Earlier this year, Artscape Atelier and The Daniels Corporation released a call for artists to submit proposals for the design, fabrication and delivery of welcome gifts for over 1,300 new condominium owners at Daniels City of the Arts and DuEast Towers in Regent Park. Three local artists were commissioned for this amazing opportunity to create a large number of artworks or artisanal items that are grounded in and nurture a sense of community.
Over the spring and summer, and while overcoming the production challenges of COVID-19 shut-downs, each of these artists delivered their products to the new residents as welcome gifts and tokens of gratitude on behalf of The Daniels Corporation.
Toronto Artscape Foundation Launchpad Bursary recipient and visual artist, Ella Morton, created printed and framed photographs from her experimental analogue landscape series, “The Dissolving Landscape — Local Scenes with Mordançage” to the new residence of Lighthouse East Tower at Daniels City of the Arts.
A look at the final framed artwork created by visual artist, Ella Morton. (Photo: Ella Morton)
Her series of images, which capture landmarks of the unique waterfront neighbourhood around the development, features the mordançage process, a black and white photographic technique that degrades the shadow areas of silver gelatin prints, lifting the emulsion off the paper to create veils. The ways in which the images warp, melt and degrade express the mystery that is imbued in everyday spaces, even in an urban setting like Toronto.
Up close with Ella Morton’s Sugar Beach, you can see the details of the Dissolving Landscape series. (Source: Ella Morton)
An artist-resident at one of Artscape’s buildings, Darren Rigo, with assistance from artists Lisa MacDonald, Jennifer Yim, and Daniel Rotsztain, created the series, “Common Threads,” inspired by silk aviator maps brought into use in the 1940s. Five colour ways, each with a different set of local resources within a 30-minute walk from the Lighthouse Towers are depicted on the silk scarves: art galleries, public art, museums, points of interest or water fountains.
Each colour way of the Common Threads silk maps created by Darren Rigo. (Photo: Darren Rigo)
The resulting silk map can be worn as a scarf, framed as art for the wall, used as furoshiki gift wrap, sewn into a pillow case, or other uses imagined by the new residents as they are inspired to explore their new neighbourhood and community.
The silk maps have many usages, like the above hanging as art on the new homeowner’s wall. (Photo: Darren Rigo)
Lastly, a local artist collective comprised of Jasmine Angela So (lead product designer), 2019 Toronto Artscape Foundation Launchpad Bursary Recipient, Pranavi Suthagar (lead graphic designer) and newly onboarded Toronto Artscape Foundation Launchpad Bursary Recipient, Whyishnave Suthagar (the team’s visual artist), were commissioned for “The Aura Planter”, an artisanal planter designed with the three values of Toronto’s culture in mind: creativity, community and mindfulness.
The final Aura Planters allow new homeowners to bring some natural elements into their spaces. (Source: The Artists)
The planters themselves were hand-crafted by Toronto’s own Dex(terity) Lab, using locally sourced clay. With this gift the new residents can start their own small garden, bringing a little nature closer into their new home at the DuEast Tower.
Based on the success of these first commissions, The Daniels Corporation and Artscape Atelier commissioned Scarborough artist, Habiba El-Sayed to create “First Home Ceramic Cups” for the new Daniels FirstHome Markham Sheppard development, in the same neighbourhood where the artist was raised.
Habiba El-Sayed handmade each of the First Home Ceramic Cups on the potter’s wheel. (Photo: Habiba El-Sayed)
These ceramic cups were individually wheel-thrown on the potter’s wheel and were imprinted with Middle Eastern inspired motifs. No two handcrafted cups were the same. The gentle curves make it comfortable to hold and the design is minimalist to integrate into the recipient’s new home. The artist’s hope was for these cups to become part of the new residents’ daily routines.
While these four artists’ commissions have now been completed and delivered to the new residents, thanks to the Daniels Corporation, Artscape Atelier is continuing to build their network for future commissions. If you are an artist, designer or creative who would love an opportunity like these artists received, sign up at ArtscapeAtelier.Submittable.com.