Tazeen Qayyum and more at the Riverdale Hub

The Riverdale Hub is a social enterprise in Toronto that houses the Art Gallery, Social Gardener Café, and Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre. Our innovative space has been developed to nurture and foster values of creativity, inclusion, social justice, environmental sustainability, equity, and community health. All programming at the Hub is designed to support and reflect the experiences of immigrant, refugee, and other marginalized women and youth.

Visit the Hub this month as we launch four new exhibitions.

The exhibition openings will be held on May 15th, 2022 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. Please email ignazio@riverdalehub.ca with any inquiries.

Tazeen Qayyum, Test on a Small Area before Use – III, 2007

A Facade of Beauty and Integrated Fear
Tazeen Qayyum

May 15th – July 10th, 2022
3rd floor (Appointment only)

In 2002, Tazeen Qayyum began a series of work that fosters ideals of resilience and survival in unfavorable circumstances or unsympathetic environments. As a response to the American propaganda that fueled the ‘War on Terror’, this series presents the cockroach as a motif on how political warfare has reduced the value of a human life to that of a household pest.

For years, American political propaganda has been presented and packaged in a way to program fear of the ‘Other,’ just as society has been taught to fear the cockroach. In A Facade of Beauty and Integrated Fear, Qayyum disputes this programming by delicately presenting painted cockroaches in an archival manner. This preservation style remodels institutional education, allowing Qayyum’s own experience to inform her audiences on decades of war related upheavals.

Through intricate compositions in the style of traditional Indian miniature painting, the cockroach becomes a site of tension between attraction and repulsion. The adorned carcasses invite viewers in before they are confronted with the immense discomfort of these lived realities. A Facade of Beauty and Integrated Fear reminds us that we must continue to mobilize against war, racism, and Islamophobia. Many of the concerns Qayyum faced twenty years ago are still pressing today.

This exhibition is curated from a selection of works created between 2006-2009 and has been supported by The Ontario Arts Council.

To access this exhibition, please book a tour here or email ignazio@riverdalehub.ca

Nicole Helena, Thoughts of Summer, Giclée print, 2021

Perpetually Me
Nicole Helena

May 1st – June 30th, 2022
3rd Floor (Appointment Only)

For years, I found myself lost in the abundance of potential in the photo industry, and in some ways, I still do. Initially started five years ago, my inclination to shoot analog photos heightened during the pandemic and although I couldn’t place why, it felt like the right direction. It removed me from the stress of my commercial practice and had me seeking boundless beauty in the everyday. It took much reflection to recognize the significance of this pull, but shifting my focus away from producing commercial content and moving into medium format film unveiled a necessary change in my approach to creating. Rather than rapidly capturing everything I could – filling archives with countless files, I was suddenly forced to focus on the intention behind every captured frame. It allowed an introspective revelation of an underlying theme often seen in these images – an all encompassing feeling of loneliness and longing. I’ve crafted a slow, careful approach to my work, finding appreciation in the subtle scenes where nothing happens. Perpetually Me is an ode to the fleeting, intimate, and lonesome moments that pass us by, often remarking of what once was, or what could be.
– Nicole Helena

This exhibit is part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival with support from the Ontario Arts Council.

Alkarim Jadavji, Kyla, Photograph, 2021

Alkarim Jadavji

May 1st – June 30th, 2022
Social Gardener Café Gallery

With the state of the world as it is today, getting lost in the mire is almost second nature. As a result, we feel defeated or powerless more often than not. To counter those feelings, Breakout takes everyday Torontonians and gives them a fictional space to momentarily play and exist. Using dynamic motion and cinematic camera angles, these candid images, which are minimally styled and shot in spaces around Toronto, now become a space for escapism. Breakout provides its POC subjects an adventure where they can feel transcendent, even if it’s just for a moment.

This exhibit is part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Dania Sabri, Shafaq, 2021

Beyond the Screens
Art & Art History Grad Show

May 7th – May 29th, 2022

Presented by the Department of Visual Studies Student Society (DVSSS), Beyond the Screens is a multidisciplinary grad exhibition from the Art and Art History Program at the University of Toronto, Mississauga and Sheridan College. This exhibition explores concepts of identity, marginalization and, most importantly, human experiences. As physical spaces begin to reintroduce art exhibitions, this graduating class sought a space to share their lived experiences beyond the screens of virtual exhibitions. This exhibition includes paintings, installations, sculptures, videos, and both digital and analog photography.

Featuring works by: Ayden Beck, Dania Sabri, Jiachen (Coral) Zhu, Kathleen Gonzalez, Kyra Williamson, Manjot Pabla, Masha Le Do, Morrigan Elise Crotty, Sofia Sue-Wah-Sing, Spenta Chothia, Tooba Ijaz, Trina Chen, and Victoria Buda

Curated by Tooba Ijaz

Sunday Arts Market

May 29th 12-5pm

Support one-of-a-kind artworks and craft works from local artists and vendors at our Sunday Arts Market!

Email ignazio@riverdalehub.ca for vendor inquiries.

Admission to the Hub is free and all are welcome!

First Floor Exhibitions:
Tuesday – Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm
Saturday – Sunday 8:30am to 5:30pm

Upper Floor Exhibitions available by appointment only via ignazio@riverdalehub.ca

Contact Us
The Riverdale Immigrant Women Enterprises (RIWE)

1326 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, ON, M4L 1Z1
info@riverdalehub.ca | (416) 465-6021

Connect with us on:
Instagram @theriverdalehub // @riverdalegallery // @socialgardenercafe
Facebook @theriverdalehub

Thank You!

To stay up-to-date on all Hub programming, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here.

The Hub would like to extend our deepest gratitude to community members, local artists, and our partners for all of your support.