The Future of Work at the AGB

LOKI, Future of Work design, 2022

The Future of Work: Parallel Economies

Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB)
August 26 – December 31, 2022
Curated by Suzanne Carte

The Future of Work is a three-part exhibition series formed as sites of continual research on the labour movements, essential work, equity, and mobility. In collaboration with the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre (WAHC), the exhibitions are a process to examine how the pandemic has affected labour markets and quality of life. The curatorial collective of Suzanne Carte, Srimoyee Mitra, Simranpreet Anand, and Adrienne Huard have created three distinct platforms for conversations surrounding precarious labour, parallel economies, and labour futurisms.

At the AGB from August 26 – December 31, 2022, the Parallel Economies chapter explores emerging and established diverse economies, radical new forms of production and alternatives to the ways in which industrialized sectors exploit resources and workers. The exhibition and program series features artists and cultural producers who work within solidarity economies, focus on mutual aid, actively work against competitive forms of growth, and who formulate anti-capitalist methods and strategies around worker ownership, peer-to-peer exchange, gift economies, cooperatives, community-governance, financial justice, and climate justice reform. Participating artists include Justseeds, Christina Battle, Jeffrey Gibson, GUDSKUL, Works-in-Progress, Derya Akay, Gendai Gallery, Jen Delos Reyes & June Ahn, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Chandra Melting Tallow, & Tania Willard, and community members such as the art and craft guilds of the region, local gardeners, historians, and restaurants, as well as the Burlington Public Library, The Pink Project, and Brock University’s Department of Labour Studies.

Jesse Purcell

The Future of Work’s opening reception, THE HIVE, on Saturday August 27 from 1 – 4pm will pack several activities throughout the building, spilling out into the city streets. Clay & Paper Theatre will lead a family-focused workshop in Brock Park, helping participants make noise makers and flags for use in a participatory parade throughout the neighbourhood. The AGB’s studios will be open and active with the guilds of Arts Burlington welcoming guests, artist Jesse Purcell of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative will demonstrate screen printing in the gallery, and collective Works-In-Progress will host an open workshop on repurposing and repairing unwanted textiles and damaged clothes.

Jump on the Contemporary Art Bus Tour from Hamilton – Burlington, and back on Saturday, September 24. The tour starts at 1pm at Workers Arts & Heritage Centre (51 Stuart Street, Hamilton) then departs for Hamilton Artists Inc., McMaster Museum of Art, and the Art Gallery of Burlington, returning to WAHC at 5:00pm. Travel and admission is free. Seating is limited.

What do you want to grow in your garden next year? What do you have to share? Seedy Saturday on October 29 from 1 – 2pm is social meet-up to share and exchange seeds harvested from your garden. The event supports the distribution of organic and open-pollinated seeds, provides a space to share information and experiences, and encourages a community of gardeners – from seasoned experts to beginners. The event is part of artist Christina Battle’s ongoing project seeds are meant to disperse, where she offers seeds as a trade or gift to encourage and support alternative systems of exchange. The project strives to draw attention to food security & sustainability, species diversification, seed copyright, climate change, and urban renewal.

Gudskul, Swap Market, 2021. Art Gallery of York University (AGYU). Courtesy of the artists.

The Future of Work is supported by a dynamic season of hands-on workshops such as Wildcrafted Balms and Salves and Handmade Incense with Amina Suhuwardy and Introduction to Screen Printing with Justseeds’ member Jesse Purcell. Now in our second year, Reclaiming Clay, our programming partnership with Joseph Brant Hospital’s Mental Health Recreation and Wellness Program, will expand to bring health care workers and both in- and out-patients together in the studio to experience to therapeutic properties of clay. Visit the LEARN page on our website to register.

The Future of Work is a co-presentation of the Workers Art & Heritage Centre and Art Gallery of Burlington. The AGB is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, GWD Foundation for Kids, and incite Foundation for the Arts.


Art Gallery of Burlington is proud to acknowledge that the land where it is located is part of the ancient Dish With One Spoon Treaty and also the Brant Tract Purchase, Treaty No. 3 3/4 of 1795, and it is grateful to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Six Nations of the Grand River for sharing this territory. The Art Gallery of Burlington is located at 1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario.

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Colleagues in the media are invited to connect with:
Nadine Heath, Director Marketing and Communications
905-632-7796, ext. 304 nadine@agb.life
Exhibition guided tours available upon request