NOW: A Collaborative Project with Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette

Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette Toronto Now, 2011 Photograph by Cindy Blazevic

NOW: A Collaborative Project with Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette

January 21 – April 1, 2012


Relocated from the street, local Toronto artists Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette come together in the gallery for a collaborative installation in the Toronto Now Series. Using convergent forms of street art, graffiti writing and activist interventions combined with contemporary painting, sculpture and design these artists eradicate traditional art classifications and work to expand the understanding of what artistic creativity can be. Taking inspiration from their daily environment, the gallery and the current socio-political and cultural climate of Toronto, this installation invites audiences to reconsider Toronto Now.

The NOW Service Bureau kicks off 2012 inside the Young gallery. This Do It Yourself (DIY) agency offers visitors the opportunity to use the gallery as a forum for pressing Toronto issues. Pushing the idea of Toronto Now to its edge the artists appropriate the AGO logo and the NOW name to provide a place of artistic creativity that encourages mindful action on local issues. This project reflects the artists' interest in the tension between the rush and impatience of our current lifestyle and the benefit of slowing down, being mindful and aware of environmental, political and cultural subjects. This tension is supported by the DIY mentality that privileges the experience of the here and now in order to provoke change through self-consciousness, self-transformation and social interactions or exchanges.

Sean and Pascal will hold NOW Service Bureau office hours every Wednesday evening from 6 to 8pm in the Young Gallery. Come talk in person about your ideas for Toronto, for art or to learn more about their practices.


As a forum this exhibition extends beyond the physical space of the gallery into other areas of the museum. The artists will host several outreach programs aimed at getting the conversation started. These activities aspire to bring together different groups to talk about what matters to them in their city and how art can play a vital, action-led role in daily life.

Youthful Perspectives – The artists lead a youth oriented tour through the AGO collection focusing on fun in contemporary art. Meet in the Weston Family Learning Centre's education commons and join the artists for a tour through the gallery that will end in the artists' own installation in the Young gallery. Details: Free, Wednesday February 22nd from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. Youthful Perspectives tour is part of the Art Gallery of Ontario's Free After Three program where Ontario High School students with valid ID can visit the AGO FREE after 3 pm Tuesday through Friday.

Tagging Along – Come rain or shine these free neighborhood walks, guided by Martindale and Paquette, explores outdoor Toronto artworks, commissioned and non-commissioned alike. Details: Saturday March 17th and 24th from 2 to 4pm starting at the Young Gallery


Gift Shop Gift Shop, a store within a store features souvenirs of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) gift shop itself, rather than the expected gallery mementos, as well as other related open-edition art multiples. Gift Shop Gift Shop works by artists Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette will be available alongside both collaborative and independent multiples by other local Toronto-based artists, designers and illustrators. The products for sale develop out of self-reflective art making and many of the works transform raw street and everyday materials and images into privileged, valuable objects. This project builds off the artists’ affinity for collaboration and the practice of using reclaimed materials. Taking inspiration from existing gift shop souvenirs or using gift shop overstock, these items will be examined and reworked to deconstruct how consumable objects are given value.

Martindale and Paquette run Gift Shop Gift Shop with shopAGO as a parallel project during the course of the NOW exhibition in the Toronto Now Series.


Toronto-based Sean Martindale has been living and working in Toronto since completing his MFA at OCAD University. A graduate from Emily Carr University in design Martindale combines his fine art background with street art to communicate complicated ideas with visual simplicity driven by the hope of connecting to a pluralistic audience. His process involves ongoing interventions that use reclaimed, recyclable and plant materials. Determined to start a conversation, Martindale’s work focuses on exploring the visual language of signs while making sculptural DIY creations that are often reproducible and open-sourced.

A recognizable figure in two distinctive art worlds, Pascal Paquettehas spent the last decade traversing the contemporary art scene, while learning and expanding on his graffiti writing practice under the pseudonym Mon Petit Chou. Paquette’s thematic interests interrogate the transformation of culture that occurs when two or more economic, social or cultural realities collide. He works primarily through painting but also employs street art, graffiti and photography in projects that are often site-specific or geographically dependent. Paquette is a graduate of the Graphic Arts program at La Cite Collegiale in Ottawa, Canada.


Martindale and Paquette join forces for the first time to create a collaborative installation for the Toronto Now Series. Curated by Katherine Dennis, an MFA candidate in Criticism & Curatorial Practice at OCAD University this exhibition is the focus of her thesis. Over the course of five months the artists and curator have worked closely with the AGO including the FRANK restaurant, the AGO gift shop and the Weston Family Learning Centre to construct an integrated project that playfully works with and responds to established museum systems.

Participating Gift Shop Gift Shop Artists:

  • Karen Abel
  • Poitr Adas
  • Xenia Benivolski
  • Cecilia Berkovic
  • Cindy Blazevic
  • Erica Brisson
  • Chou
  • Keith Cole
  • Jessie Curell
  • Janis Demkiw
  • Vanessa Dion Fletcher
  • EGR
  • Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten
  • Maggie Flynn and Kassem
  • Globe
  • Li-Hill
  • Luis Jacob
  • Sarah Kilpack
  • Amber Landgraff
  • Hyein Lee
  • CN Tower Liquidation
  • Adam Krawesky
  • Sean Martindale
  • Hazel Meyer
  • Sarah Nasby
  • Pascal Paquette
  • Courtney Parks
  • Sandy Plotnikoff
  • Matias Rozenberg
  • Seth Scriver
  • Alison Snowball
  • Cara Spooner
  • Spud
  • Tongue & Groove
  • Jessica Vallentin
  • Deborah Wang
  • Well and Good

The Toronto Now series is generously supported by The Contemporary Circle

Contemporary programming at the AGO is supported by the 

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