Free Contemporary Art Bus Tour

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Art Gallery of York University, and Blackwood Gallery


FREE Contemporary Art Bus Tour
Sunday, March 1, 2020 | 12-5pm | FREE

The tour picks up at 12pm at Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) then departs for The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Art Gallery of York University, and the Blackwood Gallery, and returns to Gladstone Hotel at 5pm.

To RSVP, email or call 905.828.3789 by February 28 at 5pm.


Made of Honey, Gold, and Marigold
Basil AlZeri, Kapwani Kiwanga, Kosisochukwu Nnebe, Rajni Perera
February 1-April 19, 2020
Curated by Geneviève Wallen

Made of Honey, Gold, and Marigold is a contemporary exploration of the sun, as an activator of sensory engagement, provoking deeper contemplations on sensuality, eroticism, pleasure, and politics of desire. Inspired by Dionne Brand’s descriptions of her young protagonist Maya and her awakening self-awareness in At the Full and Change of the Moon, the selected works by Kapwani Kiwanga, Kosisochukwu Nnebe, and Rajni Perera, draw attention to a multilayered sensory ecology that weaves together embodiment, space, and the radiance of the sun. Mundane, yet seducing moments such as the warmth of soaking in the soft ambient morning light or relishing in the golden hues of the magic hour can spark meditations on a specific being-ness that is responsive to the present moment—a quiet unfolding of bodily and spiritual presence. In this exhibition context, the sun is a catalyst providing a language that infuses wonder and awe into the amplitudes of Black and Brown inner lives, substituting oppressive imaginaries for consuming fantasies. Contemporary poets such as Rupi Kaur, Upile Chisala, and Nayyirah Waheed compare the spectrum of melanin’s luminescence to luxurious and sun-like materials such as honey, gold, and marigold. By employing these qualifiers as an affirmation of inner and outer radiance, it also addresses a strong desire to assert a bodily embrace that is expansive while reclaiming melanated people’s cosmic relationship to the sun.

If you see me, say hello
Jason McLean
January 18-April 5, 2020
Curated by Leila Timmins

Jason McLean’s expansive and energetic practice spans works on paper, sculpture, mail art, performance, found audio compilations, hand-sewn costumes, and scavenged collections of everyday objects. Best known for his diaristic drawings, which trace the contours of his life through self-reflexive mapping and word play, he charts the world around him with a sense of humour and whimsy, while also deftly capturing the anxiety and precarity of the present moment. As writer Matthew Ryan Smith notes, he is, “a mapper of memory, a cartographer of the everyday, an archivist of minutiae, a chronicler of the prosaic.” Which is to say that McLean’s practice is world-making. In his drawings, the surrealist roads and buildings loosely reference the towns and cities he has lived in and are marked with locations of celebrity sightings or important sporting events from his youth, and contain ruminations on everything from real estate speculation to the state of his career. There is an infectious energy and peculiar logic to the ways things are pulled together, reconstituted and presented again. A small sample of Pez dispensers from the now infamous Felix and Henry’s Pez Museum (a project started with his sons in 2012), as well as collections of cereal boxes and candy wrappers, are presented in the gallery alongside the drawings showing both his obsessive interest in material culture and also an irreverence for what is considered “important” art.


Sky Hopinka: Around the Edge of Encircling Lake
January 15-March 15, 2020
Curated by Clara Halpern

Artist and filmmaker Sky Hopinka’s work centres around personal investigations of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable. This exhibition brings together a selection of Hopinka’s recent films and related artworks, as well as a film program curated by Hopinka. Weaving together experimental and documentary practices, these works explore diverse yet interconnected topics, taking up land (and landscape), language, music and memory. Alongside these works, What Was Always Yours and Never Lost, is an ongoing program curated by Hopinka, featuring films by Caroline Monnet; Colectivo Los Ingrávidos; Thirza Cuthand; Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys; and James Luna.

Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington, and is currently based between Vancouver and Milwaukee. Hopinka was most recently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019 and is currently an Assistant Professor in Film Production at The School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.


Other Life-formings
Parastoo Anoushahpour, Zach Blas & Jemima Wyman, Laurie Kang, Alex McLeod, Pedro Neves Marques, Linda Sanchez, Amanda Strong
January 13-March 7, 2020
Curated by Alison Cooley

Other Life-formings explores animation, and the opportunities it opens to ask questions about the constituent elements of life: who or what gets coded as living? By what schema do we grant liveliness, agency, animacy to non-humans? Through whose technologies do we come to see life, and to identify with it? By what means might we refuse or refute ethnographic fascinations with animism, instead attuning ourselves to expanded frameworks for liveliness? Other Life-formings interrogates the conditions of coming-to-life along four lines of inquiry: capacities for movement, language, forming, and empathy. Across stop-motion animation, digital modelling, photo-sensitive interspecies collaboration, kinetic sculpture, and video installation, the exhibition tracks the precarious empathies enlivened by animation.

IMAGE CREDITS: (clockwise from left) Laurie Kang, Terrene, 2019. Courtesy the artist; Sky Hopinka, Cloudless Blue Egress of Summer (video still), 2019. HD video, stereo, color, 2-channel, synchronous loop. Courtesy the artist; Kapwani Kiwanga, The Sun Never Sets (video still), 2017, HD colour video. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Tanja Wagner Gallery, Goodman Gallery.

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
72 Queen Street
Civic Centre
Oshawa, ON

Art Gallery of York University
Accolade East Building
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON

Blackwood Gallery
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Rd. N.
Mississauga, ON

While all stops on the tour are accessible and free of physical barriers, we regret that the shuttle bus is not accessible. If you have questions about accessibility accommodations, please contact a Blackwood Gallery staff member at or 905-828-3789.