The Gardiner Museum’s Community Art Space explores what we long for

What do we long for? That’s the theme of this year’s edition of the Community Art Space at the Gardiner Museum and a conversation worth exploring. Is it an understanding and awareness of where we come from and where we are going? Can social justice co-exist with joy and pleasure? In this series of free summer programming inspired by the Museum’s own collections, visitors can explore a full summer of free public projects including exhibitions, hands-on workshops, talks and performances that aim to inspire conversation and social action. The program at the Gardiner Museum first launched in 2016 offering a platform to local artists and community leaders including youth who represent the diversity of this city.

What we long for is a counterpoint to calling out, gaslighting, exhaustion and burnout. Projects are meant to engage in community healing, survival tools, gaps between community and institutional memory while creating opportunities for acknowledgment and action.

Gardiner Museum’s Community Art Space: What We Long For launches on July 9 and runs until September 4, 2019. Access to the projects and public programming are free (with registration). Here is what’s happening:

The Gardiner Museum's Community Art Space explores what we long for

Art Movements: Podcast project: July 9th – August 20th

Hyperallergic Podcast Project: July 9 – August 20 Co-presented with Hyperallergic

Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful, and radical perspectives on art and culture. Read by a million people each month, it is a source for art news, views, and reviews. Established in 2018, Art Movements is Hyperallergic’s leading art podcast designed to connect the general public to the diverse stories of art around the world. As a student at the University of Toronto, host Hrag Vartanian was a frequent visitor to the Gardiner Museum. Inspired by the Gardiner’s collection, this series of four episodes invites prominent artists like Shary Boyle and Kent Monkman to explore issues at the intersection of contemporary ceramics and museums.

Hrag Vartanian in Conversation with Shary Boyle: July 11th, 7:30 – 9 pm

Hrag Vartanian moderates a public conversation with artist Shary Boyle on the social history of ceramic objects and contemporary art.

HAIR WE ARE: Youth Project: July 11th to 24th

Hair We Are: July 11 to 24 (official launch on July 11, 6 to 8 pm. Mingle with the artists and collaborators, and enjoy music, youth artist-led tours, and refreshments). Co-presented with Art Starts and VIBE Arts.
Beauty salons and barbershops have long served as important sites in the Black community. They provide far more than hair care, acting as safe spaces for people to exchange stories and build strong bonds. Led by artist Igho Diana of VIBE Arts, youth from Art Starts present an exhibition in the form of a contemporary beauty salon that explores self-care and changing concepts of beauty. Hair We Are reflects on objects in the Gardiner’s collection of European ceramics made for the boudoir and female-only social spaces. The project challenges racialized girls and young women to use their lived experiences to rethink and re-contextualize historical objects as a means of bringing their own histories to the fore.

Family Sunday: Self-Care Rituals: July 14th, 11 am – 3 pm

A  hands-on self-care workshop and learn how to make your own body butter and hair care products.

Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories: Transformative Justice Project: August 1st to 15th

August 1 to 15. Co-presented with The 519, Salon Noir, and YYZ Artists Outlet. Inspired by the cruising histories of nearby Queen’s Park, Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories considers how experiences of desire, physical expression, and social connection take up space across Toronto, and how this is complicated by increasing gentrification. Led by artist Abdi Osman and curator Ellyn Walker, this project makes visible the dignity, love, and generative practices in local Black, Trans, and Queer histories through community art-making workshops, programs, and an exhibition.

Outdoor Walking Tour: Cruising Histories of Queen’s Park: July 4th, 6 – 7:15 pm

Inspired by local queer cruising histories of nearby Queen’s Park, artist Abdi Osman leads a walking excursion around the park grounds.

Public Talk: Unsettling the Myths of the 1969 Criminal Code Reform. July 18th, 6 – 7:30 pm. Historian-activist

Gary Kinsman presents his research around the mythologies of the 1969 Criminal Code reform.

Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories Exhibition Launch: August 1st, 6 – 9 pm

Attend the exhibition opening of Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories, featuring a live DJ set and a special drag performance.

Refusing Gentrification: Community Arts & Practice(s): August 8th, 6 – 8 pm

Activist-artist-educator Yusra Khogali leads a panel with local Regent Park artists on the politics of gentrification in their neighbourhood.

Reading Room: Queen’s Park Oral History Transcriptions: August 14th, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Join us for a collective reading and discussion of anonymous transcripts from artist Abdi Osman’s oral history research around cruising encounters in Queen’s Park.

Reading Room: Queen’s Park Oral History Transcriptions: September 12th, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

The Sing Fronteras Monarch Butterfly Project – A Flight Path Without Borders: August 22nd to September 4th.

Co-presented with Akin and Canada Nos Une Multicultural Organization. Coinciding with the arrival of monarch butterflies in Canada and their departure to Mexico, the Davenport Perth Community Ministry, alongside Canada Nos Une Multicultural Organization, held a series clay butterfly-making workshops. Facilitated by Monterrey, Mexico-born artist Lourdes (Lumy) Fuentes and Community Minister and artist Tina Conlon during their residency at Akin St Clair, these art-making activities explored the challenges faced by migrants in the context of the monarch butterfly’s risk of extinction. Installed in the Gardiner’s Exhibition Hall and Ancient Americas Gallery, the ceramic butterflies are intended to mobilize conversation and action around the decline of the monarch and the migrant crisis.

Clay & Conversation: July 17th, 6 – 9 pm

Make ceramic butterflies that will be part of The Sin Fronteras Monarch Butterfly Project.

The Sin Fronteras Monarch Butterfly Project Exhibition Launch: August 22nd, 6 – 8 pm

All are welcome to attend the public opening of The Sin Fronteras Monarch Butterfly Project, featuring a butterfly dance performed by seniors of the Davenport-Perth Community, music, and refreshments.

Family Sunday: Spread Your Wings: August 25th, 11 am – 3 pm

Just before the monarch butterflies begin their annual migration to Mexico, join in a special ceramic butterfly-making workshop in English and Spanish.


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