INDUSTRIAL ARTS is a premier platform for experimentation, ideation and production borne from Markham’s industrial legacy. We are creating a community where everything is seen through an artistic lens, a place where creativity, vision, ambition can thrive. We are Markham’s creative heart.

Current activities include:

  • An informal mentoring and advisory program for artists
  • A commissioning & collaboration program
  • A venue for community events and programming
  • A curatorial residency
  • We are pleased to host our artists-in-residence, Xiaojing Yan  and Esmaa Mohamoud 

Please use contact below for inquiries or more information.

Five Arrows, Pointing Someway, Somewhere

We commissioned an art performance by Hamilton artist C.Wells in which he used municipal line painting templates to apply commercial road paint by hand onto our industrial parking lot. He chose the symbol of the arrow.

He writes:
And when you’ve lost your power as a weapon, there is nothing left to do but turn into a symbol. And your ancient identity since ancient times, which acquired different meanings based on the culture you were in, becomes a universal lesson today. And you find your way – some way. And you find the notion of here, there and eventually where – somewhere. And as a marking you continue to point to elsewhere. And when you lose your power there seems nothing left to do but turn back into a weapon. And you have no other strategic thought. And you despair.

And then you remember…you have your art.

One Through the Other

Our curator-in-residence Yuluo Wei was invited to curate an exhibition inside one of our units. She facilitated a beautiful, thought provoking show by artist Brandon Poole featuring a video work shot inside another on our our units, presently in use as a floral studio.  There was also a rear-projected video, visible at night from the exterior of the building.

Arranged as a series of nested diptychs, One through the Other is a commissioned site-specific video, photo, and sculpture installation in the fashion and lifestyle showroom San Sheng Art Space. One through the Other oscillates from its consideration of San Sheng Art Space to engage the neighbouring floral shop as site of reflection and refraction, pursuing the question of art’s relation to commodity through collocation.

Excerpted from an exhibition text by Kate Whiteway

Welcome to Markham

In order to bring a sense of contemporary visibility to the site, we approached Montreal artists/designers Simon Petepiece and Mati Contal of New American House.

The brief was to design a suite of modular outdoor furniture using materials from the industrial realm, ideally scrap materials, but presented in such a way that would be noticeable and welcoming for tenants and community members to use and gather.

Never did we imagine such an elegant, sculptural result, achieved using scrap steel and construction netting!

[Photo: Yvonne Bambrick]


Andrea brings her years of expertise as an art critic together with her business acumen to advise and guide selected artists, pro bono, on their careers. The focus is on the business development of each artist’s practice, providing connections and opportunities, support and encouragement.

Activities include:

  • Career & financial strategy and support
  • Networking and introductions
  • Travel to international art fairs
  • Support with promotional activities
  • Writing revisions for grants, applications etc.

Life Liveth Pop-up

In 2018, we financed and facilitated the production of the launch of a line of silk scarves featuring the explosively coloured designs of Markham-based, Ghanaian artist and designer Yaw Tony under the name Life Liveth. This included the production of a pop-up exhibition at INDUSTRIAL ARTS.

Many of Yaw’s designs reference the Adinkra symbols of the Akan culture in Ghana.  These are distinctive shapes that are drawn from traditional West African proverbs and intertwined into a fascinatingly complex visual language.

For more information of Yaw Tony’s line of silk scarves and accessories please visit Life Liveth HERE.

[Photo: Yvonne Bambrick]

Contact me at andreacarsonbarker@gmail.com to inquire about mentorship opportunities, to join our mailing list as we continue developing our programming or just to introduce yourself!