Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.
CP24 reports that a public-art exhibition featuring photos of Black Lives Matter actions and activists was vandalized this week in Toronto. Large, vinyl-printed versions of Toronto photographer Jalani Morgan’s black-and-white images were installed April 30 outside of Metro Hall, a municipally owned building, as part of the Contact Photography Festival. On May 7, Morgan received notice via Instagram that three of the photo-canvases had been torn open. According to CP24, “The three images that were damaged included an image of a young man demonstrating against the police practice of carding, a woman in a hijab speaking at a microphone and a portrait of Black Lives Matter co-founder Sandy Hudson.” Morgan later that day (on May 7) responded by stitching the torn prints with red thread, telling CP24 that “I just wanted to stitch it—the stitching is just sort of a way in which I can deal with it… The red really allows for people to respond and see what happened here.” A slideshow of the damage—and the mending—is available on Morgan’s Instagram. The installation is scheduled to continue until May 31.
The National Gallery of Canada has renamed one of its contemporary exhibition galleries the Galerie RENNIE Gallery to honour a recent donation of works by Vancouver art collector Bob Rennie. Valued at $12 million, the 197 paintings, sculptures and mixed-media pieces donated by Rennie comprise “one of the largest gifts of contemporary art ever received by the gallery,” according to an NGC release. Some of the major pieces include works by Doris Salcedo, Brian Jungen, Damian Moppett, Rodney Graham, Ian Wallace and Geoffrey Farmer. Rennie continues to maintain his own private exhibition space, the Rennie Collection at Wing Sang, in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
In awards news: On May 8, curator John G. Hampton and artist Jen Aitken each received $10,000 awards in contemporary visual art given by the Hnatyshyn Foundation and TD Bank Group. The awards are presented to a Canadian curator and an emerging visual artist, both under the age of 35, whose body of work has achieved a public presence and peer recognition. The award is intended to go towards professional development. On May 8, Alexandra Suda, curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, won an Association of Art Museum Curators Award for Excellence in the Digital Publication category; it was in honour of her work on the “The Boxwood Project.” On May 9, Shelley Niro won the $50,000 Scotiabank Photography Award. And on May 10, Fogo Island Arts announced that Vancouver painter Elizabeth McIntosh would be its 2017 CIBC Artist-in-Residence.
Canada’s largest and longest-running juried contemporary outdoor art fair has announced changes. The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is working with PLANT Architect Inc., the firm responsible for the revitalization and renovation of Nathan Phillips Square—where the TOAE usually takes place—to redesign the exhibition site. Inspired by the design of a neoclassical city, the new layout is promised to be “reminiscent of a Spanish town with buildings circling the main plaza, where visitors are encouraged to wander and explore.” The artist list for the exhibition was also announced this week. Also in matters of the public realm, No. 9 Contemporary Art and the Environment is marking 10 years with a book of its public-art projects, a new project called the People’s Plinth, and a new board member, Dr. Anita Jack Davies.
In appointments news, Tangled Art + Disability has appointed Barak adé Soleil as artistic director for Tangled Art Gallery. Barak adé Soleil is known in part for his role as a creator of dance, theatre, and performance art for more than two decades. He is the founder of D UNDERBELLY, an interdisciplinary network of artists of color, and recipient of the Katherine Dunham Choreography Award presented by AUDELCO for excellence in NYC Black Theatre. Among other awards, he is a 2017 recipient of 3Arts Residency Fellowship at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. “As the new artistic director, I look forward to cultivating networks that extend beyond the boundaries of conventional forms and authentically address disability art, access and accessibility,” Barak adé Soleil said in a release.