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Even more than books and magazines, The Word On The Street Toronto’s greatest passion is to connect with the community. Through a number of innovative programs, we are reaching out to encourage people to speak out, speak up, and support literacy. Read below for more details.
This exciting visual arts program brings together Canadian artists and authors to explore how books can inspire new ways of thinking, creating and innovating. Four local artists were paired with four new 2016 Canadian books. Each artist was challenged to create a new art installation inspired by the themes of their book, using the festival site to engage audiences and apply their own unique art practice to the creative process. Sculpting New Reads is curated by Labspace Studio. Look below for full coverage of this year's festival.
Labspace Studio is an artist-led creative agency and art house run by Co-Directors John Loerchner and Laura Mendes. Together they develop interdisciplinary art projects, curate large-scale exhibitions and experiment with new methods of collaboration. Their projects are often site-specific and participatory in nature, blurring the lines between art and life, incorporating elements of performance, installation, multimedia and user-generated content. Recent projects include commissions for Nuit Blanche Brussels, ILLUMINUS Boston, Nanaimo's Public Art Program, Maison des Arts de Laval, Toronto’s Pam Am Games, Art in Transit, Harbourfront Centre, and No.9 Contemporary Art & The Environment.
Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (a.k.a. Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks—even though her best friend Mel says she’s the pretty one. She starts dating guys online, but she’s afraid to send pictures, even when her skinny friend China does her makeup: she knows no one would want her if they could really see her. So she starts to lose. With punishing drive, she counts almonds consumed, miles logged, pounds dropped. She fights her way into coveted dresses. She grows up and gets thin, navigating double-edged validation from her mother, her friends, her husband, her reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?
In her brilliant, hilarious, and at times shocking debut, Mona Awad simultaneously skewers the body image-obsessed culture that tells women they have no value outside their physical appearance, and delivers a tender and moving depiction of a lovably difficult young woman whose life is hijacked by her struggle to conform. As caustically funny as it is heartbreaking, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl introduces a vital new voice in fiction.
Shannon Scanlan is a sculpture and installation artist currently living and working in Toronto. Her work investigates themes of body image and sexuality. Currently Shannon is making a series called Soft Manipulations that uses embroidery, beadwork, and zippers in a way that solicits tactile investigation.
Born in Vernon British Columbia, Shannon Graduated from the University of Victoria with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005. After travelling in the United Kingdom and working in Victoria, Shannon moved to Toronto in 2011 to complete her Master of Fine Arts at York University in 2013. Shannon has shown in Victoria, Montreal, Toronto and Windsor.
The Pain Tree tells stories that speak to all aspects of Jamaican life. Olive Senior navigates the hills and valleys of narrative with natural ease, interweaving thick strands of emotion and insight yet never losing sight of a story’s ebb and flow. Her Pain Tree is an engaging, thought-provoking read that transports readers fully to another place where the unfamiliar and exciting clash and commingle with the universal.
Diana Hosseini is a Toronto based artist who works predominantly with found or imagined objects and kinetic media to create sculptures and installations. She is inspired by the sounds and actions of the objects she selects, as well as events ranging from privately personal to culturally or socially significant. Hosseini completed an MFA in Sculpture at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2013 and an Hon. BA in Medical Anthropology and Studio Art at the University of Toronto in 2010. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada.
An unemployed man, losing his ability to imagine a future self, disappears into the shadow world of an ambitious millennial. His wife, an idealistic artist at the turning point of her career, falls deeper and deeper into the gravitational field of her ultra-wealthy employer.
Job Shadowing is a novel of our 20th-century desires torn asunder by the new millennium. Through stylish, searching prose, it tests the grounds of impossible love, generational identity and middle-class fantasy.
Mark Laliberte is a Toronto-based creator with an MFA from the University of Guelph. By applying a curious, hybridized attitude to a project-driven practice, Laliberte has undertaken many different kinds of conceptual-collage explorations, completing a wide range of works with varying visual styles and approaches. He has exhibited across Canada and internationally, including: The Power Plant, Nuit Blanche Toronto, Art Gallery of Windsor, Narwhal Contemporary, CoCA Seattle, Exposure Gallery UK, and countless artist-run centres. He curates the experimental comics site 4panel.ca, and edits the eclectic art-lit journal CAROUSEL. In 2016, he will release three books: 4PANEL 1 — a comics-poetry anthology; Free for the Taking — a collaboration with artist Micah Lexier; and, asemanticasymmetry — a remixing of writer Derek Beaulieu’s letraset poems.
From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist travelling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request—and possibly to do more—and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy.
As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world…
W.W. Hung is a sculptor and installation artist based in Toronto. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. Exploring the human condition through contemporary figurative sculpture, W.W. Hung uses the human body, placed in abstract spatial contexts, to suggest different narratives and psychological states. Since 2010, his sculptural works have been exhibited regularly at galleries in Canada and the US, and can be found in many private collections. W.W. Hung is the recipient of the 2015 Al and Malka Green Sculpture Award, presented by the Sculptors Society of Canada.