Neighbourhood Art Tour with Anique J. Jordan

 

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 4:00am

On September 8, graduate students from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design  and Criticism and Curatorial Practice programs joined artist Anique J. Jordan for a unique neighbourhood tour that highlighted the hidden history of a construction site close to OCAD University.

The tour started behind City Hall on Chestnut Street where the new provincial courthouse building is planned for construction. Anique shared with the group that this site has a deep history that is obscured by the large, grey, hoarding that now traces the perimeter of the lot. Upon beginning construction, the development company discovered thousands of cultural artifacts from the site’s history as the location of a British Methodist Episcopal church, rooted in one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the city called The Ward. Originally built in 1845, the church was a crucial site for Toronto’s black community playing an important role as a spiritual, community, and cultural centre.

Now the site is surrounded by imposing hoarding that demands to ‘post no bills’; it offers no narrative or suggestion of the site as one of historical civic significance. Anique is particularly interested in what she perceives as an erasure of the histories of the black and immigrant communities that previously thrived in that neighbourhood. With no signage, no commemoration, and no invitation for conversation, the current construction site illuminates a complicated relationship between historical preservation and the high-speed drive for new development in Toronto.

From this former church site Anique led the tour group to the Art Gallery of Ontario’s exhibition The Idea of North, where works by contemporary artists are exhibited alongside paintings by the iconic Canadian artist Lawren Harris. Anique’s works in the exhibition speak directly to the history of the black community within The Ward that Harris also used as a subject in many of his early paintings. Her works, that directly reference the Chestnut Street site, create a contemporary history that speaks back to the historical narratives that are currently being built over, in an attempt to recreate a more accurate and honest conversation about the history of our city and its citizens.

This artist tour was organized by Dr. Andrea Fatona, the Graduate Program Director for the Criticism and Curatorial Practice program. It was part of Graduate Studies Orientation week where all new students were welcomed to OCAD U - and its surrounding neighbourhood!

For more on Anique’s work in The Idea of North exhibition, see her interview: http://artmatters.ca/wp/2016/08/an-interview-with-toronto-artist-anique-jordan-lawren-harris-toronto-and-a-complicated-history/

For more on Anique’s work: https://aniquejjordan.com/

For more on the British Methodist Episcopal church construction site: https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/02/15/torontos-black-history-unearthed-in-excavation-of-landmark-church.html

For more on OCAD University graduate programs: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies.htm

 

Images courtesy of Karina Iskandarsjah www.karinais.com

Juliette Vermeersch
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The cover of the special "Entangled Gaze" edition of the ab-Original journal.
OCAD University is pleased to announce the new peer-reviewed journal ab-Original: Journal of Indigenous Studies and First Nations and First Peoples' Cultures is now available. This special issue entitled “The Entangled Gaze: Indigenous and European Views of Each Other”1 co-edited by Dr. McMaster and Dr. Julia Lum (University of Toronto), contains ten essays. The Entangled Gaze shares its title and theme with the 2017 conference that was co-hosted by OCAD University and the Art Gallery of Ontario. The conference convened an international group of scholars and museum professionals from the fields of art history, anthropology, cultural studies and curatorial practice to explore the topic of how Indigenous and European artists have represented each other in historical art and visual culture.
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A new living wall wallwork by DRPT student Raquel De Silva has been installed in OCAD University’s Rosalie Sharp Pavilion. This project was commissioned by the Faculty of Art and the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers (CEAD), and generously supported by Mercedes Benz Financial Services (MBFS) sponsorships.
Indu Antony
OCAD University’s Faculty of Art is pleased to welcome Bangalore-based artist Indu Antony as the inaugural artist-in-residence for its 2019 IArts Residency Program, taking place September 9 to October 19.
l-r: Jaime Rivera, Neil Botelho, Bo Louie, Nadia Abuseif and Silva Nercessian
OCAD University congratulates its graduate Strategic Foresight and Innovation students with winning five awards presented by The Association of Professional Futurists (APF) for their outstanding work! 
OCAD University will present honorary doctorate degrees to four prominent Canadians: artist, activist and educator, Jeannette Armstrong, PhD, famed cartoonist, illustrator and OCAD U alumnus  Barry Blitt, celebrated artist and graduate of OCAD U, Shelley Niro and accomplished Canadian filmmaker Patricia Rozema. 
Natalie King
Congratulations to Natalie King (DRPT 2018') who has joined Xpace Cultural Centre as the team's Programming Coordinator.
construction hoarding with 'post no bills' warning
Anique standing in front of her artwork on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario
Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 4:00am

On September 8, graduate students from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design  and Criticism and Curatorial Practice programs joined artist Anique J. Jordan for a unique neighbourhood tour that highlighted the hidden history of a construction site close to OCAD University.

The tour started behind City Hall on Chestnut Street where the new provincial courthouse building is planned for construction. Anique shared with the group that this site has a deep history that is obscured by the large, grey, hoarding that now traces the perimeter of the lot. Upon beginning construction, the development company discovered thousands of cultural artifacts from the site’s history as the location of a British Methodist Episcopal church, rooted in one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the city called The Ward. Originally built in 1845, the church was a crucial site for Toronto’s black community playing an important role as a spiritual, community, and cultural centre.

Now the site is surrounded by imposing hoarding that demands to ‘post no bills’; it offers no narrative or suggestion of the site as one of historical civic significance. Anique is particularly interested in what she perceives as an erasure of the histories of the black and immigrant communities that previously thrived in that neighbourhood. With no signage, no commemoration, and no invitation for conversation, the current construction site illuminates a complicated relationship between historical preservation and the high-speed drive for new development in Toronto.

From this former church site Anique led the tour group to the Art Gallery of Ontario’s exhibition The Idea of North, where works by contemporary artists are exhibited alongside paintings by the iconic Canadian artist Lawren Harris. Anique’s works in the exhibition speak directly to the history of the black community within The Ward that Harris also used as a subject in many of his early paintings. Her works, that directly reference the Chestnut Street site, create a contemporary history that speaks back to the historical narratives that are currently being built over, in an attempt to recreate a more accurate and honest conversation about the history of our city and its citizens.

This artist tour was organized by Dr. Andrea Fatona, the Graduate Program Director for the Criticism and Curatorial Practice program. It was part of Graduate Studies Orientation week where all new students were welcomed to OCAD U - and its surrounding neighbourhood!

For more on Anique’s work in The Idea of North exhibition, see her interview: http://artmatters.ca/wp/2016/08/an-interview-with-toronto-artist-anique-jordan-lawren-harris-toronto-and-a-complicated-history/

For more on Anique’s work: https://aniquejjordan.com/

For more on the British Methodist Episcopal church construction site: https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/02/15/torontos-black-history-unearthed-in-excavation-of-landmark-church.html

For more on OCAD University graduate programs: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies.htm

 

Images courtesy of Karina Iskandarsjah www.karinais.com