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A STEPS PROJECT

Toronto Makes Good

A collaboration between STEPS, JAYU, and Graywood Developments, this hoarding exhibit features the work of nine emerging Toronto photographers around themes of urban environment, health and wellness, as the community continues to navigate through unprecedented and challenging times.


 

PROJECT AT A GLANCE

Location: 102 Peter Street and 401 Richmond Parking Lot, Toronto

Artists: April Beatson, Holly Chang, Johnny Wu, Leilah Dhoré, Nawang Tsomo, Radha, Sherry Yu, Stephen Attong, and Tenzin Dorjé

Year: 2021

Services: Artist Capacity Building, PATCH Hoarding Exhibits

255

photos submitted

68

youth engaged

9

artists exhibited

 

PROJECT DETAILS

During a year when health and community recovery have been top of mind for most, STEPS engaged with artists under the age of 30 in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) through virtual photography workshops facilitated with JAYU. With Ontario Trillium Foundation’s support through a three-year Grow Grant, youth photographers were invited to showcase their work at the Toronto Makes Good Hoarding Exhibit.

Working with STEPS is an experience I am eternally grateful for. The hoarding exhibit showcases both the importance of art and community building in the city by sharing the talent of JAYU youth and the importance of creative mentorship.
Celeste Cole, JAYU iAM Program Manager

“STEPS is highly respected for leading community-focused projects that create welcoming public spaces in our city. This funding will connect STEPS with more artists and diverse communities, and make Toronto a landmark for public art internationally.”
– Suze Morrison, MPP for Toronto Centre

Toronto Makes Good Hoarding Exhibit featuring artwork by Leilah Dhore of a person holding a rose in an art gallery with people in the background.

Photo Credit: Artwork by Leilah Dhoré and exhibit photographed by Sharon Mendonca

“Having an outlet for creative expression through photography has helped me get through some of the most difficult times in my life. While I grappled with feeling isolated in my experiences and out of place in most environments, art gave me a sense of community and belonging.”
Leilah Dhoré, Toronto Makes Good Photographer

Inspired by the public spaces they miss and personal connections to Toronto’s landscape, the featured photographs for Toronto Makes Good reflect important dialogue between the urban environment, health and wellness. Through art and photography, nine young artists share personal visual stories to challenge our thinking and strengthen the community. 

Toronto Makes Good Hoarding Exhibit featuring black and white photograph by Stephen Attong of a crowd celebrating the Toronto Raptor's Game Six win in 2019

Photo Credit: Artwork by Stephen Attong and exhibit photographed by Sharon Mendonca

Like most of us, I forgot what gathering and celebrating feels like. I hope this photograph can remind us of one of the city’s greatest moments.
– Stephen Attong, Toronto Makes Good Photographer

April Beatson, "Toronto Waterfront Silhouette"

April Beatson’s “Toronto Waterfront Silhouette” features a skateboarder practising a trick at sundown in the Harbourfront area; visible in the foreground is the iconic wooden wave installation. The photo fits in the theme of “Toronto Makes Good” by showing how unique landmarks connect to our sense of identity as citizens of Toronto.

Holly Chang, "Rainbow"

“Rainbow” was taken in Holly Chang’s Toronto apartment, linking to the theme “Toronto Makes Good” by depicting the quiet nuances and moments of living in a bustling metropolis. “Rainbow” demonstrates that Toronto residents can take a moment for mindful reflection even if the city around us is constantly changing.

 

Johnny Wu, "Nature"

Johnny Wu’s “Nature” showcases two strong women who grow their own vegetables in little city-run plots. The photo links to the theme of “Toronto Makes Good” because in this rapidly changing society, we must support local farms and reduce our use of single-use plastics, a sobering reminder that we need to take steps to save our planet.

Johnny Wu, "Swing Summer Away"

Johnny Wu’s “Swing Summer Away” showcases Toronto’s love for the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), the city’s end of summer bash that has a little bit of everything for everyone.

Leilah Dhoré, “This is Worldtown Unbound”

“This is Worldtown Unbound” captures Leilah Dhoré’s gratefulness for her connection to the space and artists of the exhibition at Toronto Media Arts Centre. The flower as the focus of this image represents the connection between Dhoré as the event photographer and the artists who exhibited photographs, as they had each been gifted a single red carnation.

Nawang Tsomo, "Amala's Garden"

Nawang Tsomo’s “Amala’s Garden” is a portrait photo of Tsomo’s amala in her garden. Amala is the Tibetan word for mother. Tsomo took a quick snapshot with a 35mm point-and-shoot camera.

The photograph portrays the power in consistency and patience, and the sincerity in a slow practice. It realizes change as constant, growth as necessary, and decline as a vital part of both. Tsomo recounts the moment of the photograph—a world of colourful prayer flags and laundry whites moved with the wind, flowers were in full bloom, and the grass was as green as ever.

Radha, "A Bus Stop or a Home"

Radha’s image shows a low-angle shot inside a bus stop with people surrounding it. While it shows the vibrant nightlife of the city, it also depicts some of the precarious housing situations in Toronto and links to the theme of “Toronto as a Home” because the same bus stop will be used differently by people who seek shelter. Despite the city’s housing insecurities, Radha believes Toronto will keep moving and growing and take its people along with it.

Sherry Yu, “Morning Swim at the Lake”

Sherry Yu’s “Morning Swim at the Lake” captures a woman taking an early swim in the lake at Centre Island. This photo links to the theme of “healthy interaction with public spaces” by demonstrating how individuals can engage in healthy activities while interacting with the environment.

 

Stephen Attong, "Game 6"

Stephen Attong’s “Game 6” captures Toronto’s euphoria on the night the Toronto Raptors won their first-ever NBA Championship. In this photo, Raptors fans celebrate the team’s unprecedented victory by taking to the streets and shouting in unison.

Tenzin Dorjé, "Colours of Life"

Dorjé’s photography focuses on documenting the unique and shared commonality in the everyday, whether that is in the alleyways around Boudhanath stupa or the neighbourhoods of Toronto. The themes of his works border on the relationship between humans and their built environment, spirituality, precarious traditional practices, and memorial sites.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to feature the work of aspiring artists with STEPS and JAYU. These photos beautifully encapsulate the spirit of what makes Toronto unique.”
– Christine Chea, Graywood Developments

Toronto Makes Good hoarding exhibit with large photography on mesh that is hanging on fencing that surrounds a construction site.

Exhibit photographed by Sharon Mendonca

Visit Toronto Makes Good at 102 Peter St. at the corner of Peter and Adelaide and in the 401 Richmond parking lot that is accessible from Richmond St. in Toronto.

For more PATCH Hoarding Exhibits, follow @thepatchproject and #ThePATCHProject on social media.

Learn more about Toronto Makes Good
PROJECT Partners

GRAYWOOD DEVELOPMENTS

Graywood is a Toronto-based private investment management company that specializes in the development of real estate properties of exceptional quality. 

JAYU

JAYU is a charitable organization that shares human rights stories through the arts and engaging conversation. Their iAM Program provides arts and social justice training to youth aged 12-25 from underserved communities across the Greater Toronto Area.

“TORONTO MAKES GOOD” IS MADE POSSIBLE BY support FROM
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