Akin Collective + Akin Projects are excited to present our 2018 programming in two Vitrine Galleries, one a recent addition to our St. Clair studios and our original location at our Dupont studios which launched on October 1, 2016. These miniature galleries will feature the diverse talent of our studio members with travelling installations rotating each month. Each artist will be featured for the first month at Akin Dupont and second month at Akin St. Clair. For more information about our artists and our programming join us on Instagram @akinvitrine.
The Dupont Studios Akin Vitrine Gallery is located at the Clock Factory Building at 1485 Dupont Street (entrance on Campbell Avenue). Find Akin Studio 215 on the second floor and follow the sign into the hallway around the corner. The building is open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday to arrange a viewing outside of those hours please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The St Clair Studios Akin Vitrine Gallery is located at at 1747 St. Clair Avenue West, near St Clair Avenue West and Keele St and is viewable from the street level and can be viewed at any time.
Akin Dupont Current Exhibition:
'mother / rhythm' by Jill Smith - April 2018 / May 2018
Introducing our April / May 2018 artist, Jill Smith. Jill is an Akin Dupont member, and her new work 'mother / rhythm' is on exhibition in the Akin Vitrine Galleries for the months of April and June.
Transforming space into narrative, 'mother / rhythm' presents a series of bodily sculptures that come together to explore complex power-based relationships. This installation emphasizes materiality, scale, and gesture as elements that have the ability to relate to human forms and body movement. Primarily using clay and concrete, mother / rhythm demonstrates a compassionate, yet commanding relationship between ambiguous material bodies.
Jill Smith is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto, Ontario (b.1995) and recently completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honors Specialization in Studio Art) At Western University. Her most recent work explores the fragility and absurdity of the body and mind, as well as the connective possibilities of materiality. Smith has exhibited work in galleries across Ontario, such as the Artlab Gallery, Forest City Gallery, The Arts Project, Open Studio, and Earl Selkirk Gallery at ARTiculations, as well as Friends and Neighbours Gallery in Montreal, Quebec. She has recently participated in artist residency programs at Sparkbox Studio in Picton, ON (May 2017) and at AGA LAB in Amsterdam, NL (September 2017). Currently, she is a member of the AGO Youth Council, and has upcoming residencies with Graven Feather and Artscape Gibraltar.
'mother / rhythm'
'mother / rhythm' will be on view for the month of April in our Dupont Akin Vitrine Gallery, located in the Clock Factory Building at 1485 Dupont Street (entrance on Campbell Avenue). Find Akin Studio 215 on the second floor and follow the sign into the hallway around the corner. The building is open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.
The exhibition will then travel to the Akin St. Clair Vitrine Gallery and be on view for the month of April at 1747 St. Clair Avenue West. Gallery is street level and can be viewed at any time.
To contact the artist:
For more information about Jill Smith and her work, follow our Instagram account @akinvitrine.
Akin St Clair Current Exhibition:
'The Embrace' by Sarvenaz Rayati - April 2018
Introducing our April 2018 Akin St Clair Vitrine Gallery artist, Sarvenaz Rayati. Sarvenaz is a multidisciplinary artist and an Akin Lansdowne studio member, . Her new installation 'The Embrace' will be on exhibition at the Akin St Clair Vitrine Gallery. Her work discusses ones love or longing for nature, particular mountains and trees.
The Embrace will be on view for the month of April in our Akin St. Clair Vitrine Gallery at 1747 St. Clair Avenue West. Gallery is street level and can be viewed at any time.
To contact the artist:
'Clear Enigma' by Eloisa Morra - February / March 2018
Our February / March 2018 exhibition was by Akin Lansdowne member, Eloisa Morra.
Eloisa’s work deals with the problems of perception in figurative painting and the inclusion of multiple narratives in a picture.
As Philip Guston once wrote, “A good painting should be a clear enigma”. How can the artist create a visual alphabet, avoiding both the trivialization of reality of naturalism and the stillness of the symbol? Clear Enigma presents an imagined space where two different creatures — the Eye and the Duende — meet, exploring the multiple feelings and stories generated by their encounter.
'Romance for Two: Key To My Heart or Unlockable Shackles?' by Kayla Polan - March 2018
Our March 2018 artist was Akin Dupont member, Kayla Polan.
Calgary-born, Toronto based artist Kayla Polan is a multidisciplinary artist working across traditional and new media. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design University with a BFA major in Drawing & Painting. She will be pursuing her MFA at the University of Waterloo in the fall. Her practice melds feminism and popular culture to investigate contemporary ideas about sexuality, fetishism, domesticity, queer identity, autobiography, and consumer culture through painting, sculpture, printmaking, and performance. She has received multiple awards for her work, including the Spark Box Studio Emerging Artist Award. Her work has been exhibited in several group exhibitions in Canada and Europe.
Exploring themes of consensual BDSM practices, alternative relationship lifestyles, and fetishism, Kayla delves into ideas surrounding chastity in her installation Romance For Two: Key To My Heart or Unlockable Shackles? In this work she investigates how sexuality is bound with power and inequality in complicated ways. Chastity belts in BDSM may be used to prevent the wearer from engaging in sexual activity without the permission of the dominant, who acts as a key holder. In this romantic picnic scene, Kayla questions how philosophical issues of purity, morality, and innocence have shaped us.
'Romance for Two: Key To My Heart or Unlockable Shackles?'
Mixed media (metal, resin, silicone, oil paint, fabric, sculpee)
To contact the artist:
'Pretty Bird' by Chris Harms - January / February 2018
Chris is a self taught artist living and working in Toronto. He is an Akin Dupont member whose artwork explores the relationship between our city’s constant state of construction and its citizens. Chris creates vibrant sculptures with plexiglass, objects seen and unseen, that shape our world and envision the future.
Venturing into the bizarre and humorous, this installation, ‘Pretty Bird’ combines two mundane objects, made with a minimal aesthetic, to create a playful, laughable environment.
Plexiglass, found materials
Exhibition runs for the month of February in our Akin St. Clair Vitrine Gallery at 1747 St. Clair Avenue West. Gallery is street level and can be viewed at any time.
To contact the artist: email@example.com
'All Are Welcome' by Bernadette Peets - December 2017/January 2018
Our December 2017/January 2018 exhibition was entitled “All Are Welcome” by Akin Dupont member, Bernadette Peets.
“I have been thinking a lot about how recent immigrants and in particular refugees who come to Canada feel about us, this country and in particular what their experience is of our landscapes.
Is Canadian society the open, warm and friendly culture that we like to think it is for these newcomers? Is our pristine landscape available to them? Does it represent a refuge or is it viewed as threatening due to its vastness and unknown dangers?
I often use wild animals in my shadow boxes to represent the vulnerability of the human characters in the narrative. In this case, the deer with the bullseye carries the symbol of the 'hunted' while at the same time acting as a warning to these individuals. The orange screen across the front is meant to slightly obscure the scene so that the viewer must look even closer to be able to see it completely. The screen says "All Are Welcome" but also acts as a barrier or an enclosure reminiscent of a refugee camp. The scenes on the side walls remind us of the origins of the travellers and the reflective surface creates a way for all of the scenes and characters to merge.
I think that we still need to go some distance in our understanding of how these newcomers may be feeling in their new reality and how we might bridge the gap between viewing them as 'other' and more as part of our communities.”
Bernadette was born in Toronto where she currently lives and works. Her studio is in the Akin Collective at 1485 Dupont Street. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1996 where she majored in Drawing, Painting and Art History. She lived in Florence Italy for two years (1987–88 & 1994–95) where she continued to study Art History and develop her craft as a painter.
She has explored many themes over the past 20 years of her art practice and while she has mainly used painting as her medium she has also included three dimensional installation work as well as other pictorial devices that include shadow boxes, photographs, drawing and printmaking.
Her subjects of interest have been rooted in her political, social and aesthetic ideals. Whether she is using her work as a platform for a discussion on topics as diverse as the female body image to issues relating to the Indigenous Nations in Canada, her approach is always connected to her strong sense of design, colour and technical precision.
Craft is important to her as an effective means of communication. She believes that having a high quality of execution in her work facilitates a more effective communication of her intent.
‘All Are Welcome'
'Buckshot Deli and Diner' by Katie Sadie - November 2017
November’s exhibition, “Buckshot Deli and Diner’ was created by Akin St. Clair member Katie Sadie!
“The Buckshot Deli and Diner is set in the Sonoran desert, in the town of Niland, California, just about 4.5 miles from Slab City. Slab City is a place where people learn to live off the grid and choose to be left alone. There is no official electricity there and many of the residents use generators or solar panels. Peter, sits quietly reading the paper, and the couple nearest to the television do not acknowledge its existence above. The Buckshot Deli and Diner’s atmosphere felt like a by product of the vast desert surroundings and the way that nearby residents choose to live.”
Katie Sadie is a graduate of the Applied Photography program at Sheridan College. She was recently announced as a winner of the Flash Forward Emerging Photographers Competition presented by The Magenta Foundation, 2017. Katie’s current personal practice has involved using primarily colour negative film. Her work is inspired by the great photographers of the past and the people she surrounds herself with in the present. Katie aims to question ideals and start conversations by covering a wide variety of topics through documentary photography.
"Emotional Acceptance" by Amanda Wand - October 2017
Amanda Wand’s new work, Emotional Acceptance, is a true representation of allowing and accepting all emotions. No emotions are good nor bad, they just are. She wants to provide a space for people to feel reassured that everyone is battling their emotions in different ways and that is what creates a beautiful social human experience. She uses the gallery space to bring together people who are mindful of social justice, and who can benefit from artwork that provides healing, inspiration, and empowerment. This show is about honestly accepting how you feel and taking the time to appreciate your feelings and how they shape you as a human being.
Mando, also known as Amanda Wand, is a Toronto based abstract artist. She allows herself to be guided by what she’s feeling, creating pieces that are imbued with emotion. The process of each piece is of utmost importance to Mando, as she wants the artwork to represent the wide range of human emotions we all possess. She finds inspiration in communicating the difficulties of processing social inequality in the world.
Using her artwork as a reminder for everyone that it is imperative that we pause, reflect, and allow ourselves to express our emotions in order to move forward. Her artwork is the most honest representation of herself and she hopes to inspire moments of introspection in others as she finds the process of creation as a form of survival.
'The Angel of History' by Claire Correia - September 2017
September 2017 featured new work by Akin Lansdowne studio artist, Claire Correia.
The Angel of History
She said: what is history?
And he said: history is an angel being blown backwards into the future
He said: history is a pile of debris
And the angel wants to go back and fix things
To repair the things that have been broken
But there is a storm blowing from paradise
And the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future
And this storm, this storm is called progress
Laurie Anderson – excerpt from The Dream Before. 1989.
Claire Correia is a multi-media artist who works with both two and three-dimensional media including soft glass, in combination with small scale metal-working, paper engineering, and use of wood and other materials. Her installations, relief wall pieces and kinetic sculptures express ideas about energy, environment, and the Earth as a living entity. Claire also is a mother, paints, maintains a rigorous sketchbook practice, is a design educator in the School of Graphic Design at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, and is a pastry cook at the Dundas Park Kitchen in Toronto, Canada.
The Angel of History, 2017
'404' by Enrique Velez Gaudite - August 2017
Enrique Velez Gaudite is a storyteller. Using imagery and text, found and original, he aims to compare and contrast the power of media in its digital and analog forms. He works in marketing communications by day and on his practice beyond the 40 hours outside of the fluorescent box. His work questions sincerity in social media and problematics that come with economics, love, and other conventions.
Enrique is a current member of Akin’s Dupont Studios and his installation, 404 will be on exhibit for the month of August 2017.
He's also the founder of a small press called Particular Instances of the Possible which specializes in publishing books, zines, artists' prints, and objects.
'Rimless' by Verity Griscti - July 2017
Our July exhibition was entitled ‘Rimless’ by Akin Dufferin member, Verity Griscti.
A drunk staggers home, an animal forages for food, a gambler wins and loses a fortune on a dice roll, and the scientist plots their every move neatly on a graph. Eventually, a model is determined and an algorithm created and all the romance gets sucked out of nature. We run around modelling everything: molecules, bird flight, real-estate prices. We measure everything we can't predict and take comfort in it's tamed presentation between neatly labelled x and y-axes.
Mathematicians, economists and biologists model randomness in the hopes of unlocking a better understanding of their subjects. I model randomness because it's messy, often plain and occasionally beautiful, even whimsical. Chance will ultimately roll over neatly defined borders and overflow onto its surroundings. It may look plain, divine or foul but it's a force that's always there.
Verity Griscti is an artist and jill-of-all digital trades based in Toronto. Her studio practice explores generative systems and seriality in both analogue and digital mediums. She's built numerous websites including the award-winning Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada and has participated in various exhibitions including The Toronto Outdoor Art Show, and EyeScream II: The Visual Life of Words and Eye Scream III: Revenge of the Glyph, the visual arts component of the Scream Literary Festival. Verity received a BFA in Printmaking from OCADu in 2004 and is currently enrolled in Ryerson University's Computer Programming Applications Certificate in a move to go 'all in' on this internet thing.
'Long Road' by Laura Kay Keeling - June 2017
Our June exhibition was entitled ‘Long Road’ by Akin Dupont member, Laura Kay Keeling!
“Long Road references a road trip taken in June 2016 which began in Vancouver with stops in Seattle, Portland, road side spots in Washington State and ended in Kelowna. These images were all taken on expired 35mm slide film along the highway in Washington State. Once developed, these images all had a really interesting and vibrant post-apocalyptic vibe to them which I found was an interesting backdrop to have against the natural environment that exists around us. During this trip, it was quite breathtaking to see how rapidly the environment around us would change. There were moments when the highway was the only thing separating a desert like scene on our left and lush rolling hills of farmland to our right.”
Travels, daydreams, field guides, coffee and film. Laura Kay Keeling resides in Toronto, ON and pulls inspiration from beautiful everyday moments shared through her photography and collage work. She is currently working on a 'HOT ROCKS' series of collages which are composed of gemstone cut outs from old field guides. “I’ve always been drawn to extreme environments, things that come from nature. As a kid, I was obsessed with gemstones, they’re all so beautiful in their own unique way. I’m blown away that these exist around us. I like the idea of taking something that is inherently beautiful, pulling it apart and then putting it back together”
Long Road, 2017
'High-Rise' by Jessica Thalmann - May 2017
Our exhibition for the month of May featured new work by Akin Lansdowne member, Jessica Thalmann.
“These people were content with their environment, and felt no particular objection to an impersonal steel and concrete landscape, no qualms about the invasion of their privacy by government agencies and organizations, and if anything welcoming these intrusions, using them for their own purposes. These people were the first to master a new kind of 20th century life. They thrived on the rapid turnover of acquaintances, the lack of involvement with others, and the total self-sufficiency of lives which, needing nothing, were never disappointed.”
– JG Ballard
High-Rise is a site-specific installation of hand-folded archival pigment prints investigating the exploding steel and glass landscape of downtown Toronto as a veritable condoland converges onto the apex of the city. The strange lives of condo-dwellers seem at once compact, luxurious and quietly desperate as reflected sunlight bounces between glass curtain walls, almost folding one unit onto one another, never knowing where one begins or ends.
Photographs of glass condos are folded using a special Miura pattern named for its inventor Japanese astrophysicist Koryo Miura. A Miura fold can be packed into a compact shape, and unfurled in a single motion. This pattern has even been used in solar panel arrays for space satellites in the Japanese space program have been Miura folded before launch and then spread out in space.
Jessica Thalmann is an artist, curator and writer currently based in Toronto and New York City. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Advanced Photographic Studies from ICP-Bard College and a BFA in Visual Arts from York University. She has worked at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto International Film Festival, C Magazine, the Art Gallery of York University and Yossi Milo Gallery. She has shown at various venues in Toronto, Vancouver and New York City including the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Flash Forward 2010, Whippersnapper Gallery, Nuit Blanche, the Artist Project, VIVO Media Arts Center, Aperture Foundation, the International Centre of Photography, Photoville, the Camera Club of New York and Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair.
Folded Archival Pigment Prints
'A Measure' by Emma Aurelia - April 2017
"A Measure" is an ephemeral multi-media installation by Toronto artist and Akin Lansdowne member, Emma Aurelia on exhibition for the month of April. A hand dyed, hand woven sand bag resembling water hangs from the ceiling by industrial chain. The bag has been filled with 20 kg of both wet and dry sand. Grains seep through the open weave of the cloth representing the time sensitivity of threats posed on natural resources.
Graduating from OCADU's fibre program, Emma works primarily in textiles but her practice extends in many other directions including sound and ceramics. Emma was the recipient of the AKIN Collective Career Launcher Award granted to a student based on work exhibited at OCADU's GradEx 2016.
Light Bath' by Adria Mirabelli - March 2017
New work from Akin Dupont member, Adria Mirabelli launched on March 1 in the Akin Vitrine Gallery. Her installation was intended to be a space of visual escape and an affirmation of the importance of self-care.
Hand cut vinyl, hardware, LED lights
On view 24/7, time is an entity of interest inside a vitrine space. The vitrine offers a brief escape into another world- one whose welcome extends as long as the viewer chooses to stand in front of it. Winter can feel long and relentless and it is during these months that we often consider time with a heightened awareness. The days are shorter, and we desperately try to hold onto the light that leaves us. Cut from white vinyl, sprawling floral drawings fill the vitrine space with motifs of St. Johns wort, lavender flowers, wild roses, peonies and hemp leaves which are often regarded for their healing properties in combatting anxiety, depression and restlessness. The drawings are projected with soft beams of coloured light, which are controlled on site through Adria’s iPhone, changing in colour throughout the month.
Adria Mirabelli graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2015 with a major in Drawing and Painting and minor in Fibre. Having also studied at Parsons Paris, her work is influenced by craft and design processes. Her practice is driven by an experimental approach to mark-making whereby she integrates textile manipulation processes with drawing to create large scale works on silk, felt, vinyl and paper. Adria has created site specific installations at Gallery 1313, Xpace Cultural Centre, Artscape Youngplace, the Artist Project 2017 and was a resident at The Roundtable Residency in 2015. She lives and works in Toronto.
"Pepto-Abysmal" by Kyle Yip - February 2017
Our February installation featured work by Kyle Yip, a member of our Dupont Studios.
Multimedia artist Kyle Yip also known as Discrete, is a Toronto based artist, DJ, producer and label owner of Savvy Records. He is known not only for his first full-length album, 'The Midas Touch' which garnered him a nomination for 'Best Electronic Album of the Year' at the 2016 Canadian Juno Awards in Calgary, but also his remixes for international artists such as Brabe, Society of Silence and many more.
For his album, Kyle intertwined his love for jazz, disco and soul with a deep-house and techno tinged sensibility. This medley of inspirations were crucial to constructing a sound that is not only exuberant and enigmatic, but also nostalgic and thoughtful. A similar description could be given to his paintings which are equally as energetic yet considered through his use of colour and composition. Conceptually, his work explores the relationship between the concrete and the abstract. More specifically, the left and right hemispheres of the mind as well as physical and spiritual realm.
48 x 36 inches
Acrylic on panel
Rebecca Jane Houston - January 2017
Our January exhibition was by Rebecca Jane Houston, a multi-disciplinary artist who works out of the Lansdowne Akin studios.
Her recent work has been with clay, making plaster casts of “Kee Klamps" and pipe in various clay bodies. This meditation on the form of temporary infrastructure is still in its experimental phase and is shown here in the Akin Vitrine as a work in progress. Rebecca often works for a long time with a particular material or form, and allowing repetition of a joint or object create its own abstract narrative. Sometimes, the process leads towards finished pieces if that seems appropriate, but not always.
Rebecca has worked in the community arts for many years, sits on the board of Mercer Union and is the proprietor and curator of The Northern Beaver Gallery, a vending machine art project.
'The Braids' by Nicole Krstin - December 2016
The Braids ran for the month of December 2016 in the Akin Vitrine Gallery. This new work from Akin member, Nicole Krstin is part of an ongoing series intended to foster dialogue, awareness and understanding about women’s health issues.
“The Braids is about navigating the seemingly otherworldly experience of trying to paint a clear picture of our medical profiles. It is about the need to be vigilant about understanding our bodies, our rights, and about asking questions in order to empower ourselves, rather than remaining in the dark about our health. Layers of paint are carefully cut by-hand to reveal imagery that represent healthy tissue, disease, information, misinformation — all of which is explored and or filtered-out in order to learn more about our bodies. The braids, which are interlaced and therefore stronger than the strands alone, represent the power of knowledge; revealing what is beneath the darkness.”
Nicole Krstin is a visual artist, currently focusing on film photography and painting. She is a “retired” graphic designer, holding a BA from the University of Toronto, with a Major in Anthropology and a Minor in English. Nicole describes herself as being known for incessant mouth breathing, an unrelenting admiration for cats, and saying weird things in-person and on social media. She is uni-coastal, splitting time between Toronto and Brooklyn.
'Scumland Lazy River', 'Crusty Junk Caverns', and 'Bubblegum Valley Install' by Erin Enns and Shanna Van Maurik aka Paper Bag Beers - November 2016
Paper bag beers is a Toronto-based collaborative composed of two extraterrestrial rainbow children, Erin Enns and Shanna Van Maurik. Since 2013, they have been creating work together and sharing their love for the kind of colours that hurt your eyes. Enns' background is in illustration and design and Van Maurik's is in fine art, and painting. The combination of their two distinct styles creates work that falls somewhere in between fairy tale illustrations and dystopian toxic wastescapes. They illuminate planets unseen by the human eye, sometimes showcasing the creatures that inhabit them.
Exhibition includes two hanging pieces, Scumland Lazy River and Crusty Junk Caverns, both gouache on panel, 24x24” and a sculptural element titled, Bubblegum Valley Install.
SAT.00001 by Chris Harms - October 2016
Our first exhibition, SAT.00001 ran for the month of October, and featured brand new sculptural work by Chris Harms.
Chris has been a member of Akin Collective since 2013. His vibrant and elegant sculptures are made with hand-cut plexiglass. Harnessing light and colour, Chris’ work is intended to build a feeling of expansion and possibility, and functions as an exploration of space and physicality through his own aesthetic sensibilities.