There is Bread and Salt Between Us - Valentyna Onisko MFA Thesis Exhibition

exhibition postcard - image of kitchen dish towel on a table
Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 10:00am to Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 5:00pm

March 18 – March 25

Open Space Gallery, 49 McCaul Street, Toronto

Basil AlZeri
Tsēma Igharas 
Lisa Myers
Dana Prieto

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 18, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Gallery Hours: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Artist Panel: TBA

The sharing of bread and salt is a traditional welcoming ceremony in many European cultures, and ubiquitous to hospitality in Slavic cultures. Similarly, in some Middle Eastern cultures, the Arabic saying "Fi Khobez wa meleh bainna", or “There is bread and salt between us”, refers to an alliance based on mutual respect and moral obligation between individuals. While bread has largely been associated with life and sustenance perhaps since the beginning of agriculture, salt has both positive and negative connotations; it is able to represent both prosperity and hardship as well as denote a difficult relationship or history. This rich metaphor can be used to frame the conversation about what it means, for many, to call nations such as Canada home, and contemporary ideas of subjecthood.

Canada is preparing for a significant milestone in 2017, the marking of 150 years since Confederation. While this event will be celebratory in nature for some, others may hold more ambiguous and conflicting feelings towards what this anniversary represents, and what national myths it perpetuates. During such celebrations, the multiculturalism and conjectural inclusivity of Canadian society are often touted globally, glossing over historical violence and ongoing struggles. The discourse around Canada’s modern national identity also alludes to the Canadian national subject; assumed to be stable and singular by some, individuals residing in Canada may now, however, identify with several conflicting, fragmented, and hyphenated subject-hoods. 

Contemporary artists who challenge or don’t conform to precariously defined narratives of what it means to be Canadian - affected by globalization, colonialism, migration, and displacement - are exploring these ideas of subject-hood, multiple and conflicting identities, as well as cultural and historical entanglements, often through gestures of hospitality. New conceptions of “home” are negotiated and created: often a pastiche of memories, cultural practices, and ideas of what it means to belong.

Venue & Address: 
Open Space Gallery, 49 McCaul Street

Atmospheres of Production - CCP Thesis Exhibition by Maggie Lever

coloured abstract image
Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 12:00pm to Monday, March 13, 2017 - 4:00pm

Displaying the work of Juanita Lee Garcia, this MFA Curatorial Thesis investigates the effects of curatorial and exhibition design strategies on the ability to engage an audience.

Curated by Maggie Lever, this exhibit is divided into two atmospheres, where viewers will be asked through surveys and focus groups about their experience interacting with Juanita Lee Garcia's labour intensive, vibrant and colourful prints at the Milk Glass Gallery.

This exhibit will be open from March 7 - March 13 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm daily.

OPENING RECEPTION will be held from 7:00pm to 10:00pm on Wednesday, March 8 at Milk Glass Gallery.

For a chance to learn about curatorial practices and participate in this research, focus groups will be held:
Friday, March 10 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
Saturday, March 11 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
Monday, March 13 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm

If you are interested in participating in a focus group to discuss your opinions and experience relating to this exhibit, please RSVP to **

Juanita Lee Garcia, born in Bogota Colombia and currently based in Toronto, employs strategies of repetition in her process, and repurpose in her image selection to conceptually and materially investigate the potential, and limits, of ethnic décor in consumer culture. She explores the history and potential of the image and material, their cultural and social association, and aesthetic feel generated in relation to the public, private, and consumer spaces related to the consumption of cultural identity - specifically that of the Latino. Lee Garcia’s artistic practice shifts between sculptural and conceptual work that mines simple gestures, such as slicing, inserting, folding or continuous printing to build new and abstract forms that are at once unfamiliar yet comforting.

** Consent forms will be used in order to outline the confidentiality of the research. The focus groups will be recorded. Any quotations used will be assigned different names in order to present the qualitative data accurately.


More about the Critcism & Curtorial Practice graduate program:

Venue & Address: 
Milk Glass Co., 1247 Dundas Street West

First Thursday: Still Nasty - Curated by CCP Graduate Students

image of AGO interior with party-goers
Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 7:00pm to 11:30pm

The Art Gallery of Ontario's First Thursday: Still Nasty is guest curated by first-year Criticism & Curatorial Practice Graduate Students, with programming that features current students and alumni from the Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design program.

Thursday, March 2 from 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm

"The night’s program aims to explore, through a feminist lens, a future that imagines possibilities for diversity of representation and experiences—a future that is more open, more free, more feminist, and non-deterministic. Headlining, with a live performance on the mainstage in Walker Court, is the celebrated queer Black feminist artist—and Toronto legend—d’bi.young anitafrika with her band The 333.

The program features installations and performances by Toronto-based artists Hazel Meyer (MFA, IAMD 2010), whose work explores relationships between sport, sexuality and feminism; Mariam Magsi (MFA candidate, IAMD 2017) an interdisciplinary artist working across installation, performance, fashion and photography; and Zahra Saleki an Iranian-born emerging photographer and installation artist whose work tells stories of unique locales and the people who inhabit them. Artists Golboo Amani and Coco Guzman will also present projects of the hands-on, interactive variety, including Amani’s Unsettling Settlers of Catan, an expansion pack that acts as an intervention into the board game Settlers of Catan, unsettling the colonial narrative of the game.

Plus, don’t miss pop-up talks by artist Aylan Couchie (MFA candidate, IAMD 2018), curator and writer Genevieve Flavelle and Robin McDonald, and a special collection of artwork on display in our monthly Out of the Vaults installation. And as always, dine on the delicious food and drinks featured in our Night Market, and pick up a artist-designed program edition on your way in."

Curators: Hannah Hubicki, Karina Iskandarsjah, Veronika Ivanova, Julia Laweh, Diane Mikhael, Lida Shanehchiyan, Christian Siroyt, Jesse Wardell, Elizaveta Zhurkovskaya

More info on First Thursday: Still Nasty:

More on the Criticism & Curatorial Practice graduate program:

More on the Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design program:

Venue & Address: 
Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street W
ticketed, $11-$16

Blood Ties - XPACE exhibition with OCAD U graduate students and alumni

Image of Fallon Simard's work called 'Womb' (video still)
Friday, February 17, 2017

Blood Ties

February 17 to March 24, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, February 17, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

XPACE Cultural Centre, 303 Lansdowne Ave

Artists: Omar Badrin (IAMD MFA, 2015), Aditi Ohri, Shahir Omar-Qrishnaswamy, Fallon Simard (IAMD MA candidate, 2017), Eve Tagny
Curators: Geneviève Wallen (CCP MFA, 2015) and Eve Tagny

Blood Ties explores the spiritual and material bonds that shape familial histories and intimacies. By presenting narratives of individuals from transnational and translocal families, this exhibition demonstrates the ways in which multi-local identities embody a web of geographical encounters and cultural memories. The selected artworks demonstrate how one’s familial identity is subjected to social and spatial negotiations underlining periods of longing, absence and change. This exhibition examines contemporary family “units” as a threshold allowing conversations about one’s relationship to their immediate landscape, spaces connected to ancestral memories, and cultural exchanges mapping colonial legacies.

More info:

More info on the Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design program:

More info on the Criticism & Curatorial Practice program:


Congratulations to CCP Colloquium Students

CCP student Valentyna Onisko presenting to audience at CCP Colloquium
Monday, October 17, 2016 - 5:00pm

The Criticism & Curatorial Practice Colloquium was held on Monday, October 17 and hosted nine presentations by CCP thesis candidates. A warm congratulations goes out to all presenting students who delivered their exciting, inspiring, and bold ideas to faculty and student colleagues across programs and faculties.

We look forward to seeing the resulting exhibitions and papers that arise out of their ongoing research!

The following students presented thesis proposals:

Emily Cluett
Hayley Dawson
Justine Hartlieb-Power
Pascaline Knight
Maggie Lever
Elisha Lim
Valentyna Onisko
Emily Peltier
Ariel Sharratt


More on the Criticism & Curatorial Practice program:

Wearable or Not?: Interacting with Contemporary Jewelry

Image of Lauren Kalman's jewelry piece
Sunday, November 13, 2016 - 4:30pm to Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 9:30pm

Exhibition featuring artists: Jackie Anderson, Selina Chen, Fiona Kakei Chong, Nadya Eidelstein, Lauren Kalman, and Belle Wong

Curator: Sylvia Zhang

Dates: November 13 - 19, open daily from 11:30am - 4:30pm
Opening reception: November 15,2016 6:30-9:30 PM

Free admission! Please register at

Have you seen jewelry that is "not wearable"? 

Wearable or Not?: Interacting with Contemporary Jewelry investigates the notion of wearability and presents jewelry that challenge wearing -- some are performative, some interact with the wearer, some even restrict body movement. The exhibition responds to people’s curiosity on contemporary jewelry’s wearability; although the general public knows how to appreciate traditional jewelry, most people are unfamiliar with contemporary jewelry, which is a significant achievement in the evolution of jewelry that developed since the 1960s. The six artists in the exhibition explore contemporary jewelry as a medium of art expression, pushing the boundary of wearability and experimenting with non-precious material. Through creating an multi-sensory experience that allows visitors to touch and wear some of the jewelry, the exhibition aims to generate a dynamic dialogue between the artists and the public, and provide a new perspective to interpret contemporary jewelry as an art form.

The exhibition shows works from six artists, both international and Canada-based. The experience will be engaging and fun! 

Special Programming:

Curatorial Tour -  Sunday, November 13, 2:00 - 3:30pm

Artist Talk - Saturday, November 19, 2:00 - 3:30pm

Venue & Address: 
Graduate Gallery, Ground Floor, 205 Richmond Street
Wearable or Not? exhibition poster

Social Justice Arts Education: Opportunities, Challenges and Contradictions

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 11:00pm to Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 1:00am

LOCATION : OISE - University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West - Room 11-164
TIME : 7pm - 9pm
DATE : Tuesday October 4, 2016


Andrea Fatona, Associate Professor, OCAD University, Toronto

Kathleen Gallagher, Distinguished Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Carmen Mörsch, Institute for Arts Education, Zurich University of the Arts

Patrick Scmidt, Chair, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Music Education, Western University


Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández, Associate Professor and Director of CMCE, OISE.

Venue & Address: 
Centre for Media and Culture in Education, 252 Bloor Street West, OISE
Event poster for Social Justice Arts Education

Public Presentation: Vid Ingelevics, Tenure Track Candidate, Photographic and Critical & Curatorial Practices

Thursday, March 20, 2008 - 2:15pm to 3:30pm

Vid Ingelevics, Tenure Track candidate for Assistant Professor, Photographic and Critical & Curatorial Practices gives a public presentation.

Venue & Address: 
Room 284 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Public Presentation: Glenn Davis, Tenure Track Candidate, Photographic and Critical & Curatorial Practices

Thursday, April 10, 2008 - 2:15pm to 3:30pm

Glenn Davis, Tenure Track candidate for Assistant Professor, Photographic and Critical & Curatorial Practices gives a public presentation.

Venue & Address: 
Room 284 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Public Presentation: Esther Choi, Tenure Track Candidate, Photographic and Critical & Curatorial Practices

Thursday, March 27, 2008 - 2:15pm to 3:30pm

Esther Choi, Tenure Track candidate for Assistant Professor, Photographic and Critical & Curatorial Practices gives a public presentation.

Venue & Address: 
Room 284 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario