Being in the World

Being in the World

works from the Youth Art Mentorship Program

featuring the work of local youth artists: Sama Hojabri, Toula Pappas, and Enzo Stimpson

June 25, 2022 – October 2, 2022

This exhibition is the culmination of the Youth Art Mentorship Program (YAM), which began in Fall 2021 to provide a unique and unparalleled opportunity for youth artists to gain hands-on experience and insights supporting their future careers in the arts.

Selected by a jury of arts professionals, these young artists worked with mentor Spencer J. Harrison to produce an exhibition that speaks to the process of navigating being. In Spencer’s words, “Working with artists at this stage in their careers is fantastic; they are unencumbered by the art world around them and make honest work interpreting their worlds. These young artists each made very different artwork that really reveals how they see and understand their surroundings. I believe they will teach us and change the world.”


Spencer J. Harrison is an Artist, Activist, and Educator. Spencer has been painting and creating installation-based art for forty years, and his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Spencer is the founder of Camp fYrefly, Ontario (a camp for LGBTQ2S&A youth) and has been teaching in the Drawing and Painting department of OCAD University for more than ten years. Spencer also holds the honour of completing the first painted PhD dissertation in Canada, with the body of work titled, Not a Freak Show: Growing Up Gay in Rural Ontario, which was exhibited at the Art Gallery of Peterborough in 2017.

Sama Hojabri was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up in a family with an artistic background. She is a grade 12 art student who has been enrolled in the Thomas A. Stewart Integrated Arts program for Visual Arts. Sama mainly uses pencil crayons and acrylic paint, but she has also experimented with pen and ink, collage, wood engraving, sculpture, ceramics, screen printing, oil painting, encaustic, digital, charcoal, photography, graphite, and watercolour.

Toula Pappas received her first set of pencil crayons when she was six years old, which led her to her first art class at the Art Gallery of Peterborough. She has won many poster contests and art competitions including the Top Art Student Award at St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School in Grade 10, and she was selected to paint a mural for the school’s GSA club. Toula is active and passionate in the community, serving as a Girl Scout leader and volunteer with the Hutchinson House Museum and Art Gallery of Peterborough, where she assists with arts education and community arts projects.

Enzo Stimpson has been invested in art from a very young age and in recent years has found passion in photography. He was brought up in an extremely artistic household and always felt drawn to the arts rather than sports or academics. Enzo began started making comics at a young age and quickly became fond of charcoals and other mediums but didn’t find that any of them ‘clicked’ until taking a photography class with local artists Jason Wilkins and Daniel Crawford. Enzo is a grade 12 student in the Integrated Arts Program at TASS for visual arts.

Regular Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is by Donation.

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