Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of visiting a charming new storefront gallery along St. Clair West in Toronto – ARTUSIASM GALLERY – owned by Carlos Sa Rodrigues and his talented artist wife, Tanzina Aminpictured below. Their current show, Life in the City, runs until May 1st.
Photo courtesy Linda Langerak
Accomplished photographer and artist Linda Langerak invited me to the opening soiree and I was so pleased I accepted – what an exciting array of art from established and emerging local artists, and I was thrilled to find a number of pieces by a favourite painter friend, Kirk Sutherland (below).Owner Tanzina is also quite the talent with a paintbrush – I really like her colourful exotic portraits (below)Another artist friend, Aisha Chiguichon, was also exhibiting there with 2 pieces, and she was having fun posing for friends just like a red carpet veteran!…even Linda started snapping away at all the work by fellow artists (below)I managed to round up several artists for a photo call…look at all those happy smiling faces!The general consensus from the artists was that they all felt respected and well cared for by Carlos and Tanzina who even built a special access ramp for wheelchair-bound artist H. Jordyn Taylor, pictured below with her painting “Below the Stains of Time”. The usually shy Jordyn had a blast meeting lots of new fans of her work.Another lovely painting I discovered was “Don’t Tell Me to Smile” by Helena Napal, pictured below with her work.There were a couple of really fine cityscapes featuring the iconic CN Tower……and lots of familiar street scenes and abstracts, too.So many local Toronto artists are showcased in this show and I strongly recommend you drop by Artusiasm Gallery located at 1684 St Clair West, Toronto before the show closes on May 1. You can’t miss the gallery – just look for this stunning streetcar painting in the window!Congratulations to Tanzina, Carlos and all the artists for a wonderful opening! Check their website for details: www.artusiasm.com
Last year, artist COLIN NUN displayed his typographical painting “Union” during Urban Gallery‘s annual group show and it turned out to be the show-stopper of the exhibit (see below).This month, Toronto’s URBAN GALLERY proudly presents Colin’s solo show “Prototype” featuring his unique and intricate paintings including a smaller version of his popular painting from last year, this time titled “Union II” (below)As I wandered around the gallery, each painting threw down the challenge “read me” – so standing back and squinting a little, each painting became the word and the meaning. A recipient of an Ontario Arts Council grant, Colin’s work is fascinating and I was intrigued by a smaller piece, a 12″x 12″ gouache on paper titled “Coop” – the more I looked at it, the more I related to the meaning of the word. Hopefully I can afford to put a red dot alongside it within the next week or two. Sold!Colin has a number of big bold paintings such as “Crux”, “Cycle” and “Barber” (below)…and I especially liked his “Void” – can you see the word on the canvas below?Colin’s proud dad, Frank (below, right) brought along some family friends and they gravitated towards his large canvas titled “Deluxe”. Colin’s twin sister Erin also dropped in to support her brother – here she is enjoying some refreshments along with the artwork (below).These super cool dudes, all friends of Colin’s, dropped in and added their thumbs-up to the show……especially his buddy Frank who seems to have a personal connection to “Cream” (below). In order to maintained his dignity and integrity, tho, I employed my “don’t ask, don’t tell” interview style with him…LOL!Let’s watch now as Colin tells us all about his work….
Gallery curator, Allen Shugar (below L) enjoyed hanging this show and he spent some time chatting with Colin during the reception.Two of my fave pieces are “Joy” and “Silence” – each is subtle and the texture Colin achieved with the oil paint makes them both very tactile (but I restrained myself and kept my hands to myself!)Colin shared his creative insights with gallery guests and he attracted attention from fellow artist Erik Chong (2nd pic below)…If you’re looking for an exciting gallery experience, definitely consider dropping into Urban Gallery while Colin’s work is on display. All paintings are very affordable for the budding art collector, and each is mind-expanding and visually challenging. You can learn more about Colin at: www.fineart.colinnun.com/Urban Gallery is located at 400 Queen St East (just E of Parliament) Toronto. Hours and directions here: www.UrbanGallery.ca And please do follow the gallery on Instagram and upload pics of your visit to Colin’s show (just like these two guests) @UrbanGalleryTO