Skip to main content

BigArtTO visits Scarborough Southwest and Toronto-St. Paul’s (November 4 to 7)

Day of the Dead by Emma Lopez, Pedro Narvaez and OCAD U students.
Dia de los Muertos by Emma Lopez, Pedro Narvaez and OCAD U students.

BigArtTO, Toronto’s free outdoor public art celebration, continues to offer residents with opportunities to safely explore their communities this week, while still respecting public health guidelines. And OCAD University is excited to participate as a proud partner.

This week, BigArtTO visits the neighbourhoods of Scarborough Southwest and Toronto-St. Paul’s.

Twenty-one of the BigArtTO productions are the result of a close collaboration between the City of Toronto, OCAD University, and AVA Animation & Visual Arts Inc. Three of the BigArtTO productions are being delivered at waterfront locations and will be activated by program partner, The Bentway. These meaningful partnerships will provide opportunities for emerging Toronto-based artists and students.

November 4 to 7: daily from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Ward 20: Scarborough Southwest

(R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, 2701 Queen St. E., M4E 1H4)

Artists:  Emma Lopez & Pedro Narvaez, with OCAD U students and alumni, Gabriel Masewich, Rebecca Van Fraassen, Simone Northey, Peter Rahul and "Double Aye (Mohammed Abdullah).”

Title: Dia de los Muertos

The R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant will be transformed with light by international award-winning artists Emma Lopez and Pedro Narvaez, who have created an animated piece in honour of the Indigenous, pre-Hispanic/Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead. Together, Lopez and Narvaez started AVA Animation & Visual Arts Inc., and their previous works have been presented at iconic landmarks, such as the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest and Odawara Castle in Japan.

For Dia de los Muertos, the duo will be joined by five talented artists and alumni from OCAD University: Gabriel Masewich (@gabrielmasewich), Shatter. Untitled; Rebecca Van Fraassen (@virgoartpage), Eternity in a Wildfire; Simone Northey (@simone.northish), Untitled; Peter Rahul (@prahul03), Bardo Blazar; and, "Double Aye” (Mohammed Abdullah, @double_aye22), United.  Each artist will be presenting their own personal visual interpretations of the concept.

“Dia de los Muertos,” or the “Day of the Dead,” is a celebration meant to honour our ancestors…its purpose is to help us find our place in the world by honouring those that have already left, and to thank them for the love and the lessons they left behind. It is a way to use art to transform grief, by thinking of death not as a dark, dreaded and painful event but as a part of life itself that should also be celebrated. And we do so, with flowers, incense, food, colour and joy.” - Emma Lopez.

“All traditions evolve, just as we do, and this particular tradition is very close to our hearts. We have seen it evolve over the years. Having recently migrated to Canada ourselves, we thought it was valuable to share this very important part of ourselves and our cultural background by opening it up for dialogue and collaboration. We want to see what this beautiful concept can inspire other fellow artists to create, to find out what other meanings we can discover together.” - Pedro Narvaez

Ward 12: Toronto-St. Paul’s

(Wychwood Barns, 76 Wychwood Ave., M6G 2X7)

Artists: Ayo Tsalithaba and Imad Elsheikh, featuring artists Alexis Eke, Amika Cooper, Brianna Roye, Clairmont The Second, Meech, M.I. Blue, Moya Garrison-Msingwana, Twysted Miyake-Mugler, Rahnell Branton, and Spencer Badu.

Title: Keep That Energy

Presented by Nia Centre for the Arts.

The BigArtTO initiative runs to December 5, 2020. A complete event schedule is available on the City of Toronto website