Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition 2019

2019, Art, Art Museum at the University of Toronto
art gallery, art museum, contemporary art, emerging artists, student art, student exhibition
About This Project

Date: April 17 – May 18, 2019

Partner: Art Museum at the University of Toronto

Location: University of Toronto Art Centre

Project Members: Laetitia Dandavino-Tardif, Melina Mehr, and Kesang Nanglu

Curatorial Statement
The University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition is an annual exhibition celebrating the diverse artistic excellence of Visual Studies undergraduate students from all three campuses. These nineteen emerging artists rethink conceptual and material boundaries through risk-taking and a playfulness of form, while responding to social and political issues. Across the exhibition, shared themes of surveillance, cultural construction, and fantasy emerge. As you move through the galleries, we invite you to consider how the next generation of artists are shaping the landscape of contemporary Canadian art.
Intended Audience
The exhibition will attract University of Toronto students and faculty, as well as broader communities of art lovers and museum professionals in the GTA. The selected artists’ families, as well as friends and supporters for the artists and curators, will also be present.
The Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition is held each year at the University of Toronto Art Centre and organized in partnership with the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.
The SPSAE 2019 received support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council with additional project support from the Office of the Vice-President & Provost, Manulife, Shelley Peterson, and the University of Toronto Faculty of Information.
Basic Timeline
The SPSAE 2019 exhibition planning lasted from October 2018 to April 2019. Until February 2019, the focus was on raising awareness about the upcoming exhibition and promoting our Call for Submissions. In January 2019, studio visits/portfolio reviews were held at the three UofT campuses. From February to March 2019, the artworks were selected, artists notified, floor plan completed, didactics written and communication materials printed. Shipping of the artworks was on April 5, 2019, installation on April 8-9, 2019 and the opening reception on April 17, 2019. The exhibition was uninstalled on May 20-21, 2019.
Types of Presentation
The SPSAE 2019 consists of the works of 19 undergraduate students who all engage with historical and political contexts within the art canon. They work in a variety of media, including sculpture, video, and drawing. Together, these artworks consider issues of surveillance, identity, cultural construction, and fantasy. These themes emerged once the curatorial team selected the final artworks, and found clear links between the pieces. The curatorial team also created didactics for each artwork, collecting information from the submitted artist bios and statements to form concise and engaging descriptions. These didactics serve as an interpretive tool to help guide visitors, informing them of the artists’ specific influences and ideas.
Marketing and Programming
The curators created a new website specifically for SPSAE (, which functioned as the primary platform for dispersing accurate, up-to-date information on the exhibition in-progress. The SPSAE Facebook page (@spsaeuoft) was created to advertise the call for submissions, and the opening reception. The exhibition was also promoted through the Art Museum’s website and social media. Sam Mogelonsky designed the promotional brochure with the help of the curatorial team.
We would like to thank artist and curator Nahed Mansour, who served as prize juror. We would also like to thank Matthew Brower, Associate Professor from the University of Toronto Faculty of Information, and TAs Rebecca Noone and Camille-Mary Sharpe. Coordination and promotion of the exhibition were supported by Art Museum staff Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Esther Simmonds-MacAdam, Maureen Smith, and Sam Mogelonsky.