Tag Archives: art glass



I was visiting my artist friend Nancy Bennett’s studio this morning and noticed that one of the art gallery’s I’ve been meaning to visit was in the same building. Over the past few years, I’ve developed a passion for colourful contemporary art glass, fueled mainly by the stunning works of Dale Chihuly (you can read my blog about his exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum last year) but also my love of mid-century modern Scandinavian glass which I collected myself back in the 70’s. But today, I entered art glass heaven when I walked through the door of the SANDRA AINSLEY GALLERY located near Bermondsey and Victoria Park. My jaw literally dropped open as my eyes slowly focused on the massive space displaying some of the most incredible glass sculptures I’d ever seen.20170721_112305 20170721_110847 20170721_111022Where do I start? Well first off, the giant Chihuly sculptures suspended from the 22ft high ceilings were awe-inspiring…20170721_110722 20170721_110823…some of his giant “bowls” were so tactile, it took all my strength of character (and good manners) NOT to reach out and touch ’em!20170721_11074620170721_11113020170721_110756But it was the work of legendary Murano glass master LINO TAGLIAPIETRA that particularly grabbed my eyes and my soul! And here’s why….20170721_110836 20170721_110925 20170721_110949 20170721_112734Charming and knowledgeable gallery assistant, Daniel, kindly gave me Maestro Lino’s background that I’d like to share with you here:

Lino Tagliapietra’s career is defined by a dedication to workmanship, innovation, and collaboration. Born in 1934 on the renowned glass-blowing island of Murano, Italy, Tagliapietra began his apprenticeship at age 11 with Muranese master Archimede Seguso from whom Tagliapietra achieved the status of Maestro Vetraio by the age of 21. For over forty-two years, Lino worked in various for-profit Murano factories including Vetreria Galliano Ferro, Venini & Co., and finally as the Artistic and Technical Director of Effetre International (1976-1989). Tagliapietra has been an independent artist since 1989, exhibiting in museums around the globe, receiving countless honors, openly sharing his far-reaching knowledge of the medium and his skill as one of its finest practitioners, and helping to create a new renaissance in studio glassmaking. As James Yood, adjunct professor of art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and regular contributor to GLASS magazine wrote, “there are probably no two words more respected and honored in the history of modern sculpture in glass than ‘Lino Tagliapietra’; he is the living bridge, the crucial link between the august history of Venetian glass and the ceaseless wonders of what today we call the modern Studio Glass Movement”.Lino Tagliapietra Working ImageOf the influences on Lino Tagliapietra glass art work, one of the most profound was his participation in La Scuola Internazionale del Vetro symposia, held in Murano in the 1970s, which brought the finest Muranese masters together with artists from other disciplines around the world. Today, Lino Tagliapietra has established himself as one of the greatest glass artists of all time. Tagliapietra-blown glass works are in the collections of many major glass museums throughout the world and are sought after avidly by collectors of glass art. Some of the public collections which include Lino Tagliapietra blown glass sculpture are the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, the Corning Museum in New York, the Hokkaido Museum of Moder Art in Japan; The Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Palm Springs Art Museum in California, The Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Tokyo National Modern Art Museum and the Victora and Albert Museum in London.

As Daniel told me, although he’s not physically blowing the glass himself anymore, the master oversees all the work done in his studio and continues to create exquisite glass masterworks that should be collected NOW.

Another gorgeous installation is this one (below) by Philip Baldwin & Monica Guggisberg. I really liked their muted colour palette and sensual shapes. Again, I had to force myself to keep my hands by my side!! Being an Aussie, of course I fell in love with this massive cockatoo painting (below). Back home in the outback, cockatoos and budgies fly in huge flocks of thousands of birds so this piece made me a little homesick.20170721_111420I really liked these unusual glass bowls (below + header photo) by Shay Salehi20170721_111949…and also the clay sculptures (below) by current featured exhibitor Susan Collette whose show runs until July 29th. 20170721_110540 20170721_110618 20170721_110632There are so many more astounding pieces that you can look at, walk around, stand in front of and stare in wonder at…..20170721_113032 20170721_112806 20170721_112645 20170721_111141 20170721_111223 20170721_111236…that you’ll need to take a packed lunch as you’ll want to spend a long long time absorbing the colours, the textures, the shapes.

You can learn more about the current exhibitions and the talented artists regularly represented by visiting: www.sandraainsleygallery.com  But of course, visiting the gallery in person is so much better.WhiteSAGLogoAlignedHighQuality20170721_111542 20170721_111716 20170721_111731



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.com20170715_110015I 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.com20170715_110451Brian 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.ca20170715_110737 20170715_110818As 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.com20170715_111117 20170715_111148And 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.com20170715_111421 20170715_111506Had 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.com20170715_112546Kingston-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.com20170715_11300320170715_113009Another 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.ca20170715_113218Toronto’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.com20170715_11350820170715_11351320170715_113533Joining 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.ca20170715_11380820170715_114153I’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: @midtownbrewingcompany20170715_114410 20170715_114320

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

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And THANK YOU for supporting Canadian artists!Print



Every year, several special events, meetings and incentives organizations host industry expos featuring speakers, workshops, panels and great trade show floors featuring lots of vendors with event venues, catering, nic-nacs and logowear, everything an event planner could wish for. This year, Ignite Magazine and the Canadian Special Events organizations combined forces and held a joint business expo at the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre and yesterday, I had a blast wandering the aisles discovering new businesses and products, so come walk the trade show floor with me….

20150415_112817I was greeted by the pretty showgirl working the Hart Entertainment booth http://www.hartentertainment.com/ – a lovely way to start things off with a great big smile, eh?

As I was one of the first people there, I was able to navigate the hall quickly and see how they set up the performance stage…then I turned around to be greeted by the “town crier”. Hear ye, hear ye!20150415_112945 20150415_113000Loved the aqua blue and white of the Iris Blu booth below http://irisblu.ca/ and I even won a prize by picking a rose so I now have a discount off their event services (okay clients, who wants to take advantage of this?).

20150415_113631 20150415_113800It was time for “breakfast” so I shuffled on over to the PAL Insurance sponsored candy bar to enjoy a Cinnabon…..flavoured vodka shot!!!! LOL (hic)…never do this on an empty tummy (hic)

20150415_113930 20150415_114032Thank you to the ladies of PAL Insurance Brokers (below) http://www.palcanada.com/en/


The crazy folks at PartyPix (below) did a great job of entertaining everyone with their interactive customized photobooths. http://partypix.ca/

20150415_115324 20150415_115325I just loved the mystical space that Eclectic Events created …only wish I’d had enough time to enjoy a woodland massage. But I did meet the talented glass sculptor, John (bottom pic), who created lots of cute animals…and he kindly gave me a dragon!!  http://www.eclecticevents.com/


20150415_120019 20150415_120029Always a favourite must-taste exhibitor was the Ninutik maple syrup food artisans (below) ..oh so sweet and deelish! Great for catering fancy-schmancy soirees and they even have gift packages.  http://www.ninutik.com/store/home2.php

20150415_120258 20150415_120303One of the nicest, funniest and coolest magicians working the corporate and party circuit, Mike D’urso. I highly recommend Mike for all your magical needs! http://www.megamagic.ca/

20150415_120337 20150415_120341The Snapshot Photobooth people intro’d their new “Hashtag printer station” enabling events to brand their guests’ Instagram photos. Great marketing opps.   http://snapshotphotobooth.com/

20150415_121009An old industry friend, Raviv Krikunets, has just joined another design and events mgm’t firm R5 Events, and I was blown away by his beautiful set-up…wow, check it out below.  http://www.r5e.ca/

20150415_121109 20150415_121222(0) 20150415_121229And here’s Denise and Anna of Lucky Strike Lanes ( below) who always make the trade show fun….http://www.bowlluckystrike.com/


Here’s a new talent supplier – Genevieve Demerchant of You Will Love it Live! She brought in musicians & a magician to entertain the event planners (below)…and they did a great job.  http://www.youwillloveitlive.com/

20150415_123509Aussie Aussie Aussie…oy oy oy! That’s our “war cry” when Aussies meet each other and here I ran into Kristen Thomason, originally from Melbourne, who is Dir. of Sales for the exciting new iFLY – the indoor skydiving venue out in Oakville. I really wanna try this out – looks like so much fun. http://iflytoronto.com/

20150415_123946Knights and wenches and swords, oh my! Medieval Times was there, too, and I can never say no to a knight with such a big….sword! The saucy wench kept him in line, tho. http://www.medievaltimes.com/toronto.aspx

20150415_124243 20150415_124255Nice to run into Kris and Maria, the sales reps for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (below). I enjoyed a nice cuppa coffee and a 20min. rest in their relaxation seating area. http://www.mtccc.com/?m=0&t=0&c=1

20150415_132355Have you ever been to Moncton? I have and I love it…the people are so friendly, great facilities, fantastic downtown waterfront. Nice rep. at the City of Moncton booth reminded me what a great place it is to visit either with a business group or on a personal adventure.  http://www.moncton.ca/page4.aspx

20150415_133555Clearwater and St. Pete’s are two of my favourite places for a quick vacay from the cruel (and long) Toronto winters, and the ladies at this booth certainly made me feel welcome.  http://meetamplified.com/

20150415_134656Michelle of Northwest Territories Tourism (below) welcomed me to her spectacular booth…think I may have to visit myself soon. I wanna see the northern lights before I croak so I’ve just added Michelle to my bucket-list!!  http://spectacularnwt.com/

20150415_135043Here’s a great idea for team-building fun – the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts offers group candy & sweetie making events. Chef Michael J. Smith (pictured below with events coord. Esther) was doing whisky tastings and food infusions…yumm…hic!  http://bonniegordoncollege.com/

20150415_135739Lots more to see and do at the show…

20150415_133355 20150415_135942 20150415_113921…but I had the most fun at the Ripley’s Aquarium Canada booth where they fed me to the sharks! www.RipleysAquariumCanada.com


Many thanks to the organizers for presenting a great trade show.

www.ignitemag.ca   &   www.canadianspecialevents.com