Online + Onsite

BIG on Bloor 2021 showcases a series of video workshops and site-based art projects scattered throughout the Bloordale Area, celebrating the local arts, culture and community, called Online + Onsite. It showcases several local artists and collectives that have created engaging and participatory projects which presents a dialogue surrounding diversity, inclusivity and communal production.

Artists lead art making assignments which any beginner can do from home, with easy to access materials and supplies. Participants that follow along can then choose to exhibit their creations alongside that artists onsite installation. Additional pieces that are added, represent a communal quilt or tapestry, and so explores this years Festival theme of "PATCHWORK".

Videos will be live July 25th, 2021 and hosted on our BIG on Bloor YouTube Channel. Submit your at-home creations to 'participating host art sites' or coordinate pick-up by emailing Handing in your homework after the festival? No problem! We still would love to see and share your artwork, simply tag #bigonbloor and we can add it to our community submissions!


Maya Ben David

Maya Ben David (MBD) is a Toronto-based Jewish-Iranian Anthropomorphic Airplane. Working in video, installation and performance, she creates worlds and characters that aid her ongoing exploration of anthropomorphism, cosplay and performative personas. Ben David presents the origin stories of her characters in the form of video and performance, and expands on them via her online presence.

Instagram: @thebropercent
YouTube: Maya Ben David

Paper Wigs Installation and Video Assignment

Hosted at Ana Bailao's Office

The centrepiece of almost every cosplay is the wig that frames the face and enhances the realism of the costume. Unfortunately, cosplay wigs are very expensive. The inability to afford quality wigs often stands in between many cosplayers from starting a costume. The paper wig is a very affordable prop that one can use to counter this barrier. Paper wigs have been used in plays, film and theatre for years but they have recently become very trendy on Tik Tok by people who make their own beautiful and intricate paper wigs.

Cookie Brunel

Cookie Brunel conducts chaotic research with sculpture, video, and coding. Cookie’s conclusions take the form of fictional spaces that are trying to be real. These spaces are defined by mutability; of identity, of humour and of space-time. Their theories tell similarities between non-binary gender, electrical waveforms, and carabiners. They are a settler in Tkaronto who mistrusts canons, walls, and single-state particles. They think in unordered triples.

Instagram: @baseballhatnecklace

3D Sculpture exhibit and workshop

Hosted at Marit Stiles Office

A singular nucleus writhes uncomfortably. A positivity oasis, the nucleus attracts wild
electrons. Strange clouds form at their meeting. Shapes, from a certain perspective, made from seemingly empty space. The electrons run to symmetrical and globular borders; outlines that express the interaction between neighbours. Patterns of electrons meet more patterns and over time, link to code a larger environment. Like it’s electron ancestor, a child of the environment also seeks to meet the nucleus. The child creates a lone electron to follow where it goes.

Jana Ghalayini

Jana Ghalayini (b.1993) is a Palestinian-Canadian visual artist based in Toronto,

Canada. She earned her BFA in Printmaking from OCAD University in 2017.

Jana is influenced by material exploration of texture, patterns and abstraction. She works

closely with a range of mediums such as painting, hand-printing and weaving. Her process driven work investigates home, heritage and lived experiences. Jana works intuitively, learning while making, her interest for tactile objects and crafts allow her to connect to her roots as a Palestinian living in the diaspora.

Instagram: @jana_ghalayini_

Textile exhibit and mini-loom workshop

Hosted at Home Baking Co

"I found the sun underneath the ocean bed and it told us to see more of each other."

The work "I found the sun underneath the ocean bed and it told us to see more of each other" is an offering to the sun our primary source for community. The large scale woven tapestry holds a variety of textures, patterns, and colors that invite the audience in to reflect and celebrate their connection to each other and their selves. The materials used are wool, cotton and nylon threads as well as up cycled fabrics.  

Crafty Chas

Instagram: @knotnaked

Textile Sculpture exhibit and crochet doll workshop

Hosted at Salvation Army Thrift Store

Chason Yeboah is an African-Caribbean self-taught textile sculptor, doll maker, and story-teller exploring the oscillation of ancestral communion through woven, reconstructed, and (un) raveled structures. Many of her works directly focus on themes of shame, loss of identity, sexuality, the notion and practice of self-love, and an acknowledgement of the human form, with a primary focus on marginalized folks. Her desire is to explore the interconnectivity of these themes and, be it through her inclusive dolls, personification structures, or “safe space” creations, provoke more conversation on communal awareness.

Dames Making Games (DMG) and Shel Kahn

Shel Kahn is a Toronto-based artist who works behind the scenes on videogames and tabletop RPGs, creating imaginary places, people and creatures to fill these worlds. Kahn spends their free time painting beautiful, impossible places, people and creatures on paper, using watercolour and gouache.

DMG is a not-for-profit videogame arts organization that creates space for marginalized creators to make, play and critique videogames within a cultural context.

Instagram: @dmgtoronto @portablecity

Place making interactive map and art tags workshop

Hosted at Bloor/Dufferin Tennis Courts

Shel Kahn and DMG have put together a 20 foot long fabric map of an imaginary place, and are asking Big on Bloor attendees to come help label it! People are invited to bring homemade map tags representing places that are important to them, and find places on this fantasy map to label with these markers. By the end of the festival we hope to have a map full of labels that tell stories about places both real and imagined, nearby and far away, to share with each other.

Ksenija Spasic

The materials I use are often reclaimed, because there’s just so much beautiful garbage out there. For close to a decade, I have been using these materials to create art with community participants or professional collaborators. Some of my favourite installations have been for PULP Reclaimed Materials Art & Design: an enormous carpet tube tree and a wearable mylar garden come to mind. And, of course, all those BIG on Bloor festivals - watching the kids grow up on Brock street for six years. I've also led and participated in several projects funded by the TAC and OAC. My favourite was The Family Crest Project during which I helped newly arrived North York families design and fabricate their own family crests.

I believe that art is powerful when it pulls us close to each other, that art is necessary and innate to all of us.

Instagram: @ksenija.spasic 

Message in bottle Installation and paper collage workshop

Hosted at Bloor/Dufferin Tennis Courts

This Little Drop is a reclaimed materials project that invites participants to share their hopes for the children in their lives, in their neighbourhood, in their country.

They do this by answering two questions:

What actions, what wisdom, what qualities do you wish for a child you love?

How can we make this country a better place for First Nations children? (Some research encouraged!)

The installation consists of roughly 200 formula bottles emptied by my baby daughter, illuminated and attached to the Bloor & Dufferin tennis court fence.