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
Yesterday, URBAN GALLERY (400 Queen St East, Toronto) opened the doors to officially launch their summer group show O CANADA (runs until July 29), featuring 17 Canadian artists with diverse cultural backgrounds and artistic styles whose individual visions of Canada celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary. Come take a virtual walk with me thru the gallery….
The stunning image by Erik Chong features the lyrics to the Canadian national anthem in all three official languages and Erik posed proudly in front of his painting, “Beautiful Day” (below)Celebrated wildlife photographer Linda Langerak has 3 gorgeous photos of BC creatures in the show (below) – I love the bald eagles…Kirk Sutherland created the frame around his “Terra Nova” painting from found architectural salvage featuring maple leaf designs. How clever is that?Caught this cool shot and realized afterwards that it was all about the stripes….LOL!Pauline Langmaid (below) drove in all the way from Bracebridge to showcase her glorious abstract landscapes…or should I say “lake-scapes”? Pauline’s two paintings proved very popular with gallery visitors…Another popular image was celebrity chef & photographer Lyndon Wiebe‘s photo of a windswept view of Port Hope (below). Lyndon brought out an extended print showing more of the scene – located to the west of the town where housing development meets grassland. Film industry professional and accomplished photographic artist Karen Silver chose a chilly winter scene of a Toronto park and a lonely bicycle. Now that’s one seat I would not like to sit on…LOL!Kris Bovenizer (below centre) talks with a guest about her two acrylic on canvas works…the sea-faring image on the left is now a label on bottles of a limited edition maple syrup bottled for a Canadian business leader (as Canada150 corporate gifts for his clients). How cool..and congrats to Kris. And Kris posed with fellow artist Kirk Sutherland and gallery owner Calvin Hambrook (below)Manije Sabet Sarvestani (below) brought two oil-on-canvas works: “Canada Day in Quebec City” (on left) and “Thornhill Festival” (on right). The soft-spoken artist let her work do all the talking and these certainly announced her talent loudly!Kent Bridges was the first artist to score a “red dot” (a sale) for his “Life in a Northern Town”. Here he is (below left in red) with purchaser and fan David Currah of Toronto’s Fife House. Congrats to Kent who was all smiles as he celebrated the sale.Ronald Regamey uses a technique known as “quilling” to create beautiful 3 dimensional paper & glue artwork. Here’s Ronald being snapped by Calvin in front of his latest piece titled “Alive”.…Ronald had a number of family and friends congratulating him on his gallery appearance – they were so animated and excited it was hard to get them all to stand still for a photo…LOLGallery curator Allen Shugar and poet/artist Brenda Clews also met under Ronald’s work….…while Linda Langerak snapped away with Kirk (below)The delicious food was catered by Urban Source Catering and the platters were themselves works of art.Colin Nun (below left) who recently had his own successful solo show at Urban Gallery, shares his thoughts on his work “Canada” with KJ Mullins (below R) editor of NEWZ4U.caIn fact, a lot of guests remarked on the uniqueness of Colin’s oil-on-canvas typographical and topographical view of the country.Snapd newspaper photographer Gianmarco dropped by to cover the event and got busy snapping the artists…I managed to grab a quick pic of Joan Andal Romano with her “True North” mixed media on canvas. So many intricate details to view, it must have taken her many hours to create.Several artists were unable to attend, 3 delivered beautiful Canadian landscapes – Stacey Kinder‘s “Light” featuring a stand of trees in the fall, Christine Marin‘s “On Bear Trap Road” (2nd pic) and Grace Dam‘s snowy “Canmore” (3rd pic)…...and Aisha Chiguichon was represented by this provocative acrylic on canvas titled “Stereotypes”Victoria General attended but the shy artist preferred to let her work take centre stage and declined a photo. Victoria works in charcoal on paper – here are “We Need a Bit More Sand, I Think” (upper) and “I’ll Have to Call You Back” (lower).The reception drew many art lovers and more red dots should be appearing alongside these Canada150 artful tributes. I hope you get a chance to visit in person and support the talented artists at Urban Gallery.
Urban Gallery is also available for rental if you wish to host your corporate or private party, reception or even a sit-down dinner with delicious food & refreshments courtesy of Urban Source Catering. Visit the website for details.