The Photography Project

The Photography Project - RECREATING THE SELF: Capturing the Past, Present and Future of Seniors from Rexdale

Part of the 16th annual Toronto-wide CONTACT Photography Festival

Arts Etobicoke, W5ART Collective, Ba’thari Expressive Art Productions, Ba’thari Inter-Arts Group and the Rexdale Community Health Centre are pleased to present this unique exhibition that features portraits of members of the Rexdale Seniors Art Group. Photographer: W5ART Collective artist Alexandra Gelis assisted by W5 member Margarita Macdonald and Ba’thari Inter-Arts Group member Gabriel Acuna.

This exhibition grew out of THE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT: RECREATING THE SELF, a series of workshops held at Rexdale Community Health Centre in the fall of 2011. Seniors had the opportunity to create an environment of self-evolution, learning, discovery and artistic growth.

They examined their experiences as multicultural seniors and participants in the fabrication of a contemporary Canada. ‘Recreating the Self’ provided a platform for participants to document and raise issues that concern them as individuals and as viable members of their community. Here, the expression of their individual experiences within Canada’s community is essential.

W5ART Collective is composed of five professional multi-disciplinary women artists of Canadian immigrant origins. The Collective was formed in 2011 though its members have worked with community groups and organizations for over 20 years. The five artists, Buseje Bailey, Grace Channer, Alexandra Gelis, Margie Macdonald and Alexandra Majerus, have vibrant individual art practices. The core of W5Art Collective’s work in communities is to foster expression around the issues that shape lives, such as isolation, alienation, language barriers and violence. We believe that art has the transformative power to engage us in the creative process as culture makers, perception changers and builders of healthy communities.

Ba’thari Expressive Art Productions is a rigorous arts service organization that delivers innovative arts projects within communities and the broader visual arts world.

The Rexdale Seniors Arts Group is a weekly program delivered at the Rexdale Community Health Centre by Ba’thari Expressive Art Productions. The artist facilitators that run the workshops are members of the Ba’thari Inter-Arts Group.

The Ba’thari Inter-Arts Group is a network of visual artists and artist collectives who come together to create interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary art workshops, projects and events.

Rexdale Community Health Centre
supports and advocates for the physical, economic, social and mental well-being of its diverse community through primary health care, community social support, health promotion, collaborations and partnership, community development and social action.

The Ethno Cultural Seniors Program, funded by C.W. LHIN ‘Aging At Home’ provides a safe and friendly space for older adults (55+) from diverse cultures to meet. The purpose of the program is to reduce social isolation of 'at risk' ethnic seniors; to support the development of social networks; promote health and wellness; build self esteem and self confidence to lead an independent active life. The program is designed to reach out to the isolated and newcomer ethno-racial seniors in Rexdale and Central Etobicoke. The program offers a wide range of social, recreational and health promotion programs weekly, including the Seniors Art Program, facilitated by Ba’thari Expressive Arts.

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