January 12 – 23, 2022

Emerging Artists by Emerging Curator

BEING+ is an exhibition of six emerging artists curated by Abisola Oni with the mentorship of Flavio Belli. The exhibition presents artworks relating to the curatorial theme of situating the self within society by artists selected from the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair Emerging Artists roster. 

Join BEING+ curator Abisola Oni & the exhibiting artists Biba Esaad, Noah Lima, Miles Ingrassia, Roxana Parsa, and Michelle Rodrigues for a panel discussion between the curator and exhibiting artists.

Read about the origins of the Emerging Artist by Emerging Curator Award

About Abisola Oni

Photo of Abisola Oni emerging curator

BEING+ is curated by the inaugural Flavio Belli Curator Award winner, Abisola Oni. Abisola is an emerging curator and multidisciplinary artist based in the Greater Toronto Area. Through her visual discourse, she investigates visual and cultural criticism from a philosophical perspective. She is interested in current modes of criticism and curatorial practice and plans to pursue a post-graduate degree to explore this field. 

Abisola is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Waterloo with a major in Visual Culture and a minor in Studio Practice, with an emphasis on performance art. 


BEING+ consists of abstract, figurative, installation, and collage artworks by Michelle Cieloszczyk, Biba Esaad, Noah Lima, Miles Ingrassia, Roxana Parsa, and Michelle Rodrigues. The artists examine the experience of being in relation to social and cultural phenomena by expressing diverse subjectivities through formal elements and subject matter.

Collectively, BEING+ considers nuances in the socio-cultural fabrication of gender, power relations, the racialized body, and the role of place and kinship in the conceptualization of identity. As a result, BEING+ forms an exploration of selfhood that lends itself to the understanding of a collective memory.

Exhibiting Artists:

  • Michelle Cieloszczyk engages the domineering presence of police power with the audience as subject with a separate, but related, power to look and interrogate. 
  • Biba Esaad approaches the construct of racialized existence with artworks that transcend the limits and imposed physical barriers erected by the society in which one lives. 
  • Miles Ingrassia presents the masculine figure in a method which underlines the emotional and temporal bonds that fortify the masculine individual’s sense of self. 
  • Noah Lima asserts the right to define oneself by creating bold figurative paintings that examine the interplay between the imposed, rigid structures of gender and the embodied lived experience of gender identity. 
  • Roxana Parsa creates dream-like group compositions that fortify notions of memory and kinship as well as single figure portraits evoking solemn reflection and relationality with the surrounding environment. 
  • Michelle Rodrigues builds striking collages that interrogate the socio-cultural construction of womanhood through the accumulation and meaningful destruction of imagery. 

As we exist in what seems to be endless isolation due a global pandemic, BEING+ is timelier than ever. In solitude, we are granted the opportunity to look inward. BEING+ offers a critical outward gaze; it situates the self within society to examine relations with one another and society at large. Ultimately, this exhibition aims to generate dialogue between diverse members of the community about the interplay between individual and group existence.

— Abisola Oni

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The Flavio Belli Curator Award

photo of Flavio Belli

The Flavio Belli Curator Award is a mentorship program that gives a student an opportunity to advance their professional development, learn about important issues in the field, share ideas, and develop a working association with a senior gallery curator and other arts professionals. This award is generously sponsored by the Lindy Green Family Charitable Foundation in celebration of TOAF’s 60th Anniversary and is thrilled to recognize Flavio Belli, as this year’s mentor.

The Flavio Belli Curator Award merges beautifully with TOAF’s popular award: Emerging Artists by Emerging Curator, a professional exhibition opportunity supported by Propeller Art Gallery.

Thank you!

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Propeller Exhibition made possible thanks to financial donations by:

  • Megan Deeks (The Deeks Financial Group CIBC Wood Gundy)
  • Propeller Member, Frances Patella.

Special thanks to our community partners, donors, and supporters. 

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