Urban Futurities – Guest Curator Ilene Sova

August 23 – September 10, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 24, 5 – 8 pm
Curator & Artist Talks: Sunday, September 10, 3 pm

Urban Futurities – Essay by Ilene Sova

Walk around the city and look very closely at your surroundings. Notice the noises. Hear the messages. Feel the feelings. Cold metal construction cranes loom over neighbourhoods by the dozens. Gentrification rubs up against inter-generational communities pushing people to downsize. Artists are packing up their studios in the urban centres towards affordability in outlying regions. Tent cities crop up in the underpasses on the edges of the parks. Urban populations are experiencing precarity on all levels. Politicians wring their hands and spew broken promises from glass towers. Inflation, the housing crisis, and gentrification are calling into question the future of our global cities. Affordability, rising food costs, skyrocketing rents and real estate development are pushing people to the literal margins. As citizens, we watch as this significant transformation takes place all around us, and we can see the inevitable death of our cities on the horizon but somehow feel powerless to stop it. In this exhibit on Urban Futurities, we pause and take stock. The exhibition will show viewers this crisis point through art and as we use our creative capacity to imagine new solutions and new ways of living together in our communities.

Guest Curator, Ilene Sova

Guest Curator, Ilene Sova is an artist and activist whose art practice focuses on equity and diversity with a feminist focus on creating a dialogue around anti-oppression. She is also heavily involved in arts advocacy, community activation, and curatorial projects that promote pluralism in the arts.

Sova is the founder of the Feminist Art Conference and Blank Canvases, an in-school creative arts programme for elementary school students. She holds an Honours BFA from the University of Ottawa in Painting and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Windsor. Sova holds the position of Associate Professor in Drawing and Painting at OCADU.

With extensive solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad, Sova’s work has most notably been shown at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and Mutuo Centro de Arte in Barcelona. Additionally. Sova’s work has been featured on television, the internet, and in print media with highlights in Canadian Art, the Toronto Star, CBC Radio, CBC TV, CTV Canada AM and the Globe and Mail.

Ilene Sova

Exhibiting Artists:

  • Kezleigh
  • Bret Culp
  • Beverly Daniels 
  • Douglas Gammage 
  • Carly Friesen
  • Thomas Hlavacek
  • Ruth Maude
  • Joseph Muscat
  • Frances Patella
  • Dan Philips
  • Hye Yeon Shin 
  • Patrick Stieber
  • Genevieve Singer 
  • Jonathan Stern 
  • Helena Wehrstein
  • Maddy Young

Photos from the August 24th Opening Reception

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

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