June 20, 2014 3:04 pm

WorldPride art exhibits showcase celebration, solidarity and loss

A view of the large-scale sculpture 'Full Spectrum' at Church St. and Maitland St. in Toronto, June 18, 2014.

Heather Loney, Global News

TORONTO – A number of public art and photography exhibitions will showcase queer communities throughout WorldPride, which kicked off in Toronto on Friday.

The artworks range from the celebratory to the reflective, feting the diversity of queer communities, while examining struggles and lives lost in those communities, both past and current.

Full Spectrum

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A large-scale three-dimensional artwork from Toronto’s Public Studio, Full Spectrum, was installed this month in Toronto’s gay village at the corner of Church St. and Maitland St.

The locally-made sculpture features 102 colours of the spectrum and changes depending on the angle at which it’s viewed.

When viewed from the corner of Church and Maitland, a bright array of colours can be seen, a nod to the LGBT community rainbow.

From the opposite end, the mural appears midnight blue with reflective elements, “representing the candlelight vigils held in the memory of members of the LGBT community who died from AIDS in the city in the 1980s,” according to Public Studio.

A view of the large-scale sculpture ‘Full Spectrum’ at Church St. and Maitland St. in Toronto, June 18, 2014.

Heather Loney, Global News

A view of the large-scale sculpture ‘Full Spectrum’ at Church St. and Maitland St. in Toronto, June 18, 2014.

Heather Loney, Global News

A view of the large-scale sculpture ‘Full Spectrum’ at Church St. and Maitland St. in Toronto, June 18, 2014.

Heather Loney, Global News

The sculpture was created by artists Tamira Sawatzky and Elle Flanders and was commissioned by Jason Fane, a long-time supporter of Toronto’s Church St. community.

Fan the Flames: Queer Positions in Photography

The photography exhibition Fan the Flames: Queer Positions in Photography showcases queer identity and gender.

Featuring works by Canadian and international artists including Raphael Bendahan, Brassaï, Nina Levitt and Robert Mapplethorpe, the exhibit questions gender norms and expresses an “expanded range of individual identities” through photographs and video.

The exhibition will remain up at the Art Gallery of Ontario throughout WorldPride until Sept. 7, 2014.

WATCH: Fan the Flames

What It Means To Be Seen: Photography and Queer Visibility

To celebrate WorldPride, the Ryerson Image Centre is showcasing a photography exhibit that looks at the rich photographic history of the “collective characteristics, experiences and ambitions of queer communities.”

Exhibit organizers say that within queer communities, visibility and acceptance are tied together. “This range of photographs argues for the continued validity – necessity, even – of making queer people visible, collectively and individually.”

What It Means To Be Seen was launched on June 18 and will run until Aug. 24, 2014.

You can view the full WorldPride calendar of events here.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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