Facing Future, a display of talent and sentiment

Jan 31, 2024 | Arts, Campus News, Culture

Humber Galleries introduced Facing Future this year, a group art show that is being exhibited until March 28 at the Humber Lakeshore campus.

Casey Norris, the Humber Galleries’ Communications coordinator, said the artwork displayed in the exhibition represents the artists’ connection to home, their stories, and their futures.

“It touches on climate change, climate emergency, immigration, identity and connection to one’s home and place,” Norris said. “We had these works, and they came together naturally in that way.”

Akshata Naik, a contemporary visual artist, is an immigrant from India.

Her work Bloody Boats is a big, red, interactive, and immersive sculpture in the middle of the gallery. It’s composed of a large piece, Voyage, and smaller red boats.

A work of 3D boats for Naik's art piece, Bloody Boats, designed by Justin Ho. The boats are a part of Humber Galleries' Facing Future exhibition.

A work of 3D boats for Naik's art piece, Bloody Boats, designed by Justin Ho. The boats are a part of Humber Galleries' Facing Future exhibition. Photo credit: Anusha Siddiqui

“The bigger piece is overpowering in terms of space and contradiction,” Naik said. “I wanted to talk about the fragility of life and strength through the paper boats.”

The piece reflects stories of migrants, refugees, and those displaced by war and natural calamities. The boats represent what it took to survive and sustain in difficult times, she said.

Hui Ding, a visitor to the exhibition and a student from China, admired Shellie Zhang’s paintings.

Ding immediately noticed the Chinese influence in Zhang’s work.

A visitor, Hui Ding is looking at the paintings in the exhibition, Facing Future against the backdrop of Ebru Kru's artwork.

Hui Ding is looking at the paintings in the exhibition Facing Future with artwork by Ebru Kru in the background. Photo credit: Anusha Siddiqui

“The colours are fresh and have a strong visual impact,” she said. “I like that the art is very modern.”

Maya Iraheta, a Humber graduate, said her journey as an art student at Humber has been immensely fruitful.

Her art piece named These Things is a part of the exhibition.

“It’s interesting because it’s a collection of things that I see every day. It’s a homage to making mundane things kind of special,” Iraheta said. “You know, putting them on display and blowing them up.”

The Facing Future exhibit features paintings, photographs, prints, and sculptures by artists Kim Dorland, Shellie Zhang, Akshata Naik, and several Humber alumni.

Additionally, it houses works of emerging artists Georgia Acheampong, Jasmine Cowan, Chesley Davis, Ebru Kur, Maya Iraheta, and Alyssa Mahon.

Justin Ho, the gallery assistant and project coordinator for Facing Future, is also the designer of the 3D boats for Naik’s Bloody Boats.

Ho said each artist brings something unique and special to the exhibition, and each piece is in a different medium, with a different message, and from a different culture.

“Facing Future talks about things that perhaps are not discussed enough, and talks about it in a way that’s approachable, vibrant and beautiful,” he said.

Norris said these works are a part of Humber’s permanent art collection.

“These pieces will find a home in various Humber Campuses after the exhibition,” Norris said. “At the opening reception, there will be talks with the artists, that’s the main goal.”

Facing Future’s opening reception is on Feb. 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the L Space Gallery.

Norris said all the artists have confirmed their presence for the reception.