SCARBOROUGH’S CREATIVE SIDE
More than 30 visual, literary and performance artists will join together Saturday for Art in the Park,
The artistic strength of Scarborough might surprise you.
The ’burb may not (yet) be renowned for its vibrant visual art scene, but it is worth the weekend trek from other parts of the city as more 30 visual, literary and performance artists come together for Art in the Park on Saturday.
Supporting and promoting groups that are changing the community through art is the mission of local non-profit Scarborough Arts, the organization hosting Saturday’s event.
How people travel to see art — from Toronto’s centre to the margins — is part of that challenge, said Sasha Kovacs, program director. “(Transit and accessibility) are still things that this community is working with and through,” she said. “But Scarborough has this real vibrant cultural community. How do we get it out there to new audiences?”
Celebrating Scarborough’s “borough feel” and the rich diversity of residents and emerging artists who are changing the ecology of this suburb is Kovacs’ plan this weekend.
“The terrain is not quite trodden (here) yet,” she said of the creative scene. “We’re really creating a space for conversations about art to happen in Scarborough.”
Kicking off with the dance stylings of Scarborough-based hula school Halau Hula I Ka La, the one-day event also features a live competitive painting battle, poetry and fiction readings from local authors, and t’ai chi.
Organizers have also invited the young talent behind Scarborough’s Y+ Contemporary artist-run space to join them in pushing the boundaries of this scene.
They’ll be giving an artist’s talk and putting up a temporary installation.
“I think it’s great we’re working hard to overcome the stigma that Scarborough has of being kind of . . . uncool,” said photographer and longtime resident David Brandy, 59, who will be on site this weekend.
“There is an emerging community feeling (here) that over time has made people stronger in saying, ‘Hey, we have a lot to show. We’re just as creative as artists as anyone else.’ It’s our time to expand the horizon.”
Not interested in only showcasing “artists that paint the bluffs,” Art in the Park organizers say their hope is to connect Scarborough talent to broader national and international art circles, too.
“It’s not just about coming to buy art,” maintained Kovacs. “(It’s) about artists and communities connecting and (having) a conversation about what it is to make art in Scarborough.”
It will also be an opportunity for Scarborough Arts to announce its fall and winter programming to the borough. Art in the Park takes place on Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Harrison Properties (1859 Kingston Rd). Admission is free.