Activist art speaks out at Woodbine Beach

Feb 5, 2018 | Arts

Sebastian Mahecha

International artists and Canadian design schools decorated The Beach in East Toronto with architectural pieces last Sunday as part of Winter Stations art contest.

Winter Stations takes place every February and is intended as an outdoor exhibition able to provide art during the winter. The exhibition focuses on a different theme every year and, this year the topic was “Riot.”

Aaron Hendershott, architect and one of the directors of Winter Stations, said “Riot” is something that reflects the current world’s mood.

“A lot of people are angry, so this year we wanted an exhibition that has a message,” he said.

Aaron Hensershott, director of Winter Stations (Sebastian Mahecha)

“We wanted the designers to speak up, to act out, to be disruptive, and to talk about issues that were important to them,” Hendershott said. “Whether there were issues of gender, equality, political polarization, environmental sustainability, issues of free Speech and truthfulness in the media.”

Alexandra Grieb, co-designer of Make Some Noise, said their design was based on  Italian Futurism, a rejection of bourgeois culture. “The most interesting thing was to consider in which context the work can be viewed and how the invitation to experience activism has to look like,” Grieb said.

Make Some Noise, design by Alexandra Grieb and Jorel Heid (Sebastian Mahecha).

Cole Swanson, art foundation program coordinator at Humber, said Riot provokes debate, challenges somehow the status quo. “The exhibition is at the edge of the water which means that border with other countries and the problems going on at the U.S. and other parts of the world,” Swanson said.

´Also, it attempts to evoke rebellion and to support all these mayor movements like Black Lives Matter that are answering to social injustice,” Swanson said.

“I like especially the Pussy Hut, it’s way of rejecting violence against women and to support the Metoo movement,” he said.

The pieces have a certain level of activism and interactivity that people normally don’t get to see in galleries, it is designed for everyone and their pets.

“There is something for art lovers, there is something for kids and there is something for dogs, too,” Hendershott said.