Persona Volare | history

Dank basements, dark corridors, bland fluorescent-lit offices, subterranean bowling alleys and shopping malls: these are the locale that intrigue and inspire us. Shady groves allure us and the mirage of perennial springs.

We have been associated with many collectives in the past that have utilized spaces like these from the early 80s to present day. Persona Volare is a group of multi-disciplinary and site-specific artists with a mandate to combine our energies towards the creation of large event-driven exhibitions consisting of a wide range of media and practice. Several of the participating artists came from other artist-generated groupings that included: Meat (1999), Canadian Shield (1998), Cross-Eyed (1998), The 23rd Room Collective (1996), Nether Mind (1991, 1992, 1993), Spontaneous Combustion (1994), Place & Show Artists Projects (1990, 1991, 1992,1994), Republic (1980s), The Red Head Gallery and Cold City Gallery. Many of the above mentioned memberships have overlapped over the years.

A combination of accident and design brought the artists of Persona Volare together for their first project in 2000. Beginning with artists inviting artists, the group grew to include Lorna Mills, Kate Wilson, John Dickson, Lisa Neighbour, Carlo Cesta, Reid Diamond, David Acheson, Rebecca Diederichs, Johannes Zits, Michael Davey, Chantal Rousseau, and Brian Hobbs.

In 2000 Persona Volare arrived: a dynamic proportion outstretching like a cadence of light.

In November of that year, the first exhibition, Persona Volare, took place. The group occupied a third floor office space in a building at 517 College Street in Toronto, Canada.

The second exhibition, Persona Cantare, took place in November 2003. It was at the same location, though the cast of characters changed. Reid Diamond died of cancer in 2001. Rebecca Diederichs, his wife and fellow artist, created a collaborative work that they had planned together prior to his death. Lyla Rye was invited to join the group. Because of other commitments, David Acheson and Brian Hobbs were unable to participate in this show.

The dawning of 2005 brings Persona Volare, as Canadian Club, to Paris, France, via an invitation from Catherine Bédard, Director of Visual Arts Service, Canadian Cultural Centre/Canadian Embassy. Persona Volare will present installations, video, sculpture, paintings, photo-based works and interventions throughout the centre from January to February 2005. The exhibition for Paris will also include a bilingual artwork, from 2000, by Reid Diamond (1958-2001). Brian Hobbs rejoins us for this show.

back to home >