CURATOR: Patrick DeCoste
EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Frances Cordero de Bolanos, Maggie Broda, Patrick DeCoste, Stephen Fakiyesi, L. E. Glazer (OSA), Janet Hendershot (OSA), Jowenne Herrera, Steve Khan, Sue Lloyd, Sebastein Miller, and Rhoda Payne (OSA)
NOVEMBER 26, 2022 – JANUARY 28, 2023
OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, November 26, 3-5 pm
The woods came to figure prominently in Heidegger’s writing, symbolizing the unconscious mind—a site of eclipse and revelation where light and dark meet and boundaries are negotiated. For him, the clearing in the woods is the perfect metaphor for philosophical illumination—the site of un-concealment, the essence of truth. The clearing, of course, depends on the existence of the forest—it is the light amidst darkness. When the woods cease to exist and the clearing becomes a vast expanse, it will no longer have the same illuminative power.
CARRYING WOOD features JOHN B. AIRD GALLERY‘s current and past board members in a group exhibition curated by Patrick DeCoste. The multi-media exhibition will be on view at the Aird’s ARTSCAPE space (on Queen St West at Crawford) from November 26, 2022, to January 28, 2023. A downloadable exhibition catalog, designed by Jennifer Vong, with an introductory text by the acting board president, Jane Weninger, and a curatorial essay by Patrick DeCoste will follow the in-Gallery exhibit and be available on the Aird’s website in the late spring of 2023.
Conferring with DeCoste, his loosely allegorical woodlot-themed curatorial project is inspired by his personal knowledge of the Acadian forest, indigenous vs imperial, diversity/degradation, readings of the Standing Reserve, a 1950’s essay by Heidegger that looks at technology, trees, and philosophy, and immersion into the Norwegian Wood, a book by Lars Mytting which expounds upon, ‘wood chopping and stacking stories, folksy warm wood fire fare…’ The tree theme is also reflected in the origin story of a board, as something harvested and crafted from the forest, understood in the 16 century to mean a table which people gathered around for important meetings, metamorphosing in the 17 century to mean, the important people sitting around a board or table, evolving to the group of people referred to as a board (i.e.: Board of Directors).
HARVESTED FROM THE AIRD BOARD, THE PARTICIPATING ARTISTS, CURATOR, AND CONTRIBUTORS’ BIOGRAPHIES:
FRANCES CORDERO DE BOLAÑOS is the acting Manager of Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives (CSMARI) at the Department of Canadian Heritage. She is also a practicing contemporary artist living in Oakville, Ontario. She is originally from El Salvador and immigrated to Canada in 1985.
Frances is a graduate of the University of Toronto. She works in various mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography, and is concerned about human rights, women’s issues, and nature. Her works include ink drawings of “Smoke” and “Martyry,” a fabric and rust print installation that draws symbolic marks of victims of the civil war in El Salvador. Frances was the recipient of one of three awards for best work at the 9th Annual University of Toronto, Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition (2015) for her felt sculpture “Invasion II” (2014). Invasion reproduces the shape of lumps and cells found in breast and ovarian cancer on a larger-than-life scale to illustrate the suffocating nature of the disease. Her photography is focused on capturing the human figure and Landscape. Frances finds inspiration in the natural world around us, and she spends her time exploring the beautiful forests in Ontario.
In 2016 Frances was part of an Artist-in-Residence program at the Pantocrator Gallery in Suzhou, China, and she exhibited at the Port Hope Arts Festival/Exhibition Downtown, August 4 – 13, 2020, The Recipe: Making Latin America Art in Canada, OBORO Gallery, Montreal, Quebec, February 1 – March 7, 2020; The Recipe: Making Latin America Art in Canada, Sur Gallery, Toronto, October 18 – Dec 1, 2018; The Views are Different Here, Examining Toronto’s Identity, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, 2018; the Visual Art Mississauga (VAM) Annual Members’ Show, Mississauga, 2017; Horizon Line, 2015 Art; Art History Graduating Student Exhibition, Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga; and the Light of Diversity, Carousel of Nations Multicultural Association, Queen Elizabeth Park and Community Cultural Centre, Oakville. Frances served as a member of the Aird Board of Directors from autumn 2018 to early winter 2022.
MAGGIE BRODA is a Toronto-based freelance visual artist, writer, and educator who holds a BFA from OCAD University and is an Associate of the Art College. Her paintings are in private collections throughout Canada, the US, and the UK.
Maggie serves on the OCAD University Board of Governors and is President OCADU Alumni Association. She is also a member of the Muskoka Arts and Craft Group, a long-standing board member at John B. Aird Gallery, the President of The Women’s Art Association of Canada, and Vice President of Ignite Art, a grassroots art organization for seniors and youth. Maggie is a practicing Studio Artist. A Systems Thinker, Maggie Broda’s career and dedication to art and culture has woven creativity permanently into the fabric of countless artists and institutions. Up until recently, Maggie was represented in Toronto by the Elaine Fleck Contemporary Art Gallery, Queen St West Toronto, where she provided input as Catalogue interviewer/writer/artist.
She writes: “My paintings express passion and style, created in acrylic with brush and palette knife. The texture and movement capture the poetic spirit that is inherent in art.”
PATRICK DECOSTE is a visual artist, educator, and curator. His work is queerly autobiographical, ancestral, and an expression of his Nova Scotian Metis roots.
DeCoste received an MFA from OCAD University, Toronto, receiving the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies. Currently, he makes his home near Lafontaine, Ontario, travelling to the city to deliver art workshops through the Urban Indigenous Education Centre in Toronto. His work has been exhibited across Canada and beyond. The artist’s 2017 solo show, 13 Moons and a Canoe presented at the Aird toured the Thames Art Gallery in Chatham Kent and Tom Thomson Gallery, in Owen Sound. Some other curatorial projects include Bluewater Revue: an art residency on Georgian Bay, Daddy I and Daddy II, Gay Gardens an online PRIDE book co-curated with Jowenne Herrera summer of 2020, and most recently, a curatorial project titled Seed Un Cede. Patrick holds a seat on the Aird Board of Directors.
STEPHEN FAKIYESI is a conceptual artist best known for producing print media installations that address social, spiritual, and cultural identities. Among other distinctions, he was the recipient of the inaugural Bette Midler Scholarship at the University of California in Los Angeles, in the prestigious Visual Arts MFA program. Fakiyesi has worked or exhibited in the company of many of our generation’s most acclaimed artists. Fakiyesi’s art practice has been described as reflecting on the legacy of colonization and its effects on African Canadian culture in the global economy. Through his art practice, the artist addresses the underpinnings of our often messy, and complex social interactions with, arguably, disarming visual constructs, using creative methods oftentimes predicated on the play, and interactivity. He currently holds a seat on the Aird Board of Directors and is the board lead. Fakiyesi contributes to the Aird Gallery’s online publication of Ilene Sova’s Unknown Relative, which will launch in late January 2023.
L.E. GLAZER BES., B. Arch., OAA, MRAIC, OSA, is an award-winning Toronto-based Architect, Photographer, and Artist. Following the completion of formal training in 1979, he has focused on creating works that challenge viewer preconceptions and expectations.
His subject matter has been eclectic, with an attraction to the built forms and patterns rooted in his Architectural background. As Glazer’s images explore the deeper significance of contextual reference, his deconstruction of recorded moments provokes viewers to contemplate multiple realities. While Glazer objectively records moments in time, his exploration of composition and form provides viewers with opportunities for subjective reflection on their own world. It is this dichotomy that provides richness and cinematic quality to Glazer’s work.
In 2013 L. E. Glazer was awarded Best in Show at the Ontario Society of Artist’s 140th Open Juried Exhibition, and in 2014 was presented with the OSA Members Exhibition Best in Show / Award of Excellence, and the First Prize/Best in Show at the 6th annual John B. Aird Gallery Juried Photography Exhibition, Photo-OP. L. E. Glazer is an elected member of the Ontario Society of Artists and is the Past President of the Society. His work can be found in institutional and private collections across North America. Over the years he has been represented by Galley Moos and Rupert Young Fine Art in Toronto, Whitehalls Gallery, Hamilton, The Halsted Gallery, in Detroit, Michigan, and Posner Fine Art, in Los Angeles, California. L.E. Glazer served on the John B. Aird Gallery Board of Directors in Toronto as the OSA representative for more than six years.
JANET HENDERSHOT holds an EDUCATION: B.F.A., (Honours) York University, Toronto, 1973. and a Dip., Rudolf Steiner College, Sacramento, CA, 1996. She considers her mentors to be: Ken Carpenter (The Late), Joan Murray, Ted Bieler, Tim Whiten Yael Dunkelman (The Late). Her work was selected to represent Canada at the XXI Olympics. She has received the First Place Award NEXT1, Arts and Letters Club, Toronto, 2015 Opening Exhibition of Pauline McGibbon Cultural Centre. Gift of Show. Awarded 12 Government Grants (Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Art Bank purchases). Hendershot’s work has been juried into many important shows, she has exhibited in more than 40 competitions and her artwork is included in many public collections. Hendershot was the Resident Artist, at the McMichael Collection (2000-2003).
Notably, Hendershot is a member of the following cultural associations: Society of Canadian Artists, Elected Membership, Ontario Society of Artists, Elected Membership, Past-President Chair of 2022 150th Project, ‘Standing Up for Ontario’s Old Growth Forest’ John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON, Member of Board and Exhibitions Committee (Past) Arts and Letters Club, Toronto, ON, Member of Art Committee and Exhibitions Committee (Past), Ontario College of Teachers (retired membership), AHE – Painting, Drawing and Movement, Steiner College, SAC, CAL. This past year, the artist organized a trip of 16 artists to Temagami and Kirkland Lake. In addition to creating installations in the forests; drawing, painting, sculpting, and photography were undertaken.
JOWENNE CARPO HERRERA is a visual artist and designer who works with various media integrating painting, drawing, illustration, photography, and typography. Many of his works depict subjects drawn from nature and daily urban landscapes – experimenting with the dualities and tensions between identities, societies, and idealisms. He thrives in the diversity of thought – inspired by the many things he sees, feels, and experiences every day. He is a Registered Graphic Designer of Ontario (RGD) and a Certification Portfolio Evaluator for the association. Jowenne owns ABAKADA design + communication, and for over 20 years has been delivering creative design solutions across public, private, and not-for-profit sectors – specializing in brand development, editorial design, and graphic illustration. He co-juried and designed the Aird Gallery’s 2020 online PRIDE project titled Gay Gardens, and he designed the Gallery’s Natalie Wood, Performing Change publication downloadable here. Jowenne served as John B. Aird Gallery Chair/President and Director for over 10 years. In his spare time, he abandons the digital world and gardens, cooks, and runs a lot.
STEVE KHAN was born in Vancouver, and now lives and works in Toronto and Montreal. He enjoys using humour to make people feel more comfortable about sexuality, race, and gender. He works with text, drawing, and video. A joint Art and Art History program graduate from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College, Khan has participated in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, the United States, and Europe. He held a chair on the Aird Board in 2018 and 2019 and co-wrote the Gallery’s Anti-Discrimination, Harassment-Free Workplace Policy with Aird Board Chair Jane Weninger. He and Neda Omidvar co-juried Aird’s online DRAWING 2021 project.
Since 2019, Khan has been a bilingual Peer Assessment Committee Member for the Canada Council for the Arts. He has also worked as a Program Manager at the Ontario Trillium Foundation and as a bilingual Program Officer at the Department of Canadian Heritage. He was also the Chair of the United Way Peel Region’s Youth in Action grants program.
SUE LLOYD is an artist who works with a range of methodologies: photo-based, collage, drawing, painting, text-work, and writing. She is interested in stories, language, visual organization, and imagery, and uses these to think, see, collect, and communicate. Lloyd believes in the importance of community and local culture. Since 1995, her work has been exhibited and published in Canada and the United States. Lloyd’s work has been recognized through Visual Arts grants from the Toronto, Ontario, and Canada Arts Councils. Past representation includes Red Head Gallery and S.P.I.N. Gallery. Lloyd has participated in artists’ collectives and was affiliated with the Fleischman Gallery. Past solo exhibitions include Gallery TPW in Toronto, Kamloops Art Gallery, Platform Gallery in Winnipeg, and Presentation House in Vancouver. Lloyd received her Master of Fine Art from York University in 1997. In recognition of their excellence, she was awarded a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University and the Sarick Purchase Prize. Lloyd’s work has twice been featured in the Contact Festival of Photography; her work was presented as part of the CORE PROGRAM for the Scotiabank Festival of Photography, in a group exhibition entitled Some Landings. Lloyd is an Associate Professor in the Visual Studies program at John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. She has held a seat on the Aird Board of Directors since 2020.
SEBASTEIN MILLER is a Toronto-born artist recognized for his recent body of work entitled Civil Disobedience presented in 2021 as part of the CORE PROGRAM for the Scotiabank CONTACT Festival of Photography. Miller’s new media practice involves sampling and mixing digital pop-culture imagery with social-political symbols, and collage parties. In Civil Disobedience, the artist constructs photomontages that re-think the histories of the twentieth century using Afro-Futurist emblems and found imagery. Miller’s work provocatively explores some of the key tensions in contemporary culture from a Black male perspective. Variously referencing photojournalism, album art, protest imagery, comic books, films, and video games; the cut-out style of his practice foregrounds the works’ constructed nature highlighting the gaps between the images’ posited futures and currently depictable reality. Sebastein has held a seat on the Aird board since 2019. Most recently he and Ken Moffatt co-curated the Gallery’s online COLLAGE 2022 project.
RHODA PAYNE was raised in Montreal and educated at McGill University and Brown University where she received her MA in Teaching in Fine Arts. This was followed by further studies at St. Martins College of Art in London and seven years of teaching art and photography in Madrid, Spain, and Santiago, Chile prior to moving to Toronto.
Since Rhoda began painting professionally in 2011, she has shown successfully in a group, juried and solo exhibitions, in public and private galleries, and in corporate collections. She has had two solo exhibitions at the Peter MacKendrick Community Gallery at Wychwood Barns, participated in annual Progressions exhibitions at the McMichael Gallery, and in numerous juried shows including ‘Winter in Canada’ at the Agnes Jamieson Gallery, Artworks Oakville (Honourable Mention 2018) and in the Etobicoke Art Group Annual Show. In 2014 Rhoda’s ‘Maine Escape’, was awarded first prize in the EAG 50th Annual Juried Exhibition. In 2019 she was an exhibitor in The Artist Project and in Salon des Rechargés, a private salon in Toronto. In 2021 Rhoda participated in Salon 15 with the Propeller Gallery, the Colour and Form Society Annual Juried Show, and Portraits of Resilience at the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 2018 Rhoda was elected to the Ontario Society of Artists. In August 2019 she returned to teaching with an annual week-long painting workshop, Scaling Up, at the Haliburton School of Art and Design. In 2021 Rhoda was elected to the Federation of Canadian Artists and the Colour and Form Society. She currently serves as the Ontario Society of Artists representative on the John B. Aird Gallery Board of Directors.
JANE WENINGER is the acting President of the Aird Board. Just recently, she retired from her position as a Senior Planner with the City of Toronto where she was responsible for green space system planning in Canada’s largest city. Working at the intersection of urban planning and the natural environment, Jane represents the City of Toronto in the establishment of the Rouge National Urban Park and has been instrumental in the development of numerous city-wide strategies and policies, including the Toronto Biodiversity Strategy and the Toronto Ravine Strategy. After completing a work program to identify and recognize environmentally significant areas across the city, Jane collaborated with visual artist Robert Burley on the Enduring Wilderness project which includes a book and photography exhibition about Toronto’s natural parklands commissioned by the City of Toronto. Jane believes that nature and the city can co-exist and that natural landscapes are fundamental to the quality of urban life. Jane is the Chair of John B. Aird Gallery Board of Directors, a not-for-profit, a public art gallery in Toronto. Jane holds an MSC from the University of Toronto and a BA from the University of British Columbia.