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Current Exhibits


May 4 – May 28, 2018

UPPER GALLERY/ATRIUM B                   Sergey Tesker, “One Euro Italy” The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

As part of the Open Exhibition Program for the 2018 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery is proud to host One Euro Italy, an exhibition featuring original photographs by Sergey Tesker.

The exhibition’s title refers to a public campaign called UN EURO PER UNA CASA, launched in Italy by the mayors of some small rural communities. Local politicians from the Northern Alpine regions to the southern shores of Sicily are trying to arrest the process of decay and depopulation caused by long- lasting trends of emigration and urbanization, so they attract potential buyers to their charming yet remote villages by offering to sell homes and buildings for the symbolic price of one euro. The offer comes with a legally binding commitment by the new owner to restore and modernize the properties within a couple of years after the time of purchase.

Tesker, intrigued by this innovative and surprising idea, embarked on a journey to explore and photograph these towns, villages, and hamlets, far away and overshadowed by the many tourist attractions that make Italy the country with the highest number of UNESCO-listed heritage sites in the world.

An artistic project that was at first meant to capture the architecture, landscape and esthetic beauty of these places, Tesker’s journey shifts the focus from buildings and nature to the people who still inhabit these remote communities.  The humanity, simplicity, resilience and warmth of those few remarkable individuals who still care and keep these communities alive becomes the subject of this vivid visual narrative.

Villa Charities is proud to present Tesker’s work as it connects directly to the experience of emigration and identity in our community.  Our patrons, and their ancestors, left those very towns in search of a better future for themselves and their families in Canada.  We are grateful to Tesker for sharing his work with us, which speaks of our common past, of an uncertain present, but also sheds light on an important initiative – one that hopefully will bring a positive future to these remote and beautiful Italian towns and villages.

Sergey Tesker (born in Volgograd, Russia, 1976) became an avid hobby photographer the moment he picked up his parents’ rangefinder camera and joined his Grade 6 photo club at school. The dark room processes of developing film and prints was magic worth waiting for once the equally fascinating parts of composing and exposing were over. The dream had begun!

With his love of chemical processes well established, Sergey entered Volgograd Sate Technical University in 1993 and graduated 8 years later with an M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Material Science.

During this period of intensive study, he never abandoned his passion for photography. Six years and many cameras later, Sergey emigrated to Canada, with hopes of rebooting his photographic hobby into a new career. Instead, he got a job at McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI), one of the largest institutes of its kind in Canada. In 2009, Sergey established his own engineering startup company – SurfaTec Laser Solutions.

After six more years of venturing with his new-born business, Sergey arrived at where he wanted to be – creating still images with light, camera and sometimes action. A new adventure had started! He also has a beautiful daughter and the most charming and caring woman by his side, whom he gratefully acknowledges for tolerating his tantrums.

LOWER GALLERY                                     Southern Ontario Visual Artists, “The Best of SOVA”

ATRIUM A                                       “Horizons” (Editor and Publisher: Gina Valle, Exhibit Curator: Nesreen Hajjar
g                                                       An exhibition of illustrations and excerpts capturing the spirit of the multilingual children’s book “The Best of All Worlds”