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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (19)     +     OPENINGS (5)     +     DEADLINES (12)     +     CLOSINGS (6)
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Hiba Abdallah with Steven Beckly, Alyssa Bistonath & Patrick Cruz

Curated by Tiffany Schofield

September 4 – November 3, 2018
Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough

Opening reception
Wednesday, September 19
6 - 8:30 pm
Exhibition tour by Tiffany Schofield 7 pm
Free shuttle bus departs OCAD U (100 McCaul St) at 5:30 pm, to return at 8:30 pm, first come, first served

Alyssa Bistonath, 2018

It Can Only Be This Place is an open collection of stories, impressions, and speculations of Scarborough developed by artist Hiba Abdallah. Generated in conversation with local residents, Abdallah produced a series of projects specifically for the Doris McCarthy Gallery. Texts, images, and stories gathered throughout an extended research period were transformed into objects and installations that consider the ways in which place is remembered and commemorated. Alongside this new body of work, Abdallah has invited artists Steven Beckly, Alyssa Bistonath, and Patrick Cruz to contribute to the exhibition. Engaged in various approaches to mythmaking and storytelling, their responses inscribe fiction onto Scarborough’s natural, cultural, and diasporic landscapes. Each work provides an intimate look at Scarborough and the various communities that have come to call it home. Through complex, intersecting, and often unresolved narratives, It Can Only Be This Place makes space for past, present, and future versions of Scarborough previously untold.


Scarborough Mycological Foray
Sunday, September 23
11 am - 2 pm
Free shuttle bus departs OCAD U (100 McCaul St) at 10 am, to return at 2 pm, first come, first served

This informal, family-friendly mushroom-gathering foray in the Highland Creek Ravine at the University of Toronto Scarborough will provide opportunity for participants to collect and study wild mushrooms and enjoy nature. The walk will begin from the Doris McCarthy Gallery, and will go forward rain or shine. Please see the DMG website for more information on what to wear and bring. This program is part of Outdoor School, an ongoing series of artistic and educational activities by Diane Borsato, Amish Morrell and various community collaborators.

Artist Talk by Hiba Abdallah
Tuesday, September 25
1 - 2 pm
AA304, Arts & Administration Building, University of Toronto Scarborough
Part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, co-presented by the DMG & Department of Arts, Culture & Media, and Nuit Talks, presented by Nuit Blanche Toronto

Alyssa Fearon in conversation with Alyssa Bistonath & Bishara Elmi
Thursday, September 27
1 - 2 pm
Leigha Lee Browne Theatre, University of Toronto Scarborough
Part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, co-presented by the DMG & Department of Arts, Culture & Media, and Nuit Talks, presented by Nuit Blanche Toronto and Cultural Hotspot

In this conversation, moderated by Nuit Blanche Scarborough curator Alyssa Fearon, artists Alyssa Bistonath and Bishara Elmi will discuss their respective collaborations with communities in Scarborough for their Nuit Blanche projects. Bistonath worked with members of the Guyanese diaspora in Scarborough in the production of the film Portals (2018), and Bishara collaborated with refugees who have settled in the Scarborough area for the sound installation Law of the Land (2018).

Contemporary Art Bus Tour
Sunday, October 14
12 - 5 pm
Space limited, registration required:

Tour begins at Koffler Gallery and travels to Art Gallery of Mississauga, Art Gallery of York University & Doris McCarthy Gallery. Guided tours or talks will be offered at each venue.

Jollibee Talk & Lunch with Patrick Cruz
Saturday, October 20
1 - 3 pm
Jollibee Scarborough, 15 William Kitchen Rd
Space limited, registration required:

On location at Jollibee Scarborough, Patrick Cruz will deliver a talk on the cultural significance of the fast food chain, particularly within the Filipino diaspora – lunch is provided.

Photo-based Installation: Approaches to Presenting Images
Workshop led by Steven Beckly
Tuesday, October 23
10 am - 1 pm
AA304, Arts & Administration Building, University of Toronto Scarborough
Space limited, registration required:

This workshop looks at creative and non-traditional approaches to presenting, framing and installing photographs. Drawing from contemporary photo-based practices, Steven Beckly will suggest and demonstrate various strategies that challenge the traditional ways of framing and finishing images for presentation.

Artist Talk by Steven Beckly
Tuesday, October 23
1 - 2 pm
AA304, Arts & Administration Building, University of Toronto Scarborough
Part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, co-presented by the DMG & Department of Arts, Culture & Media

the stories we tell each other
Workshop led by Hiba Abdallah
Tuesday, October 30
1 - 3 pm

Hiba Abdallah will lead a seminar that explores some of Scarborough’s narratives, myths and secrets. Participants are asked to bring a piece of writing to contribute to a public reading of Scarborough-inspired texts, that explore the identity of place, the motifs of memory, storytelling and fiction. The workshop will conclude with a writing exercise where participants will each contribute an open letter as part of Abdallah’s project Dear Scarborough.

All programming is free and open to the public. For more information, see the DMG website.

(L-R) Hiba Abdallah, Souvenir Shop, 2018 / Steven Beckly, Pool of Andromeda, 2017 / Patrick Cruz, Anatomy of an Optimist, 2018


Hiba Abdallah is a text-based artist who often works in collaboration with others to develop public installations, projects and exhibitions about the collective narratives of place. Abdallah’s work cultivates a playful yet reverent sense of community that aims to foster the public imagination. She currently works and lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Steven Beckly is a Toronto-based artist and photographer. Recent solo exhibitions include Meirenyu at Daniel Faria Gallery (Toronto) and A tender touch can bend the straightest of things at Eastern Edge Gallery (St. John’s). Beckly’s work was also included in the 2017 VICE Photo Show at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal. Most recently, Beckly was Artist-in-Residence at the Doris McCarthy Artist-in-Residence Centre (Scarborough) and the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (Philadelphia). Beckly received his MFA from the University of Guelph.

Alyssa Bistonath is a lens based practitioner whose work focuses on themes of memory and belonging. The daughter of Guyanese immigrants Bistonath endeavours to look at modes of representation by investigating nostalgia, exploring evidence, and interrupting the archive. Her most recent work, an experimental documentary titled Why We Fight invited the Guyanese diaspora to write letters to a personified Guyana. The film won Best Canadian Short at the Regent Park Film Festival (2016).

Patrick Cruz is a Filipino-Canadian artist and organizer working between Toronto, Canada and Manila, Philippines. Cruz studied at the University of the Philippines Diliman and received his BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, Canada and an MFA at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Driven by folk sentiment, his multi-disciplinary practice is informed by his interest in cultural hybridity, the project of decolonization, and the paradoxical effects of globalization. Cruz is the founder of Kamias Special Projects, an artist run space in Quezon City, Philippines that hosts the Kamias Triennial; an educational week-long event that serves as a platform for cross-cultural exchange. In 2015, Cruz won the national title for the 17th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition.

Tiffany Schofield is a Canadian artist and curator. Since 2015, she has been working as part of the Scarborough-based artist collective Y+. Their collaborative artistic and curatorial work is centred on community-building, with a focus on emerging practices and suburban spaces. They have presented projects across the GTA, including the Art Gallery of Mississauga (Hiba Abdallah's Souvenir Shop: Mississauga, 2017), Myseum of Toronto (In the Shadow of Paradise, 2017), and a forthcoming project for Nuit Blanche Toronto (our roots are here, amongst the grasses, 2018). Schofield holds an HBA from the University of Toronto Scarborough and an MFA from York University.


Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 11 am to 4 pm; Wednesday, 11 am to 8 pm; Saturday, 12 to 5 pm.
Admission is free. Open to the public. The gallery is wheelchair accessible.

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