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.

Communitas: The Spirit of Community

Exhibition runs May 1-August 30, 2019

In increasingly populated urban landscapes, the division and ownership of resources can become hotly-contested signifiers of identity and status, of regional and personal politics, and of ever-evolving civic histories.

Communitas: The Spirit of Community examines what may be gained or lost by individuals and communities alike when unity, not division, is the norm. What happens when the private becomes the public, and when the solitary becomes the shared? In what ways does the conscious sharing of our spaces and assets lead to greater connection between the people in their midst? How do we choose to comport or represent ourselves, and what happens when those individual representations conflict with collective histories or perspectives?

Communitas brings together artists, urbanists, innovators, and community activators within the connective space of The Bentway to engage in radical experiments in collaboration, co-creation, and cohabitation: all of which are key to the future of our expanding cities.

The Communitas art program is made up of two exhibitions: New Monuments for New Cities, a joint touring art exhibition with 5 members of the High Line Network, showcasing provocative works by 25 acclaimed artists from Toronto, Houston, Austin, Chicago, and New York that explore new monuments for today’s changing social and political landscape; and Nadine Stijns, A Nation Outside a Nation presented with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Exhibition. Stijns captures the memories, dreams, and flow of capital and possessions throughout the Filipino diaspora

The exhibitions will be accompanied by public tour by some of the artists involved and artists and thinkers in Toronto. Tours occur on Thursdays, May 14-August 20. Tour leaders include: Rebecca Carbin, Art + Public UnLtd, Coco Guzman, New Monuments for New Cities artist, Quentin VerCetty, New Monuments for New Cities artist, and Kaitlin Wainwright, Heritage Toronto.

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