronto artists Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker. Starting in the summer of 2019, they began photographing one of the most ambitious civil works projects in North America – the five-year transformation of the Port Lands from 290 hectares of flood-prone, industrial brownfield into usable parkland and urban infrastructure.
They have created a visual pathway of construction-grade wooden frames installed between two industrial sites in the Port Lands. These frames display photographs taken through windows and apertures of buildings since demolished, as well as other impermanent structures on the site. You can view ‘Framework’ now until December 31, 2020.
Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit – 1 Yonge Street: Inside the Toronto Star building, you will find the world-premiere of the new Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. Be immersed in 600,000 cubic feet of stunning projection animating the masters’ oeuvre and illuminating the mind of the genius. Wander through giant projections that highlight brushstroke, detail, and colour as you have never experienced them. Visitors will be immersed in Van Gogh’s works — from his sunny landscapes and night scenes, to his portraits and still life paintings. You have the option of walking or even driving through the exhibit. Social distancing is being observed. There are tickets available in September and October.
The Brain Project – Bay and Harbour Street: You’re probably familiar with Yogen Fruz’s city-wide The Brain Project public art exhibit, but if you’re down at the waterfront, you should definitely check out the local ‘brains’. There are three at this intersection alone but visit the website for more details.
Light Keeper – Aitken Place Park: This light-based public art installation was installed last November and was created by Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Garrett, and Studio North. During the day, the artwork stands as a mirrored obelisk, reflecting the surrounding environment of the park space, awaiting the sunset. After dark, this public artwork illuminates, inviting viewers to bask in its glow.
Birth of Light – Mural at 291 Lakeshore Blvd East: Installed in October 2019 under the Gardiner, the mural Birth of Light by Jacquie Comrie explores the connection between colour and mental wellbeing. Birth of Light was created in collaboration with Waterfront Toronto and the East Bayfront community.
Art to watch out for
Toronto Waterfront Artist Residency – Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada (BSAM Canada) has been selected for a 16-month residency as part of a partnership between Waterfront Toronto and The Waterfront BIA, with additional funding from the City of Toronto’s BIA Innovation Fund. The aim of this residency is to create meaningful, experiential encounters with the community, to activate multiple underutilized spaces along the lakefront, and draw new audiences to the waterfront. The residency started in August 2020 with a period of community integration and research and will culminate with the implementation of projects during 2021. This has been declared the Year of Public Art by Mayor Tory, so make sure to keep an eye out for new and exciting pieces throughout the year.
Lead photo ‘The Essentials’ by Erika DeFreitas