Throughout June, Toronto celebrates its LGBTQ community and each year URBAN GALLERY hosts an art exhibition as part of the city’s PRIDE festivities.
This year, hyper-realist portrait artist BRIAN GIBSON is launching his ongoing project ICONS featuring legends from Hollywood and the music industry. This past Saturday, the gallery was filled with Brian’s family, friends and fans, along with a DJ spinning tunes by some of his artistic subjects. Brian (below left) and his partner, Danny (below right) enjoyed sharing stories behind each portrait and how each star has impacted Brian’s work in this special ongoing series of paintings. Portraiture has been a historic representation of society and the continuing similarities found in the human experience. Hair & clothing styles may change but we are fundamentally the same throughout time. ~ Brian Gibson.
Gallery curator Allen Shugar (below R) really enjoyed hanging this show and being surrounded by such famous faces…as did gallery director Calvin Hambrook (below L)Even a young Sophia Loren made an appearance alongside Judy Garland (below)The guests were enthralled by the uncanny likenesses……and Brian was happy to chat with everyone and pose for photos…The whole gallery was a-buzz with people sharing memories of concerts attended or movies they watched starring these “icons”…
ICONS runs until June 29th so we look forward to introducing you to Cher, Marilyn, Doris, Rock and Prince! URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto www.urbangallery.ca
What a glorious night that was! Last Sunday evening, Ali Hughes took her Hugh’s Room audience for an emotional ride with her reinterpreted songs from the late Canadian legend Leonard Cohen‘s repertoire.
Throughout her performance, her sexy sultry voice hung out on every note, laying it down then soaring again into the next stanza….and looking around the showroom, every face was turned towards the stage, eyes wide with mouths to match. I sat at the back of the room listening to the gasps of recognition as Ali introduced one classic Cohen after another, each with a new emotional and musical “translation”….it truly was a transformational moment.
Ali also brought with her the newly released 4-track EP (Tea & Oranges) from the show, recorded back home in Oz with her band, Ali & the Thieves. Her version of Suzanne will bring tears to any hardened fan’s eyes and I’m happy to tell you that the final track on the CD is, in fact, Suzanne. Check her website for purchase & download details (see end of article).After the show, Ali met with her Toronto fans and signed copies of the EP….Hopefully she’ll return to Toronto soon for another Leonard Cohen Koans concert but she hinted she was working on her next project which is another unique interpretation of pop-culture classics…this time by Lou Reed. In the interim, she takes the Cohen show to the 2019 San Francisco Leonard Cohen Fest (presented by Noise Pop and hosted by Conspiracy of Beards) Nov 8, 9 & 10 at Cafe du Nord & Swedish American Hall, in S.F. In October she will be presenting performances of Leonard Cohen Koans in London and New York with her long-time collaborator Daryl Wallis, plus performances with NYC collaboration, Sunday Swoon (with Adam Armstrong and Curtis J).
Visit her website for news of Ali’s upcoming shows, social media & music: www.bigsbabs.com
After 10 days of rehearsals, media interviews, celebrity schmoozing at a film festival and enjoying all the touristy stuff that Toronto has to offer, Aussie singer ALI HUGHES will take the stage tonight at Hugh’s Room to introduce her critically acclaimed 90-minute show featuring the songs and poetry of Canadian music icon, Leonard Cohen.The legendary singer/songwriter known for his sensual vocals left us nearly 3 years ago and Ali’s interpretations of songs such as Chelsea Hotel #2 and Suzanne will intrigue, engage and soothe the listener. Ali recently recorded a 4-song EP from the show with her long-time Aussie band (Ali & the Thieves) titled Tea & Oranges and these will be available for sale and autographing after the show tonight.For the past 2 nights, Ali has performed at Hugh’s Room, opening for friend and fellow singer, Jane Siberry (below L) for whom she has sung back-up on Jane’s tours. Tonight, Jane graciously presents “Leonard Cohen Koans” and Ali Hughes who takes centre stage.NBA finalists The Raptors may be playing on home court tonight but if you’d rather experience this tribute to one of Canada’s greatest artists by one of Australia’s most unique performers, we look forward to welcoming you….
Hugh’s Room is located at 2261 Dundas St. West (416-533-5483). Show starts 8:30pm
Tickets available at the door $45.00 (come early to ensure best seats)