Work in Process

2011, Art, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Temporary Exhibit
art practice, artistic practice, contemporary art, event photos, Greater Toronto Area, installation art, painting, performance art, photography, pottery, textile, University of Toronto
About This Project

Date: March 1 – 31, 2011

Partner: Art Museum at the University of Toronto

Venue: Art Lounge at the University of Toronto Art Centre – map

Project Members: Sarah Heim, Rachel Keeling, and Jilana Stewart


Work in Process takes place in the art lounge at the University of Toronto Art Centre on the UofT St. George Campus.


Work in Process is an exploration of artistic and curatorial processes through a transparent lens, bringing the visitor into the equation. By providing in-depth artist statements and studio visit documentation, an opportunity is created for individuals to reach a personal connection and deeper understanding of the art itself. The ‘Processing Area’ provides a space to sit, watch, read and reflect while being provided with the means to document one’s own thought process.


The exhibition provides an opportunity to see beyond the walls of the exhibition and into the relationships developed between artist, curator, and visitor. The exhibition is intended for an adult audience with a diverse level of understanding regarding contemporary art. Didactics use a simple a straightforward tone while the video documentation is informal and casual. The Faculty of Information provided the initial budget and funding for the exhibition. During the installation, UTAC provided physical assistance as well as covering the cost of many our supplies (including the printing of vinyl). UTM/Sheridan also provided the resources for a bar at the opening.


Planning for the exhibition began in September 2010. The planning and research phase took 6 months altogether. Studio visits followed in October and by mid-November we had all our artists selected. December and January were devoted to implementing our interpretive strategy, creating text and devising a layout for the space. Installation took a week at the end of February and the show opening on March 1.


Work in Process included work by seven different artists with varying mediums and practices including; photographs, prints, paintings, site-specific sculpture and performance-based pieces. Televisions were set up in the gallery – one playing a silent time lapsed video of a performance while the other had headphones for visitors to watch the documentation of studio visits. A large introductory text panel was placed on the wall at the entrance. Smaller tags were created for each piece containing general toe tag information, as well as an out-take from the artist statement. The artists wrote statements specific to their work which were compiled into binders placed throughout the gallery. A ‘Processing Area’ was created in which the visitor could comfortably sit to watch the studio visit documentation or read the artist statements. A binder was also included where feedback could be left. The front page of the binder included questions which prompted visitors to think critically about what they had seen or experienced.


Postcard invitations were printed and placed around campus as well as being passed out to the artists at UTM. A Facebook page was created on which updates were posted throughout the lead-up, install and duration of the exhibition. The iSchool placed a listing on their website. UTAC provided an Akimbo post, listings on their websites and updates to their Facebook page. Media organizations on campus were contacted and Work in Process was mentioned in the UofT eBulletin and was added to blogTO and NOW listings. Our programming included an informal artist/curatorial tour as well as an English Breakfast Tea Party which accompanied one of the pieces.


We would like to thank all of the artists for their commitment to Work in Process. Thank you also to the staff at UTAC and at the UTM/Sheridan Art & Art History program for their support throughout the project and to the iSchool and Matthew Brower for providing us with the practical and theoretical framework for this experience.”