Wild Bees installation by Charmaine Lurch

By Kathryn Stocks

The Clark Centre for the Arts in Guild Park has been revitalized and the official opening  of this exciting new cultural facility took place on April 20. With its art studios and gallery spaces, the Centre will deliver art courses, workshops and camps. It will also provide facility rentals to the community.

Highlights of the opening included a spoken word performance by Ontario Poet Laureate Randell Adjei, dancing and music from indigenous performers, singer Shadel Chavez, a talk from artist Dorsey James, and a tour of the new building. The art included stunning sculptures by James, a wild bees art installation by Charmaine Lurch, and exhibits featuring work from student, BIPOC and LGBT+ artists.  

Another important element of this new building is its attentiveness to the outside world. Surrounded by native plants and trees, the Centre has bird-friendly glass, a green roof, and art studios that are bright with natural light.

For the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson and Councillor Paul Ainslie were joined by Councillor Gary Crawford, Ojibwe Anishinaabe Elder Shelley Charles, Cheryl Blackman, Director of Museums and Heritage Services, and Dorsey James.

The Sculptor’s Cabin was also open. Renovated in spring 2019, it is a small, historic building located close to the driveway into the park. Volunteers were demonstrating   hand-loom weaving, a craft that was important to Spencer and Rosa Clark who created The Guild of All Arts in 1932.

Upcoming exhibitions, talks and events at the Clark Centre include:

  • Charmaine Lurch’s Wild Bees Installation, on until December
  • Thomas Brasch’s How to be Human, part of Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, May 1 to 31
  • Maven Talks: The Damage of a Gun with MPP Mitzie Hunter, Dr. Najma Ahmed, Neil Donaldson (Logik) and Thomas Brasch, May 11, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Doors Open Toronto location, May 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with gallery tours at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.
  • Summer Camp: Theatre Co. 4 Kids, July 4 to 15, and July 18 to 29.

Hours of operation at the Clark Centre are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information is available on the city’s webpage: toronto.ca/clarkcentre.