Metro AGO-Go: Toronto Re-envisioned

October 17 - 31, 2004


A new exhibition by the Art Gallery of Ontario Teen Council, will give young people the chance to share their views on how to create a better Toronto. As the city and the AGO transform themselves into international cultural destinations, the AGO Teen Council wants to make sure that the voice of the city's youth is heard. On view October 17 to 31, 2004, this free exhibition will feature multi-media works that imagine an ideal Toronto created by collaborations of youth, artists and community organizations.

A highlight of the exhibition will be the AGO Teen Council's Living Legend installation, which, with the help of AGO visitors, will turn the city of Toronto into an ideal map of itself. Guests will be able to take paper map symbols from the Living Legend installationinstallation and post them throughout the city to label everything from where to get good cell phone reception, to great places to sneak a bit of public affection. Visitors will also be able to use the symbols to go into their communities and label what should exist, by doing such things as posting symbols for where parks and public washrooms ought to be.

Guests to the exhibition will also see futuristic newscasts from an ideal Toronto, produced by Regent Park Focus, a community based organization that uses media technology as a tool to empower youth. Also on display will be a massive aerial photograph of the Jane and Finch area, altered by artists and youth from the Firgrove Community Centre to illustrate how they would improve their neighbourhood. In addition, a prototype of people-friendly police riot gear will be on view, developed by youth at Uprising, a radical bookstore in Toronto's Kensington Market, and artist Kori Newkirk.

"With Metro AGO-Go we want to open the doors of the AGO to the voices of our peers,” said Teen Council member Elvina Rafi. “We want to show them that they have a stake in improving Toronto, and that they can inspire change in our environment."

The Teen Council is a group of 12 youth aged 14-19 from across the city who meet every week to discuss and design arts events for their peers. The Teen Council promotes youth participation in, and exposure to, the arts through diverse educational and creative events. Past events hosted by the AGO Teen Council include Free Space: Art Acts Out, a political performance art event; H.Y.P.E (Helping Young People Excel): The Art of Hip Hop, a one-day exploration of Hip Hop and urban culture that brought 1500 youth to the AGO; and Sew What?, a wearable art and fashion show.

Metro AGO-Go: Toronto Re-envisioned is a free exhibition located in the AGO's Shell Canada Orientation Centre on the lower level of the AGO.

Artists and community organizations involved in the Metro AGO-Go: Toronto Re-envisioned exhibition include: Uprising Bookstore, Covenant House, Albion Library Group, Firgrove Housing Project, C-Side, Supporting Our Youth (SOY), Wave, Regent Park Focus, Adrian Blackwell, Janis Demkiw, Adriana Fulop, Ariel Garten, Emily Hogg, Nikki Lett, Olia Mishchenko, Kori Newkirk, Kika Thorne, David Warne, Ryan Webber, City Beautification Ensemble, 4Unity Productions Youth Media Association, and the 7th Generation Image Makers.

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