Kensington Market: A Group Show of Kensington-based Artists
August 21- September 1, 2013
Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts is set to showcase the work of Kensington based artists in our space on 984 Queen Street West. In conjunction with the hosting of Kensington artists outside of their own neighborhood, a select group of Propeller members will display in the market during a Pedestrian Sunday; both inside retail spaces as well as through public art installations and street performance.
Kensington Market is made up of over 240 businesses that are unique to Toronto. Originally, Kensington Market was the property of George Taylor Denison, a Canadian soldier and publicist, who purchased the land in 1815. By the 1850s the plot was divided up to build housing for Irish and Scottish settlers coming to Toronto. These houses still stand today and contribute to the eclectic nature of Kensington Market’s storefronts. With the onset of the 20th Century, Kensington Market saw the resettlement of many Eastern European Jewish and Italian immigrants. As the neighbourhood became more multicultural, many imported goods became the staple of the market place. Today, Kensington Market continues to be a distinguishing and important aspect the city.
The art that is produced in Kensington is just as varied as the characters that inhabit the space. A number of artist collectives currently reside in the Market, contributing to the feeling of community in the heart of Toronto. In many ways, these collectives reflect a larger conversation that many local artists are having: how can a large city still promote a sense of community? The market’s focus on community is reflected in the diverse varieties of art produced by these collectives and individuals. The substantial selection of both commercial businesses and creative hubs within Kensington demonstrates that the Market is a self-sustaining and multilayered quarter of the city. In a climate of gentrification, Kensington Market’s ever-present spirit of distinction allows for the community to continue in its strength of character.