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.

Second Nature

Exhibition runs September 1-October 31, 2019

When was the last time you looked up at the city sky and saw the stars, gazed at the moon, or paid any attention to the tides? As urban dwellers we are increasingly disconnected from the earth’s natural rhythms and systems. The Bentway’s Fall 2019 Season explores this disconnection and asks whether there is any possibility for personal connection given how far urban society has evolved.

In a city, like Toronto, human intervention influences almost every aspect of our environment, changing our relationship to natural cycles and systems. Smog and artificial lighting obscure the night sky and excessive construction contributes to the urban heat index, shifting seasonal behaviour. Despite these disruptions, seemingly “invisible” cycles found in nature, such as the waxing and waning of the moon, the ebb and flow of the tide, and the seasonal behaviours of flora and fauna, still impact our daily lives.

Throughout the Fall 2019 Season, artists, activists, scientists and innovators will work to uncover and re-establish lost patterns and knowledge systems, changing our relationship to nature and our understanding of our physical environment.

Upcoming Projects

Opening Spring / Summer Season 2020
Double Dribble by Esmaa Mohamoud

Double Dribble will transform The Bentway into a surreal playground that encourages visitors to create their own idea of play. The installation is comprised dozens of basketball nets of varying sizes and heights and courtlines running dysfunctionally throughout the site. The exhibition will interact with The Bentway’s environment to create endless opportunities and public experiences that are accessible and participatory.

“In creating Double Dribble, I really wanted to challenge and disrupt the rules of play and who gets to play. I often feel like spaces aren’t accessible to a variety of people for many reasons. I hope Double Dribble is a site of accessibility, and moreover, a space for the reinvention of play.” – Esmaa Mohamoud

Mohamoud is an African-Canadian sculptor/installation artist working in Toronto. Her sculptures and installations focus on the navigation of Black bodies in contemporary spaces. Engaged in the politics surrounding Black male bodies in particular, her work investigates the (in)tangibility of Blackness through the exploration of athletics—specifically, the sport of basketball. Through the presentation of the conceptual artwork, Mohamoud aims to re-examine our contemporary understanding of Blackness by challenging ones relationship to blackness as a colour and shade, and Blackness as a societal or cultural construction of a group of people. Mohamoud holds a BFA from Western University (2014) and an MFA from OCAD University (2016). Mohamoud is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects.

Double Dribble is part of The Bentway’s Spring/Summer 2020 season of programming, informed by the theme Playing in Public. This season will explore the history of play, its role in shaping decisions about city fabric, and its application in non-traditional public spaces.

Double Dribble will run through The Bentway’s Spring/Summer 2020 Season.

Ongoing Projects