L Space tours vanguard for Culture Days

Frog in Hand play Colleen Snell (right) and Mateo Galindo Torres (left) of Frog in Hand perform their interpretive piece “Wishing Well.” Courtesy Phil Witmer

Phil Witmer
A&E Reporter


Cutting-edge contemporary artwork was the focus of public tours held at Humber Lakeshore’s L Space art gallery on Sept. 28.

Part of nationwide Culture Days which supports community cultural activities, L exhibited the works of emerging and mid-career contemporary Canadian artists.

“Most of the works here have been collected in the past three years,” said guide and Collection Assistant Katelyn Buote.

“I’m very familiar with the pieces here,” said Buote. “We have more than 200 (works). It’s pretty awesome.”

L Space curator Tara Mazurk said the gallery aims to expose the “vanguard” of contemporary art and that Humber has a role  to play.

“The visual arts are extremely integrative,” said Mazurk. “It’s a way of visually and physically communicating (and) capturing an oral history. You’ll be able to look back at the works we collected in 2014 and see exactly what was happening in our history in that point in time.”

Most pieces displayed were modern and experimental in nature, holding the attention of the small but enthusiastic group that Buote led. A notable work by local street artist Kwest was entitled S, a huge graffiti-inspired sculpture that took up much of the central wall of L building with its earth-toned sharp and bladed shapes.

Annie Baillargeon’s puzzling L’arrivee was a cartoonish painting of children on a beach, but upon closer inspection revealed itself to be a surrealist copy-and-paste photomontage of one boy’s ambiguous ritual.

Other work ranged from Aboriginal style art to science-themed scrolls to an imposing steel sculpture inspired by Greek myth.

The tour wound through a large portion of the Lakeshore campus.

Alison Brain, who graduated from Humber almost 50 years ago, said, “I found the guide was very informative and helpful. I really liked how varied the collection was.”

The tour concluded at L Space with a performance by Mississauga multimedia collective Frog in Hand. Following the theme of the “Wishing Well,” three of the group’s members engaged in acrobatic dance moves to ambient music, and popped white balloons that were filled with the wishes and aspirations of Culture Days attendees. Artistic director Colleen Snell said her group planned to do more installations like this in the near future.

“When there’s opportunities like this given…it’s up to us artists to take them and show what we can do,” said Snell.