The Living City Art Exhibition Explores Environmental Sustainability in the Toronto Region

The Living City Art Exhibit

How can art help us understand the challenge of sustainability in the Toronto region? That is the challenge and the goal of The Living City Art Exhibition, on display at Evergreen Brickworks November 23 – December 21.

We’ve all heard thousands of messages about sustainability crises like climate change, biodiversity loss, and air pollution; but we often struggle to understand what exactly the problem is and what we can do to help solve it. That’s why Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and its partners Evergreen and Crazy Dames joined forces to give local artists the opportunity to use their talents to bring The Living City Report Card to life. The Living City Art Exhibition, features artist interpretations of TRCA’s The Living City Report Card 2016 and draws attention to sustainability issues in the Toronto region and the work that is still needed to realize a sustainable future.

The sustainability-themed art exhibit explores the six key themes of The Living City Report Card: carbon, air quality, water, waste, land use and biodiversity. The artists’ works use a wide assortment of mediums, from paint to sculpture, even the sounds of nature for their pieces. As a part of creating their works, artists met with experts to understand the science and policy around each issue and what it means for the environment, communities and economy of the Toronto region. They were given three months to complete their pieces.

“We gave the artists creative freedom to bring to life the themes of the Report Card,” Ryan Ness, Senior Manager, Watershed Strategies, TRCA, said. “We’ve been really impressed with their ability to understand these complex issues and to convey their importance in a personal, human way through their art. The marriage of art with science and policy really advances the understanding that we need to act, and act collaboratively in the GTA as a unified urban region, when it comes to our environment’s health and move towards sustainability.”

The work of the artists is being facilitated by Crazy Dames – an organization created in honour of the ideals of city visionary Jane Jacobs – once called a ‘crazy dame’. The group encourages combining art and city issues to engage people and inspire action. Evergreen is contributing space for the exhibition at their unique and popular Brick Works site, where they frequently create opportunities for communities to connect and learn through art.

An opening night event for The Living City Art Exhibit takes place Thursday, November 23 at Evergreen Brick Works and the display runs for a month, wrapping up December 31. For more information, visit reportcard.trca.ca