Greater Toronto Art 2024, March 22–July 28.

Press Release: MOCA Toronto Transforms Gallery into a “Live”, Sensory Experience for Summer Exhibition and offers Sterling Weekend of Free Events and Programming

MOCA Toronto Transforms Gallery into a “Live”, Sensory Experience for Summer Exhibition and offers Sterling Weekend of Free Events and Programming

TORONTO, May 6, 2019 — For its summer exhibition, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Toronto has partnered with artist, Mark Dion, to create a new work in response to the 100th anniversary of the Tower Automotive building and the natural environment of Toronto.

From May 24 to July 29, 2019, Dion’s show at MOCA Toronto, The Life of a Dead Tree, invites visitors to participate in an evolving art installation and natural history lesson. Over the course of two months, a large dead ash tree will be dissected by scientists and the public alike. As the tree is broken down it will reveal all of its various past and present inhabitants with a specific focus on insects. The exhibition will present an account of this life, with indigenous specimens revealed, alongside those invasive species that threaten the green infrastructure of our cities, forests and the continent.

A long-time environmentalist, Dion’s work acknowledges the repercussions of man’s historical impulse to dominate nature. He conducts extensive research for his projects, involving the knowledge of experts and amateur enthusiasts. This offers the viewer an opportunity to engage with cultural objects and the natural work in ways that are both familiar and transformative.

MOCA is collaborating with the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museum, and other local partners for the exhibition and its associated public programs, including:


MOCA will host a series of talks on Friday evenings throughout the exhibition. These include a conversation with Mark Dion around his work and practice, and other discussions led by experts in the fields of entomology and forestry.

Dead Tree Walks

A series of guided walks led by biologists, field naturalists, and arborists will investigate the life that is supported by dead trees and their importance to Toronto’s ecosystems. Walks will take place every other Saturday in different parks across Toronto including, Lambton Park, Todmorden Mills, and Mount Pleasant Cemetery, among others.


A series of drawing workshops will take place in the gallery space, focused on invasive and endemic insects of North American forests. Nature Art Studio will lead three workshops for adults on the topic of nature drawing and journaling.

Sterling Weekend, May 25-26

Timed to coincide with Doors Open Toronto, and the opening of The Life of a Dead Tree, MOCA opens all five floors for a weekend full of free programming and activities at the Tower Automotive Building sponsored by TD Bank Group.

Through The Ready Commitment, TD’s corporate citizenship platform, we are committed to removing barriers to accessing art that amplifies stories and diverse voices. Dion’s work as both an environmentalist and artist provides a fresh perspective to an important dialogue around the intersection of environmental education and art. That’s why TD is proud to sponsor the weekend of free programming and events around The Life of a Dead Tree by Mark Dion in partnership with MOCA, sharing knowledge and creating experiences that will be available to all for free over these 2 days.” – Andrea Barrack, Global Head, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship

Watch for a complete list of all free weekend activities details.

Additional summer programming at MOCA Toronto includes:

Honest Shop

May 10 – July 7, 2019
MOCA’s floor 4 Art in Use space, will host Honest Shop, a self-serve shop with a credo of being honest about the products, people and place. Honest Shop is a space for cultural practices considered useful and a place to showcase local amateur makers and their handcrafted goods including, flower arrangements, jewelry, pottery, carvings etc.

About MOCA

MOCA Toronto reopened in a 55,000 square foot facility on Sterling Road in September 2018. The new MOCA Toronto is a place of conversation, exchange and exploration, where visitors of all ages and backgrounds can be part of a global creative moment.

Recently awarded New Culture Destination of the Year 2018 (North America) by Leading Culture Destinations, MOCA features work from both Canadian and other international, ascending and world-renowned artists. Located in the culturally rich Junction Triangle community, the museum is housed in the historic Tower Automotive Building, a former aluminium factory.

Key partners bolster the museum experience, including a café by Forno Cultura and shop by Art Metropole. Additionally, MOCA is home to studio collaborations with Akin and the Ontario Science Centre, as well as the offices of the Toronto Biennial of Art.

MOCA is a not-for-profit charitable organization. The evolution of the museum is made possible through a unique alliance with Castlepoint Greybrook Sterling Inc., public sector funders, private donors, members, sponsors and a network of cross-sectoral partners. For more information on MOCA Toronto visit

For press inquiries contact:
Rachel Hilton
Managing Director