Breakthrough PLUS 2022 May 19 – June 5, 2022

OPENING RECEPTION: May 19, at 6 to 9 pm

Join us IN-PERSON for the Opening Reception at the Leslie Grove Gallery.

PLUS – FUSION Conference RECEPTION: Saturday, May 28 from 5-8 pm

COVID-19 Protocols: Masking is required.

Breakthrough PLUS 2022

FUSION’s annual exhibition was created in 2018 to provide more exhibition opportunities for new generation artists. BREAKTHROUGH PLUS is an opportunity for artists to experience a juried exhibition for the first time – and for more experienced artists, an opportunity to show their work in professional gallery settings.


Silvia Tagusagawa, Sami Tsang, Arlene Kushir, Taeyouk Yeo, Joon Hee Kim, Kathy Kranias, Stephen Hawes, Keith Campbell, Michael James Polubiec, Lisa Gwen Robbins, Nurielle Stern, Victoria Guy, Debra Sloan, Jocelyn Jenkins, Zara Gardner, Marlene Kawalez, Alyson Chasse, Alison Brannen, Alana Marcoccia, Carol Grant, Catharina Goldnau, Dana Dallal, Monica Rosenthal, Francis Muscat, Gabriela Wilson, Jacquie Blondin, Jason Schiedel, Karen Franzen, Lynn Glover, Lesley McInally, Danielle Skentzos, Salina Szechtman

FUSION received a record number of submissions for Breakthrough PLUS 2022. Featuring work by students, emerging and established clay and glass artists, juror John Gagné selected pieces to be exhibited at Gagné Contemporary and Leslie Grove Gallery in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood. Both galleries are within 10 minutes of each other and we encourage those who visit Breakthrough PLUS to hop between both gallery locations.

Juror’s Statement by John Gagné:

It’s an honor to have been asked to jury the show this year. I found looking at the entries for the first time VERY exciting – the impressions and vitality and surprises are fresh! Particularly this year, after so many of us have been under wraps for too long, the exuberance and material force of many of the pieces are so gratifying. As are the quieter, gentler works. There’s a notion that society gets the art it deserves. I believe that’s true here in the best sense. The work in Breakthrough PLUS 2022 feels necessary.

I would like to extend my thanks to the participating artists, and acknowledge the courage, expertise, and spirited emotions that lead anyone to make work (not easy) and submit that work for peer review (definitely not easy). I have the utmost respect for artists, staring down oblivion, staring down a thousand decisions and frankly walking a tightrope most people aren’t aware of. There are rules for any practice, and of course there are no rules. How does an artist find their way?

I can tell you that as an art dealer I respond first and foremost to conviction – the palpable sense that the artist believes in their work and makes decisions that may seem courageous or silly or mysterious to us, but are clearly vital to the artist’s project. That gets my attention. Technical skill also gets my attention – which doesn’t mean finesse necessarily. I look for a calibration of intent, ability, execution and finish. Finally there’s an element of “yes” that I’m attuned to, whatever the piece, whatever the practice. Difficult to explain but really the first impression that arrives – call it harmony, integrity, the sense that it’s a surprise and it’s familiar all at once.

Thank you to the artists. And thank you to the intrepid organizers of Fusion Breakthrough PLUS 2022. See you at the show and in the galleries!

– John Gagné