Toronto-based artist GRACE DAM (pictured below) has been a frequent exhibitor at URBAN GALLERY – her landscapes have garnered high praise in a number of previous group & solo shows, and in SEX LOVE LIES, Grace explores her figurative as well as abstract inspirations with a series of large canvases on show at the gallery until September 29th (400 Queen St East, Toronto).Grace graduated from Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto with a degree in Fine Arts, minor in Photography. Her time is split between Toronto, where she researches and produces works, and the rugged Rocky Mountains in Western Canada where gigantic peaks, serene lakes and wildlife provide refuge and inspiration to her. She paints everything and anything that moves her; most of her works convey messages, be they personal, social or political, her views imply quietly. One of the most complex things in life is the interaction or connection to others around us. Something we can observe but never quite control. My figurative works reflect aspects of the complication in the communication between human beings. Certain looks, even a smile or a passing raising of the eyebrows can imprint in our memory that precise moment like a never fading recorded tape. ~ Grace Dam My personal favourite has to be “The Paper” 48″ x 48″ oil on canvas (pictured below with the artist) illustrating the angst and pain felt by the man upon reading the message on the paper. Grace’s treatment of the sweater and pants fabrics is quite wonderful…you can almost reach out and feel the textures….Even the catering, courtesy of Urban Source Catering was artful and very much in keeping with Grace’s work. I encourage you to visit the gallery in person to enjoy the provocative figurative canvases as well as the boldly coloured abstracts….. The exhibition runs until September 29th – details, gallery hours & directions: www.urbangallery.ca
Another great turn-out of exciting artists for this year’s Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square; today I made a relatively quick visit – due to the heat and humidity, I had to bail after about 90 minutes. Whew…gasp!
First up, I ran into Mississauga artist Michael Toole (below) who has an upcoming show at Stockyards Gallery. Really liked his work using “window frames” to add texture and dimension to his photographic art. www.michaeltooleart.comI was next greeted by the always-smiling Rob Croxford….his booth is filled with easily-recognized cityscapes and lots of fun visual puns. Rob has lots of small prints available, too, so feel free to browse in his booth. Keep smiling, Rob. www.robcroxford.comBrian Harvey is another of my favourite artists who produces the most stunning cityscapes, especially of Toronto’s historic laneways and old neighbourhoods. I could almost hear the birds singing and the leaves rustling in that city lane painting behind Brian. www.brianharvey.ca As soon as I spied Kari Serrao‘s antlered wee beasties in ruffles, furs and armour (below), I immediately thought of Game of Thrones. If you’re a fan of White Walkers, Jon Snow or Brienne of Tarth, you MUST have one of these paintings on your wall…LOL. www.kariserrao.com And here’s Kate Taylor (below L) greeting some friends at her booth. Kate is a member of the ColourShift Collective, a group of like-minded artists dedicated to capturing the world around us via abstract painting and photography, and The Artists Network. www.katetaylorstudio.com Had a giggle with Erin Rothstein who perfectly reflected her artwork with watermelon juice in hand! She was so perfectly attired to compliment her booth but just looking inside her booth made me hungry and thirsty! www.erinrothstein.comKingston-based glass artist Alexi Hunter was proud to show off his beautiful art glass (below). These stunning colourful pieces reminded me of my visit to the Dale Chihuly show at the ROM several months ago. www.kingstonglassgallery.comAnother fabulous glass artist I discovered today was Kristian Spreen (below). Like me, Kristian loves blue and I was so impressed with her work, I’ve featured her beautiful aqua-coloured tumblers at the top of this story. www.kristianspreen.caToronto’s current arts “media darling” has to be Morgan Sheardown (below) whose whimsical “Raining Cows” series is all over the news these days, as well as the fact that the Art Gallery of Hamilton has recently awarded Morgan a 3 year exhibition of his works. Bravo, Morgan! I myself am a proud owner of a mini “Raining Cows” painting. www.morgansheardown.comJoining me today was best friend, Erena, who loves the work of this next artist – she introduced me to his work and has started collecting his paintings herself. Here she is with the charming and talented Olaf Schneider. Apart from his detailed abstracts and landscapes, his still life work is outstanding – I love the one below with the blue glass and red lantern. www.olaf.caI’ve been a long-time fan of Stewart Jones (below) and was pleased to see the Wellington, ON, resident come back to the big city for this weekend’s show. He and his wife moved from Toronto to Wellington (approx 90 minutes east of Toronto) several years ago and set up residence in a beautiful heritage farmhouse across the road from a lovely little beach where I’m told they frequently watch the sunsets with a glass of wine in hand. Aaah, for the simple life! Stew’s gritty urban oil-on-canvas works featuring streetcar tracks, old buildings and warehouses are now joined by his powerful countryside views and winterscapes. www.stewartjones.ca Stew has also recently launched another artful endeavour, the Midtown Brewing Co. so I can’t wait to sample those “artworks”, too! Instagram: @midtownbrewingcompany
There are so many talented artists and craftspeople represented at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, it was impossible to capture all of them for this blog so I encourage you to check out the show in person tomorrow. Located at Nathan Phillips Square (Bay & Queen Streets) – details at www.torontooutdoor.art @toaeart #toae2017