Assistant Curator, The Leona Drive Project
Curated by Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow, in collaboration with the Public Access Collective and LOT: Experiments in Urban Research, Toronto, ON, October 22-31, 2009.
The Leona Drive Project was a landmark collaboration uniting artists with students, researchers, and developers to create a unique site-specific exhibition in five vacant homes north of Toronto. Set in one of Toronto’s oldest inner suburbs, the community of Willowdale in North York, The Leona Drive Project featured immersive installations that addressed the shifting space of the suburbs. Co-curated by Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow, the project aimed to challenge and expand our understanding of suburban spaces. The artists worked in a variety of media, including audio, architectural installation, projection, photography, sculpture, and performance to create new works for the 10-day exhibition. Participating artists included The Arbour Lake Sghool, Thomas Blanchard, Daniel Borins + Jennifer Marman, Robin Collyer, Patricio Davila, Christine Davis, Anna Friz, Richard Fung, Michael Graham, John Greyson, David Han, Oliver Husain, Claire Ironside + Angela Iarocci, An Te Liu, Ryan Livingstone, Shana MacDonald + Angela Joosse, Michael Taglieri, and Kim Tomczak + Lisa Steele.
As assistant curator, I organized and facilitated public programming for the project, including an opening night reception that featured an artist’s cocktail by Dean Baldwin and a special outdoor film screening curated by Pleasure Dome; a partnership with students from the Claude Watson Arts Program at Earl Haig Secondary School, who worked with professional artist-mentors to create site-specific installations in the backyards of the houses; and a series of special events and programs in partnership with the Toronto International Art Fair, including installations by participating artists Christine Davis, Oliver Husain, and An Te Liu in the fair’s NEXT lounge area.