Date: April 17 – May 16, 2020
Partner: Art Museum at the University of Toronto. We gratefully acknowledge operating 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 and the University of Toronto Faculty of Information.
Location: Art Museum at the University of Toronto, 15 King’s College Circle, Toronto
Project Members: Muskoka Dittmar-McCallum, Dana Silver, and Carly Wolowich
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition is an annual exhibition which celebrates the artistic excellence of University of Toronto’s tri-campus undergraduate Visual Studies program. The exhibition serves as a meeting place for students to exchange ideas through their diverse artistic practice. Each year, a guest juror selects three artists as recipients for top honors. The 2020 University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition boasts a variety of contemporary art forms ranging from sound media to interactive art. The exhibition abandons the traditional role of the spectator, as visitors are greeted with a multi-sensory experience and encouraged to participate with the art. The seventeen artists employ relational aesthetics within their work to confront themes of identity, cultural belonging, and displacement. To view the exhibition catalogue, please visit Art Museum’s website.
PROGRAMMING OFFERINGS: The exhibition opening will commence with a performance piece by Jessica Velasco which activates her on-going work, Statements. Velasco’s Statements explores the racist micro transgressions that the artist has experienced throughout their life. Statements is an on-going series which makes visible the absurdity of “subtle racism” and just how often it occurs in today’s society, even to white-representing interethnic people.
On April 23rd artist, Gian Lorenzo Giannone, will offer a meditation workshop. Giannone’s artistic practice is deeply connected to meditation. His zine, The Middle, explores touch as a meeting point for two surfaces to come together. In this workshop, Giannone will provide visitors with a zine and experiment with the University Art Centre as a site for a field report. His workshop is an inquiry into this practice. He wonders: “if a greater understanding of this phenomenon will allow for people to treat their surroundings differently.”
TYPES OF PRESENTATION: The exhibition brings together the work of seventeen artists across the University of Toronto’s Tri-Campus. The works range engage with historical and
political contexts and bear hallmarks of contemporary art practices. The artists work on a variety of media, including; photography, works on canvas, kinetic sculpture, film, participatory art, performance art and audio. Works are displayed unconventionally as they are installed on the floor, hung from the ceiling, and camouflaged into the architecture of the gallery space. Timely themes of identity, cultural belonging, and displacement emerged naturally during the curatorial process. All artworks are accompanied by wall labels and some extended labels were created for additional interpretation for guests.
INTENDED AUDIENCE: The Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition will attract various members of the University of Toronto’s tri-campus, Art Museum’s stakeholders, and art
enthusiasts. The exhibition design will uphold the standards defined by AODA to ensure access for both families and adults. Due to the distinct nature of the exhibition content, it will target
audiences in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.
TIMELINE: The exhibition planning was broken into three phases; promotion, selection, and installation. Starting in September 2019, marketing materials were devised and circulated to
endorse student interest in the upcoming exhibition and Portfolio Reviews. In January 2019, Portfolio Reviews were held at all three University of Toronto Campuses. From February to March 2019, over 120 submissions were reviewed and selected student artists were notified. During this second phase of planning, a floorplan, packing list, installation plan, didactics, and brochure contents were also produced. The exhibition opening is projected for 17 April 2020 and will be on-view until 16 May 2020.
MARKETING: The exhibition was marketed through the Art Museum’s social media pages, University of Toronto affiliated news sources, and Akimbo. The curatorial team provided and controlled a social media calendar and collaborated with the Art Museum’s Communication Assistant and Business Coordinator.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: We would like to thank November Paynter, the Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, for serving as this year’s prize juror. We would also like to thank Liora Belford, Ph.D. candidate, sound artist, scholar, and curator for providing guidance as our curatorial mentor. We gratefully acknowledge support from Agnieszka Chalas, Associate Professor from the University of Toronto Faculty of Information, and Teaching Assistants Haley Bryant and Camille-Mary Sharp. Coordination and promotion of the
exhibition and its programming was supported by Art Museum staff Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Esther Simmonds-MacAdam, Rebecca Gimmi, Heather Pigat, Maureen Smith, and Marianne Rellin.