About the Koffler Gallery Education Program
Koffler Gallery’s education programs help students expand their creativity, develop their visual literacy and sharpen their communication skills. Interactive gallery tours prompt students to analyse the formal aspects and meaning of artworks, enabling them to share their own interpretations while gaining understanding of the intentions of artists. Tours are followed by in-gallery art-making workshops inspired by the works in the exhibition, giving students the opportunity to express their views of the world around them and their personal feelings, experiences and ideas.
Participants will be given a tour of Argentinian born, Québec based artist José Luis Torres’ sculptural installation at the Koffler Gallery. Influenced by his experience of migration, Torres transforms the gallery space into an immersive setting built with recycled objects, mirrors, architectural materials and unconventional building techniques, exploring how we inhabit and adjust to our surroundings.
The Koffler Gallery education team will lead a walk through the neighbourhood. Using a combination of found materials and traditional media, participants will be challenged to create an artwork inspired by an area they discover in the natural urban landscape.
Once their artwork is created participants will pick a specific location where their creations best camouflage into the surrounding area. Participants may return to their artworks to add or omit aspects to ensure the work successfully blends into its environment.
The session will conclude with a larger discussion around the migrant experience of attempting to blend into a new culture through social camouflage, using the process of creating and manipulating their artworks to reflect on the ever shifting identity of those who migrate from one place to another.
Participants will be asked to draw and label a map of their Toronto neighbourhood from memory, combining their objective knowledge of the world with their individual experience. The map could include places such as their school, stores they visit, routes frequently taken, the homes of friends, and other favourite landmarks, in relation to their home.
When complete, each person will share their map and assess what kind of information others have included; this will help to guide a larger discussion around migration patterns and what the places we frequent reveal about our identity.
Through his site-specific sculptural constructions which utilize found materials, artist José Luis Torres considers the often disorienting nature of migration and the perpetual state of change and adaptation that is intrinsic to the immigrant condition.
Participants will work in teams to build evolving structures using recycled, found and natural matter, along with traditional mediums. Participants will improvise with the repurposed materials embracing the unknown and the unexpected at each stage of the communal building process.
José Luis Torres’ site-specific sculptural installations utilize visual language to consider identity as it relates to migration. The mirrors used in the exhibition speak to the common expectation many newcomers face, to mimic and reflect societal conventions.
Participants will create experimental photographic* self-portraits using mirrors to reflect and fragment themselves and the world around them, while incorporating their own image into the frame. Through a series of guided questions, individuals will be asked to consider their own identity and how that description fits into the broader scheme of society, where they belong, and how they are forced to adapt to the world around them.
* Groups also have the choice to use more traditional media (pencil, charcoal, pen) to capture their fragmented reflections
To Register: Click here to access our online booking form
For more information on the Koffler Gallery public programs and tours, please contact:
Public Engagement Coordinator, Koffler Gallery
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