Hallway Galleries: Dear Ayeeyo Photographs by Yasin Osman


Photographs by Yasin Osman
Is on display at Artscape Youngplace on the 2nd & 3rd floors




Exhibition Dates: August 1 – August 31, 2018

Location: 2nd & 3rd  Floor Galleries, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw St

In Dear Ayeeyo, Yasin Osman shares scenes of everyday life within the villages of Somalia. This exhibition features large-scale portraits and snapshots that offer glimpses into the lives of the Somali people during a time fraught with humanitarian crisis and severe drought. Through fostering trust and camaraderie with his subject, Osman achieves intimate portraits that contest the portrayal of Somalia in the popular media.

The child of Somali parents, Osman returned to his ancestral lands in search for an emotional connection. This body of work, compiled together for the first time, showcases his journey home as an outsider, examining this foreign land. Dear Ayeeyo is intended as a tribute to Osman’s grandmother.

About Yasin Osman

Yasin Osman, is an award-winning Toronto photographer that specializes in evocative images of the living world. Raised in Regent Park he felt the urge to document everyday life in his changing neighbourhood. He has worked with organizations such as UNICEF, MACLEANS Magazine and VICE. Through social media platforms Yasin has accumulated over 300 thousand followers. The artist is currently working on a legacy photography project that solely focuses on the revitalization of the Regent Park community.

IG: @yescene

YouTube: /yescene


Apply Now: Be part of Summer Series 2018


The Daniels Spectrum Summer Series brings fun programming and activities to the streets of Regent Park every summer. The program aims to engage and inspire young people and families, and provide meaningful training and employment opportunities.For its 2018 Daniels Spectrum Summer Series, Artscape is looking to partner with five organizations or individuals to deliver free, outdoor arts & cultural programs, events and/or installations in Regent Park between mid-July and September 2018.

Selected partners will:

  • Receive a maximum of $5,000 to run their initiative
  • Receive some in-kind staffing and equipment from Artscape
  • Receive supplementary marketing and promotional support as part of the overarching Summer Series marketing plan
  • Become part of a growing initiative that engages and inspires Regent Park residents through free outdoor arts and cultural programming

Interested parties are invited to read this call and submit an application by Friday May 25, 2017 at noon.

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How Raising Artists is Encouraging Creativity and Imagination

Raising Artists is an art program designed for children and parents held in SKETCH at Artscape Youngplace and the Centre for Social Innovation (Regent Park) at Daniels Spectrum. We spoke with CEO and founder, Alessandra Moretti, to learn more about how Raising Artists nurtures creativity, imagination and self-expression.

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Pillars of the (Regent Park) Community
Design by Christine Mangosing

Where some people saw a structural element, graphic designer Christine Mangosing saw a way to bring a little bit of Regent Park flavour into the lobby of the Daniels Spectrum.

The three pillars inside Daniels Spectrum’s east-facing floor-to-ceiling glass windows had gone unadorned since the building opened, and staff had long seen them as an opportunity in waiting—a blank canvas that could be used to make the lobby feel warmer and more welcoming, and encourage passersby to pop in and enjoy the space.

“We wanted to represent the diversity of Regent Park in a way that would also complement the many ways the space is used, from community events to special events,” said Seema Jethalal, Managing Director of Daniels Spectrum.

Christine Mangosing, principal creative and founder of CMANGO DESIGN, was selected to lead the project. She had worked previously with several members of Daniels Spectrum’s community including the Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture, ArtReach Toronto, and Manifesto, and is deeply engaged with the youth non-profit arts and culture community in Toronto.

Mangosing toured the Regent Park area to get a sense of the public spaces and diverse groups that make up the fabric of the community, and to learn about the invisible history – the places that aren’t physically there any more but live on in the community memory. A community consultation was also held where community members and representatives of the organizations in the building engaged with the designer, chatting about Regent Park’s past and present and looking at fabrics, patterns and murals from around the world for inspiration.

“There was a sense among everyone present that they wanted to make sure the people in the community were represented in where they came from, and a strong desire for that diversity be reflected in the design,” Mangosing explained.

The result is a vibrant piece titled Tela, a digital illustration on vinyl that wraps around each pillar. Mangosing’s full artist statement, describing the fascinating array of cultural and visual allusions in the design, is included below. The designer says she’s thrilled with the result, and that the positive response she’s gotten from people who participated in the community consultation has left her with a strong sense of satisfaction about the project.

According to Jethalal, since Tela was installed on March 2nd  the refreshed pillars have been met with enthusiasm and delight by the building’s tenants and community members alike. “When they first see the pillars, people love them aesthetically. And when they learn the stories behind each element of the design, it adds a whole new layer of meaning, and their reaction goes through the roof!”

Tela, 2015

Digital illustration on vinyl
Christine Mangosing (CMango Designs)

Woven textiles in many cultures serve as markers of identity, lineage, and environment, among others. Similarly, totem poles, for the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest, are commemorative monuments of history, ancestry and people. With these cultural objects, along with sentiments on the spirit of the “old” Regent Park (shared by residents of the neighbourhood and tenants of Daniels Spectrum) as inspiration, my goal was to interpret a visual “fabric” of the community— as an homage to its people and its past, and a reminder to visitors and new residents of what came before.

Nestled within a grid structure modeled after the map of Regent Park (from Gerard to Queen, Parliament to River), motifs inspired by traditional textiles, beadwork and architectural details native to the cultures from which past and current residents hail, intersect with lines and symbols representing elements of the area’s landscape and original architecture. Shapes recalling the grillwork in an Islamic Indian temple and the geometric forms of West African mud cloth sit alongside lines depicting the rows of bricks and windows in a Regent Park high-rise. Embroidery from a Bangladeshi quilt evokes the chain link fences bordering the ice rinks and basketball courts that served as social meeting points for the youth of the community. Rows of tiny “shells” inspired by Anishinaabek wampum belts, form the shapes of the iconic “dog-bones” and “barbells” of the low-rise buildings seen from above, while stylized flowers inspired by a Vietnamese floral motif reference the neighbourhood’s community gardens and the numerous trees that had once populated the “garden city.”

In the same way that traditional textiles tell the story of their makers’ surroundings, these familiar elements, abstracted and intertwined, aim to serve as a reflection of spaces once inhabited and honour the stories embedded within them.