This past Saturday (June 9), Toronto’s leading indie gallery, URBAN GALLERY,launched their annual Pride group show celebrating the talented artists, friends and families from the local LGBTQ community. Featuring the works of Hank Blondeau, Jean Fode, Jeffrey Mason and Vanessa Storoniak, the gallery soon filled with enthusiastic visitors and art collectors.I had the opportunity of chatting with the artists who shared their own stories of artistic inspiration with me via video interviews. First up is Hank Blondeau ….
I then spoke with Jean Fode who discovered art and her creativity later in life and who is now enjoying the art of collage.
Jeffrey Mason has a unique take on the world and his humorous portraits of politi-cats definitely provoke conversation as well as laughs!
Vanessa Storoniak (below) brought in her large acrylic-on-canvas geometric abstracts which, to me, look like glorious flowers in a series of beautiful colour palettes. Vanessa was a little shy about a video interview but she certainly had lots of fans loving her work….Other artists came out to support our “fab four” including Erik Chong and his wife Jeanette (below). Erik will be featured in next month’s group show “Wild in the City”.Sculptor Osvaldo “Ozzie” Napoli and his wife France (pictured below with gallery director Calvin Hambrook – at right) also popped in to say hello. Ozzie, too, will be featured in July’s “Wild in the City” group show.Gallery visitors enjoyed the schmoozing and there were lots of engaged conversations as each artist talked about their work. Congratulations to all four artists and we’re sure there will soon be lots of red dots (sales) popping up over the next few weeks! See below for gallery directions & show info….
ast night, I joined 100+ guests of artist and gallery owner LOLA LIVINGSTON as she unveiled her 2nd group show, I ♥ CANADA, at the new STOCKYARDS GALLERY located at 1611 Dupont St, Toronto (inside the fabulous Rebarn showroom).Featuring multiple artists working in various mediums, the show will run throughout the month of July…although several pieces were sold on the spot last night!
Here’s Lola cutting the celebratory cake that carries a copy of her painting Super Justin (a portrait of our popular Prime Minister)Here are the stunning landscape paintings by LEE MUNN who attended with his charming wife (pictured below with a royal “special guest”)….JOHNY DELUNA has 2 pieces featured in this show -here he is (at left) schmoozing with fellow artist ROBERT WERTHEIMER and his wife.And here’s Johny chatting with glass sculptor LAYNE VERBEEK about his featured pieces of hand-carved cast glass.Layne sold 2 beautiful pieces of art glass to casting director and art lover, RON LEACH (below with his prized new artworks)Here’s award-winning fine artist ERIK CHONG with Lola…Erik brought his wife Jeanette to help celebrate Canada’s anniversary with the other artists, including ANGEL TORRES (bottom pic)Watch out Erik, the Mounties are after their man!One of Toronto’s happiest artists must be SHAWN SKEIR who was always ready for a photo opp. Here he is (far left) arriving with friends….then hanging with AL “RUNT” CURRIE who also had a couple of works in the show…and sold one last night, too.I was pleased to meet film industry professional and photographic artist ROBERT WERTHEIMER (below) for whom this was his debut showcase. Robert has a great eye for everyday objects and places, making them appear quite mythic in his photographs. Unfortunately, due to lighting reflections, I wasn’t able to capture a true image of his work so best to go visit in person to see what I mean. There’s an awesome photo of a giant ship’s propeller complete with rusty patina – I think that will have my name on it before the end of the show!Lola was such a busy lady, welcoming so many of her friends, family and art lovers to her unique indie gallery….and the deelish spread attracted lots of hungry patrons!Lola’s husband, Mark, helped man the bar (below) – he owns Rebarn, designing and handcrafting custom wood furniture, doors and home accessories.Enjoy a couple more photos from last night’s festivities…. I ♥ CANADA runs until July 29th at Stockyards Gallery, 1611 Dupont Street, Toronto. Check the website for hours and directions: www.stockyardsgallery.ca
Another wonderful afternoon of celebrating emerging Canadian artists took place at Toronto’s URBAN GALLERY as students from the Centennial College Studio Arts program opened their 2 week exhibition of multi-media works. FEVER showcases 25 emerging artists who explore the frontiers deeply submerged within the box.Under the guidance of Program Coordinator Prof. David McClyment, the 1st year students enjoyed their first professional gallery experience including meeting media and schmoozing with art fans, friends and family who came out to support them. Here’s Prof. McClyment (below L) with some of his student artists…The unique and provocative work by Priscilla Koopman attracted many new fans, including Jenny Huddy, a visitor from Australia who is pictured (below R) with Priscilla (L)
Here’s Matthew Oakes who proudly posed alongside his work….Another favourite was this unique double sided painting and clay sculpture self-portrait of Joy who attracted a lot of camera attention…And so many more wonderful artworks to view….Urban Gallery’s curator Allen Shugar (below R) chatted with the students….…and gallery director Calvin Hambrook (below R) greeted artists and their guests at the front door…The reception was catered by the adjoining UrbanSource Catering…oooh yummm!Congratulations to Prof. McClyment and his students on a great show…You have until April 1st to visit and support these emerging stars of the Canadian art world. For gallery hours, visit: www.urbangallery.ca
POST SCRIPT: There was big excitement for one young artist – Dara Collins – when her beautiful mixed-media (with tiny twinkling lights) of a mountain scene called “Unrefined Illusions” was sold at the end of the opening reception. The buyer was art lover David Currah from Fife House. Bravo and congratulations to Dara – pictured below with her artwork.