Each year, URBAN GALLERY in Toronto hosts a 10-day exhibition of works from the first year students of the Centennial College Studio Arts program, and this year’s show is titled “Wait, What?”. Not what you would normally expect from a group of ambitious emerging artists – layered universes of double meaning, hope, despair, humour, longing, madness, genius, and skillful virtuosity. All contained within innocuous 18″ square shadow boxes. You will leave the show thinking “wait, what?”… Fairchild Chinese TV news was on hand to record the opening reception and interview the artists and the dept. head…. One of the mature students, F. Mehtap Mertdogan, was there with her family and proudly posed in front of her stunning 3D mosaic titled “Enough!” (below) The 23 artworks on show offered subjects, mediums and colour palettes to suit every taste and pocketbook – prices range from $200 to $450 – a very affordable way to start collecting your favourite emerging Canadian artists. Congratulations to all the artists: Mattheas Gabber, Yogin Patel, Kumar Ayyappa, Fiona Wei, Lilian Jang, Lucas Thomas, Arnold Farrell, CL Fisher, Bee Fawn, Alexandria A. Allen-Papadopoylos, Jancy Sivanantham, Lexx Willis, Takanya Marsh, Titar Awua-Imande, Danielle Nothmann, Sharon Zhang, Atheena Sureshmohan, Gabriella Berdugo, Hyewon Kim, Natalie Plociennik, Wayne Wu, Kai Hart and F. Mehtap Mertdogan.“Wait, What?” runs until Saturday March 24th (5pm) at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen st East, Toronto. Check the website for times & more details: www.urbangallery.ca
I spent a second day surrounded by beautiful artwork, this time at URBAN GALLERY (400 Queen st East, Toronto) where accomplished painter DONNA WISE (pictured below) launched her solo show, FLIGHTS OF FANCY, which runs until Dec. 30th, 2017. Amid the excitement of the launch, Donna shared with me the fact that a local (and very gracious) fashion designer, Annie Thompson, reached out to her with an offer to outfit her for the launch today so here’s Donna wearing one of Annie’s outfits also called “Flight of Fancy” which perfectly matches her paintings and style (www.anniethompson.ca). Here’s Donna describing her show and talking about her inspirations….
Here are a few of the pieces gracing the gallery walls… Fine arts blogger Mark Hasan of KQEK.com stopped by for an interview with the artist (below) then enjoyed viewing her work along with the crowd of friends and family who started filing in… A friend and long-time collector of Donna’s (below L) put the first “red dot” of the day beside one of the stunning paintings, purchasing one of my personal favourites: this delicate image of what, to me, looks like a Japanese geisha. What do you think?Donna’s husband (below L) posed with another family friend in front of this giant pastel hued canvas…..
…and here are more gallery guests enjoying Donna’s work and the fine catering courtesy of www.UrbanCatering.com If you can’t make it down to the gallery in person, here’s a quick virtual trip around one section of the gallery…
Urban Gallery is located at 400 Queen St East, just E of Parliament, in Toronto. Visit the website for directions and gallery hours: www.UrbanGallery.ca
Last night I attended the opening reception for “East Meets West” at Stockyards Gallery owned and curated by my friend, Lola Livingston. She’s been presenting unique showcases for artists since opening a year ago and this time, she knocked it outta the ballpark. Jean Paul Langlois, based in BC, has been charming the critics with his innovative neo-expressionist paintings incorporating images from 70’s cult films and pop culture, embellishing with bright, bold swathes of colour. I must admit I am in love with these works and only wish it wasn’t rent day yesterday as I would have grabbed my favourite (Gen’l Urko – below, left – from the original Planet of the Apes). Jean Paul busied himself signing prints of his work for new fans (above). For 2 1/2hrs, gallery guests gathered around him, learning more about these exciting, vibrant paintings, the artist’s inspirations and techniques. Check out more of his work at www.jeanpaullanglois.caAbove, actors Bruno Verdoni (L) and Tatum Lee (R) discussed art and their upcoming film projects.
Al “Runt” Currie, who is well-known to Toronto audiences for his giant street murals on places like Lee’s Palace exterior, delivered a selection of 3D paintings (below) as well as a new series of glow-in-the-dark, black-light images…wow! www.alrunt.com Recording artist and music historian Greg Godovitz (below L) was quite taken with Al’s work, posing here with the artist (2nd from L) and other friends/fans. Fingers-crossed we see some of Al’s work hanging in the legendary El Mocambo when it re-opens next spring. The third artist, Darren Hyde, paints under the name Mr. Hydde and he delivered some extraordinary, detailed works of art that were reminiscent of my previous client, Johnny Deluna (Toronto’s king of pointillism-meets-surrealism). I really wanted to purchase the small orange painting (below, bottom) but friends beat me to it. Grrrrrrr…but I guess I can at least visit my painting..along with a second one they also purchased (the middle one with a big X) Mr Hydde (above) seemed quite happy with the night’s activities, especially with all the sales! You can find more of his work on his Facebook fan page: Facebook.com/MisterHydde
Congratulations to Lola and all three artists – there were so many sales last night I lost count of all the red dots (I think Al sold 6 or 7 pieces, a new record for Stockyards Gallery). East Meets West runs until Jan. 2nd so I recommend you hurry down to Stockyards Gallery at 1611 Dupont Street, Toronto, to experience the art yourself. www.stockyardsgallery.ca There was obviously an old time Hollywood movie fan there last night, buying up 2 of Jean Paul’s paintings showing Judy Garland and Desi Arnaz in costume for roles where each portrayed a native American (from Jean Paul’s “Fake Indians” series).
This past Saturday, Urban Gallery (www.urbangallery.ca) in Toronto launched their solo art show for November, LAND ON FIRE, featuring stunning abstract landscape paintings by MARY LYNNE ATKINSON, pictured below with her “Night Sky” 36×48 acrylic on panel painting. The show runs through to November 25th.
Mary Lynne was thrilled to greet friends & family, and within minutes of the doors being open, one of her smaller pieces sold (the one to the right of the group below, titled “Solitude” with the little red dot on the name tag). That was one of my favourite pieces and I had my eye on it myself. But as the saying goes – you snooze, you lose! Above, Mary Lynne chats with a gallery visitor about the two pieces to the right, “Wind” (upper) and “Firedance” (lower) both of which are 19×19 oil & resin on 16 gauge steel. Look at the close-up details of these two (below)…I love the texture. I spoke briefly with Mary Lynne before the gallery got crowded – here’s what she had to say about her inspirations for these works….
ARTIST STATEMENT: Land on Fire is inspired by waves as patterns in time and space. Formations that look like ocean waves in their immensity, silence and immutability draw me in. My paintings are rooted in the ‘tangible’ of the physical world. They are also inspired by questions surrounding our human relationship to Earth. My challenge as an artist is to draw the connections between both the tangible and the intangible.
By moving into a landscape through colour and gesture, painting becomes a meditation on space expanding and time evolving. The vast, silent, unforgiving spaces challenge me to express my ideas and emotions of timelessness. Each painting has its own silence. ~ Mary Lynne Atkinson
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Mary Lynne Atkinson is a mid-career visual artist living in Midhurst, Ontario. She holds a B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University and a graduate diploma in Studio Process Advancement from the Haliburton School of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited widely in Europe, notably in the Carousel du Louvre, Paris, 2012 and 2013. She was awarded a Bronze Medal, Paris, June 2014, by the Societé des Arts, Lettres, Sciences. Her paintings have been exhibited in numerous curated shows including the Miami Art Basel and S Space Gallery, New York, NY. Atkinson continues to exhibit extensively in Ontario, and her paintings are collected nationally and internationally.
Fellow artist Erik Chong and his wife Jeannette dropped in to view Mary Lynne’s work (below)……as did so many other fans of great Canadian art (below) Here are some other fine examples of her work on display at Urban Gallery… …and this 8×10 framed mixed media on panel titled “Amethyst Mountain” (pictured below) has also peaked my interest. Maybe I should add this to my Santa list?Land on Fire runs throughout the month of November at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East in downtown Toronto. For gallery hours and directions: www.urbangallery.ca
Last night was one of the most enjoyable opening receptions for an art show I’ve attended in some time. South African-born, now Toronto resident ROMI SAMUELS launched her solo show THE LION, THE WATCH AND THE WARDROBE at Toronto’s Gallery 1313 with a gallery full of family, friends and art lovers as well as representatives from the South African Consulate.The main gallery showroom looked more like a safari with giant canvases of elephants, lions, giraffes, baboons and even a hungry looking crocodile (below, Romi’s husband Frank was busy on social media while being stalked by the giant croc…watch out!)The paintings reflect Romi’s childhood experiences in South Africa – can you imagine looking out your window and seeing elephants roaming outside?Guests seemed in awe of the giant B&W canvases and it’s easy to see why… Before the doors opened, I managed to corral the Samuels family for a photo – below LtoR: husband Frank, Romi, daughters Hannah and Adina (son Josh arrived later in the evening)Romi’s proud sister Vivienne couldn’t stop smiling all night! Here she is (below R) giving her artist sister a great big hug!… and another friend, Elizabeth Greisman from the JCC (below L), also offered her congratulations.As well as the wild beasties, there is a smaller gallery at the back that features some smaller, more intimate portraits of things found in Romi’s closet. The stunning painting of lace gloves (below, centre) was sold – this was one of my personal favourites so I’m happy the gloves have found a new forever home. One of the high points of the evening was when guest Mr. Goce Tasevski presented Romi with a bouquet of pink roses….such a lovely moment I was fortunate to catch with my cameraIn fact, there were quite a few floral tributes given to Romi, and her sister Vivienne even brought cake. Yum, her lemon poppyseed cake was deelish! Daughter Hannah is quite the culinary expert, too, and she catered the whole affair. Hannah is my new BFF – she made the most amazing chocolate truffles. I would have taken pics of those, too, but we all gobbled them up so quickly, there was nothing left to photograph…LOL!
Being Thursday night, I immediately flipped thru the pages of NOW Magazine to see if I’d managed to get Romi listed…wow, even better – her show was listed under their “Must See” column. Woohoo!So 9pm came around and as the guests departed I managed to grab an exhausted but happy Romi for a quick video interview to get her reaction to the evening’s celebration.
Usually the curator for other artists’ shows, ALLEN SHUGAR was proud to present his own work at Urban Gallery (400 Queen East, Toronto) last night for the opening of his month-long show titled SHIFTING LIGHT. Allen is joined here by gallery director, Calvin Hambrook (below L) in front of his title artwork (lower photo) Each stunning piece illustrates how light shifts when viewing from different vantage points and I particularly liked the play of light on leaves in this painting (below) appropriately titled “Goldleaf”.In fact, lots of gallery visitors loved these works – within half an hour of opening the gallery doors, the room was packed with Allen’s friends, family and fans. I managed to grab Allen for a quick interview before the party was in full swing and asked him about his show….
As you can tell, Allen is very passionate about art, the painter’s process and working as the curator for Urban Gallery. Below, Allen greeted many friends who came out to support him…….and several fellow artists dropped by including Grace Dam (below) whose shows Allen has previously curated……and Romi Samuels (below) who hopes to bring a show of her work to the gallery in the near future.Here’s award-winning artist Erik Chong (below with his wife, Jeannette) whose shows Allen has also curated over the past few years.Allen showcased 3 smaller framed pieces (reverse painting on glass) and my favourite one was quickly snapped up by this lovely lady. So many gorgeous pieces…you must visit the gallery to see for yourself! And of course, the refreshments were works of art, too, courtesy of Urban Source Catering…
Colour, light, the cycles of nature (so extreme in our climate), the beauty of the human form – these are the subjects that inspire my paintings. Naturalistic representation has never much interested me. I take, rather, a transformative approach that seeks to capture a purely subjective experience, a state of mind, an evanescent thought. In this respect, my work owes as much to musical and literary influences as it does to visual stimuli. My aim is to suggest the extraordinary that lies just beneath the surface of the ordinary. – Allen Shugar
Last night, Toronto’s coolest indie art venue, URBAN GALLERY, hosted the opening reception for HANNA KOSTANSKI, whose work is inspired by vintage photographs of our city from years gone by, found in the City of Toronto Archives. With permission from the Archives, Hanna has recreated well-known intersections and streetscapes from the early 1900’s through to the 1980’s, adding colour and movement to the imagery, bringing the scenes to life. Her show, 20th Century Toronto: Intersections & Interactions, runs until August 26th at Urban Gallery (400 Queen St East, Toronto) and I strongly recommend you visit in person to see if you recognize each of the locations she’s painted. Betcha you’ll be amazed to see how our city has changed!
About the artist: Hanna was born in Szczecin, Poland, and grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. She obtained her BFA from OCAD University in 2007 and currently resides in Hamilton and works in Toronto. Her work can be found in dozens of private and public collections in both cities.(Above) Yonge and Dundas, 1978 Acrylic on Wood 30″ x 60″ by Hanna Kostanski
From City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 92, Item 49 • Original Photograph by Harvey R. Naylor
Artist Statement: For nearly a decade my work has been focused on the visible passage of time, experienced through the exploration and documentation of abandoned and decaying buildings in cities like Hamilton and Detroit. I have always been fascinated with historical architecture, specifically how we interact with our buildings and structures, and what happens when that interaction ceases to exist.
My current body of work continues to explore the connection between people and their environment, but with a focus on historical representations of that relationship. To that end, I have been working on a series of paintings based on photographs found at the City of Toronto Public Archives. These images span several decades and are nostalgic of the city as it used to be. They celebrate the many past incarnations of Toronto, the vibrant intersections of the city and the interactions of its people. Hanna Kostanski (2017)
The gallery was quickly crowded with fans of Hanna’s work which has recently garnered some exciting media attention – even Toronto Mayor John Tory has weighed in on Twitter about Hanna’s ability to capture a sense of time and place with her large format paintings.Two of Hanna’s BFF’s came to support her and found a familiar sight in this painting (below) of Yonge Street between Queen & Dundas! I think this fellow (above) must work on Bay Street – he appears to be looking for the location where his office now sits and explaining the old geography to his lovely companion. Hanna welcome many of her friends and fans (above), all of whom seemed eager to see her newest paintings.
Fellow artist Nancy Bennett (below) looks like she’s calling a cab from the intersection of Yonge & Dundas…LOLAmidst the hub-bub of the busy gallery, I managed to grab Hanna for a quick chat about her work…
Hanna is also offering fine prints for those who don’t have the space for the original BIG paintings…here’s a happy art-lovin’ family who purchased 2 prints of their favourite paintings….Here’s Wayne Abell of Urban Source Catering (they always present the most deelish treats for gallery openings!!) with KJ Mullins, publisher of NEWZ4U.ca, a Toronto-centric e-newspaper who really liked Hanna’s work.If you would like to come and play “spot the street” with Hanna’s work, please visit www.urbangallery.ca for gallery hours and directions. You can also follow Hanna on social media via her own website: www.hannakostanski.com
Thank you for supporting Canadian artists!
Several months ago, I was sitting on the subway staring at the inane advertising banners – no I don’t want to meet sexy singles, nor do I want to buy a house and I am certainly not interested in a change of career at this point in my life! I overheard two ladies chatting and laughing nearby, so I found an opening to contribute to the conversation and soon found myself enjoying the journey with joyful companions. Skip ahead to present day and one of them, artist Pauline Langmaid, is now a friend and a client.
Based up north in Bracebridge, Pauline’s work is reminiscent of the famed Group of Several meets Edvard Munch meets Emily Carr – full of colour and bold strokes that describe her vision of the stark landscapes that surround her. I recently spoke with Pauline, asking her to share her thoughts on painting, her inspirations and her advice for others wanting a painterly life.
What first inspired you to start painting professionally, more than as a hobby? I just wanted/needed to paint everyday and I belong to several wonderful groups of artists, The Burk’s Falls Art and Crafts Club, the Kearney Art Group; the Almaguin Highlands Arts Council; the East Central Ontario Artists Association; and the Muskoka Art and Craft Club who have been instrumental in my growth as an artist and continually encourage me to keep painting and to sell my paintings.Did you have any formal training and if so, where? My first courses began when I was 8 years old at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery under the skilled direction of Paul Sloggett who is now a renowned Canadian Abstract artist. I’ve also studied at Meta 4 Gallery, primarily with Linda Edwards. The Haliburton School of the Arts introduced me to Ramune Luminaire and I took many courses from her as well both in Haliburton and in Oshawa at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Janine Marsden and Diane Finlayson of Huntsville have also been instrumental in my growth as an artist.Who are your artistic inspirations? I started out in love with Van Gogh’s work and moved on to Emily Carr – I long-lamented that she was not still around to guide and mentor me. People over the years have told me that my work also reminds them of Edvard Munch’s work. I have recently completed two paintings in the Jackson Pollock style and can understand why he painted this way – it was extremely satisfying. Another huge inspiration is, of course, Mother Nature. One of my favorite subjects is Georgian Bay after an awe inspiring kayaking trip with some wonderful girlfriends who are all over the age of 50. I have painted at least 10 paintings of that trip in the past 3 years.Do you have a preferred colour palette or technique, and if so, explain? My favorite palette is orange and its complements, I’m not sure why. My favorite way to paint is to find something in nature…sketch it, take photos of it, bring it back to the studio and begin putting down ideas. I will often integrate many different scenes I’ve seen in nature into one painting. At this point, I will pick my colour palette using my colour wheel, generally try to force the painting into something that I think it should be, fail miserably, then pray and do my best to let go! Once I have been able to let go of the outcome, I get up very close and personal with my canvas and the paint just starts flowing and I try not to think. Then the hard part comes when I need to stop this feeling part and look carefully at it and place finishing touches.Your current work shows a very bold style – how do people react to your paintings upon first sight? And does this excite you as an artist? I can place people’s reactions in two distinct categories. They either “get it” or they don’t and that is ok with me. Those who “get it” get very excited start dancing around in my small studio and expressing quite loudly that they see what I am trying to convey and often purchase at least one item, large or small, as a token of their experience. Then there are those who don’t “get it” and they basically walk in and walk out. All reactions are valid. The comments I most often get are “WOW!”; “that’s interesting”; and “there’s just something about your painting, I can’t put my finger on it but I love it”. People have definite favorites and some have compared one of my trees with a face to “Groot”, a character from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. At the time I painted her, I had never even seen the movie. Possibly because my tag line is “art as worship” I have many conversations relating to God and spirit and how He/She/It moves in their lives. More than once people have been moved to tears as a reaction to some of my paintings. Of course I love to sell my paintings as this allows me to continue painting and spreading God’s love, however, just having people come into my studio and understand what it is I am trying to say is very gratifying. Can you tell us about your studio which is located 3hrs north of Toronto? My studio is located in the historical Clock Tower Center in Bracebridge, Ontario. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and was able to secure this lovely creative space. I love my days in my little studio (below) where I get to paint and interact with people from all over the world. I currently have a guest artist, Tamara Blakelok, also sharing my space. Martin Sheffield, the owner of the building, had a vision and has created an amazing space for fine artists and artisans, and it’s also a Clock Museum housing many antique clocks available for sale. Bracebridge’s historical Federal Post Office building, now renamed “The Clock Tower Centre” is officially listed as one of Ontario’s notable clock towers. It’s located in the heart of the downtown at the corner of Bracebridge’s busiest main intersection, Manitoba and Taylor Streets. Within the walls of the Clock Tower Centre you will find a treasure trove of artist studios, galleries, boutiques and spas creating an incredible shopping experience that will keep you coming back for more.
You seem to have a lot of support from your local community via social media and attendance at art shows – has this helped your decision to reach out to a bigger audience in Toronto and across Canada? I was invited to do a solo show at the Dwight Public Library last year and at the Pickering Village Jam Festival this year. I also participate in group shows across Northern Ontario and in Algonquin Park. The Burk’s Falls Art & Crafts Club has an Arts Center where all members show and sell their work and I have pieces for sale at this location. I do have quite a following via social media and, yes, these things have encouraged me to reach out and test the waters in the larger Toronto market and across Canada. I kept telling my Burk’s Falls group that the Group of Seven painted their masterpieces up here and took them to Toronto to sell. I decided I needed to put my money where my mouth is!Any other comments or advice for those taking up a paintbrush? Just keep painting but also learn by intention the basics of drawing, composition and of colour. This makes a huge impact in our work. Get connected with other like-minded people who are willing to share their expertise and once you get some expertise share that with others, remembering:
10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we discuss
80% of what we experience
95% of what we teach others.”- William Glasser
So I say stick with the winners. Most importantly, get connected with your higher power whoever or whatever that is for you personally. For me this is God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost who direct my path and help me to paint my paintings.
You can learn more about Pauline at: www.paulinelangmaid.com and you can view her paintings in Toronto at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East (“O Canada” group show closes July 29). You can also follower her on social media at: Facebook.com/Pauline-Langmaid-Fine-ArtI recommend buying a Pauline Langmaid original now before too many collectors find her and recognize her talent! You can’t go wrong investing in Canadian artists.
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, 400 Queen St East, Toronto www.urbangallery.ca
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.
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