Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival Announces full program

The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival announced the full program for the 26th edition of the city-wide event launching this month, with some projects taking place later in 2022.

The Festival features over 140 exhibitions by Canadian and international lens-based artists who will present projects online and in museums, galleries, and public spaces across Toronto.

Artists include Stephen Andrews, Claudia Andujar, Atong Atem, Raymond Boisjoly, Sandra Brewster, Sophie Calle, Jorian Charlton, Sunil Gupta, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Brendan George Ko, Meryl McMaster, Memory Work Collective, Tyler Mitchell, Gisela Motta & Leandro Lima, Aïda Muluneh, Shirin Neshat, Anastasia Samoylova, Jeff Thomas, Natalie Wood, and many more.

Tyler Mitchell, Tangled 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery, New York. via

“The range of artists that we have gathered for this year’s edition of CONTACT truly span the globe and bring insights and observations on so many different cultural, political, and environmental issues. The entire CONTACT team is honoured to have such a diversity of talent on view in Toronto, and we thank our many partners and supporters for making all of this possible,” said CONTACT Executive Director Darcy Killeen.

For CONTACT’s 26th edition there are over 60 Core Program exhibitions produced in collaboration with major museums, leading galleries, and artist-run centres presented throughout Greater Toronto alongside a slate of commissioned, site-specific outdoor installations that activate the city.

The Core Program is supported by the Festival’s Public Programs which include photobook initiatives, lectures, artist talks, panel discussions, workshops, and more. The 2022 Festival will also include over 80 Open Call Exhibitions.

The Festival is free and open to the public, with some exceptions at major museums.  Some highlights of the 2022 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival include:

 Tyler Mitchell

Presented across three sites in Toronto, the work of African American photographer Tyler Mitchell brings a bold vision to the city and his first solo exhibition in Canada. His vibrant images richly portray the beauty, presence, and self-assurance of Black lives, referencing the rich history of Black photography while proposing new futures. Curated by Mark Sealy OBE.

Cultural Turns – CONTACT Gallery, 80 Spadina Ave., Ste 205. April 28 – June 30, 2022

The CONTACT Gallery will display an array of Mitchell’s recent photographic works, including autobiographical topics and themes of identity. Mitchell refers to his practice as a “Black utopic vision, in which the young Black men and women around me look dignified, are presented as a community, and also ask the tough questions in terms of: what are the things we’ve been historically denied?” Presented by CONTACT. Supported by Cindy and Shon Barnett.

Cultural Turns – Metro Hall, King St. W at John St. April 28 – May 30, 2022

In this outdoor installation at Metro Hall, Mitchell’s 13 larger-than-life portraits, in curator Mark Sealy’s words, “produce a defiant sense of Black being, one that sheds the degrading skins of categorization and classification so evident in photography’s past.” Presented by CONTACT. Supported by Cindy and Shon Barnett. Part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022. 

Cultural Turns – Billboards in Toronto at Dovercourt Rd. and Dupont St.

April 29 – May 30, 2022

In these two images, Mitchell brings the powerful gaze of the Black subject into focus while opening portals into intimate narratives. Presented by CONTACT. Supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising, and by Cindy and Shon Barnett. Part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022.

Sandra Brewster

Roots – Evergreen Brick Works. Curated by Kari Cwynar and Charlene K. Lau. May 1 – October 31, 2022

In this outdoor photographic installation, Toronto-based artist Sandra Brewster explores the long history of Black presence in the urban wilderness. Developed during her artist residency at Evergreen Brick Works, the photographs in Roots document the area’s plant life in ways that reflect on unceded territories, diasporic migrations, and the need to foster safe, outdoor experiences for Black communities. Brewster’s images are embedded along the Beltline Trail, greeting visitors as they explore the valley. Presented in partnership with Evergreen Brick Works. Part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022.

Jorian Charlton

Presented across two sites and online, Canadian photographer Jorian Charlton celebrates Black lives through a range of museum, outdoor, and virtual exhibitions. 

Out of Many – Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West. Curated by Emilie Croning. On view until August 7, 2022

In 2017, Toronto-based photographer Jorian Charlton received a collection of 35mm slides from her father for safekeeping. These images—his photographs from Jamaica, New York, and Toronto, taken between the late 1970s and the late 1980s—reveal the artist’s family lineage. Out of Many pairs Charlton’s photographic practice alongside her father’s images, creating an intergenerational dialogue that explores the family album in a contemporary context. Presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario in collaboration with Wedge Curatorial Projects and Gallery TPW.

Georgia – 460 King Street West, North façade. Curated by Solana Cain. May 1 – 31, 2022

Charlton uses the power of the gaze to reclaim the Black experience in this large-format mural featuring a model named Georgia, shown unabashedly caressing herself with fingers adorned in multi-coloured, manicured nails. Standing tall and asserting herself, she confronts the viewer while commanding the space around her. Presented on the façade of a Victorian-era building, the work challenges colonial histories and practices of portraiture. Presented by CONTACT in partnership with Cooper Cole Gallery. Part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022.

fi di gyal dem, Digital exhibition. Curated by Roya DelSol. May 5 – August 25, 2022

This online exhibition of works by Charlton and visual artist Kadine Lindsay, presented by Doris McCarthy Gallery, is an intimate celebration of the interior lives of Black women. Alongside portraits, paintings, and animation, fi di gyal dem includes a series of commissioned, collaborative mixed media pieces. This project invites viewers to explore the interconnections in the practices of these artists and the larger cultural moments that inform their work. Presented by Doris McCarthy Gallery in partnership with CONTACT.

 Brendan George Ko

The Forest is Wired for Wisdom – Cross-Canada Billboards + Billboards at King St W and Strachan Ave, Toronto. Curated by Tara Smith. April 29 – May 30, 2022

Toronto-based artist Brendan George Ko is a visual storyteller, using photography, video, and poetry to depict the natural world. Presented on billboards in eight cities across Canada, The Forest is Wired for Wisdom comprises a series of luminous, almost incandescent images of flora nestled deep under the forest canopy, paired with poignant excerpts of Ko’s own poems. Together they offer passersby moments of contemplation and awe at nature’s beauty, while pointing to the forest ecosystem’s fragile interconnectivity. Presented by CONTACT. Supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising. Part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022.

Mahtab Hussain

An Ocean in a Drop: Muslims in Toronto, Aga Khan Museum and Park. Curated by Marianne Fenton. May 20 – October 1, 2022

In his ongoing series of photographic street portraits, British artist Mahtab Hussain addresses and challenges the poor visibility and stereotyping of Muslims in mainstream art and media. For this outdoor installation on the grounds of the Aga Khan Museum, Hussain turns his lens on Toronto’s Muslim youth in ways that bring to the fore their unique individual identities, contributions, and perspectives. Presented by the Aga Khan Museum in partnership with CONTACT. Part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022.

Tajvin Kazi and Rishada Majeed, Billboards at Dupont and Dufferin Streets.

April 29 – May 30, 2022

Presented on a billboard the image Tajvin Kazi and Rishada Majeed continues Hussain’s exploration of contemporary Muslim identities. Shot in Toronto in 2021 as part of the series Ocean in a Drop: Muslims in Toronto—a portion of the broader ongoing series Muslims in America—this work echoes Hussain’s outdoor installation of works from the same series, on view at Aga Khan Museum and Park. Presented by CONTACT. Supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising. Part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022.

For more information, visit: