January 10, 2023, Toronto, ON – Simon Pope has been selected as the 2023 waterfront artist-in-residence, Waterfront Toronto and the Waterfront Business Improvement Area announced today. Pope is a Toronto-based artist who has a participatory walking art approach that will examine everyday interactions of people on the waterfront.
Since publishing London Walking in 2000, Pope has become a leader in walking as an art practice. His approach usually involves walking and talking with others. “This mode of art practice is extremely accessible to participants, and readily lends itself to group work, to learning together and to building new communities of interest,” says Pope. “I’m interested in how walking together can enable us to understand our material and imagined relationships – to each other, and to the places where we live.”
Pope has previously presented his work internationally, including at the Venice Biennale, New Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Seoul Museum of Art and National Museum of Wales.
The goal of the artist residency is to create meaningful experiences along the waterfront and attract new visitors to the water’s edge. Pope was selected from an application pool of more than thirty submissions. Potential projects include events, performances, workshops and temporary installations. Pope is the third waterfront artist-in-residence, after Lisa Hirmer and the inaugural residents, the Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada (now practising as Oddside Arts).
“Public art is a vital part of building a waterfront that belongs to everyone and I’m thrilled to welcome Simon as the next artist-in-residence,” said George Zegarac, Waterfront Toronto president and CEO. “The great enthusiasm we continue to see every year around this residency is proof that the waterfront has become a major arts and cultural destination that attracts leading artistic talent.”
“The artist-in-residence program continues to inspire the community as it proposes bold new ways to animate the waterfront and engage visitors,” said Tim Kocur, executive director of the Waterfront Business Improvement Area. “Simon will be another inspiration and we look forward to seeing how his works enhance our vision of a growing creative and cultural hub.”
About Waterfront Toronto: Waterfront Toronto is a corporation created by the governments of Canada, Ontario and the City of Toronto with a mandate to revitalize the lands by Lake Ontario, transforming past industrial sites into thriving neighbourhoods that support economic vitality and enhance quality of life. Its Temporary Art Program is designed to broaden the arts culture along the waterfront by providing flexible access to physical spaces and partnerships. Through this initiative it is possible to engage a greater diversity of artistic voices to help reimagine and shift our relationship to and understanding of our shoreline. The rapidly changing landscape of our waterfront creates a backdrop of contrast, transition, and growth for art projects to foster healthy public dialogue on timely issues.
About the Waterfront BIA: Representing businesses along the Queens Quay corridor, the Waterfront Business Improvement Area (WBIA) is committed to supporting businesses, unifying the Waterfront and engaging the community. Activities of the WBIA include representing the area on key policy and advocacy issues, making targeted public realm improvements and highlighting the area’s vibrancy with activations and daily promotion online.
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