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GLADSTONE GROW OP 2015 / culture of landscape

16-26 April, 2015. The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto


Application Deadline: Friday 26 September 2014

Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel is pleased to announce the 3rd annual Gladstone Grow Op, a ten day exhibition celebrating innovative ideas and conceptual responses to landscape, gardens, art and place making under the theme: culture of landscape. Grow Op 2015 will facilitate a cross-disciplinary forum across a broad range of creative practices within the vibrant setting of Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood.

Grow Op 2015 seeks proposals from across North America ranging from horticultural initiatives to experimental and innovative landscape, art and community engagement projects. We seek proposals from individuals and/or new and existing collectives whose work engages with landscape, place and/or the natural world with the ultimate goal of creating an immersive exhibition that is both provocative and boundary pushing. Grow Op 2015 offers an exciting venue to engage a large audience in a dialogue about the qualities and meaning behind the designed landscape both in the private garden and in our civic spaces.

Grow Op explores new territories and seeks to uncover new ways of expression and meaning through proposals that represent a wide range of approaches from the prosaic to the poetic, the elemental to the ephemeral. The use of plant material is not a specific requirement. Submissions are encouraged from a wide variety of creative practitioners including the following:

fabricators, craftspeople, urbanists/planners, historians, arborists, agriculturalists, landscape architects, cooks, ecologists, botanists, horticulturists, visual artists, performance artists, musicians, filmmakers, scientists,  sound artists, ardeners, writers, poets, designers

Keywords to consider: immersive, site-specific, participatory, ephemeral, spatial, interactive, performative, sensory.

Visit our website for photos from past Grow Op exhibitions and to download the show catalogues.

Grow Op Spaces

Grow Op 2015 will provide the opportunity for participants to inhabit the Gladstone Hotel and its environs at a variety of scales, from adventitious niches to feature rooms to offsite work. We ask that candidates be specific about the location of their proposal and to consider the list of Grow Op 2015 Events (described below) as possibilities for engagement. If possible, candidates should visit the hotel to explore the interior and other spaces in the vicinity of the hotel. Please visit our artist pages to find out more about our exhibition spaces.

There are many ways to participate:

1. Room Installations

Room installations invite participants to design immersive projects in the various studio spaces in the 2nd floor Gladstone Gallery.

2. Site-Specific Public Space Installations/Projects – Onsite

Hotel interior spaces include: Public spaces in the 1st floor lobby, Queen Street windows/façade, 2nd floor gallery walls and open areas including balcony, green roof, and stairwells, the Ballroom, bar area for Opening night/Media reception, Art café, etc.

3. Site-Specific Public Space Installations/Projects – Offsite

Exterior spaces include: Vertical walls of hotel, first floor green roof (south side), Hotel entry, Dufferin Amphitheatre (north side of Queen Street, west of Dufferin), public lands by tracks on south side of Queen, TTC shelter (at hotel entrance) and others. City permits will be required for temporary constructed installations on public property. The process takes time and should be initiated immediately upon acceptance to the show. Consideration of how offsite work integrates into the main 2nd floor gallery space and contributes to the hotel visitor experience is encouraged.

Participants are welcome to propose projects for sites that are not outlined in the proposal.

 4. Public Programming

Proposals that emphasize and explore the show theme ‘culture of landscape’ are welcome as integrated events, lectures, performances, tours, etc. These may occur on one evening, focus on a school group audience during the weekdays, or take place over the course of the 10 day exhibition.

 Grow Op 2015 Events

The following scheduled Grow Op 2015 events should be considered as opportunities for artwork proposals.

Equinosh – A Tale of Two Counties. Hotel Ballroom

A dinner party hosted by Grow Op and the Gladstone Hotel will be integrated within the spatially dynamic elements of the exhibition, creating a richly layered and immersive environment for the evening of Friday April 25, 2015. Proposal concepts specific to this program may range from the construction of a table(s) occupying, to edible art and/or performance and sound pieces. The work may be installed just for the dinner or be integrated into the space for the duration of the show.

Grow Op Talks

Guest speakers and talks by the show participants contribute to the overall experience of the artwork and offer a broader discussion of the theme, a culture of landscape. Proposals encouraged.

Grow Op Kids

Educational and entertaining daytime programming that engage families or schools. Proposals encouraged. 

Grow Op 2015 Dates + Details

Submission deadline 26 September 2014

Participants announced October 2014

All participants meeting Wednesday November 2014, 6pm

Individual consultations Early Feb 2015

Construction drawing/details 15 Feb 2015

All participants meeting mid March 2015

Installation 12-15 April 2015

Exhibition 16 – 26 April 2015

Media preview Thursday 16 April 2015 (4pm-7pm)

Opening reception Friday 17 April 2015 (7-10pm)

Equinosh Friday 24 April

Strike/Remove all materials Sunday 26 April 2015 (5-10pm)


Please submit hardcopy (CD or flash drive) or electronic submissions in PDF file format, as specified below, no later than 5pm on Friday 26 September, 2015. For electronic submissions, please compress files to ensure receipt.

Submissions should be submitted to Subject: Grow Op 2015 and must include:

  • Completion of the submission form here
  • CV, as a collective or for each member of the team, including the contact information (email and phone number) for all members of the team. Please     specify the primary contact person.
  • 150-word bio for the artist/designer/team describing your practice.
  • 2 – 5 previous projects. Submitted as one combined PDF, one project per page including text and image(s).
  • A one-page Expression of Interest statement on why you want to participate in Grow Op 2015, your intended conceptual approach, including a brief description of the concept, physical form, scale and materiality as well as the preferred location. Physical models and/or digital visualizations are welcome but not required. Indicate clearly if you are applying for a room installation or public space project.

Submission files must be labeled and submitted as follows:





Please note:

  • All successful candidates will be required to submit construction and installation details, their material list and any permit details (as required) by 15 February 2015. These details will be reviewed with each participant during individually scheduled meetings with the curator and hotel Artistic Director.
  • Submissions are not returned following adjudication
  • All participants will be responsible for monitoring their exhibits and making sure they are working during exhibition hours for the run of the exhibition or provide simple instructions on how to turn work on. All artists are required to present at VIP preview, tours, opening and programs to engage with the public
  • Participants are required to install and strike their own projects and remove all garbage from the hotel.
  • Participants must sign a contract as an agreement to participate and to adhere to heritage guidelines for installation conduct to preserve the integrity of the hotel.

Why Exhibit at The Gladstone Hotel?

  • The Gladstone Hotel is one of the most respected art, design & cultural hubs in Toronto.
  • Many of our exhibitors have been featured by The Globe & Mail, The National Post, CBC, Toronto Star, The Torontoist, View on Canadian Art (VoCA), Breakfast Television, Toronto Life Magazine, NOW Magazine, AZURE Magazine, Design Boom, Huffington Post, Canadian Art and many more.
  • We provide the opportunity to network with the media, curators, gallerists, collectors, artists, designers and members of the general public.
  • We provide the opportunity for exhibitors here to receive special rates at the hotel.
  • We provide alternative exhibition spaces that are optimal for independent and emerging designers with a range of design/art sensibilities including political, commercial and strictly aesthetic perspectives.
  • We provide exclusivity – This is not a trade show. The unique exhibition setting of the art hotel, and the size, focus and mandate of the event provides every participant with the opportunity to be prominently featured in the show.

Grow Op 2015 Fees

Fees to participate are as follows and will be required once the Jury has made its final selections. There is no proposal submission fee.

Room Installations  $350 + HST

Site-Specific Public Space Installations/Projects  $100 + HST

Please submit proposals by email, mail, courier or by hand by 5pm on Friday 26 September to:

EMAIL             Victoria Taylor, Curator /  Subject: Grow Op 2015

MAIL               Grow Op 2015

c/o Britt Welter-Nolan

Managing Director – Artistic Projects

The Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen St W, Toronto ON M6J 1J6

Grow Op 2015 Jury: Victoria Taylor, Marjorie Harris, Andrew Jones, David Young, Andrea Mantin, Netami Stuart, Lorraine Johnson, Emily Hogg and Duncan Alexander Forbes.

For all curatorial questions please contact:

Victoria Taylor, Curator Grow Op

For questions related to the Hotel or installation logistics please contact:

Britt Welter-Nolan, Managing Director – Artistic Projects, The Gladstone Hotel

416.531.4635 ext 7105 /