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Call to Artists: New Commissions Addressing Equity in Public Space

Deadline: July 24, 2020

ravines and trees in fall colours at evergreen

Evergreen invites artists and artist collectives to submit proposals for temporary public art projects to be presented at Evergreen Brick Works in fall 2020.

Evergreen Brick Works is situated in the heart of Toronto’s Don River Valley and the broader city-wide ravine system. For the past four years, Evergreen’s public art program has engaged critical questions surrounding the urban landscape and the public realm, the future of cities, sustainability, Indigenous land relationships and connections between natural and built environments.

The events of the past 4 months, with the global impact of COVID-19 and worldwide protests in support of Black Lives Matter, have further politicized public space. The essential nature of accessible public green space has never been clearer. In this moment, conversations and events centered on racial inequities in public spaces are also being brought forward. Experiences of systemic racism and injustice lived by BIPOC communities in public spaces are driving new conversations, from pervasive police violence to the challenges faced by Black birders in urban parks. In 2020, this is inextricable from Indigenous land rights, environmental racism, public health, access to affordable housing, and more. These issues play out in parks, streets, playgrounds and public spaces across Toronto and many other global cities.

About the Project

Evergreen will support 2-3 artists in creating and presenting new public art works exploring these and other critical questions this fall at Evergreen Brick Works. Projects should be ephemeral in nature, and proposals are welcome across artistic media, from small-scale sculptural interventions, to performance, murals, land art, sound, text works, projections, and more.

This program is led by Kari Cwynar, Senior Curatorial Advisor at Evergreen.

Proposed projects might address (but are not limited to) the following inquiries: 

  • What role does public space play in imagining a better future in urban centres?  
  • How can we imagine and create safe public spaces for all Toronto residents? 
  • What stories, histories and voices are missing from Toronto’s green spaces?  
  • How does the quality of public space differ across the city?  
  • What might equitable access to the land look like?  
  • How is this accomplished on shared Indigenous territories?  
  • What would it look like to create the conditions for all to play, walk, run, bike, practice ceremony, sleep and birdwatch throughout public parks and the ravines?  
  • How do notions of placemaking and placekeeping support in re-imagining public space? 
  • What role can anti-monumental public art play in creating new narratives and experiences in public space? 

Eligibility

This program is open to professional artists in all stages of their careers, working independently or in collectives. Previous experience presenting work in public spaces is an asset, but not required. Given current travel restrictions, Evergreen is unable to support travel for this project and will prioritize local and Ontario-based artists.

Submission Requirements

Please include, in one PDF document:  

  • A one-page statement of intent, describing the idea for the project, its engagement with the site and with the call for proposals, and connection to the artist’s practice
  • CV or resume 
  • Images of past work, including links to website or video if applicable 
  • Contact information for 2 references

Please send submissions to Julia Girmenia at jgirmenia@evergreen.ca by 6pm on July 24, 2020. 

Budget

Artist fee: $4,000  

Materials and production: up to $4,500 

Selected artists will work with Evergreen staff to develop final project and budget.  

Assessment & Process

Submissions will be reviewed by the following jury: 

  • Amy Lam, Artist 
  • Yaniya Lee, Features Editor, Canadian Art 
  • Wanda Nanibush, Curator, Indigenous Art, Art Gallery of Ontario 

The jury will select 2-3 artists to develop their works for presentation in fall 2020.  

Projects will be assessed based on the following criteria:  

  • Critical engagement with the site, with Toronto’s publics (virtual or in person) and with issues of equity in the public realm 
  • Demonstrated ability of the applicant to carry out the project as outlined 
  • Feasibility of the project given the specificities of the site 
  • Financial viability of the project 

Evergreen is committed to featuring an inclusive group of artists working in different artistic disciplines, and reflective of Toronto’s cultural, social, gender and geographic diversity.  

Selected artists will work with Evergreen staff to develop their final projects, final budgets and strategies for engaging audiences. 

Evergreen will support artists as needed with research and information about the local landscape and ravine system.

Dates & Times

Next date: July 5, 2020 All day

June 29: Call for Proposals Announced 

July 14: Q+A and application support for artists via Zoom at noon 

July 24: Deadline for Submissions

July 30: Announcement of Selected Artists 

August-October: Project Development 

October-November: Project Launch

Contact

For further information on this program, contact Julia Girmenia at jgirmenia@evergreen.ca

Download the Supplemental Information document here.

To request an invitation to the artists’ Q&A Zoom call with Evergreen staff on July 14 at noon, please contact Julia.

Location

Google Map of Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto ON

Evergreen Brick Works
550 Bayview Ave, Toronto ON, M4W 3X8

Wheelchair accessibleThis event is wheelchair-accessible.