Tuesday 31 July 2012

XPACE Summer Residency & The Beat and the Chorus at the Same Time - CLOSING RECEPTION

The XPACE Summer Residency came to an end this past Friday July 27th.  After a month of hard work our Residents got to show off what they created during their time here at XPACE. 

 Krystina Plante's deeply personal work, Missing Links regarding her broken family tree is beautiful and haunting.

 Lee Aaron Wiesblatt Let's Hope We Don't Have Another Solaris Situation on Our Hands Here turned XBASE into a technological cave of wonder.

 Mason Mummery's art slingshot had visitor's slinging paint-covered sculptures at canvases collaged in the artist's own drawings.

The Summer Resicency Show will be up until Saturday August 3rd. 

Hanna Hur's The Beat and the Chorus at the Same Time, in Window Space will be up until Saturday August 3rd.

Thursday 26 July 2012

XPACE Summer Resident - Lee Aaron Wiesblatt

Recently I had the privilege to sit down with one of our XPACE Summer Residents to ask a few questions about his practice and the work he is doing here at XPACE.  Lee Aaron Wiesblatt, a recent graduate of OCADU's Printmaking program describes himself as a 27 year old emerging artist.  Previously at OCADU he studied Drawing and Painting, Sculpture and Installation as well as Criticism and Curatorial Practise before ending up in Print.  His multi-disciplinary background  influences his artistic practice, and from the sounds of it, will definitely be evident in the work he creates at XPACE.

JESSICA CAPPUCCITTI: When did you become interested in printmaking?

LEE AARON WIESBLATT: I've been into printmaking for quite some time. In high school I was experimenting on my own with stencilling and spray paint, and eventually the cheap Speedball home screen printing kits.  I had a couple of friends who were already in their upper years at OCAD and getting to watch them print encouraged me to start dabbling.  Even when I was taking more sort of cerebral academic courses I would always have some studio stuff on the side, so there was a sustained engagement with print all the way through; eventually I realised that's what I needed to do.  It was the last major I declared but it had been in my heart and in my course load all along.

JC: What type of printmaking are you most interested in?

LAW:  What I'm most interested in is photographic, mechanical reproduction, offset lithography, the four-colour process - I'm kind of a fetishist of that aesthetic - but my personal approach to print is almost always informed by experimentation, and trying to figure out what is appropriate to the statement that's being made.  So in general I'm kind of a big medium specificity guy and I try not to shoe horn any pre-existing idea into an existing aesthetic

JC: Tell me about the work you are doing here at XPACE for your residency.

LAW: What I think I am going to be doing is an interactive installation in XPACE, which will be sort of about mapping and reconfiguring a subjective space.  I don't know how much more I can tell you...  For this project I'm kind of going back to the drawing board and learning a bunch of skills that I've never built before including working with new media technology, specifically Arduino builds and programming.  This is all going to be pretty new to me but there should be a print component as well as a more traditional three dimensional installational component.

JC: How does being here in XPACE affect the way you work and provide inspiration?

LAW:  Well you've noticed that I have made myself at home.  I think there are some photographs of the workspace that I've brought to XPACE on the website. (see the home page and this blog post!)
I'm really into compartmentalization, so having a space that's specifically for working really helps to feel like I have something to do, a place to go mentally.  I'm just finding it an enormous asset and there's all kinds of tools, apparatuses and technology that's just around, and digging through it has been a big inspiration as well.  And of course Amber and Cameron and Alicia have been an enormous help in helping me clarify my idea and help crystallise it and I think that it's an enormous pleasure and an enormous honour to have been brought in. 

JC: Do you normally prefer to work in a collaborative environment, or do you prefer to work more independently?

LAW:  Well I think that I kind of think collaboratively before I've even opened my mouth, because I tend to attempt to view things through different angles... sort of analyse and break down connotations... think about how different people would come to the work, all toward the end of having a really succinct personal view point, regardless of whether it is immediately recognisable or anything that translates.  But I am very open to collaboration and I think that thought is formed like a language and language is communal in nature.

JC: Where do you see your practice going from here?

LAW:  That's a good question and I really don't have an answer at the ready.  I think I might take some time to just be a dude.  I'm currently working on a script for a short film that a friend of mine and I are going to be developing.  So that's always been an interest of mine as well, and I feel like this is the opportune time to try wearing as many hats as possible, and distribute myself creatively to figure out what comes next.  If there is a theme in my work, it's reinvention. 

JC: How do you see this residency influencing or affecting your future work?

LAW:  The work that I'm doing right now is taking me to places I haven't been before, and depending upon whether I have any measure of success with the really novel elements I'm bringing, that might be something that I explore for a while.  The idea of interactive work is deeply appealing to me.  I imagine that I'll be doing that a lot more in the future, and without this residency I doubt that I would have leapt into this kind of project so quickly after school.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Thematic Residency on Toronto Island!

Soi Fischer is pleased to announce the establishment of the Thematic Residency Program at Artscape Gibraltar Point in Toronto, Canada. As part of its mandate to make international contemporary art accessible to a wider public, Soi Fischer is debuting its Education and Public Programming at Artscape Gibraltar Point, which provides short-term accommodation and studio space for artists to research and develop their contemporary art practice.

October: Monique Mouton (L.A.)
November: Gareth Long (NYC)
December: Maryse Larivière (MTL)
January: Niall McClelland (TO)
February: Artie Vierkant (NYC)

The Thematic Residency Program offers artists the opportunity to work independently with the mentorship of a visiting professional artist, curator or critic working in international contemporary art. Thematic residencies explore various models including studio work, formal lectures, group discussion, peer collaboration and outdoor retreats. This direction allows individual residents to find common ground amongst each other's disparate practices and establish new connections through communal dialogue.

Artscape Gibraltar Point is located in a 35,000 sq. ft. former school building in the unique environment of Toronto Islands, a regional park on Lake Ontario only seven minutes by ferry ride from downtown Toronto. The largest car-free community in North America, the Islands consist of naturalized areas and wildlife reserves; beaches, forests, parks and marinas are linked by numerous walking and bike paths. Toronto Islands can be biked from end to end in approximately fifteen minutes.

The Thematic Residency Program is now accepting applications for October 2012. Enrollment in each two-week residency includes accommodation and studio space and is limited to ten places.

Program Dates: October 1 – 15, 2012
Application Deadline: August 10, 2012
$750 + HST

A passage way, a puncture, an escape route, an opening, an excavation, an aperture, a cave. In this residency the objects of discussion (essays, films, art) are like portable holes through which we might peer onto our present. The objects will be loose, to be picked up and dropped down, or packed away for later. Agilely we will step from the archaic to the critical; from the flicker of film to the stillness of a grid. Organized seminars will punctuate plenty of studio time. Casual and communal dialogue will be encouraged.

Monique MOUTON (MFA, 2014, Bard College) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Recent solo exhibitions include Pitch, Pamela, Los Angeles and Sides, Blanket Contemporary Art, Vancouver; and group exhibitions Rope Of Sand, Soi Fischer, Toronto; Some Paintings, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver; Working Title, Diaz Contemporary, Toronto; and Enacting Abstraction, Vancouver Art Gallery. Mouton recently produced a print edition for Hunter and Cook Magazine, Toronto. 

Applications are now being accepted via the Online Application Form

Departing from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal in downtown Toronto at the foot of Bay St. & Queens Quay, the seven-minute ferry ride takes you across Toronto Harbour to Hanlan's Point. A five-minute bike ride brings you to our front door. Artscape Gibraltar Point is located at 443 Lakeshore Avenue on Toronto Islands.

Accommodations include fifteen private bedrooms with shared bathrooms, coin-operated laundry machines and Wi-Fi throughout the building. Residents share a communal kitchen with personal refrigerator space and dry storage. The kitchen is fully stocked with amenities including a stove, oven and microwave; generous counter space to prepare meals; dinnerware, flatware and cookware; and staples such as coffee, tea and sugar. A banquet table that seats eighteen sits at the center of the large bright room amongst couches and houseplants. 

Studios are well-ventilated with high ceilings, tall windows and large walls. Tables, lamps and chairs are available. Facilities include a library, a black and white dark room, a woodworking studio, and a projector and PA system. 

The building is located on acres of land that include a Blue Flag beach with an uninterrupted view of Lake Ontario, a forest, sprawling lawns and gardens filled with flowers, fruit and vegetables. Tennis courts and a baseball diamond are nearby. The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, the oldest surviving lighthouse on the Great Lakes, is located across the street.

For more information please contact Lucas Soi at +1 (416) 887-4854 or contact@soifischer.com / www.soifischer.com

The Reading Nook

The Reading Nook 
A Show of Zines, Artist Books and Multiples

Narwhal Art Projects
2988 Dundas Street West
Opening reception Friday, August 3rd, 7-11pm
show runs August 3rd to August 19th, 2012

~*~campfire in the back~*~

Curated by Alicia Nauta and Kristin Weckworth

Work by: Alex Heilbron, Alexandra Mackenzie, Alicia Nauta, Andrew Bailey, Anna May Henry, Anthony Gerace, Cameron Lee, Chris Kuzma, Daniel Luedtke, Diana VanderMuelen, Ella Selbie, Errol Richardson, Eunice Luk, Melissa Fisher, Ginette Lapalme, Melissa Luk, Hanna Hur, Inés Estrada, Jesjit Gill, Shannon Gerard, Jeannie Phan, Jessalyn Aaland, Jesse Harris, Jimmy Limit, Lala Albert, Laura McCoy, Mark Connery, Robert Dayton, Matt King, Michael Comeau, Patrick Kyle, Paul Morgan, Peter Hurley, Peter Kalynuik, Phil Woollam, Pierre Richarson, Randy Gagne, Andrew Zukerman, Jeff Garcia, Rebecca Fin Simonetti, Selena Wong, Seripop and Tomas Del Balso

Poster by Steph Davidson

Thursday 12 July 2012


Me!  Jessica Cappuccitti, the new coordinator for XBLOG.  I am currently a grad student at OCADU in the Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories (CADN) Program.  My academic focus is on contemporary artistic practices and I am currently researching art created by female US military veterans.  I am thrilled to join the XPACE team and look forward to posting some exciting news, interviews and reviews!  

Wednesday 11 July 2012


GRUNGE TEXTURE was a one night event hosted by XPACE on July 6th, featuring over 30 original grungey videos made by artists, designers and grunge enthusiasts, dj sets by DJs DAVID P & SAFA J, and live music performances by BILL BILL and SEXY MERLIN.
Special thanks to curator Steph Davidson for all of her hard, grunge textured work!
For more information on GRUNGE TEXTURE, check out Steph's blog: 

Thursday 5 July 2012

Upcoming at XPACE

Window Space
The Beat And The Chorus At The Same Time
Artist: Hanna Hur
July 13th- August 3rd
Closing Reception: July 27th, 2012

The Beat And The Chorus At The Same Time asks the question “how do we see?” questioning assumptions about perception through a constructed layering within both images and space.  The title references the famed musician Rahzel, and his ability to sing while beatboxing simultaneously. In the same way that the historical stereoscopic image would align two slightly different images to give the illusion of depth, Rahzel’s ability to break down and distinguish the processes of melody and beat offers an illusion of a multiplicity of voices.  The Beat And The Chorus At The Same Time is meant to deconstruct and reflect on the everyday sensory experience of sight.

Main Space and XBASE
XPACE Residency
Artists: Lee Wiesblatt, Mason Mummery and Krystina Plante
July 3- July 31
Closing Reception: July 27th, 2012

XPACE is housing a Residency for three recent OCADU grads for the month of July, we are very excited to see what these talented artists will come up with! Krystina and Lee are both Printmaking grads, and Mason is a Sculpture/Installation grad. They are using both the Main Space, as well as XBASE as their studios, and have been given 24/7 access. On the 27th they will be showing some of the work they've come up with in their time here. Rumor has it that there will be an art catapult!

Syracuse SPARK Residency show

Adrienne and Ursula will be showing work they've created during their residency at SPARK contemporary. It will take place at SPARK from 7pm to 11pm on the evening of Saturday, July 7th. It's called 'There's Something In The Woodwork.' Wish we could be there!

Tuesday 3 July 2012

XPACE visits Syracuse!

Hey all,

So last week Amber and myself (Alicia) went down the booming metropolis of Syracuse, NY to visit our current artists-in-residence at SPARK Contemporary. Ursula Handleigh is a recent graduate from the Photography program at OCADU, and Adrienne Crossman is also a recent graduate from OCADU, of the Integrated media program.

Syracuse was originally a huge manufacturing hot spot, but it's population peaked in the 1950's, and the industry began to falter around the 1970's. Syracuse's economy has faced challenges over the past decades as the industrial jobs have left the area. The number of local and state government jobs also has been declining for several years. Syracuse's top employers are now primarily in education (Syracuse University) and health care. 

It was very beautiful in a run down way: so many interesting buildings (loads of 60's modernist architecture), hand painted signage and the amazing kinds of textures that start happening after years of layered and chipping paint.

 We checked out the Everson Museum of Art (built in 1968 and designed by I.M. Pei), ArtRage (which was an amazing gallery with a focus on community-based practices and social justice) and Community Folk Art Centre (showing some really great textile work).

  Kid's Photobooth at the Everson- complete with different masterpiece backdrops and costumes! The guard was not impressed with us.

We also checked out a vegan eatery with 42 different kinds of 'milk'shakes, a couple thrift stores, a delicious Mexican restaurant and of course, some of the best bbq we've ever had at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a local favourite. 


We also went out one night to Trexx, a dance club that hosts a 'college night' on Thursdays. Beautiful drag queens, a laser light show, a constant stream of fog from the smoke machine and a weird photobooth 
(pictured below) was definitely a highlight of the trip. 

Ursula and Adrienne have been hard at work, and are coming up with some interesting work that reflects the aesthetics and tones/textures of Syracuse. They have also been drawing inspiration from the 200 year old Victorian home they are staying in. We are very excited to see what they end up showing at XPACE in the fall! Stay tuned.