Artist Talk with Holly Ward and Kevin Schmidt

Presented by Markham Public Art and the Varley Art Gallery of Markham

Lost and Found exhibition installation view at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Artist Talk with Holly Ward and Kevin Schmidt

Saturday, March 2, 2024, 2 to 4 PM | Free.
Varley Art Gallery of Markham
216 Main Street Unionville
Markham, ON L3R 2H1

Join us for an artist talk with Kevin Schmidt and Holly Ward in the context of their public art project, Lost and Found, currently on view at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham. The artists will delve into the process of conceiving the project, discussing its inception, research, artistic strategies, and manifestations within the wider scope of their general practice and previous projects.

Bus transportation is available from downtown Toronto (Spadina and Bloor) to the gallery (subject to capacity). To register please contact Alessandra Pozzuoli at APozzuoli@markham.ca.

Lost and Found is a public art project conceived by artist duo Holly Ward and Kevin Schmidt. The project unfolded as a series of constructed situations along the Rouge River Trail in Unionville throughout the summer and fall of 2023. Augmented by specially designed t-shirts and musical carts, it was brought to life through everyday activities embodied by local community groups and amateur musicians. The project now transitions to the exhibition space at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham to formalize a visual language that frames individual experiences along the trail as “artworks” in the gallery through the presentation of objects and ephemera in an interactive installation.

Wandering, practicing, improvising, and experimenting are revealed here not only as preparations but as substantial activities in themselves. Lost and Found locates these activities in public space, designating chance encounters as a potential site for the formation of publics.

Holly Ward’s work explores the role of aesthetics in the formation of social realities, while Kevin Schmidt’s practice delves into the artist’s role in a spectacle-driven society, exploring faith, mythmaking, craft, and popular culture. Their collaborative projects include Eye of the Beholder, sculptural cameras obscura situated outside of Dawson City for the Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Festival (2016), and The Pavilion, a 22-foot geodesic dome located in rural Heffley Creek BC, serving as a catalyst for artistic experimentation, and being performed as an interdisciplinary life-as-art project (2011-).

Presented by Markham Public Art in in partnership with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham and curated by Yan Wu, Markham’s Public Art Curator, Lost and Found is on view from January 27 through May 5, 2024. A publication documenting and reflecting on the project will be launched in April 2024.


Lost and Found — T-shirt Display, 2023. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Upcoming Public Events

Found Sounds
Saturday, April 6, 2 to 4 PM | Free.
Join us at this celebratory musical event. Musicians from Lost and Found will gather to play in the exhibition space, performing material they practiced along the trail or in the gallery, or improvising on their own instruments and the musical carts created by the artists. The artists will be in attendance.

Lost and Found Musician Practice Sessions
Saturdays and Sundays, 2 to 4 PM
Throughout the exhibition, the amateur musicians who played along the Rouge River Trail during the summer and fall will animate Lost and Found. Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, visitors will encounter a musician or musical group practicing their respective instruments in the gallery space.


Lost and Found — Trail News, 2023. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Media inquiries:
Yan Wu
Public Art Curator, City of Markham
ywu@markham.ca

Markham Public Art
Markham’s Public Art Program was first initiated in 2003 and formalized in 2012. Since 2013, seven permanent artworks have been commissioned through the program. In addition, the program has facilitated a series of community art initiatives in collaboration with the City’s Public Realm section. In the fall of 2019, Markham City Council approved its Public Art Master Plan 2020-2024, and a related Implementation Plan in winter 2020. The objectives of the program are to inspire people to live, work, visit, and invest in Markham; to celebrate the city’s diverse cultures and heritage from multiple points of view; and to connect residents to Markham’s built and natural environment.
markham.ca/publicart