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There are always new things happening at The Word On The Street, and this is best place to find the latest story.

The Word On The Street Toronto – Canada’s Biggest Book and Magazine Festival – Celebrate its 25th Anniversary With Inaugural Installation Art Program

September 11, 2014

Toronto – September 11th, 2014 – The Word On The Street Toronto presents Sculpting New Reads, an exciting new visual arts program that brings together Canadian artists and authors to explore how books can inspire innovative ways of thinking and creating. The exhibition runs for 1-day only at The Word On The Street Toronto Festival, September 21st, 11am–6pm, in the Sculpting New Reads Tent at Queen’s Park Circle. Sculpting New Reads is curated by Labspace Studio Co-Directors John Loerchner & Laura Mendes. Five Toronto-based artists have been paired with five books released in 2014. Artists were challenged to create an art installation inspired by the themes and content of their book, applying their own unique practice to the creative process.

Participating artists include BAMBITCHELL, Nicholas Crombach, Layne Hinton, Felix Kalmenson and Mark Prier.

“I’m so excited to present these projects that have been germinating over the past three months,” says Mendes, Co-Director of Labspace Studio. “I love that we were able to give these artists advanced reading copies of their books before they hit store shelves. Books vary from non-fiction to horror to political history to psychological thriller and the exhibition is as diverse as the books themselves!”

Sculpting New Reads will feature a wide range of art media – from installation, sculpture, video and projection. You’ll have to climb up, peer in, and peek through to experience these projects. In addition, scheduled meet-and-greets with both artists and authors will be facilitated throughout the day. (See schedule below)

“With my first love being visual art, I wanted to bring together some of the amazing local artists in Toronto with the great authors that are debuting their books at the festival,” says The Word On The Street Festival Director, Heather Kanabe. “Labspace’s record of innovative community artwork projects made them the perfect choice to curate the festival’s first exhibition.”

12:00PM – 12:45PM MARK PRIER (meet-and-greet)

Book: The Troop by Nick Cutter

Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip. The boys are a tight-knit crew. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there. But for some reason, Tim can’t shake the feeling that something strange is in the air this year. Something waiting in the darkness. Something wicked…

Artist: Mark Prier’s multimedia art examines the interaction between culture, ecology, and survival. Working from diverse sources, such as botany, folklore, geology, and history, he re-articulates this examination into mediums including installation, new media, performance, sound, and video. His exhibitions include shows in Canada (CAFKA, Modern Fuel, The Rooms, & White Water Gallery), Mexico (Kunsthaus Santa Fé), the United Kingdom (the Lost O), and the United States (City Without Walls, and [Untitled] Artspace).

2:00PM – 2:45PM LAYNE HINTON & RUSSELL WANGERSKY (meet-and-greet)

Book: Walt by Russell Wangersky

From critically acclaimed author Russell Wangersky, comes a psychological thriller about Walt, a grocery store cleaner who collects the shopping lists people leave in the store and discard without thought. Abandoned, he says, by his now-missing wife, Walt is pursued by police detectives unsatisfied with the answers he’s given about her disappearance.

Artist: Layne Hinton is a multi-disciplinary artist, holds a BFA from OCADU, and has received awards including the InterAccess Prize, OCADU Printmaking Award and OCADU Faculty Film/Video Scholarship. Her work has been shown at the AGO, YYZ Artist’s Outlet, O’Born Contemporary, L’École des Beaux Arts Paris and the Hermitage Museum. She recently completed a solo exhibition at InterAccess Electronic and Media Arts Centre and is co-curator for Art Spin.


Book: Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab by Shani Mootoo

Jonathan Lewis-Adey was nine when his parents separated, and his mother Sid vanished from his life. It is only as a grown man that Jonathan reconnects with his lost parent, only to find, that the woman he knew as “Sid” has become an elegant man named Sydney living quietly in Trinidad. In the years since then, Jonathan has paid regular visits to Sydney, trying to rediscover the parent he adored inside this familiar stranger.

Artist: BAMBITCHELL is an award winning, artistic collaboration between Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell. The duo has been producing mixedmedia installations since 2008 and has exhibited in galleries and festivals internationally. Their practice uses queer and feminist frameworks to re-imagine borders, historical patterns of mobility, labour, migration and memory.

These frameworks, often showcased through irony and a camp aesthetic, invite nuanced and complicated re-workings of images, language and architecture. Upcoming exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario Scene with SAW Video and Gallery44.


Book: Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage by Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter, bestselling author of Annabel, gives us her first work of narrative nonfiction. In breathtaking prose charged with vivid descriptions of the land and its people, Kathleen Winter’s Boundless is a haunting and powerful story, and homage to the ever-evolving and magnetic power of the North.

Artist: Nicholas Crombach graduated from OCAD University’s Sculpture and Installation program in 2012. Crombach exhibits his work in a variety of gallery exhibitions, project spaces and sculpture gardens. Crombach has been awarded the Hayden Davies Memorial award and Samuel Lazar Kagan award from OCAD University, The Abraham & Malka Green award, and in 2013 his sculpture, Man with child’s Bow and Arrows, was preselected for the Figurativas 13 exhibition at the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona. In 2012, Crombach was the selected winner of a First Capital Realty public commission installed in Burlington, Ontario.


Book: Quartet for the End of Time by Johanna Skibsrud

Quartet for the End of Time takes us on an unforgettable journey, beginning in one of the most fascinating, and largely forgotten, periods of American history—the Bonus Army March of the 1930s—through to the end of the Second World War. The lives of Arthur and Douglas Sinclair—a World War One veteran and his son—and the children of a powerful US congressman—powerfully and irrevocably intersect during the Bonus Army Riots in Washington DC.

Artist: Felix Kalmenson is a Russian-born, Toronto-based artist, with an artistic practice in installation, video, photography, book works, performance and sound art. Kalmenson’s practice is concerned with the mediation of histories and ongoing narratives by state, institutional and corporate bodies. He explores how transformations in the landscape of communication, visualization and space radically reposition the individual in relation to constructed knowledge and lived experience. Kalmenson has created an extensive body of work in public space, galleries, and artist-run centres in Canada and internationally.


For media inquiries, contact: Laura Mendes, Co-Director/Curator, Labspace Studio

Program Details:

416.836.1516 or


About The Word On The Street:

Each September, in the cities of Toronto, Halifax, Lethbridge, Saskatoon and Kitchener, The Word On The Street unites the country in a national celebration of literacy and the written word. Annually attracting more than 200,000 visitors to its Queen’s Park Circle location, The Word On The Street Toronto is the largest book and magazine festival in Canada. This year’s event takes place on Sunday, September 21st.

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