Missing Art Galleries? Go On A Public Art Tour With The Bentway and #ItsAllRightNow
Art has always been a way to develop widespread commentary on the human condition. In a pandemic fuelled world, the human experience has changed drastically, and art heads have been feeling the withdrawals. Luckily, the company behind the public space project beneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway, The Bentway, has launched new innovative public art installations around the city.
Running throughout the summer months, the collection titled ‘It’s All Right Now’, encourages Torontonians to explore the unique realities COVID-19 has created. Comprising 22 artists’ work, the collaboration explores the peaks and valleys of this moment in history. Installations can be found across the city on digital billboards, wild posting spaces, streets, civic landmarks and along the Gardiner and Waterfront.
“Public art is powerful,” says Ilana Altman, Co-Executive Director at The Bentway. “In the best of times it brings people together for unforgettable experiences, driving civic dialogue and social cohesion. In difficult times like these, when people are struggling to feel connected, public art is more important than ever. While we’re unable to convene together in person, we wanted to empower Toronto’s artists to use the city’s screens, streets, walls, and windows as their canvas and ensure that the dominant sentiments in the public sphere reflect the multiplicity of experiences throughout our city.”
The organizing team at The Bentway says it hopes to engage the city in a collective dialogue in which the displays of community art creates a time capsule of the moment.
Participating commissioned artists include, Hiba Abdalla, Dan Bergeron, Bekah Brown, Christine Brubaker and Cathleen Sbrizzi, Ani Castillo, Max Dean and Andrew Savery-Whiteway, Anahita Dehbonehie, Bruce Horak, Will Kwan,La-Vane Kelly, Ness Lee, Tessar Lo, Sean Martindale, Hazel Meyer, Shawn Micallef, Anne Michaels, Peter Morin, Poet Laureate Albert Moritz with son Blaise Moritz, Daniel Rotsztain, Quentin VerCetty and Younger Than Beyoncé.
Artists were asked to answer one question through their work, ‘What words are you living by, right now?’ The question has evoked responses of hope, fear, optimism and contemplation.
Torontonians can become a part of the project by responding to the question and sharing through social media using the hashtag #ItsAllRightNow, by emailing digital submissions to ItsAllRightNow@thebentway.com, or mailing hand drawn works to The Bentway’s head office.
All submissions will be revealed at a public presentation in 2021, as a review of the city’s collective psyche.