GALLERY EXHIBITIONS @ RIVERDALE hub
The Riverdale Hub houses three gallery spaces, located on the first, second, and third floors of the community center building. The Riverdale Hub Gallery is dedicated to employing the transformative power of art to engage Toronto’s east-end community, connect with other communities across the city, and provide a platform for local, national, and global conversations.
The Invisible Playground
An exhibition by Miyaka Emon
Saturday, March 23, 2024, 2 – 4pm
Artist Talk : 3pm
March 6th to April 15th
Main Floor Gallery
Miyakah’s process begins with an impulse; an itch aimed at making what is invisible, elusive and intangible within them visible, visual and well defined. Their work comes from their gifts and unique sight as a black Neurodiverse (ADHD and ASD) person; in that way, each brushstroke is both stimming and an affixation of their innate ability to perceive and internalize the subtle, complex energies around them. Miyakah’s work surprises and revels in what is bold, defiant, dynamic and formless; in many ways it can be said that their playground consists of the conveyance of sensation, chaos and emotion, all the while highlighting the pockets of order that float within it. Miyakah is primarily based in Toronto, Canada.
Pictured: “OnSunset”, by Miyakah Emon, Acrylic and Oils on Canvas.
Mix and Fold
An exhibition showcasing artworks by Mikael Taieb and Andrew Wang
Saturday, Feb 10th, 2 – 4pm
Artist Talk : 3pm
We invite you to join us for this artist reception. It’s a chance to experience the brilliance and creativity of the featured artists, Mikael and Andrew. The Artist Talk will provide an enlightening opportunity to personally connect with the artists and their artistry. Space is limited… reserve your spot today! Snacks and refreshments will be served.
February 7th – March 5th, 2024
The Riverdale Hub Gallery is proud to present “Mix and Fold”, a transformative exhibition featuring the work of Mikael Taieb and Andrew Wang. In this groundbreaking collaboration, which transcends traditional artistic boundaries, these two remarkable minds create a kaleidoscope of colours, shapes, and textures that promises to captivate your senses. Mikael, a Rubik’s Cube virtuoso, weaves intricate geometric patterns and portraits within the limitations of the Rubik’s pixel palette while incorporating some surprising twists. Andrew, a former MIT engineer, infuses his origami assemblages with mathematical metaphors to derive narratives of identity and multiculturalism. Together, they breathe life into a visual symphony that resonates with the heartbeat of Toronto’s dynamic art scene.
Pictured: “Frida Kahlo on White Bench”, by Mikael Taieb. Based on 1939 photography by Nickolas Muray. Mixed of 400 mini Rubik’s Cubes on aluminium panel, 24″ x 24″.
Steve McDonald: Natures Cathedral
(Roxana Pye McDonald, photographer)
1st & 3rd Floor Gallery, Riverdale Hub
Steve McDonald is a widely recognized Canadian illustrator. His work has taken many forms over the years but he is best known for his highly detailed line drawings and fantastical illustrations of both architecture and landscapes. He is an international best-selling author and illustrator with his coloring book series from Chronicle Books. Recently he produced four new sketch books with Field Notes as their spring 2023 editions. A few past notable clients include Architectural Digest, Blueman Group, Amazon Prime, Entertainment Weekly, and The Atlantic. He is a fan of many techniques and has even spent the last few years mastering the new AI rendering platforms and diffusion modelling tools. Steve doesn’t see these tools as a bad thing – he views them as a progression of the evolution of image crafting.
To classify Steve’s work one should look at his influences: Moebius, Terry Gilliam, Luc Besson, Imperial Boy, Hayao Miyazaki, Roger Dean, Noriyoshi Ohrai, Looney Tunes, and then painters like the the Canadian Group of Seven, NC Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, and even Frank Frazetta. His new work could be best described as ‘escapist fantastical realism’. Steve believes almost all approaches and tools are legitimate as long as the work you are producing is striving to be singular and unique. He also believes in having fun and hopefully making you smile.
Roxana Pye McDonald began photographing her many travels at a young age. Living and growing up in Canada, India, and Indonesia, and spending her summers in Algonquin Park gave Roxana a fantastic array of locations to practice her hobby. Roxana began successfully showing her work alongside her father’s illustrations as a teenager and continues to travel and photograph their many adventures together. Among them are trapping beavers in Northern Ontario, surfing in Java, exploring the nooks and crannies of Morocco, and most recently adventuring around Canada’s West Coast in preparation for the ‘Nature’s Cathedral’ exhibit. Roxana’s Photographs tell a story of time and place and often leave us wondering about the why, where, or what is portrayed.
Pictured: Steve McDonald, Clearview Township, reverse digital print on acrylic glass, mixed process (analog, digital & diffusion).
The Intensifying Storm
Most of the earth’s water — 97 per cent — consists of undrinkable salt water. Freshwater from rain and snow sustains our plants and forests, feeds our freshwater streams, rivers and lakes, and enables life on land to thrive. However, rising temperatures are intensifying our planet’s water cycle. This means more frequent and intense storms in some areas, including Canada, where the average annual precipitation has increased.
Through my rainy day urban landscape paintings I tell the story of everyday life in the city as it is affected by rain. When it rains, I head out to take pictures through various kinds of glass, including car windows, bus shelters and a piece of glass from an old frame. I capture pedestrians, cyclists and cars on their daily journeys through the city in the storm. These images form the starting point of my paintings, which rely on vibrant colour grounds and soft edges.
Much as the environment erodes, the rain blurs the lines between objects, and many things start melting into one another. Delineations are no longer clear. And sometimes the raindrops contain their own mini landscapes, transforming how we see.
Car headlights glow on the pavement and sparkle in the raindrops, turning an otherwise dreary day into a beautiful one. The headlights and street lamps signal the attraction we feel to the conveniences of modern life. But the oncoming headlights also present a sense of foreboding and approaching danger, even as they dazzle.
In one of my paintings, “The Rose Emporium,” a lone pedestrian walks home at night. To her right is a flower shop, signalling the beauty of nature — though contained and clipped. On the road a car approaches from behind, bringing with it a sense of peril. In another painting, “Pedalling Through the Storm,” a determined cyclist bikes to his destination, navigating through a busy road even as the rain blurs the scene making it difficult to demarcate objects.
Pictured: Poonam Khanna, Rain-kissed Metropolis 3, acrylic on canvas, mounted on wood.