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Calabria Mia, Borghi Antichi / My Calabria, Old Villages

Vistita alla Radici / A root journey

  • June 1 –  29, 2023
  • Opening Reception: Thursday, June 1, 7:00 – 9:00pm*

In celebration of Italian Heritage Month 2023, Villa Charities in partnership with the Consulate General of Italy and Viva Vitalità Italiana presents a special exhibition featuring the astonishing beauty of Calabria through the lens of Marcello Tarantino’s camera.


In this large photographic exhibition, Tarantino’s eye lingers on the natural gifts of this enchanted region, intertwined with centuries-old human architecture.


Calabrian-born and raised, Marcello Tarantino hopes to preserve his Italian cultural heritage through his work. He was inspired to travel throughout Calabria and photograph the beauty he happened upon as part of his desire to embrace his roots. This was the inspiration for Viva Vitalità Italiana, which he founded in 1997.


The new book “Calabria Mia, Borghi Antichi: A Photographic Journey by Marcello Tarantino” will be launched at the opening night for the exhibition, with copies available for purchase.


*No registration required, light refreshments will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Photograph of Calabria by Marcello Tarantino


Upper and Lower Gallery
Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre

Gallery Hours:

Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 5:00pm

Presented in partnership with Consulate General of Italy and Viva Vitalità Italiana, with support from Heritage Calabria.

Il Perugino

Il Meglio Maestro d’Italia / The Best Master of Italy

  • June 7 –  26, 2023
  • Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 14, 7:00 – 9:00pm*

2023 marks the 500th anniversary of the passing of Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci, the renowned Italian Renaissance painter commonly known as ‘Il Perugino’. To commemorate this occasion, Villa Charities presents a special exhibition featuring 15 large panel reproductions of iconic works by this Italian master.


*No registration required.

Painter perugino


Main Lobby, Columbus Centre 

Gallery Hours:

Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 5:00pm

Presented in partnership with Comites Toronto, the Italian Consulate of Toronto and Diginess.

Art Exhibition Archives


The Academy of Realist Art (ARA) is one of a select few academies in the world that utilizes the academic approach to drawing and painting based on the teaching methodologies used by 19th-century European academies. As such, they have attracted many talented students from around the world who are dedicated to learning realist drawing and painting techniques.


2022 Villa Charities Scholarship winners

A collection of works by eight talented young artists.


An exhibition of unique styles and varying subject matter extending the limits of form and content with artworks that are irreverent, entertaining, humorous, challenging, and beautiful.


The talented young artists who formed this exhibition exist simultaneously in the age of “social media” and in the age-old world of materiality; painting on canvas and carving wood. Like a weather report, they alert the audience to the future of art – issues of identity; reimagined figuration; situational episodes of conflict; the importance of camaraderie, the importance of contemplation; the history of storytelling; the necessity of foundational tradition.


In this time of technological change, political upheaval, war, and environmental degradation, Villa Charities and the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery support courage of expression and are committed to displaying art that is experimental, that challenges us, makes us smile, and gives us comfort.


The exhibition included work from Grace Swanek, Fabrizio Sclocco, Jobelle Quijano, Amanda Maccagnan, Serena Kobayashi-LeBel, Angelo Kalum Cavagnaro, Nicko Cecchini, and Miles Ingrassia.


Sponsored by The Lindy Green Family Foundation.


2022 Villa Charities Scholarship winners


Sicilian-born and raised artist Mimmo Baronello explores the morphing of nature through painting, drawing, and installation applying classical symbols and styles in a contemporary perspective. Baronello graduated with honours from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan before moving to Toronto in 1998. He paints the tensions he observes in our modern environment, where pristine nature is slowly contaminated by industry and consumer culture, and nature’s response — adapting and morphing beyond human intrusions. His paintings blend the mannerist and baroque style present in Sicilian culture and architecture, with contemporary imagery from Canadian natural richness.


Aba Bayefsky Art

A new monumental mosaic series by master artist Lilian Broca. Made of 6-foot-high mosaics constructed from Venetian glass, this series of 7 monumental scale panels explores the figure of Mary Magdalene. In Broca’s rendering Mary Magdalene is not a woman in need of redemption and forgiveness but a spiritual companion to Jesus, someone who both supported his message but truly embodied it through her life and legacy. Broca’s work will leave viewers contemplating and reassessing this woman who has been greatly misunderstood for 2000 years.


Aba Bayefsky Art

An extraordinary collection of paintings from the artist’s ‘Italian Series’ and ‘Tattoo Series’, created during the 1970s and 1980s.


Aba Bayefsky (1923-2001) was a Toronto-based artist who began drawing at the age of 16 in Toronto’s Kensington Market. He became an Official War Artist with the RCAF in 1944 and an instructor with the Ontario College of Art (now known as OCADU) from 1957 to 1989, influencing and inspiring generations of Canadian artists. Bayefsky was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1979.


Presented in collaboration with Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies, University of Toronto and sponsored by The Lindy Green Family Charitable Foundation.


Aba Bayefsky Art

Italian-born artist Lucilla Candeloro and Toronto artist Tracy Thomson take the viewer on a journey through the spiritual, poetical, harmonic, vulnerable power and beauty of nature, represented as an endless source of inspiration.


Aba Bayefsky Art

“The Quiet Immigrant Project” is a multifaceted, multimedia, and multilayered legacy exhibit that pays homage to the brave Italian women who immigrated to Canada after WW2 and through sheer strength of character wove their way into the fabric of society. Their stories of strength, courage, determination, and sacrifice are sure to move, amuse, and captivate.


Presented by Cultural Connections and sponsored by Villa Charities and Myseum of Toronto.


Aba Bayefsky Art

An exhibition exploring the nature of the creative process upon scientific discovery, by Nick D’Aleandro, featuring artistic video contributions by Sophie Duarte and Alessia Agostino.


Aba Bayefsky Art


Villa Charities invites you to attend “Immigrant Story,” an exciting new exhibition about the immigrant experience in words and pictures. The exhibit features 40+ stories about members of our community who immigrated to Canada from Italy and other countries. Created and developed by Sholom Wargon, this exhibit is an evolution of the Immigrant Story Project.


Presented by Sholom Wargon Design and Pizza Nova.


Aba Bayefsky Art


In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Columbus Centre, Villa Charities presents “40 under Forty,” an exhibition of 40 artists under the age of forty. From faces to figures, still life to action painting, landscape to seascape, this broad exhibition at the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery will give the audience a look at varied themes and disciplines as diverse as the young artists themselves.


Additionally, accomplished multimedia artist and Villa Charities’ Artist in Residence Franco Berti has created a special 40th anniversary collage, commissioned by Villa Charities to serve as a memorable and welcoming symbol for the Columbus Centre community at large; celebrating the past while engaging with the present time.


40 Under Forty Logo

“We Adore You” by Anthony Ricciardi


“We Adore You” includes 30 specially created canvases, two signature sculptures and a mural. Ricciardi is a renowned multi-disciplinary artist from Toronto who has exhibited his canvases, murals and installations internationally. Driven by enthusiasm, depth of feeling and storytelling to produce his art without limits, he introduces his audiences to distinctive, vivid and colourful artworks organized and presented in unique arrangements.


Forever by Anthony Ricciardi


“Dreaming In Colour” by Peter Triantos


“Dreaming in Colour” brings together 30 abstract canvases by this internationally recognized, Toronto-based artist. Triantos will exhibit paintings from his iconic ‘Jelly Bean’ series, ‘Napa Valley’ series and his ‘SP2’ series. The artist constantly experiments with shape and colour. “Colour your heart, colour your mind and add colour to your dreams with art!” – Peter Triantos


Jelly Bean by Peter Triantos


A collection of works by members of the Golden Age Academy. The Golden Age Academy is a non-profit organization that encourages individuals to use their skills, knowledge and experience as a contribution to their community. Canada: Coast to Coast builds upon the organization’s foundation, to encourage development of artists’ inner gifts and express themselves in various forms of artistic creation.


Painting of sunset at the beach

“Immersed” is a collection of paintings and drawing by Toronto artist, Aurora Pagano. The works invite the viewer to dive into the wet and wondrous metropolis of the ocean for an extraordinary adventure. Pagano presents the awkward, fragile, devoted and beautiful creatures as they risk predators, displacement, fight for dominance, and establish social structures while facing extinction. Pagano calls us to connect with those born privileged and those who live to serve the most daunting of creatures. Remarkably, nature has duplicated itself above and below the water’s surface. Come find your twin within the depths of the sea; you’ll find we’re not so different after all.


Whale Song by Aurora Pagano

Watercolours from Indigenous Canadian and Italian Artists. This international exhibition will present artists from different environments: Italy, with its Mediterranean expressiveness and Canada, with its multilayered cultural tapestry and Indigenous artists who retain the roots of their heritage. Both different in origin, but offering a common expressive language: watercolour.


Wheeling Through by Alex Janvier

IMPACT is an interactive art installation that deals with the topics of Alzheimer’s and dementia by focusing on how people tend to associate memory with inanimate objects, creating sentimental attachments.

“Material Worlds” by Lucas Biagini


Lucas Biagini is a “process artist”. A creator interested in the process of how things come to be. He is motivated to create paintings that are highly textured, layered, fused with colour and even geological in appearance. He hopes that the viewer will explore and resonate with a painting, and even experience a physical reaction to the 3D nature of the work.


Lucas Biagini Artwork


“Above and Beyond” by Nick Biagini


Nick Biagini has been painting and exhibiting for over 25 years. He is inspired by the beauty of Italian sceneries. He uses a technique called ‘impasto’, where the paint is laid on in very thick layers, appearing to come out of the canvas. His approach is unconventional, personal and free of constraints. All the results are an expression of joy! It is the act of painting that truly matters to Nick.


Nick Biagini Artwork

The personal tragedy of homelessness and its seemingly permanent place in our urban landscape are the themes of Marco Sassone’s landmark exhibition, “Home on the Streets,” which made its Canadian premiere at the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery.


Marco Sassone home on the streets artwork

Portrait photography from Leah Denbok, an 18-year-old, Toronto-based photographer who works with homeless people in Toronto on collaborative storytelling and camerawork.


Lean Denbok at opening reception of Nowhere to Call Home

For more information, please contact:

Giulio Recchioni
Executive Director, Cultural Programming
Phone: 416-789-7011 ext. 218