Past  Exhibitions

Echoes of Memory is a culmination ofwork I have undertaken over the past two years at Etobicoke School of the Arts.The work showcases the collage process I initially developed during mycontemporary photography class. Through sculpting out different techniques andstyles, conceptual themes also emerged. I found my work gravitated towardsrelationships between different people, as well as their environments. Idiscovered that by pulling pieces of different photos together I was making anew narrative from an old one - similar to when one reflects on past memoriesand envisions future ones. Reminiscing often brings us back to important placesand people we are fond of or have learned from. Envisioning regularly guides usto where we want to be. By blending, layering, warping and distorting multiple images together I aim to replicatethis experience that reflection often brings.


Questions abide and mystery hovers in the exhibition, Unidentified. Where are we? and What is this? are not addressed and not answered. Rather. the artists of the
collective Grayzone explore unspecified situations, where
location and identity are elusive and perhaps irrelevant.
Nameless objects and places can have the power to evoke
feelings and bring forward unique interpretations of universal



Amplification, where one's work adds to and enlarges an existing narrative, is at the heart of this exhibition. Each member of Altern Studio-a group of Ottawa visual artists working within photographic processes-adds their unique perspective to a way of looking at the world around us and the world within us. Informed by multiple lifetimes of experience -triumphant highs and soul-crushing lows, the exuberance of unique adventures and the awe of ordinary life - each artist in this group has a deep creative well to draw from. Works in this exhibition explore the post-pandemic loneliness epidemic, the secret lives of introverts, the magical
lives of plants, the meaning of family, the audacity of art, the personas we adopt when we don uniforms, and the stark realization that our world is in a fraught state. Open-eyed honesty is the through-line weaving these pieces together.


In Kelcy’s practice, they explore how food shapes our cultures and communities. It is a form of care and a space of comfort, connecting us with the fabric of our identities. In the Yolky Soul exhibition Kelcy will be sharing original pieces and illustrations that explore how food - specifically eggs - connects them to their mixed identity and their various communities.

• Special Programming:
Thurs Apr 4 (6-10pm) / Opening Reception
Fri Apr 5 (7pm) / Live Artist Talk
Sat Apr 6 (12-6pm) / The MiXT Market
Sun Apr 7 (12-6pm) / The MiXT Market

Never before seen canvas paintings and canvas prints will be for sale. Paper prints and stickers will be for sale during only Special Programming.

Front Gallery:

Dragon Garage

See reality and imagination collide in a set of fantastic works by uber artists including Alan Bunce, Elif Varol Ergen, RJ Patterson, Matthew Daley, Jacqueline Lai, Larissa Honsek, yours truly and more!

Opening 6-10pm March 21st, 2024.amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Back Gallery:
Figurative Works

The idea of applying a time constraint to the creation of artistic work may seem counterintuitive but in doing so artists are forced to explore the human form with hyper-specific precision. Making creative choices that would not normally be taken into consideration with an unlimited schedule eac hpiece can tell a different story with a change in position and another 5 minutes on the clock.

We invite the audience to explore this exhibition featuring work created or informed by life drawing sessions held at Northern Contemporary Gallery or other sessions in the city.

Alexandra Morag Spencer
David Brown
Jason Roleau
James Soper
Kit Currie
Michelle Kearns
Stephan Kordiuk
Tony Lobo

70 artists
118 artworks
5 days

Toronto's only typography show is back for the seventh year! Swash & Serif is a group typography and lettering art show. Since 2014, we’ve featured over 200 artists and showcased over 400 artworks from Toronto and beyond. We bring together the design community to celebrate type in all its forms - from brushscripts to blackletter - and see what new boundaries are being pushed. Learn more at

We're also hosting workshops! Spend an afternoon collaging with other creatives, or learn brush lettering and develop a script that everybody will admire. Both workshops are held in the gallery so you can draw inspiration from the work on the walls around you. Tickets available at the above links.

Opening night party:
6pm - 11pm, Thursday August 17, 2023

"Transient" delves into the captivating and off the beaten path lifestyle of artist Megan Oldhues. The exhibition showcases Oldhues’s unique perspective on the allure of the overlooked and neglected. With profound influences from her time in the Canadian Rockies and her fascination with trains, the collection highlights an appreciation for nature, gritty landscapes and the grandeur of what has been left behind. Combining traditional realism with Megan’s illustrative colour palettes, "Transient" sparks contemplation on the intriguing beauty that lies beneath the conventional gaze.

Dusk to Dawn 

Dusk is a mystical time that drifts between the stark reality of day and the introspective period of darkness. With the end of one day comes the anticipation for the next and the expectation for new beginnings. The self-discovery that takes place during these quiet hours of reflection can lead to metamorphosis. The possibilityexists to become a different person by morning. As the sun rises, hope emerges as aspirations and opportunities come to light.

This eclectic exhibition includes works from a diverse group of contemporary illustrators and painters. The artists present visual stories that capture transformative experiences that have emerged from fear, vulnerability, peace, joy, solitude, and resilience. Through the eyes of the artists, transformation can be represented through symbolism, emotions or how the external world may be viewed. 

Discover what is possible between the hazy and dreamlike hours of dusk and dawn.

Jov'ik - Binds of the Self

Restriction, restraints, containment, and binds. Arcane words, hidden messages, and the sacred concept of the written word. 

Sul'voth, my language project nearly a decade in the works, forms the basis for a myriad of explorations into my own identity and place within society. These words take the form of poetic prose and ritual incantations. The use of this sacred language becomes a medium for spiritual insights into the self. The rune Jur, the twenty-first letter of Sul'voth, represents concepts of binding and vessels. The word "Jov'ik", the vital essence of this rune, translates to the noun referring to a physical or metaphysical "Bind", and simultaneously the verb meaning "to bind". This rune, and by extension these concepts, form the lens in which I view my own identity for this exhibition. These binds represent self-imposed restrictions and pressures of society in regards to gender exploration, queerness, and identity. The works depict the darker sides of masculinity, restriction and forced conformity to an arbitrary and patriarchal set of rules. These wrappings are metaphysical restrictions made into physical items capable of constricting limbs and movement, a choking grasp reminiscent of stifled expression. In contrast, imagery of glowing sigils, powerful runes, mystic figures, and locations of fantasy give an outlet to traverse my state of being, to exist free of these binds, and to speak with my own tongue. 


Deep within the structure of our brains lies the center of our reactions in relation to fears and threats. The amygdala controls the fight or flight response that is deeply ingrained in emotional and psychological responses to stressors, stimuli, memories and outside threats. This process contributes to how memories are stored and processed within the brain. Amygdala presents an ethereal melding of the beautiful and the grotesque with themes of queerness, self identity, gender expression, trauma, nightmares, and dreams.

Some dreams border on reality, along with the inverse leading to the illusive, fantastical, or disturbing. These human experiences seep into our world by constructing tales of fairies, witches, and the arcane as a mechanism to deconstruct the horrors of realities between sleep and waking. Sometimes the only thing that feels tangible exists within the scope of the imaginative.

The amygdala participates in positive and negative conditioning, though it is often strongly associated with fear, anxiety and other intense emotions. Creative and artistic activities can be an effective tool for emotional regulation. Within these instances the act of making can coexist with the steps towards healing.

Curatorial statement written by Ualthum and MORTVL

Etobicoke School of the Arts

Grade 12 Exhibition

June 3 - 13, 2023

What We Hold

This exhibition features photo-based art created by the 2023 graduating class of Contemporary Photography students at Etobicoke School of the Arts. What We Hold  is the first, and likely the only time, that this remarkable group of students will show together in-person. Many of these artists met three years ago on computer screens in the midst of isolation, lockdowns and uncertainty. Carefully conceived and thoughtfully presented, this collection of art embodies each graduating student's three-year journey of persistence, heartache, and growth.

The RTA New Media Class of 2023 has created the experience of Odyssey. The word odyssey can signify adventure, journey, travelling, experience, exploration,  knowledge and discovery. This theme encapsulates our talented students' vast range and unique individuality and their respective work, which we are honoured to share with you.

In this exhibition, you will encounter projects personalized to each creator grounded in real-life experiences. You will discover tools the artist deems to be essential in their creative practice. You may even encounter strange and unfamiliar concepts and media that bring forth a new and insightful technological perspective. By showcasing these innovative creations, our graduate class aims to provide the greater community with the knowledge of what it means to be a New Median in the ever-expanding technological world.

Aspect by Jason Pinney

Opening reception Thursday, March 30th, 6-10pm
On view March 30th - April 4th

Aspect features a new body of work by Toronto-based artist Jason Pinney, who is known for his abstract paintings and large scale murals all over the world. In the back gallery, Pinney has curated a coinciding group show of artists from Toronto and Montreal.

Group Show:
Derreck Lytle
Emily May Rose
Megan Oldhues
Seany Naast
Troy Pynn
Zephyr Christakos-Gee

Available pieces of art can be viewed here.

Mixed Blood Manifesto 

An exhibition of new work by Andrew Patterson

Mixed Blood Manifesto explores the topic of mixed-race identity through a series of portraits, interviews, type-based works, a zine, a playlist, and reference materials. In an increasingly polarized society, what insights might people who are living, breathing bridges between cultural groups provide? What can individuals of mixed-race descent teach us about monoculture, the shortcomings of identity politics, and our own individual identities? And can engaging with existing media through a new lens - music, film, writing - give us a new perspective on concepts we take for granted?

The goal of this show is to challenge our ever-narrowing perspectives all along the socio-political spectrum and our calcifying views about what's important about identity.

On view: November 10 - 15, 2022
@ Northern Contemporary Gallery
(420 Roncesvalles Ave. Toronto ON)

See available works here.

A Nightmare on Roncesvalles

A Nightmare on Roncesvalles is a group exhibition featuring everything that makes Halloween so great.  148 pieces of spooky artwork from 68 local artists.

October 20 - November 1, 2022
@ Northern Contemporary Gallery
(420 Roncesvalles Ave. Toronto ON)

See available works here.

Le Monde Naturel

Le Monde Naturel is a group exhibition featuring artists who use nature as a thematic element in their work. Whether it’s the middle of nowhere or the urban wildlife struggling to find its place in the city there is an undeniable gravity that artists draw inspiration from.  Invited artists submitted artwork that represents the themes of flora/fauna, the ecosphere and its intersection with the built environment.

October 6 - 18, 2022
@ Northern Contemporary Gallery
(420 Roncesvalles Ave. Toronto ON)

See available works here.

In The City

Inspired by urban forms and spaces, "In The City" explores the personal connections to the built environment through the works of 13 artists.

Exhibiting the iconic and in-between, each piece celebrates different elements that shape a city, defining what it means to call something home.

September 15 to October 4, 2022
@ Northern Contemporary Gallery
(420 Roncesvalles Ave. Toronto ON)

See available works here.

Grand Opening

After losing our long-time home at 1266, Northern Contemporary is pleased to announce the grand opening of our brand new space at 1605 Queen St W!

Join us on March 14th to check out our new gallery space, studio collective, and photo studio, and see work from some of our talented studio members, including:

Adam Giroux
Cat Lamora
Emily May Rose
Keight MacLean
Lee Hon Bong
Matt Daniels
Moira Ness
Vincent Luk
William Emerson Gaydos

Cat Lamora: Talisman

November 15-20, 2018

Northern Contemporary Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Cat Lamora’s new body of work, ‘Talisman’.

‘Talisman’ is a three dimensional immersive paper installation that reimagines the symbolisms used in min hwa. Proliferated during the Korean Chosun Dynasty, min hwa were often created by untrained wandering painters in the hopes that they would offer protection and bring about good fortune. There was a heavy emphasis on maintaining the visual equilibrium within the structure of each rendition; perhaps in reflection of the importance the people placed on stability and custom. These three dimensional permutations are a reflection of the ever-evolving symbology within min hwa, adding to the existing strata of interpretations with its genesis. The process of reinterpreting the visual framework of min hwa traces the artist's process of attempting to navigate their own position in the Korean gyopo diaspora. 

Cat Lamora is a Korean-Canadian paper artist based in Toronto. Through the fragile and temporary medium of paper, her work strives to preserve the brief liminal space created at the crossroads of diaspora consciousness, memory, culture, and nostalgia, examining how each lived experience constructs the building blocks of identity.

Swash & Serif 5

Swash & Serif is an annual typography and lettering exhibition showcasing work from Toronto and around the world.

Five whole years! Hitting the half decade mark is a big deal, and we’re excited to see what you guys bring to the table. We’re looking for the coolest, most interesting, most inventive lettering and typography work you can think of. Don’t be afraid to go big, or go wild. After five years, we’re here for all of it!

Opening Night: Thursday November 22, 2018
Gallery: Northern Contemporary Gallery, 1266 Queen St. W., Toronto

Learn more about Swash & Serif and see work from past shows on our website:

Myths, Monsters & Machines 

Group Exhibition

Sept 28-Oct 12, 2018 

From the mad, escapist mind of James Turner comes Myths, Monsters & Machines, an art show that devilishly mashes medieval fantasy with steampunk.

The point of departure is Theo Paxstone and the Dragon of Adyron, Turner's young adult fantasy novel. The destination is wherever the artist's imagination chooses.

Featuring the following roster of incredible artists from all over the world. including internationally acclaimed SPECTRUM award winners:

Greg Broadmore (of Doctor Grordbort’s fame)
Ian Miller
Andrew Foerster
Tanya Mariott
Garry Buckley
Elif Varol Egen
Matthew Daley
Catherine Lane
Larissa Honsek
Friederike Ablang
James Ng
Alana Mcarthy
Paige Clark
Sean Lewis
Gergely Kapus
Becca Greenfield
Jen Phelan
Nik Dudukovic
Alex Bayliss 
Larent Zimny
Monika Mitkute
Jessica Shirley
Vladimir Petkovic
Mikael Kihlstrand
Tano Bonfanti
Roxanna Bikadoroff
Erica EGR Balon 
Steve Manale
Arthur Wartooth Tattoo
Tyrone McCarthy
David Puertas
Deshi Deng
Alena Skarina
Andrew Barr
An-Nhien Nguyen
Emily McCourt
Tessah Noreen
Andrew Zbihlyj
Geoff Wiggins
James Turner

One day I saw the sunset forty-four times 

Liang Wang, Curated by Theresa Wang 

August 16-28, 2018 

There are many reasons to leave a place. Whether it is willingly or reluctantly, to grow or to learn, the conditions of leaving make it possible to navigate throughout different spaces. Liang Wang’s upbringing has been marked by multiple points of departure. His childhood involved moving back and forth between the strained straits of China and Taiwan; later he and his family would cross larger bodies of water to live in multiple cities in Canada. 

Wang’s exhibition takes its name from a line in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince(1943), the seminal novella about the flight of imagination. One day I saw the sunset forty-four times presents a travel narrative akin to that of de Saint-Exupéry’s work. In his paintings, Wang parses through ordinary Toronto streetscapes to recreate the emotional experience of viewing a place for the first time. Having recently arrived in Toronto, Wang achieved introspection by exploring the city streets. What begins as a study of unfamiliar surroundings moves inquisitively into the realm of the alluring. 

Wang’s paintings reveal the complex dialogues between supplanting a place and creating fictive spaces through art-making. Though his eventual destination remains uncertain, Wang is comforted when he walks through the city with nowhere to be. For him, even everyday scenes have faint resonances that render time arrestingly still. He invites his audience to viscerally travel throughout the city with him as he did when he first arrived. Characterized by sumptuously saturated hues, Wang’s scenes are a tableau familiar to many Torontonians yet distinctly out of place, provoking a schism between the mundane and extraordinary. Wang employs vivid colours to create a hybrid portrait of Toronto. Viewing his surroundings as an integral part of his work, Wang maps out an urban environment primarily addressing the elements around him. His interpretations are characterized by a figurative style yet removed of people—as if to preserve the impressionistic memory of the place. Wang’s exhibition reimagines Toronto streetscapes and allows visitors to discover familiar scenes with renewed intensity and appreciation. 

 One day I saw the sunset forty-four times comprises of a series of oil paintings that convey the artist’s interests in notions of place and belonging. The exhibition also displays the artist’s sketchbook, revealing personal and ongoing processes and concerns. 

 —Theresa Wang 

Liang Wang is a Toronto-based painter raised in various parts of Taiwan, China, Australia and Canada. He has exhibited work in numerous groups shows at locations including Northern Contemporary Gallery (Toronto); Federation Gallery, Turnbull Gallery (Vancouver); and Rutherford Galleria (Edmonton). His work is in private collections in Canada and New Zealand. One day I saw the sunset forty-four times is his first solo show. Wang currently teaches painting at the McCanny Secondary School. 

Theresa Wang is a Taiwanese emerging writer, programmer, and researcher based in Toronto. Wang holds a BA Honours in art history and cinema studies from the University of Toronto. Wang’s current research revolves around moving images, posing questions upon archives, production, and practice. She is currently the TD Community Arts Space Research Assistant at the Gardiner Museum and the Curatorial Assistant at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. 

Fix Up Look Sharp 2

Opening Reception: March 8th, 2018, 7pm

Fix Up Look Sharp 2 is our annual revamped thrift store art show! Artists take existing work found in various thrift stores and vintage shops and put their own creative spin on them, giving them new life. This may be done through painting over areas, adding characters, collaging over top, adding text, or whatever your desired process may be. Time to get thrifting and get creative!


Featuring Andre Kan, Adam Chapman, and Oriah Scott.

View the show catalogue here.

All Day Breakfast

Join us July 6th - 18th for All Day Breakfast, an illustration group show!

What is your morning ritual? Whether you’re an early riser or constantly hitting snooze, eating a full breakfast or relying on copious amounts of coffee, everyone has their own routine. All Day Breakfast takes an illustrative approach to exploring these habits and how different artists like to start their day. 

My Petite Bourgeois Revolution

A tongue-in-cheek revolt for artists and those suffering from first world problems, My Petite Bourgeois Revolution isn't about starvation, cake eating and guillotines. It's a rebellion against lack of wifi, overpriced coffee, student loans and overloaded transit. It's urban revolution from the perspective of the bourgeois elite, the art student sophisticate, and the bored bohemian who can't get cable. 

Poking fun at the problems or examining the minutia of every day life while simultaneously revealing that we actually have it pretty good compared to a 1920’s Ukrainian Kulak, My Petite Bourgeois Revolution is a cutting, acerbic and fun exploration of our daily lives.

Adam Corns, Adam Niklewicz, Alex Westgate, Alison Garnett, Andrew Foerster, Ben Ruby, Chiara Dattola, Chris Valentine, Cinta Arribas, Dan Page, Daria Kirpach, Emily May Rose, Fatinha Ramos, Felix Witholz, Fiona Smyth, Francesco Poroli, Frederico Gastaldi, Grace Heejung Kim, Jackie Lee, James Turner, James Yang, Marco Melgrati, Marike le Roux, Matthew Daley, Paul Bateman, Robert John Paterson, Robb Mirsky, Sean Richman, Suharu Ogawa, Tad Michalak, Veronica Grech, Xiaohua Yang, Yo Az

Curated by James Turner

Names and Places Vol. 3

The third instalment of Names and Places explores the unique relationship between graffiti and urban delivery trucks. From box trucks to cargo vans, these moving canvases present a wide range of opportunities for graffiti writers and photographers alike.

Names and Places Volume 3 features over 30 photographs of truck graffiti from Sean Bledsoe, Dom Butler, Will Gaydos, and Jordan McKie.

The accompanying art exhibition showcases paintings, photographs, and scultpure-based work inspired by trucks from artists accross a wide range of disciplines.

Participating Artists:
Chris Austin, Rich E., William Emerson Gaydos, Dave Mauz, Francis Pratt, Emily May Rose, Oriah Scott, Liang Wang

Curated by Will Gaydos

Analog Contact

Analog Contact was a design show featuring the business cards of designers, illustrators and art directors. Cards from creatives around Toronto and the GTA were on display and up for grabs. People could trade and collect their favourites and go home with dozens of beautiful print specimens, and the contact info of the people who created these little works of art. 

Fix Up Look Sharp

Fix Up Look Sharp was a revamped thrift store art show Artists took existing work found in various thrift stores and vintage shops and put their own creative spin on them, giving them new life. This is done through painting over areas, adding characters, collaging over top, adding text, and many other ways. The juxtaposition of old and new makes for a wonderful contemporary exhibition of work, where you'll be sure to find the perfect eclectic piece to bring new life to any space.

Never Real & Always True

Featuring the work of: Mark Bath, John Alan Birch, Caitlyn Chisamore, Chloe Evert, Jason Ferguson, Kayla Free, Marne Grahlman, Anthony Haley, Alyssa Mallone, Jake Odrowski, Graham Robinson, Ann Somers, Kelly Stevenson, Matthew Tribe and Nat Very B.

'Never Real & Always True' is an exhibition exploring how artists experiences with mental illness have been impacted by social stigma. A portion of all gallery proceeds will be donated to the Toronto Distress Centre, a volunteer-based organization that provides 24-hour telephone support, 365 days a year, to those experiencing emotional distress, in need of crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Curated by Megan Kee

In The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, author Andrew Solomon detailed his personal experience with depression, providing a particularly poignant example: 

“In the throws of depression, one reaches a strange point at which it is impossible to see the line between ones own theatricality and the reality of madness. I discovered two conflicting qualities of character. I am melodramatic by nature; on the other hand, I can go out and ‘seem normal’ under the most abnormal of circumstances. Antonin Artaud wrote on one of his drawings, “never real and always true”, and that is how depression feels. You know that it is not real, that you are someone else, and yet you know that it is absolutely true.” 

This dichotomy between two conflicting qualities of character is a product of the widespread social stigma around mental illness. Many people with mental illness experience shame, ostracism, and marginalization due to their diagnosis, and often describe the consequences of mental health stigma as worse than those of the condition itself. A tortured history and troubled present means that people still feel the need to hide—and who can blame them? In a 2007 BMC Health survey of the most frequent labels used to describe mental illness, the top six answers were: disturbed, nuts, confused, psycho, spastic, and crazy. 

Mental illness has a visibility problem. You can't see depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. This has contributed to the major disparity between how physical and mental illness is publicly viewed, funded, and represented. This legacy of underfunding and pervasive stigma has meant that for far too long people have suffered in silence and been denied appropriate care. 

The artists in Never Real & Always True illustrate how their experiences with mental health illness have been impacted by social stigma. 

To provide support to Toronto mental health workers, a portion of all gallery profits will be donated to the Toronto Distress Centre—a volunteer-based organization that provides 24-hour telephone support, 365 days a year, to those experiencing emotional distress, in need of crisis intervention and suicide prevention..

One Year Anniversary

Thank you for all the support, we've been open for a full year! This exhibition showcased a selection of illustrators we've had the opportunity to show work from this year.

Under 100

For this exhibition we filled as much wall space as possible with affordable artwork, perfect for unique gifts this holiday season.

Does It Hurt?: Tattoo Art Show

This exhibition aimed to showcase the range of styles in some of the most incredible tattoo artists in Toronto. 

Curated by Jonny Cakes & Emily May Rose

Hyakki Yagyo: Night Parade of 100 Demons

Northern Contemporary exhibited Hyakki Yagyo: Night Parade of 100 Demons, from October 20th, 2016 at 7pm until October 31, 2016.

The Hyakki Yagyo is a night where all manner of yokai, ogres, ghosts and other supernatural creatures parade through the streets in one massive spectacle. Those foolish enough to go outside or peek out of their windows in hopes to catch a glimpse of the supernatural are either killed or spirited away...

The following 25 illustrators interpreted a Japanese folklore classic by creating 4 creatures each. All 100 pieces were featured with a final composition of all their work.

ARTISTS: Adrian Forrow, Andrew Foerster, Chris Kuzma, Clayton Hanmer, CryWolf, Daniel Zender, Deshi Deng, Emily May Rose, Harvey Chan, Heidi Berton, James Turner, Jane Kim, Jacqui Oakley, Jenn Liv, Jennifer Phelan, Jeremy Leung, Jody Hewgill, Jon Todd, Lauren Pirie, Lynn Scurfield, Marc O'Brien, Ness Lee, Paige Clark, Shea Chang, Trevor Henderson

Curated by Hitoshi Murakami and Andrew Foerster

"Wish U Weren't Here" by Emily May Rose

"Wish U Were Here" is the first-ever solo show for Toronto-based artist Emily May Rose. Best known for her repertoire of animal characters, Emily incorporates them into paintings, drawings and installations, creating scenes of mischief and city life. The artist uses Toronto's mascot, raccoons, as a main character, placing them in scenes that are relatable to people and human relationships. Rather than focusing on the everyday antics of these animals, Emily anthropomorphizes them to add humour to their behaviour and give a charming take on these annoyances.

Work In Progress

For 2 weeks, Northern Contemporary Gallery was transformed into artist studios, inviting the public to come in during regular gallery hours to see artists in action. In this rare opportunity, visitors were able to get a behind-the-scenes look at many notable local artists and see how they work. All works created in the space during this time were then shown in a weekend group show at the end of the residency.

ARTISTS: Christina Mazzulla , Francis Pratt, Billy Franklin, Shanna Van Maurik, Colin Canary , Evan Odette, Maggie Day , Oreka James , Joshua Advincula

Curated by Bridgit Lanni

Started From The Bottom: A Loving Tribute To Drake

Featuring work from a variety of local artists and illustrators, for two weeks the gallery was adorned with loving tributes to our local hero, curated by Emily May Rose.

"Dry" by Graham Robinson

Dry is about laying it all down, sorting it out and moving forward.
I created these paintings over the course of a difficult period of my life. They are the products of a long process of working through the dark, painful parts of me that led to depression and alcohol abuse—and embracing the light, silly, loving parts on which I started the recovery of my mental health and my artwork.
These fish and aquatic animals are my feelings, emotions, urges, regrets and desires. They are my hopes, demons and fears; they are my parents and brothers and girlfriends and best friends. The process of creating them was measured and analytical. As I was doing the external work to identify, label and lovingly create images of each species, I was doing profoundly important inner work to learn, analyze and accept the depth and breadth of my own feelings. The two processes were beautifully synchronized to let me heal and create, create and heal. 
A central character in this body of work, the coverall-robed, oft’ barefoot ‘Swamper’ travels the Mystic North as steward to Mother Nature’s last fading footprint until she chooses to return in her full regalia. This work requires him to remove remaining remnants of the Days of Man. He can’t resist leaving behind some nostalgic and selfish comforts for the future. His work calls for him to observe and document the species he encounters. He develops a deeper understanding of how these strange semi-aquatic creatures have survived the last remaining stroke of true, honest wilderness. He keeps company with whichever animals happen to pass him and is most often in the company of a small brown house cat.
Through his work he develops a deeper understanding of nature from each creature he encounters—even those that terrify him. He experiences the overwhelming beauty in the witnessing of things simply existing.
Through this project I came to know that the monotony of day-to-day work and repetition can be a driving force in its own right. My curiosity and tenuous need to survive propelled me to search for the order and reason in the complexity and intricacy of Nature—in the outside world and in my psyche.
The love of the pursuit of it is perhaps enough to make life worthwhile. I now understand that there is healing power in knowing I am at once at the mercy of Nature and allowed to be cradled in her embrace.

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a group exhibition based around the theme of nostalgia. This show features 15 artists working in a wide variety of mediums who have created works that will take you back; generating a sense of happiness or sadness in viewers through evoking something from the past and a desire to experience it again. 

ARTISTS: Billy Franklin, Cam Chalmers, Christina Mazzulla, Emily May Rose, Ivo Matic, Jake Carruthers, Jenn Woodall, Jimmy McGann, Joshua Advincula, Leesa Westwood, M. Glass, Rich. E., Shanna Van Maurik, T Reilly Hodgson, Will Gaydos

Curated by Emily May Rose

"Game Over" by Dave Mauz

‘Game Over’,a multidisciplinary solo exhibition by Dave Mauz, expressed the obsessive binging and purging of commodities, information and emotion in modern society. All works were created through the use of found objects and mixed media. Challenging and thought provoking, ‘Game Over’ rearranges the notion of accepted social values.

Hollywood: The Art Of The Movie Poster

Over 20 local illustrators and other fine artists reinterpreted posters from their favourite movies, transforming the iconic imagery we are accustomed to into their own vision. Giclee prints as well as the original pieces were available for sale and public viewing.

ARTISTS: Allison Burda & Cameron Gee, CLöWNBäBÿ/Kartigan, Deshi Deng, Gleb FoRo, Jeffrey Royiwsky, Jim Sage, Joaquin Varela, Jos Theriault, Keith Einmann, Lisa Vanin, M. Glass, Matthew Daley, Matthew Haskill, Michael Pagdon, Pong Ping, Raz Latif, Robert John Paterson, Robert Quance, Roman Arabia, Sophie Paas-Lang, Tiffany Huta, Uuule Brennar, Virginia Deil, Will Gaydos

Curated by Emily May Rose

Generally Abysmal

5 years in the making, Generally Abysmal celebrated the trials and tribulations of a group of illustrators that came together during their time at OCADU in the illustration program. 'Generally Abysmal' reflects on the time they spent honing their skills and finding their passion together at school and how far they've come as individual artists since then. The exhibition featured a variety of works, both collaborative and solo.

ARTISTS: Caitlyn Murphy, Cam Chalmers, Emily May Rose, Heidi Berton, Kevin Compuesto, Marley Allen-Ash, Marne Grahlman, Max Galley, Meghan Dearlove, Raz Latif, Robert John Paterson, Sabina Lindemann, Sam Nolan

Names and Places 2

The first Names and Places photo show and zine explored the relationship between graffiti, the spaces in which it exists, and the sense of place that develops as a result. Names and Places Volume 2, a film-only photography show, continued and expanded upon this discussion by presenting the subject matter through four additional, unique photographic perspectives. 

ARTISTS: D. Butler, Will Gaydos, Chris M., Jason P., and P. are all currently based in Toronto.

Curated by Will Gaydos

"Mad World" by Chris Austin

Northern Contemporary was proud to host Chris Austin’s inaugural Solo Exhibition in Toronto, MAD WORLD. Exploring the impact humankind has had on our environment and the effects of global warming through gouache paintings and hand carved maquette’s, MAD WORLD touched on our relationship with the world. Chris Austin brought his otherworldly landscapes to Northern Contemporary.

“We seem to live in a world that is constantly consuming every resource we have,” says Chris Austin.“My feeling is that society is catching up to the idea that things might not be so great in the not too distant future. Mad World addresses these issues.”


Northern Contemporary teamed up with Bunz Mom Emily to bring you the Bunz Art Show! This exhibition filled the space with art by bunz, for bunz. 

NO CASH IN THE ZONE - all artwork for trades only! While title cards featured all usual info; name, title, size and medium, instead of price we used ISO (In Search Of). Anyone could contact the artist and set up a trade based on their ISO and we'd apply a red "sold" dot once a trade had been agreed upon. 

"Window Studies" by Caitlyn Murphy

In Window Studies, the artist brought forward a collection that utilizes windows as frames and the world beyond as her subject matter. Looking through the windows of her apartment onto the street below or glancing out of a passing car at night, Caitlyn Murphy created an intimate and personal visual record of the urban landscapes that surround us.

Caitlyn Murphy lives and works in Toronto. This was her first solo show.

Guilty Pleasures

Northern Contemporary teamed up with Homesick to bring you a showcase of guilty pleasures music and art, featuring the work of 14 incredible artists working in a variety of styles including illustrative, urban, lowbrow, and photography. 

ARTISTS: T. Reilly Hodgson, Jennifer Ilett, Francis Pratt, Emily May Rose, Christian Stearry, William Emerson Gaydos, Max Pope, Joshua, Tiffany Huta, Billy Franklin, Ashley Smallwood, Brendan Gore, Elise Von Kulmiz, Alannah Gibson

Curated by Emily May Rose

Fucci x Untitled&Co SS16 Capsule Launch

Toronto fashion staple Untitled&Co and pop artist Fucci came together to create a limited edition capsule collection merging the concept of contemporary art prints with the ubiquitous cultural icon; the printed t-shirt. Untitled&Co and Fucci created a unique experience in which art meets fashion in a statement reflecting commercialism and disposable culture. The limited edition shirts served as numbered prints of the showcased paintings which were available for purchase at the opening. 

Girls, Girls, Girls: A Feminist Art Show

Although 51% of visual artists are women, the level of representation in the Art world does not reflect this. Its staggering to note that less than 4% of the artists in the Modern Art section of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art are women, but 76% of the nudes are female. 

Girls, Girls, Girls was a collection of contemporary feminist art, celebrating the impact it has on the cultural arena and role as social vanguard for gender equality. Working in a wide range of mediums, this exhibition created an unbiased space for these artists to react freely to the feminist issues that affect their lives on a daily basis. 

 Northern Contemporary is proud of its commitment to supporting and promoting women artists who have been under-represented and mistreated in the gallery world for too long.

Curated by Emily May Rose

New Beginnings 

Thursday, February 11th, 7-11pm

This grand opening exhibition will feature a diverse roster of artists working in a wide range of mediums. New Beginnings is curated with a focus on illustrative, representational, lowbrow, pop art, urban, and experimental art, this show aims to showcase the essence of the gallery and its commitment to bringing interesting contemporary work to the city. Northern Contemporary will work with a wider range of artists than Toronto has seen before to bring you all kinds of events and exhibitions to promote Toronto’s already-thriving art community. 

ARTISTS: Adam Chapman, Adam Spivak, Andre Kan, Andrew Foerster, Cam Chalmers, Cam Miller, Chris Austin, Chris Perez, Christian Stearry, Emily May Rose, Heidi Berton, Kevin Compuesto, Marley Allen-Ash, Marne Grahlman, Maxwell Galley, Meghan Dearlove, Raz Latif, Robert John Paterson, Rosena Fung, Sabina Lindemann, Sam Nolan, Tiff Huta, Tyler Armstrong

Curated by Emily May Rose

Do a Kickflip!

A group art show celebrating the talents of artists and artisans. Prerequisite for participation: Do a Kickflip.

Featuring works by:

Way Bad


Christian Stearry


Juan Freire

Jesse Dewar

Steven Hall

HOMUNCLUS, or the planets seen through my childhood window

May 1-16, 2019

OPENING: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 | 6-9PM

ART TALK: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 7PM

"As a child, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew older. I spent countless hours alone on my bed using my viewmaster to explore the universe, imagining that one day I would see the planets with my own eyes. Recently, I found himself sleeping in that same bed. Once the feelings of nostalgia faded, thoughts entered my mind about failing to become who I thought I would be as an adult.

HOMUNCULUS, or the planets seen through my childhood window is an installation of photo-based work that draws upon these feelings of unfulfillment and vulnerability, crafting a narrative that allows the viewer to visit seven fictive planets through stereoscopic viewmasters. The figures on each planet are variations on the artist's body after being 3D-scanned and 3D-printed. In addition to interpreting alchemical notions of the early planets, the figures also reference compositions and themes found in Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which features a boy exploring the universe to understand what coming-of-age means.

Just as a child would, I use my imagination to confront, categorize, and conquer troubling aspects of my reality. My body and art art are vessels to visualize his fictions."



May 18 - June 2

Opening Saturday, May 25, 12-4pm

In the series "HEX", artist Moira Ness seeks out bold, single coloured buildings to photograph around the GTHA. She then samples the colour in Photoshop, revealing the associated hexadecimal colour code and its name. The applied name brings an unseen and unintentional personal meaning to the photo as the audience tries to relate the title to the subject.


June 6-23

Are you proud to be from a place that gives people permission to authentically express exactly who they are, how they want to and when they want to? Then you'll want to come by and celebrate the opening of this incredible show!

The ProudTObe exhibition is a visual celebration and container for the narratives of those on the margins of society. Highlighting womxn, indigenous folx, people of colour and LGBTQ+ folx, proudTObe celebrates the multiple diverse and beautiful intersections of identity that make this city as special as it is.


Alex Garant

Briony Douglas

Tahsin The Good


Keight Maclean


Chief Lady Bird

Elyse Saunders

Cat Lamora

Binary Rainbow

Moira Ness

Romana Kassam

Using Format