Thursday, 7 February 2013

Landmark Exhibit Opens Today at Gardiner Museum


 New exhibit offers women who have faced adversity a voice

TORONTO - February 7, 2013 - Beginning today, and running through April 28, 2013 women whose lives have been touched by violence are offered a place to tell their stories their own ways in Transformation by Fire, a groundbreaking exhibition originated by the Gardiner Museum in partnership with the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. The culmination of the last 10 years, this landmark exhibit features clay as the medium for storytelling, personal statements and video to provide real life examples of how to be strong and grow in the face of adversity

Where: The Gardiner Museum

When:  February 7, 2013 - running through April 28, 2013
Cost: FREE (funded by public donations)

What's On Throughout the Exhibit?

Hands-on Workshop: February 9, 2013, 1-4 p.m.
Instructors Suzanne Thomson, art therapist, and Susan Low-Beer, ceramic artist, invite you to transform your experience through clay, while working through a series of guided exercises to create your own clay sculptures. No art experience necessary. Cost: $45. 

One Billion Rising: February 14, 2013, 12:30 p.m.
In honour of the new landmark exhibit Transformation by Fire, be a part of a special Flash Mob on the front steps of the Gardiner Museum, and help us raise public awareness of violence against women. Partnering with us to lead the dance is Nia Trainer, Martha Randall. Meet at 12:15p.m. in front of the museum, dance to begin at 12:30 p.m. Cost: Free!

Susan Low-Beer, Fragments of Self: February 26, 2013, 6:30-8 p.m.
Ceramic Artist Susan Low-Beer discusses her work and her preoccupation with the mind and body. Cost: $15 general admission, $10 for members.

International Women's Day Dance Performance: March 8, 2013 6-8:30 p.m.
The Gardiner Museum celebrates International Women's Day with a free dance performance by Performance Artist Julie Lassonde. Cost: Free!

Human Rights Watch: April 18, 2013, 12-1:30 p.m.
Too many women all over the world continue to live in unsafe and insecure environments as a result of armed conflict, violent political processes, and communal violence. Join us for an in-depth discussion about sexual violence around the world. Cost: $25.

Body/Mind Expressive Arts Approach to Art Therapy: April 11, 2013, 6:30-8 p.m.
Art Therapist Suzanne Thomson, and Director of Counseling Services for the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, Lynne Jenkins, will reflect on the transformative powers of art therapy to create social change and the unique attributes of clay as a tool to heal the complex effects of trauma. Cost: $15 general admission, $10 for members.

About Transformation by Fire

Transformation by Fire is organized by the Gardiner Museum and the Barbra Schlifer Clinic. It showcases clay sculptures by clients of the Barbra Schlifer clinic who participated in art therapy workshops in the Gardiner Museum's clay studios, as well as work by Susan Low Beer, a Canadian ceramic artist who worked with art therapist Susan Thomson and the women for the last decade. The hastag for this exhibit is #TransformationByFire and #VAW (Violence Against Women). 
About the Gardiner Museum
The Gardiner Museum connects people, art and ideas by offering an intimate look at one of the world's oldest and most universal art forms - ceramics. The Museum's collections span continents and time, giving a glimpse into the development of ceramic processes, decoration and form. Year-round, the Museum mounts special exhibitions, events, lectures and clay classes to complement its permanent collection.

The Museum also features a casual café that serves delicious fare, and the Gardiner Shop, which specializes in artist-designed, artist-made merchandise. More information about the museum and its exhibitions can be found online at Members of the media can register to access the Gardiner Museum's online media room ( where they may download images and additional media materials. Follow us on Twitter @gardinermuseum.

About the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic provides free legal, counseling, interpretation, information, and referral services for women who are experiencing or have experienced violence including intimate partner assault, incest/childhood sexual abuse, and adult sexual assault and other forms of violence. In Barbra Schlifer's memory, the Clinic is committed to the belief that a response to the issue of violence against women must address the individual needs of women, systemic change, and social justice. The Clinic currently receives referrals from countless community-based agencies, as well as medical, legal and criminal justice professionals, religious organizations and individuals concerned about violence against women, and more than 3,600 women were helped last year.

For more information please contact:

Lisa Raffaele
PUNCH Canada                                 
o. 416.360.6522 x239
c. 647.896.0743

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