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In Your Eyes


Community Art Exhibit

featuring local community artists

Curated by Nadine Finlay

January 17 - March 30, 2019

In Your Eyes postcard

About the Exhibit

How this landscape speaks to us - what we see in the spaces, structures, and natural environment - is as unique as each person who has lived, worked, or visited the Lakeshore Grounds. The many elements of the grounds cannot be separated from each other, but ebb and flow to create an ongoing narrative.


The History & Legacy of this space, through the natural and built heritage that has made its mark on the landscape, defines the Lakeshore Grounds. From the shores of Lake Ontario to the red brick cottages, stories are etched into the grounds -waiting to be interpreted by their viewers. What we see in this Space & Place, how we interact with our surroundings, and how we re-create it shows the individuality of Experience & Memory.


Visitors were invited to explore these themes through the eyes of eighteen artists who had been drawn to the Lakeshore Grounds.


In Your Eyes represented the first Community Art Exhibit hosted by the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre and highlighted the rich talent in our community.

See also the In Your Hands past exhibit page. This was designed as an "inspiration space" that featured historical photographs of the Lakeshore Grounds taken during different decades and provided visitors the supplies to create their own unique artwork.

Interpretive Centre team:

Jennifer Bazar, Curator
Nadine Finlay, Assistant Curator

Kavion Giff, Programming Intern

About the Artists

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Humber Galleries

Community Map

A piece with community contributed drawings and wording in acrylic paint and marker on canvas. 

Inspired by the theme of a map for this place, this piece was created as a satellite activity where visitors dropped in to paint their own learning experiences and histories. Paint, paintbrushes, sharpies, and a large canvas map of the Etobicoke-Lakeshore neighborhood were provided. 

"Neighbours of many ages shared their sites of learning and living: where they like to play, grasses and pine trees, the location they first saw a ferret, where to find ice cream, a difficult site they avoid, a memory of a bike path, the histories they heard later."

- Humber Galleries

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Nancy Barrett

Bird Nerd: Life as a Birder

A slide-show presentation demonstrating showcasing Nancy's interest in birding and the beauty of birding in the GTA & local parks. 

Birders are often seen in Colonel Samuel Smith Park, peering through binoculars, scopes, or camera lenses as they search for unusual or rare species, or counting migrating shorebirds—sometimes all at once!


But what is a “birder”?

"People who watch birds for fun can seem weird and nerdy to the rest of the world. This piece attempts to help bridge that gap, to open up the world of birders and birding, and to illustrate just how many of us may share the same experiences and curiosity for the natural world."


- Nancy Barrett


Laura Andrews - Moschitto

Lakeshore Grounds from Above

An acrylic-paint on canvas artwork depicting a view of the Lakeshore Grounds from above.

This piece was inspired by both the built and natural environments of the grounds and how they are all interconnected. 
The painting brings together two of the artist's passions: painting and geography/maps.

"It is essentially a painting of an aerial photo of the grounds in autumn. with some artistic license applied in its scale and focus. Looking at the multiple aspects of the grounds from high above brings to light both small and large details, showing how interconnected they are."

- Laura Andrews-Moschitto


Irene Cholewka

Ukrainian Easter Eggs

These emu and ostrich eggs have all been decorated by hand in a batik fashion of the wax and dye method. Each egg is hollowed out and polished with a polyurethane finish.

Ukrainian Egg decorating is one of the oldest cultural arts of Eastern Europe, and has connections through generations of the Lakeshore Grounds community. Preserving the diversity and individuality of the craft connects the active Ukrainian community & encourages artists to practice and share their work. 

"By creating pysanky and teaching others, I hope to pass on my knowledge to those who wish to learn. I enjoy teaching people the art and through sharing the craft with others, I am working to keep the traditional roots of Ukrainian heritage alive."

- Irene Cholewka


Joshua Sena

Ten Days, Five Photos

A photography series.


This contribution is a series of photographs that is made up of 10 separate pictures each taken on 10 consecutive days, the series is inspired by the architecture and history of the Humber Campus and the surrounding area. 

"The imagery and architectural style of the Lakeshore Grounds has heavily influenced me to incorporate abandoned and still buildings into my photography. It has had a big influence on my idea of beauty."

- Joshua Sena


Emma Pagacz

Cottage Plans

A wood-burning piece.


This art piece was inspired by the original 1888 architectural drawing for the cottage buildings of the Mimico Branch Asylum (later, Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital). The artist wanted to depict the architectural plans through wood-burning on untreated wood to connect the natural heritage of the Lakeshore Grounds to the built legacy left by the patients.

"I wanted to experiment with wood-burning on untreated wood to recreate the design because it connected the natural heritage of the Lakeshore Grounds to the built legacy left by the patients.  I like to explore art from a variety of perspectives and make it a part of my every day: I engage with art as a teacher, an arts administrator, and as an artist." 

- Emma Pagacz


Sharon Kawabata

Within These Gates

An original poem and accompanying photographs of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital Cemetary. 

The cemetery of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital was almost completely forgotten after the hospital’s closure, but the community rose together to care for and remember those laid to rest within its gates.

"The cemetery was unloved for a long time, but the I have been lucky to see it restored and maintained. This cemetery is for everyone. It is a place where I have gathered with friends to remember people we didn’t know but wish they had, to share our experiences—including our struggles— and remember our own lost loved ones."

- Sharon Kawabata

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Joanna Foote

Mental Struggle

A Quilt Piece. 

The Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital operated on these grounds from 1890 to 1979. Although few records are available from the Hospital, some postcards, photographs, and of course the red brick cottages and cricket pitch remain. 

"Some time ago I stumbled across a picture of the south field that showed the cricket team in the midst of a game and the red brick cottages in the background, dated ca. 1910. I found it interesting that in spite of the mental struggles the patients were facing, they played sports. 

Amplifying their story: I was caught by the idea that for over 100 years the field has been used for sports and recreation, continuing even after the hospital was closed. Drawing on my interest in the space and place of the institution, the four cubes explore elements of life at the Mimico Asylum where the ever-enduring cricket team keeps playing on..."


- Joanna Foote



Susannah Smith

Outdoors and In-Patients

Watercolour paintings.

Susannah has lived and painted in the area for almost 5 years and is deeply connected to the landscape and its history. Her work reflects how she experiences both its parks and her history of hospitalizations at St. Joseph's.

In her work, Susannah captures the daily recovery of mental health and its relation to nature: two polar opposite things coming together through art.

"I feel greatly connected to the landscape and history of the Lakeshore Grounds. Having the freedom of the lake and surrounding nature of Colonel Samuel Smith Park helped fuel my creativity and painting as an in-patient in St. Joseph's Health Centre."


- Susannah Smith

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J. Robert Schott

In Their Eyes

An excerpt of an original short story.


Having had personal experience with institutional settings, the history of the Lakeshore Grounds is a subject that has deeply touched Robert over the years. The space has transformed from the closure of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital to the opening of Colonel Samuel Smith Park. 

"Now the park is really part of the community, it is a living and breathing part of the history. The park is also a nice place to walk.


I found the best way to express myself was to paint and to write. I used to paint in oils, but I mostly write now."

- J. Robert Schott


Taku Kumabe


A Photography Series. 


Taku is a freelance photographer and print designer based in Toronto. He aims to promote an appreciation of nature by inspiring people to explore their neighbourhoods wherever they live. 


Although early mornings at the park tend to be Taku's focus, time spent during the daytime and evenings have enabled him to appreciate the location even more. 

"Nature's beauty is always just around the corner, but we always take it for granted. My inspiration comes from trying to always find the beauty in a different part of the park every time I go there to photograph. 

Each piece in this collection represents a special moment in time spent photographing at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Weather conditions drastically change the feeling one perceives at any given point, and the pieces in this collection serve as a reminder of just how varied conditions can get at Colonel Samuel Smith Park."

- Taku Kumabe


Elaine Gurney

The Great Blue Heron & Brown Owl

Beach Glass sculptures on mirrors.

The beach glass that gives shapes to the birds has been collected from many of the beaches in South Etobicoke, particularly Colonel Samuel Smith Park. The mirrors have also been given a second life, collected after discarded by neighbours.

The vibrant blues and greens on the Great Blue Heron, as well as the the bold browns of the Brown Owl, are repurposed to catch and reflect the sunlight outdoors. 

"It is strange to imagine that someone tossed a beer bottle into the lake 50 years ago and I now create art with it; that what someone once thought of as garbage now has new life as part of my owl!"

- Elaine Gurney

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Jem Cain

Leave Only Footprints

Multi-media installation. 

A long-time resident of New Toronto, the Lakeshore Grounds have inspired Jem throughout her life, calling her to capture moments from her daily walks and recreate them with paper.

"I pick up garbage every time I walk the Lakeshore Grounds and Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Broken bottles, coffee cups, drink straws, syringes, cigarette butts, discarded food containers... we throw everything on the ground."

- Jem Cain

Community Quilt, 2017

Lakeshore Grounds Community

Quilting Our Local History

A Community Contributions Quilt.

The local histories of the Lakeshore Grounds and surrounding Etobicoke Lakeshore is undeniably rich and diverse; in many ways it can be thought of as a complex quilt formed of many individual pieces that together form our community.

"We are grateful for the privilege to work alongside the Etobicoke Lakeshore community: to learn from long-time residents, to see through the eyes of new arrivals, an to experience the complexity of the area through its history."

- Jennifer Bazar

gyrfalcon Keith Moreau lino - Keith More

Keith Moreau


This print is based on a photograph taken at an event in Colonel Samuel Smith Park where handlers brought rescued birds of prey to
raise awareness regarding species preservation and education.

Keith is a multimedia artist working in printmaking, illustrations, and graphic design. His media of choice includes: coloured pencil, pen and ink, scratchboard, serigraphy, and block printing.

"I enjoy searching the grounds to see and photograph wildlife, but it was in the park where I first got to experience the Gyrfalcon up close. The bird was on the arm of the handler but for this print I re-imagined it in its natural habitat."

- Keith Moreau


Ala Asadchaya

Nest & Snowy Owl

Needle felting with wool

Ala was a fiber artist and workshop facilitator and valued member of the Lakeshore Community, She created eco-friendly
artwork  with natural materials, particularly

"Wool has many benefits to human health and the environment. I find that creating three-dimensional art objects in wool is as challenging as sculpting in other media. For me, as an artist and facilitator, it is essential to be eco-friendly at every opportunity in creative practices, especially for families and children."

- Ala Asadchaya

Sheila Karpis, 2017

Sheila Karpis

They Never Left

Acrylic on paper

They Never Left is an acrylic painting that speaks to the roots of Mimico, New Toronto, and the Lakeshore Grounds. Featuring an
unknown cottage from the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, this piece highlights the pigeons as the overseers of the rich history of the grounds.

"My painting is a nod to the legacy of the pigeon in the area and how they, as many of us locals, either stayed, or came back to our grounds... to our Roots. The Lakeshore is a special kind of place, with special people. Many were born here, and never left; many of us left, only to return “home” again."

- Sheila Karpis

Elif Serin, 2017

Elif Sirin

Blue Light and Sight

3D paper sculpture

Elements such as light, composition, structure, and angle create stories that catch Elif’s eyes and give her pause. Familiar yet different, her work is inspired by every day sights shown from a new perspective. Elif participated in a park cleanup at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Organized by a community member concerned about the state of the environment, the event inspired local youth to take action.

"The world of objects and landscapes fascinates me. When I engage with what I see around me, the image in that brief moment has its own personality and a sense of belonging in that place. The scenes we encounter on a daily basis have their own story, just waiting to be told.The blue represents Lake Ontario. The soft yellow reflects the warmth I felt participating and engaging with the landscape and other volunteers. The silver outline invokes care, doing good, and that - ultimately - potential and possibilities are expansive."

- Elif Sirin

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