Caribbean Corner Free Library

Philadelphia-based artist Karyn Olivier's arts practice has interrogated the ways in which we engage with public space.The Free Library is a type of ad hoc library which will be installed in the Caribbean Corner grocery store in Toronto's Kensington Market. Open to all patrons of the foodshop, it will operate as a “trust” library - no library card will be necessary, no proof of residence required, and there will be no specific date of return. Customers will be allowed to take out one book or several at a time. Borrowers will only be asked to return the book(s) when they have finished “digesting” them. The artist’s intent is for the library to expand what we imagine the “consumables” of a market to be—particularly when that market traffics in nostalgia for “home” and to act as a place where we one can slow down, browse, and relish the sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and the imperishable produce of West Indian heritage.

Karyn Olivier, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, received her M.F.A. at Cranbrook Academy of Art and her B.A at Dartmouth College. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Gwangju and Busan Biennials (Korea), World Festival of Black Arts and Culture (Dakar, Senegal), the Wanas Foundation (Sweden), The Studio Museum in Harlem (NY), The Whitney Museum of Art (NY), MoMA P.S.1 (NY), The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Mattress Factory (PA) and SculptureCenter (NY). She is the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, the New York Foundation for the Arts Award, a PollockKrasner Foundation grant, the William H. Johnson Prize, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award and a Creative Capital Foundation grant. Olivier is currently an associate professor of sculpture at Tyler School of Art.

The artist will give two public talks titled, EYE AROUND MATTER where she will discuss various components of her arts practice.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 6:00 – 9:00 pm, OCAD University, Seminar Room 7514, 5th floor, 205 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1V3. Presented by the Master of Arts Program in Contemporary Art and Design New Media Histories (CADN) and Third Space Art Projects Curatorial Collective. Free Admission.

Wednesday, February 25, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, York University, Room 305YL, 3rd floor (York Lanes), 4700 Keele Street. Presented by the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean and Third Space Art Projects Curatorial Collective. Free Admission.

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Special thanks to the Toronto Arts Council, A Different Booklist, and Black Artists Network in Dialogue for support of this project. Thank you also to Creation Hotcomb Design.

Image caption: ACA Foods Free Library, in conjunction with the exhibition "Rockstone and Bootheel,” Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT. March 2010-2011