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Lobby Exhibit of Student Art on Display at My Name is Asher Lev


MY NAME IS… Cross-Cultural Reflections on Identity.

MY NAME IS... Poster design by Jessica Kim
During the run of My Name is Asher Lev (November 4—26, 2017), the Greenwin Theatre lobby will be animated by the deeply personal and evocative work of Martingrove Collegiate Institute’s Grade 11 and 12 visual art students. This multidisciplinary exhibit features painting, drawing, installation and sculpture, reflecting the play’s universal theme of identity. Studio 180 Theatre and Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company are proud to showcase the incredible talents of Martingrove students, in an exhibit that celebrates the rich diversity of Toronto.

The exhibit is curated by teacher Christina Yarmol and supported by Studio 180 IN CLASS.

Read the feature on the Toronto District School Board website!

Scroll down to view a selection of pieces from the exhibit.

Madina Mamat, Where I came from to pursue my dream

Madina Mamat
Where I came from to pursue my dream

Watercolors, aquarelles, and pencil crayons on paper
50 cm x 80 cm

“I believe that it doesn’t matter what religion you believe in, or what country you come from, you can still chase your dreams to make them come true!”

Read full artist statement

“My artwork is about me.  I created a self-portrait representing various aspects of myself on my headscarf. I used watercolor and aquarelles to create this artwork to create a fluid visual texture resembling fabric. I used pencil crayons to do the more detailed arts of my work and to make the shadows. I have also depicted my dreams on my headscarf. I would like to be a fashion designer so I designed outfits for potential models on my scarf.

I believe that it doesn’t matter what religion you believe in, or what country you come from, you can still chase your dreams to make them come true!  I drew flags on my scarf to signify my background; I used the Turkish flag, the Japanese flag and Canadian flag.  These flags are all part of my family’s history.  My parents are Turkish and I was born in Japan then I came to Canada when I was 12 years old.  From these experiences, I have been exposed to many different designs: Turkish, Japanese and North American, since I was a child.  I feel that viewing these designs and garments have both enriched and expanded my fashion sensibilities.  I am also a Muslim and I want to be a fashion designer because there are lots of women who wear hijabs and I want to design the outfits for the hijabi girls.  My goal is to present my ideas in a visual form.  I plan to use this piece for my portfolio for the fashion studies to achieve my goals!”

Tina, Nguyên quang, Cut up and boxed up

Tina, Nguyên quang
Cut up and boxed up

Sculpture: tempera and acrylic on found cardboard boxes and canvas acrylic on canvas
Boxes: 60 inch x 30 inch
Canvas 48 inch x 25 inch

“An inspiring quote that influenced my work is, ‘Being called weird is like being called limited edition, meaning you’re something people don’t see that often. Remember that.’ – Ashley Purdy”

Read full artist statement

“PART 1:

Earlier this year, I began painting a self-portrait.  I divided my face into several segments.  I have represented myself as a child figure floating in the middle of the two halves of my face.  To me this indicates that my inner personality is very childish.  Most people are unaware of this unless, they are related to me.  Only my cousins here in Canada, my sister and my parents are privy to this side of me.

I also painted fish around my portrait because it connects to a big part of my family’s history.  As I grew up, my dad has always told me to eat fish because they are supposed to make you smarter. This could be because he grew up by the ocean with a family who sold and ate a lot of seafood.


The second and more recent part of my portrait explores how boxes represent me. Like the two- dimensional portrait each piece denotes a different part of me.  All of these boxes add up together to create an unrealistic figure that represents my identity.

To me, boxes are like people in the sense that what’s on the outside does not always illustrate what is in the inside. For example, people wrap Christmas present in whatever empty box they can find.  Just because the box is a noodle box does not mean that the contents inside are instant noodles!  I am like a box in the sense that I am quiet towards people I just meet but, once you get to know me, I can be both quiet and loud; people learn that I am unique.  This can be seen in my choice of media for this identity show.

I knew I wanted to create an artwork revolving around a box head.  This box head symbolizes my face because I have always thought that my face is abnormally squared especially in pictures.  In my opinion, this is one of my defining traits.

After starting off with this idea, I realized that I would like to make a figure out if boxes to complement my box head.  This will allow me to portray my everyday clothing choices in a boxed way.  Since, I moved to different cities and schools a lot, I have developed a barrier between me and people I have just met.  I will act more shy or quiet towards other as compared to with people I know. This geometric form and the outside of the box represents my social life outside of the home.  It contrasts greatly with my family life within the box.

All in all, creating this painting and this sculpture, I tried to broaden my range of materials. My goal is to not limit myself to one type of medium but, to experiment with different types of media to help me find my own expressive style.  This also helps me get out of my comfort zone and come to the realization that trying new things is good even if my ideas seem strange.  In the future, I hope to develop of an art style that best represents me.”

Shannon Rivers, Myself through my eye

Shannon Rivers
Myself Through My Eye

Acrylic paint on canvas
12” x 16”

“The emotions I tried to express are that many people could know part of my personality and who I am on the outside, but there’s still a whole lot of me on the inside that is often hidden…”

Read full artist statement

“In the middle of my painting there is an eye. This is the main focus of the work. Drawn designs and patterns describe my personality, the flags of Canada – the country I was born in and Guyana, my background. There’s a silhouette and sunset in the iris of the eye. The silhouette of the Toronto skyline, stars, hearts and a moon. The eye has long eyelashes, and a white design in the background and behind the design a purple ombre effect.

I wanted to emphasize the eye by creating a flat work with lots of colour. My friend gave me the idea to draw an eye, and I then got inspired to draw part of who I am and my background, and where I come from, and other aspects of my personality. My work expresses me as a person and my personality. The emotions I tried to express are that many people could know part of my personality and who I am on the outside, but there’s still a whole lot of me on the inside that is often hidden, which I try to portray with the sunset and silhouette inside the iris.”

Isaiah Munoz, The Hidden Meaning

Isaiah Munoz
The Hidden Meaning 

Spray paint and acrylic on plywood
78.7 cm x 133 cm

“I get judged on my graffiti, I’m considered a vandal. …I feel I can prove many people wrong.”

Read full artist statement

“My work is a self-representation of what the life of a colored graffiti artist is like.  For my work, I have used spray paint to create the background, as for the tags and names I have used paint markers.  The face in the middle is a representation of how I see myself while I create my art work especially since I do my works in cold and frigid temperatures.  For me as a colored kid I get a bit of racism from time to time and I get judged on my graffiti, I’m considered a vandal. Not only is this in some sense true, I feel I can prove many people wrong.  I used a gas mask to hide most of my appearance as well as keep myself anonymous.  I feel that even most artists or street artist don’t get much credit for their work whether their known by society or not.  The symbols and names in the background are tags of my own.  LumiSensei,Revert, and life being some of them.  These show some examples of how most graffiti is done if it’s quick.  In the corners of the piece you can see I have put cans that appear as spray paint cans used this to add the effect of me creating myself through my favorite way of art, and in this the cans appear as if they themselves are painting the piece.

The reason as to why I chose to show myself this way is to show people how I really see myself in an everyday setting.  This is how I show my identity and how I can share it with the world.”