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Art Gallery’s Spring Exhibitions Open March 9

One person holding another person in the water

On Saturday, March 9, the Tom Thomson Art Gallery is pleased to unveil two new exhibitions by Soheila Esfahani and Racquel Rowe respectively. A joint artist talk will take place on Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m., followed by the Opening Reception at 2 p.m. Both events are free to attend. 

Soheila Esfahani: Are you buying these with loonies or toonies? 

Soheila Esfahani, who grew up in Tehran, Iran and moved to Canada in 1992, draws on her experience as an immigrant to navigate the terrains of cultural identity through her practice by questioning how certain images, icons, symbols, and stereotypes associated with nationality are constructed. Are you buying these with loonies or toonies? is a solo exhibition of multimedia work by Soheila Esfahani that responds to the question of “Where are you from?” which many immigrants are often asked. In exploring Tom Thomson’s paintings through a diasporic lens, the exhibition reflects on how notions of culture are constructed and reflects on the concept of the third space; a postcolonial theory of identity that positions each person as a unique, hybrid being. The exhibition continues to May 25, 2024. 

Image credit: Soheila Esfahani, The Canadians, collected ceramic ducks, mallards, and loons, 2024. Image courtesy of the artist. 
Racquel Rowe: Saltwater Cures All 

The expression saltwater cures all is commonly spoken in the Caribbean as a recommended antidote. For Waterloo-based performance and video artist, Racquel Rowe, the decision to adopt the phrase as the title of this exhibition emerged as she floated with her sister in the Atlantic Ocean during a visit home to her birthplace, Barbados, where she first developed a deep connection to water. Filmed in multiple locations across Barbados and Southern Ontario, Racquel Rowe describes the exhibition as“a body of work birthed between multiple places both physically and metaphorically…the works conceptually explore the formation of the Black Atlantic, Caribbean folklore and myths, personal, and familial connections to the sea, relationships between Black people and water, and the idea of rebirth.” The exhibition continues to June 1, 2024. 

Image credit: Racquel Rowe, Image 7 from Bodies of Water, 2023. Filmed by Malik Mings and featuring Kesean Abrams. Image courtesy of the artist. 

For more information, please contact Aidan Ware, Director and Chief Curator at 519-376-1932 ext. 5001 or email 


"As a community hub in Owen Sound, the TOM continually offers unique exhibitions that showcase art and culture through various lenses. I look forward to attending the gallery this spring, and I extend an invitation to residents and visitors to enjoy the exhibitions, artist talks, and the opening reception on March 23.” 

-Mayor Ian Boddy 

“The confluence of these two exhibitions compels us to consider questions of identity, culture, and connection with place. They both uniquely capture and interrogate notions of what it means to be born and live in undefined, shifting, and turbid social and cultural contexts.” 

-Aidan Ware, Director and Chief Curator 

Quick Facts: 

  • Two new exhibitions will open to the public on March 9 
  • There is a free joint artist talk and opening reception on March 23 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • The TOM recently completed its Accessibility Renovation Project, including a new front entrance and elevator 
  • Admission is by donation or free with the OPEN Card 
  • The Art Gallery is open to the public Tuesday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and by appointment in the mornings for tours and events 



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