Thursday, October 20, 2005
Art Gallery of Ontario, Jackman Hall
317 Dundas Street West, Toronto
7: 00 pm Keynote Address
Dennis Reid, Director of Collections and Research, Senior Curator of Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario
Friday, October 21, 2005
Art Gallery of Ontario, Jackman Hall
317 Dundas Street West, Toronto
8:30 am Registration


New Life After Fire (for Tom Thomson)
Lee Ranaldo with Dave Dyment

Playing alongside his own experimental films, Ranaldo coaxed a wide range of sounds from his guitar while pre-recorded voices from prepared tapes floated in and out of the mix. Working with a sampler and CD deck, Dyment added bursts of noise and ambient bed-tracks. The entirely improvised set ranges from quiet ambience to destructo wall-of-noise. The project was produced in an edition of 500.

9:30 am Opening Presentation
Global Networks: The Group of Seven in a Post-National Landscape
Lynda Jessup, Professor Canadian Art History and Museum Representation, Queen's University
10:30 am Break
11: 00 am  

Artist Project
Simon Frank, Artist

Toronto was the headquarters for the Group of Seven. Some travelled east and others into the far north to capture the Canadian landscape, yet the city was the centre of activity and the urban environment naturally found its way into the Group’s work.  Environmental artist Simon Frank’s work embraces not only natural landscape but also the concrete landscape within the confines of the city streets.  

11:30 am

Panel Discussion
Public Relations: Local Impacts of the Group Then and Now
David Aurandt, Executive Director, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
Ivan Jurakic, Curator, Cambridge Galleries
Lise Hosein, Assistant Curator, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at Hart House

The Group of Seven's vivid landscapes and their legacy in the creation of an arts infrastructures and audience still frame the national ambitions of artists, galleries and communities today.  In the context of the conference's overall investigation of Group's goals/practices in positioning art in the public sphere and the continuing impact of their ideas on the organization and priorities of the present-day public gallery, panellists will look at the Group of Seven's relationship to in their regional audience through the local institutions the Group influenced. Examining the strategies used by the Group to generate public interest in the arts at the time (i.e., building up a collector base, developing popular audience, creating an aura around their artworks, expanding arts education, dissemination their ideas, etc.) panellist from across the province will examine how the Group’s approach relates to the way in which the arts professionals see their institutions or artistic practices functioning vis à vis the public now.

Our guests have been invited to speak to the following questions:

• What role did the Group of Seven play in your region and in the history of your gallery?
• What kind of relationship with the public did the Group of Seven envision and how does this legacy inform your gallery/community today?  
• Did this influence the way in which you approached your participation in the Group of Seven project?
• With reference to the actual and anticipated outcomes of your participation in the project, how did you consider the relationship with the people in your region and other publics to the Group of Seven? 
• How did you balance these with the way in which you approached the program/theme or thesis for the exhibition?
• How did you position the Group to achieve relevance for contemporary publics: within your region, and outside your region?

1:00 pm Lunch (included)
1:45 pm

Panel Discussion
Fandemonium: Group of Seven in the Public Imagination
Moderator: Janna Graham, Manager of Community Programs, Education, Art Gallery of Ontario
Andrew Hunter, Independent Curator
Emily Falvey, Curator, Ottawa Art Gallery
Kent Monkman, Artist

As the most widely recognized, exhibited, and reproduced of all Canadian artists, the Group of Seven continues to build on its strong fan base.  Their work is represented in most collections across Canada and their powerful mystique still captures the public imagination.  In the 85 years since its founding the Group has, individually and collectively, achieved cult status, inspired fictions, and created an enduring legacy.

Our guests have been invited to respond to the following questions:

• How has the phenomenon of Group of Seven fandom assisted or hindered the development of public and civic consciousness for the arts in contemporary Canada?
• How has the mythology of the Group of Seven been perpetuated in the public imagination, creating an iconic status for these artists and their works?  Why is this mythology so powerful?  
• Should the Group’s mass appeal continue to hold sway over future generations?  Will the critical attention they receive now be sustained and developed further in the future? 
• To what extent does your practice celebrate or question the traditions and the notion of Canadian identify formulated by the Group of Seven?  How do their ideas inform your practice today?

3:00 pm Break
3:15 pm

Panel Discussion
Teachable Moments: Place, Pedagogy and the Group of Seven
Moderator: Joyce Zemans, Director, MBA Program in the Arts and Media Administration, Schulich School of Business, York University
Stuart Reid, Director/Curator, Tom Thomson Memorial Gallery
Anna Stanisz, Educator, McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Rachel Kalpana James, Director, South Asian Visual Arts Collective
Colin Wiginton, Independent Educator, Curator and Writer
Peter Veitgen, Faculty of Education, Arts Education Professor, Brock University

In the context of the overall investigation of the Group of Seven’s goals and practices in positioning art in the public sphere, and their legacies in the public galleries of today, this "slam" -style session looks at contemporary teaching practices based on the Group’s ideas.  The panellists will consider new technologies, public outreach and the continuing influence of the Group’s concept of place as they discuss pedagogical practices inspired by or in opposition to the Group of Seven.

Our guests have been invited to speak to the following questions:

• In the Group of Seven Project, or in your practice as an artist. educator, or curator, which practices best promote renewal and reconceptualization of the Group of Seven? What part does critique play in the process?
• What pedagogical approaches to the Group elicit the best responses from school children, adult or other learners?  Describe the impacts and reactions of those programs in relation to contemporary notions of place.
• Explain the goals you set in adopting new technologies or extending your outreach into the community.  In your estimation, do these innovative approaches help make the Group more relevant?
• In your experience, which Group of Seven-based programs have the most impact on the exploration of the role of the arts in civic life?

4:45 pm Curators' Tour
Lismer and Beyond: 75 Years of Arts Education at the AGO

Douglas Worts, Educator, Art Gallery of Ontario
Georgiana Uhlyarik, Curatorial Assistant, Art Gallery of Ontario
6:00 pm

Open Invitation to OAAG's 35th Anniversary Party (free)
OAAG's 35th Anniversary Party
University of Toronto Art Centre, East Gallery
15 King's College Circle

Please come and join us in celebrating OAAG’s past, present and future!

Saturday, October 22, 2005
University of Toronto Art Centre
15 King’s College Circle
10:00 am Keynote Address
After the Group of Seven
Anna Hudson, Assistant Professor: Canadian Art History and Curatorial Studies, York University
11:00 am Break
11:15 am

Artist Talk
Bionic Forest
Brandon Vickerd, Assistant Professor Department of Visual Art, York University/Artist

The kinetic sculpture, Bionic Forest, is modeled from the Northern Ontario paintings of Tom Thomson.  It consists of seven steel trees that sway and rustle as if propelled by an invisible (west) wind, reflecting the Canadian tendency to invest personal and national identity with the notion of landscape.

11:45 am Lunch (included)
12:45 pm  Breakout Sessions: Moderated by four invited guests and presenters
More details will follow.
2:00 pm

Curator's Tour
"Through tangled brush and dewy brake": Works by the Group of Seven and their Contemporaries from the Collection of the University of Toronto Art Centre
Liz Wylie, Curator, University of Toronto Art Centre

Symposium concludes with the Curator’s Tour.


Additional Ticketed Event for the evening of Saturday, October 22, 2005 at the University of Toronto Art Centre (This event is not included in the Symposium registration fee).

To reserve tickets, please call the University of Toronto Art Centre directly at (416) 978-1838. Tickets are being made available to Symposium registrants at a discounted rate of $12.

7:30 pm

Songs in the key of Tom

Original music and lyrics composed by david sereda and the Brush collective, a production of Sheatre. The Toronto premier of Songs in the key of Tom explores the life and art of Tom Thomson through anecdotes, historical facts and the music of his time and ours. Songs in the key of Tom is a University of Toronto Art Centre production.