Gallery becomes playground in Shift

The York community is invited to attend the opening reception for Shift, the first in a series of thesis exhibitions by students graduating from York’s MFA program in visual arts. 

Shift opens on Tuesday, March 30, and the reception is from 6 to 9pm, at the Goldfarb Gallery in York’s Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts. The exhibition runs to Thursday, April 8.

Artist Maria Hupfield describes Shift, her exhibition of 10 pieces, as following in the tradition of the “Trickster’s Shift” where the gallery becomes a playground in the exercise of illegal border crossings.

“The truth about stories is that that’s all we are,” said Hupfield. “‘You can’t understand the world without telling a story’, the Anishinabe writer Gerald Vizenor tells us. ‘There isn’t any centre to the world but a story’, or so Cree writer Thomas King reminds us.

“Therefore – following in the tradition of my Anishnaabe heritage – let me begin at the centre of my world, by telling you a story,” said Hupfield, quoting King, as she described one of her works:


In the beginning, there was nothing. Just water. Coyote was there, but Coyote was asleep. That Coyote was asleep and that Coyote was dreaming. When that Coyote dreams, anything can happen.

“I can tell you that,” says Tom.
“I can show you that,” says Maria.
“Coyote as Artist?” asks Tom.
“Artist as Coyote,” says Maria,
“one more time.”

On display in Shift are various floor-based works, a wall piece, sculptures and a window work. “One of my floor works is somewhat of a performance piece and will be completed over the duration of the exhibition. some of the work is installation based,” said Hupfield.


  • March 30 to April 8
  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm
  • Admission: Free

For more information about the exhibition, call 416-736-5187. For information about the opening reception, phone 416-736-5187 or e-mail