Laura Hudspith is a Toronto-based sculptor and installation artist whose work features molded and slip cast objects accentuated by readymade objects and materials, electronics, silicone and taxidermy. She holds a BFA in ceramics from Concordia University, Montreal. Hudspith has exhibited her work and participated in artist residencies in both Canada and the United States.
Winged Metamorphosis, (2014)
Sara Pearson is a Toronto based artist who graduated with a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design University. The paintings and sculptures in her upcoming exhibition, ‘PROSPECTOR’, are inspired by geological and gemmological formations, reminding us of the strange and sublime beauty of nature. Gemstones, as coveted objects, present a complicated relationship between the natural world and us; as we hunt, collect and refine them, they become instilled with human values. In this body of work, Sara Pearson deconstructs and reinterprets their forms, removing facets and breaking stones into abstract shards, highlighting internal depths and building new structure. By pulling apart our vision of the perfect gem, she removes preconceived notions attached to it and focuses us on its extraordinariness.
‘Everything is Stardust’, (2016)
Xander Maclaren makes art about systems: his works explore an ever present tension between logical and arbitrary choices . Flora Aldridge creates works that explore the complexity of memory, and the fabrications or distortions which arise during the process of recollection. Both Xander and Flora are Toronto- based artists, completing their final year of study at The Etobicoke School of The Arts.
Born in 1989, Lauren Pelc-McArthur is an emerging artist from Toronto. Having graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 2012 with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Drawing and Painting, Pelc-McArthur explores various facets of technology and internet culture through painting, sculpture and 3-D animation. Recipient of an emerging visual artist grant from the Toronto Arts Council in 2014, she has participated in International and Canadian residencies including Kaus Australis in Rotterdam.
Brett Despotovich was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1982. He studied briefly at the Ontario College of Art and Design, leaving in 2005 to dedicate himself to working on FLicKeR, a multi-award winning feature-length documentary. He lives and works in Toronto.
Despotovich’s work is in private collections in Canada, the US and Europe, notably the Sobey Collection. His recent solo exhibition in September 2014 was reviewed in Magenta Magazine. In addition to his artistic production, Despotovich has been involved in facilitating the presentation of other artists, as a member of the founding committee for XPACE, working as a docent for the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2013, 2015), as Head of Gallery Operations and Visitor Services at MOCCA, to operating the alternative gallery Afterhours Projects.
Despotovich’s most recent work, ‘chordata’, is an exhibition of new drawings on mirror Mylar, which investigate resonance and interference, harmony and discord.
There is a new movement that has been growing in this city: the re-branding of Toronto by its citizens, especially contemporary urban artists. But what are the effects that this re-imagining of people and space have on our city? French philosopher Marc Augé first coined the term ‘non-place’ which describes much of the landscape of a city: alleys, grocery stores, and bridge underpasses, all spaces that we travel through every day without giving much thought. ‘Places’ are understood in the words of Augé, as a “proliferation of imagined and imaginary references”: we understand ‘real places’ as having a predetermined meaning, and therefore warranting our attention. In Toronto, these non-places are being re-defined. Neighbourhoods or intersections that usually are not acknowledged are now being revitalized: arts initiatives, like StArt, are funding street artists to beautify areas, and re-contextualize non-places into everyday monuments. This is just one innovative part of the greater culmination of a new identity for Toronto as a sleek, fresh, and urban brand.