Art at The Bentway

The Bentway is a unique urban platform for the presentation of public art, commissioning and hosting an ever-changing array of visual and performing art projects. Art at The Bentway is guided by our programming objectives and principles, which prioritize innovative artwork that is accessible, connected, generative, and participatory.

“If, But, What If?”

Exhibition extended to February 18, 2018

The Bentway’s Fall 2018 season and public art exhibition explores what could be, what perhaps should be, and what may never be within our ever-evolving city. Looking back, what disruptions have historically allowed for substantial changes to Toronto’s trajectory? Moving forward, what radical acts can contribute to an improved or unexpected future for the city’s people, places, and more?

The artists included in this multi-media exhibition explore Toronto’s past, present, and possible futures through a diverse set of projects that respond to the city’s built form, its natural resources, and its networks of infrastructure. Many of the projects transcend time as they weave together forms and traditions that are significant to Toronto’s ongoing evolution. Additionally, the artworks on view implore us to consider the way in which we commoditize our city and the visual and verbal language with which we choose to define our buildings and ourselves.

Using the open-ended tools of community conversation, collaborative incubation, and imaginative projection, the works in this exhibit behave like The Bentway itself. They identify possibilities and boldly pose alternatives to the accepted — or seemingly inevitable — future of Toronto as a growing metropolis.

“If, But, What If?” includes works from Michael Awad (Toronto), Steven Beckly (Toronto), Wally Dion (Upstate New York / Haudenosaunee territory), Mani Mazinani and Sanaz Mazinani (Toronto and San Francisco), Alex McLeod (Toronto), Sans façon (Calgary), and Jon Sasaki (Toronto).

Each week in October The Bentway hosted free tours of the works with local Torontonians. The tour leaders led participants throughout The Bentway and interpreted the site and works based on their own expertise and interests. Topics included Toronto’s built form, its natural resources, its networks of infrastructure as well as its many communities.

October 4 – Fall 2018 Public Art Tour: Crazy Dames
October 10 – Fall 2018 Public Art Tour: Philip Cote
October 18 – Fall 2018 Public Art Tour: Carrie Denning Jackson and Jesse Shapins from Sidewalk Labs
October 25 – Fall 2018 Public Art Tour: Deborah Wang from the Toronto Design Offsite Festival

Ongoing Projects