The Fall of the River Don

Project Space
The Fall of the River Don
Liz Menard
October 21, 2016 – November 19, 2016

Watersheds are living entities with richly layered histories, narratives and morphologies. In her work, Menard explores boundaries where the Don River and our city, Toronto, converge. The Don is constantly changing because of climate change and urban development and human interaction. Along its course, most native plants and animals are threatened or extirpated, but some invasive species are thriving. Menard is curious about where the invasive species came from, how they adapted to local conditions and why some have become so invasive. Menard draws from her time wandering, drawing, photographing, and researching the Don River to create etchings, paper sculpture and artist’s books. Menard etches copper plates with ferric chloride to create images that she hand prints on Japanese paper using an intaglio press. Japanese paper beautifully captures Menard’s delicately etched calligraphic lines. In response to the colour, form, and texture of native and invasive plant species, Menard may embellish her etchings with hand stitching.

Menard is a printmaker, book artist and arts educator living in Toronto. Recent exhibitions include River’s Nature, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, University of Toronto; SHIFT: Environmentally Responsible Print Practices, McMaster University and The National Printmaking Exhibition, Edinboro University, Pennsylvania and Beyond Paper, Open Studio Print Sales Gallery, Toronto. Menard’s work is held in public, private and corporate collections. Menard has won numerous awards including Best in Printmaking at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (2015). She has exhibited in Canada, the United States, England, Scotland, Europe and Japan. Menard has participated in artist residencies in Quebec, New Brunswick, Spain, Ox-Bow School of the Arts in Michigan and recently spent one month at Playa, Summer Lake, Oregon. In 2012, Menard was awarded Open Studio’s Nick Novak Fellowship.