Collection X - a space to share ideas about life and art

November 2008: Transform

With the Art Gallery of Ontario newly re-opened, visitors can experience expanded art collections through the lens of Frank Gehry's dramatically redesigned building. As the gallery re-envisions itself and its community, Collection X delves into the idea of metamorphosis and transformation.

Shift Change

ShiftChange (installation view) by Dan Bergeron and the Youth Council

The AGO Youth Council 2008 has paired up with guest artist Dan Bergeron and the Trans_Fusion Crew at the Supporting Our Youth organization to create Shift Change - a photo-based campaign that encourages the viewer to consider the fact that change is the only constant. Through seven photographic “paste-ups,” mounted across Toronto, the Council asks us to rethink what change means to them, and to recognize that change is not something to fear or resist.

The life-size images of council members and local personalities performing their daily transformations were pasted up in unexpected places across the city, before recently making their way onto the AGO hoarding boards on Beverley Street.

Timed with the AGO's re-opening, Shift Change has been re-mounted in the education hub, a programming space inside the Gallery. The installation serves as a visual reflection of youth, both through the members' depiction in the life-size images and as a showcase for the strong artistic programming initiated by the AGO Youth Council each year.

Urban Interventions

Scooterheads (as seen on McCaul Street) by Dan Bergeron

Do city streets provide anonymity and distance, or can they be a point of connection between us? What traces do we leave when navigating the maze of alleys and avenues in the urban landscape? What signals do we send and receive?

This connection presents an ongoing series of photographs taken in public spaces. Calls to action, contemporary memorials, and tokens of affection, Urban Interventions documents messages that are rendered visible through the author's unique choice of medium and location. This connection provides a look at cities, the people who inhabit them, and the way we forge connections with one another.

See art in public spaces by DACO, City Beautification Ensemble, FauxReel and more.

User Profile

Balloons Over The Land, 2006

Natalia Laluque

Toronto-based Natalia Laluque, member of the stART Collective of visual artists, works in paint, print media and clay. She writes, “the way we look at the world is a reflection of our inner self. One person can pass a beautiful garden and not notice it, and another person can find beauty in the most cluttered up corner.”

Her Canadiana Project is a mixed media series that blends historical and contemporary symbols to transform Canadian and immigrant perspectives into a new, integrated iconography of this country and its people.

Call for Submissions

A detail of the cover of Sophie Dahl's book The Man With The Dancing Eyes. Illustration by Annie Morns.

The stories we share with one another offer insights into our relationship with our communities and transform how we understand community itself. Local artist Cath Campbell is seeking tall tales, favourite anecdotes, and personal accounts about Toronto's Grange neighbourhood. To find out more about how Campbell collects hidden histories, or to share an interesting story, click here.

This newsletter is produced by the AGO on behalf of the project partners.

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Collection X was developed in partnership with the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) at, an initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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