Toronto, Ontario

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Harbourfront Centre | 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Special Programs

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.

Sculpting New Reads Logo

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 are paired with four new Canadian books. Each artist is 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.

For our 2017 exhibition, we found four amazing artists to pair with the four festival books below.

The exhibition took place at The Word On The Street Toronto Festival on September 24th, 2017. To see the spectacular sculptures, visit our Festival Photo Gallery.



Labspace Studio is an artist collective and creative studio 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 the Ontario Science Centre, First Canadian Place, Nuit Blanche Brussels, ILLUMINUS Boston, and Nanaimo's Public Art Program.

Sculpting New Reads 2017

Red, Yellow, Green by Alejandro Saravia

In Montreal, Alfredo struggles with his memories of being ordered to commit an atrocity by the Bolivian army. Despising his nation as an oppressive sham, he falls for a woman who has no nation—a Kurdish freedom-fighter trying to blast an independent Kurdistan into existence. As the net of intrigue closes in on his lover, Alfredo must finally face his past. Refusing to be bound by style, genre, or language, Alejandro Saravia captures the tumultuous existence of the exile.

Alize Zorlutuna

Alize Zorlutuna is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, video, performance, and material culture to investigate themes concerning identity, queer sexuality, settler colonial relationships to land, culture, and history, as well as labour, intimacy, and technology. Her work aims to activate interstices where seemingly incommensurate elements intersect. Drawing on archival as well as practice-based research, the body and its sensorial capacities are central to her work. Alize lives and works in Toronto.

Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called for and four recommendations were made to ensure the safety of indigenous students. None of those recommendations were applied.

More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home because there was no high school on their reserves. Jordan Wabasse, Kyle Morrisseau, Curran Strang, Reggie Bush, and Jethro Anderson were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. But it was the death of twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack that foreshadowed the loss of the seven.

Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.

Sage Paul

Sage Paul is an urban Dene woman and a member of the English River First Nation; she makes fashion, costume, and craft. Sage champions family, sovereignty, and resistance for balance. Some of her work has shown at the Royal Ontario Museum, Harbourfront Centr,e and Woodland Cultural Centre. She is the co-founder of the Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator and is working on two fashion-based projects: Giving Life and The Mint Sweater Project.

Deer Life by Ron Sexsmith

A humorously dark fairy tale, wherein young Deryn Hedlight (mistakenly) kills a dog that belongs to a witch, setting into motion a series of unexpected events. It’s a wicked fairy tale of witchcraft, bullying, revenge, and a mysterious bowler hat. Mostly though, it’s all about patience, friendship, and heroism where you least expect it.

Nicholas Crombach

Nicholas Crombach has a BFA from OCAD University with a major in Sculpture and Installation. In 2016-17 he participated in a year-long studio residency at The Florence Trust in London, UK. Nicholas has been awarded The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award, Hayden Davies Memorial Award, Samuel Lazar Kagan Award, Abraham and Malka Green Award, and a BMO 1st Art Nomination. His work has been exhibited at The Florence Trust, London (UK), Art Mur, Montreal (CA), Angell Gallery, Toronto (CA), XPACE, Toronto (CA) and Whippersnapper, Toronto (CA).

Closer to Where We Began by Lisa Richter

This diverse debut collection follows the speaker on a path of self-discovery and navigates the tension between memory and imagination, between the personal and the political, and the primacy of sensual, sensory, lived experience. These dream-like poems not only concern themselves with the speaker, but with urban and natural environments, friends, family, and lovers, past and present. The poet explores overlapping/intersecting identities that shape and inform us, celebrating the importance of telling our stories as a means of bringing us closer to our authentic selves.

Marian Wihak

An award-winning production designer of film and television, with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design, Marian Wihak integrates her design and visual art practices to devise site-responsive, experiential environments.

Employing a wide range of analogue, theatrical, and sculptural-material elements she invites questions amid confusing pleasure, prompting thoughtful reflection upon one’s own state of being in the world and the connectivity inherent within the evolutionary process.

Marian has been supported by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and was a Finalist in the RBC Painting Competition.

Her work is in private and corporate collections across North America.

Sculpting New Reads 2016