Current Exhibitions


Outside In

Images (clockwise from top): blue lovers no landscape (concept drawing), Rory MacDonald, landscape colour field #17, Orest Tataryn, By Hook or By Crook (detail), Vanessa Yanow and John Tinholt, Paperscapes, Dear Human

Part 1: May 28 to September 4
Part 2: July 10 to September 4

Curated by Sheila McMath

Outside In is comprised of two concurrent exhibitions. The first installation component is in partnership with CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area) in their 2016 Biennial CAFKA.16: What we do together that we can’t do alone. Artists Rory MacDonald; Jasna Sokolovic & Noel O’Connell of Dear Human; Orest Tataryn; and Vanessa Yanow in collaboration with John Tinholt have created site-specific installations in public spaces in close proximity to the Gallery. The second installation component features related work by the same artists in the Gallery space.

Rory MacDonald’s blue lovers no landscape turns the Silver Lake drainage area into a real-life physical incarnation of the Blue Willow Pattern, an 18th century china pattern containing specific motifs including a fence, body of water, and a pair of flying birds. MacDonald references these elements of the pattern with ceramic birds and a banner along the fence located beside the Gallery. The location and relationship of both components draw attention to the body of water separating each work of art. MacDonald’s Gallery installation waterloo willow landscape, integrates landscape imagery found around the Gallery including the Grist Mill and Perimeter Institute.

Dear Human is a creative studio based in Montreal founded by artists Jasna Sokolovic and Noel O’Connell. Rooted in their common interests in craft traditions, sustainable art making and unconventional material use, Dear Human has subtly infiltrated the Waterloo Public Library with a work called Paperscapes. Their tableau of functional furniture and lighting is made entirely of recycled materials and clay and is situated in a niche on the second floor of the library overlooking the Gallery. The installation invites viewers to consider the materiality and functionality of designed objects and the tipping point of when design becomes art or vice versa. Dear Human’s Gallery installation titled, Or Something In Between, continues to blur these lines through a group of seemingly functional forms and materials, including a paper tile backdrop, titled, Horse Blanket, that resembles ceramic tiles with a traditional textile motif.

Orest Tataryn’s neon work; landscape colour field #17, is installed in a window at the Waterloo train station Visitor and Heritage Information Centre. This work responds directly to the landscape with whimsical gestures and bold bands of colour. Orest Tataryn is a founding member of the guerrilla art collective Skunkworks/Outlaw Neon. Working concurrently in two technical disciplines, neon lampworking and Venetian glass blowing, he elevates the reputation of neon light work in the world of art and design. He has created four neon installations designed for the unique spaces of the Donald & Pamela Bierstock Gallery and the Mutual Tower Gallery.

Vanessa Yanow works primarily with textiles, flame-worked glass and found objects. For the outside component of Outside In, Yanow, in collaboration with John Tinholt, has created By Hook or By Crook, a work inspired by an unfinished 1970s hooked rug. On the wall of Len’s Mill Store they have reimagined a new version of the abandoned rug as a flying carpet. Several photo-based works and a sculptural work from the same series are featured in the Gallery. In the photo-based work, the floral motif of the carpet ‘takes off’ to other adventures as it moves through several beautiful and idealized landscapes. 


About CAFKA:
Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area is a non-profit, artist-run organization that presents a free biennial exhibition of contemporary art in the public spaces of the City of Kitchener and across the Region of Waterloo. Between exhibitions and throughout the year CAFKA promotes art education through its public tours and workshops, videos, public lectures and other ancillary programs and events.

The CAFKA biennial serves as the vehicle for the expression of the community of artists, arts professionals, art students and friends of contemporary art in the public spaces of the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, Ontario. It is created to take the experience of contemporary art out of the gallery, to present it as a critical and integral part of community life, and to make that experience accessible to everyone in the Region. The exhibition is curated to engage public discourse around issues of public and private space, bringing groundbreaking artists from around the world to contribute to the discussion. CAFKA is committed to working with local technology companies to support new and experimental work in visualization and communication projects and to develop exploratory humanistic content for existing visualization systems.





Earthborn is the annual, juried exhibition of work by members of the Waterloo Potters’ Workshop.  This cooperative group, established in 1968, is located in Waterloo Park and occupies the historic Jacob Eby farmhouse, which functions as a work/learn space for members and a teaching facility for the public. Earthborn was first held in 1976 at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and has been hosted at various local galleries over the past 40 years.

This year Earthborn will be juried by Carmela Laganse. Laganse received her BFA at the University of Manitoba and her MFA at Ohio University. She has worked, taught and exhibited in Canada, Europe and the US. Her work was recently featured in Close Quarters at The Clay & Glass in winter 2016.


A small group of dedicated teens has been working since November 2015 on an exhibition of ceramic and glass works. Please join us as we celebrate the creativity and commitment of these young artists. Learn more about art4teens here.