Tag Archives: Toronto artists

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GREAT OPENING NIGHT FOR JOHNY DELUNA’S “SPONTANEOUS LEVITATION” ART SHOW

Congratulations to Toronto contemporary artist JOHNY DELUNA on a great opening reception for his solo show, “Spontaneous Levitation” at Art Square Gallery, 334 Dundas St West (opposite the Art Gallery of Ontario) in Toronto. Last night, Johny greeted friends, family, art collectors and other gallery curators to his colourful, provocative show.20170608_181006 20170608_182959 20170608_183042 20170608_18330520170608_200348(0)He even had a 4-legged art fan drop by…20170608_184734Fellow artist, Nancy Bennett (below), brought some of her friends to admire the intricate and detailed work.20170608_182229 20170608_181034Media maven Georgina Bencsik grabbed Johny for a selfie (below)20170608_182928

20170608_183217 20170608_191556Johny’s elegant partner, Katrina (below), was also a work of art herself as she helped host the soiree…20170608_184804..and I was thrilled to welcome some guests visiting from Australia who fell in love with Johny’s work.20170608_200334 20170608_201323 20170608_202027Sandy, above with Johny, actually runs a community arts program back home in Queensland, Australia, so she was excited to chat with him about his work….and maybe an invitation to visit Down Under in the future?20170608_191609Spontaneous Levitation runs until June 19th so please come on down and meet the artist who will be on-site most days.20170608_181013

 

 

 

 

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TORONTO ARTIST JOHNY DELUNA READY TO LAUNCH SOLO SHOW “SPONTANEOUS LEVITATION” THIS THURSDAY

With a final few brushstrokes left and the selection of which painting goes where on the gallery walls, Toronto contemporary artist JOHNY DELUNA is just a few days away from launching his exciting new solo show, “Spontaneous Levitation”, at the Art Square Gallery, 334 Dundas St West (opp. the AGO).

I caught up with Johny over the weekend and asked him to share some last-minute thoughts on his new show….

As your solo show, Spontaneous Levitation, draws closer, how many new works of art will be represented at the show?  I will be showing about 10 new works from this year and about 15 works from prior years.img442From where have you drawn inspiration for these new canvases?  The genesis of most paintings starts with one small event or observation My inspirations come from observations of the human condition.  I try to depict the fragility of our lives, the unusual effects of random events, the consequences of our behavior.  It seems that issues rarely disappear they simply re-emerge in a modified form. I want to articulate these ideas in a new and fresh way, so I let the work express itself intuitively. Sometimes I don’t recognize the finished piece as mine. (No Free Lunch, below).No Free Lunch 36x48Can you share the story behind one or two of these new masterworks? The piece titled Eating Spaghetti With Scissors (below) is based on our need to add unnecessary complexity to our lives. Perhaps this complexity gives us comfort, the feeling that our life is richer and better.  I think we mistake motion with progress and quantity with quality.  When we can’t answer an important question with a straight answer, we fake it with circuitous logic. We vigorously defend this opinion with a mind numbing jumble of half baked ‘truths’, opinions, rumors and petty biases. We end up ‘going to the wall’ defending these opinions; opinions that that we don’t fully understand ourselves.Eating Spaghetti With Scissors acrylic on canvas 34 x 48What would you like gallery visitors to come away with after viewing your work?  I hope people will find the show to be very fresh, humorous and thought-provoking.  I hope the works will speak to each person in their own way. I hope visitors will encourage their friends to visit the show as well.art squCome meet Johny at his opening reception and view his provocative large-format paintings (acrylic on canvas) this Thursday June 8th (6-9pm) at Art Square Gallery, 334 Dundas St West, Toronto. Show runs until June 19th.

 

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A VISIT TO ARTUSIASM ART GALLERY, TORONTO

Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of visiting a charming new storefront gallery along St. Clair West in Toronto – ARTUSIASM GALLERY – owned by Carlos Sa Rodrigues and his talented artist wife, Tanzina Amin pictured below.  Their current show, Life in the City, runs until May 1st.

Photo courtesy Linda Langerak

Photo courtesy Linda Langerak

Accomplished photographer and artist Linda Langerak invited me to the opening soiree and I was so pleased I accepted – what an exciting array of art from established and emerging local artists, and I was thrilled to find a number of pieces by a favourite painter friend, Kirk Sutherland (below).20170421_201952 18011082_1918219125130778_2553514075971526526_nOwner Tanzina is also quite the talent with a paintbrush – I really like her colourful exotic portraits (below)20170421_202542 20170421_202751 20170421_203648Another artist friend, Aisha Chiguichon, was also exhibiting there with 2 pieces, and she was having fun posing for friends just like a red carpet veteran!20170421_203558 20170421_202434 20170421_202444…even Linda started snapping away at all the work by fellow artists (below)20170421_203605I managed to round up several artists for a photo call…look at all those happy smiling faces!20170421_202518 20170421_20313520170421_203624The general consensus from the artists was that they all felt respected and well cared for by Carlos and Tanzina who even built a special access ramp for wheelchair-bound artist H. Jordyn Taylor, pictured below with her painting “Below the Stains of Time”. The usually shy Jordyn had a blast meeting lots of new fans of her work.20170421_203306Another lovely painting I discovered was “Don’t Tell Me to Smile” by Helena Napal, pictured below with her work.20170421_202346There were a couple of really fine cityscapes featuring the iconic CN Tower…20170421_201930 20170421_202057…and lots of familiar street scenes and abstracts, too.20170421_202015 20170421_202028 20170421_203518So many local Toronto artists are showcased in this show and I strongly recommend you drop by Artusiasm Gallery located at 1684 St Clair West, Toronto before the show closes on May 1.  You can’t miss the gallery – just look for this stunning streetcar painting in the window!20170421_202954Congratulations to Tanzina, Carlos and all the artists for a wonderful opening!  Check their website for details: www.artusiasm.com20170421_211419

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ARTIST COLIN NUN UNVEILS SOLO SHOW “PROTOTYPE” @ URBAN GALLERY, TORONTO

Last year, artist COLIN NUN displayed his typographical painting “Union” during Urban Gallery‘s annual group show and it turned out to be the show-stopper of the exhibit (see below).20160804_191109This month, Toronto’s URBAN GALLERY proudly presents Colin’s solo show “Prototype” featuring his unique and intricate paintings including a smaller version of his popular painting from last year, this time titled “Union II” (below)20170408_134424As I wandered around the gallery, each painting threw down the challenge “read me” – so standing back and squinting a little, each painting became the word and the meaning. A recipient of an Ontario Arts Council grant, Colin’s work is fascinating and I was intrigued by a smaller piece, a 12″x 12″ gouache on paper titled “Coop” – the more I looked at it, the more I related to the meaning of the word. Hopefully I can afford to put a red dot alongside it within the next week or two. Sold!20170408_134842Colin has a number of big bold paintings such as “Crux”, “Cycle” and “Barber” (below)20170408_134626 20170408_134817 20170408_134807…and I especially liked his “Void” – can you see the word on the canvas below?20170408_134502Colin’s proud dad, Frank (below, right) brought along some family friends and they gravitated towards his large canvas titled “Deluxe”. 20170408_140418Colin’s twin sister Erin also dropped in to support her brother – here she is enjoying some refreshments along with the artwork (below).20170408_142512These super cool dudes, all friends of Colin’s, dropped in and added their thumbs-up to the show…20170408_14501920170408_140740…especially his buddy Frank who seems to have a personal connection to “Cream” (below).  In order to maintained his dignity and integrity, tho, I employed my “don’t ask, don’t tell” interview style with him…LOL!20170408_140806(0)Let’s watch now as Colin tells us all about his work….

Gallery curator, Allen Shugar (below L) enjoyed hanging this show and he spent some time chatting with Colin during the reception.20170408_144812Two of my fave pieces are “Joy” and “Silence” – each is subtle and the texture Colin achieved with the oil paint makes them both very tactile (but I restrained myself and kept my hands to myself!)20170408_134518 20170408_134522 20170408_135003 20170408_135006Colin shared his creative insights with gallery guests and he attracted attention from fellow artist Erik Chong (2nd pic below)…20170408_142428 20170408_142627 20170408_150106If you’re looking for an exciting gallery experience, definitely consider dropping into Urban Gallery while Colin’s work is on display. All paintings are very affordable for the budding art collector, and each is mind-expanding and visually challenging.  You can learn more about Colin at:  www.fineart.colinnun.com/20170408_134413 20170408_134443 20170408_134855Urban Gallery is located at 400 Queen St East (just E of Parliament) Toronto. Hours and directions here: www.UrbanGallery.ca   And please do follow the gallery on Instagram and upload pics of your visit to Colin’s show (just like these two guests) @UrbanGalleryTO20170408_150416(0)

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URBAN GALLERY INTRO’S EXCITING NEW ARTIST USING FLUORESCENT PAINT TO CREATE PROVOCATIVE IMAGES OF FAMILIAR FANTASIES

Local artist MEGHAN THOMAS had a fantastic opening reception for her show, LUMINOSITY, at URBAN GALLERY (400 Queen St East, Toronto) this evening. Thanks to the temporarily hung “black lights” overhead, her fantastical large-format paintings literally sparkled, revealing all manner of hidden images and treasures within each canvas.  The show runs through December and ends January 14th, 2017. For directions and gallery hours, visit:  www.urbangallery.ca20161201_174630 20161201_174612 Here, let Meghan tell you about her work and inspirations herself….

20161201_173043Guests to the gallery were mesmerized by Meghan’s Hollywood/fantasy inspired work…armed with black-light flashlights, fans wandered from piece to piece shining the light across the paintings and finding hidden messages and images in the fluorescence. Even Fritz Lang’s iconic “Metropolis” robot was given a new updated vibe (below)20161201_172549 20161201_174654…and Willy Wonka got the Meghan treatment, too (pictured above). And below, Humpty Dumpty sat on a new wall thanks to Meghan’s imagination..20161201_173019And we were all feeling a little flushed after reading the hidden messages glowing in this wicked “trainspotting” tribute (below)20161201_173028Gallery visitors really enjoyed the experiential viewing of Meghan’s art and UrbanSource Catering fed their tummies while the paintings fed their souls. Below are my favourite mini samosas with yoghurt dip….yummmm!20161201_182211Here’s the fab artist herself wearing a fun glow-in-the-dark satchel while gallery curator, Allen Shugar enjoys a chuckle with her!20161201_173057Meghan’s proud mum (below, centre) was there, too, sharing tales of her talented daughter with visitors20161201_174437Other artists dropped by, including Brenda Clews here being photographed by Stacey of Snap’d Cabbagetown newspaper.20161201_181908 20161201_182227Actor Chris Currie (below right) schmoozed with gallery owner Calvin (below left)20161201_182313Allen and Calvin check out Lucy and her TV “Vitameatavegamin”episode. We ALL love Lucy!20161201_173255 20161201_181947Hope to see you at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East in Toronto between now and January 14th, 2017. If you’d like to learn more about Meghan and her unique style, visit her website: www.megswarpaint.com

www.urbangallery.ca

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GINA GODFREY UNVEILS HER NEW GALLERY SHOW IN TORONTO

Digital artist GINA GODFREY welcomed guests to her downtown Toronto gallery last night as she launched her latest show, “Black and White and Green with Envy”, just in time for holiday gift-giving. And to make her stunning prints accessible to everyone, Gina’s created smaller prints ideal for those with smaller wall spaces…..for the modest price of $150 (see partial selection below).20161116_180321 20161116_180243The exhibition features large format art based on Gina’s collages and photographs which she then digitally alters to create stunning designs and images. I love this group (below) that includes a little Sinatra on the side!20161116_181028 20161116_181015And these pieces certainly challenge your eyes and perspective. Fabulous!20161116_181125 20161116_181325 20161116_181135This is an extremely cool foursome (below)… I added some close-up details…what do you think?20161116_181236 20161116_181300 20161116_181255 20161116_181245Her friend, Deb Belinsky (below, left) of Tableau premium water solutions dropped in to support Gina (below, right)….20161116_181109…and enjoyed the deelish spread along with other guests…yummmm!20161116_181116If you’d like to visit Gina and experience her work, please visit www.ginagodfrey.com for hours & directions (her gallery is centrally located, close to Yonge & Bloor).20161116_181347 20161116_181206

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URBAN GALLERY OPENS NOVEMBER EXHIBITION FEATURING EXQUISITE PRINTS

Last night I enjoyed another wonderful opening party at URBAN GALLERY for this month’s exhibition, Driftwood & Dharma, featuring the works of 2 amazing Toronto-based artists and printmakers – KRIS BOVENIZER and DAWN HEMMY.  Their friends and families came out in full force to support the ladies and the gallery was humming from the moment doors were opened.20161103_175933 20161103_172534 20161103_172633Kris (below right) is joined by a young art fan….20161103_175723…and Dawn (below centre) enjoyed kudos and congrats from her friends, too…20161103_175911Joint Artist Statement: Having delved into the world of Intaglio and Relief Printmaking, we have both chosen merciless mediums. One slip of the gauge or scratch on a metal plate is not forgiven. The block or plate takes on a black and white life of its own. It becomes a collaborator in the process; requiring ongoing compromise to achieve the end result. We are both life travelers: seekers of spiritual places. The Driftwood & Dharma images illustrate our explorations into identity, memory and meditation as they relate to our journeys.

Kris Bovenizer is showcasing a series of images called “Strong Women and Octopi” (see below) as well as some beautiful and intricate rural images that you can stand and look at for 10 minutes and still find something new…online photos here do not do these prints justice.Bovenizer_Kris_Down Boy!_2011_18x24_Linocut Bovenizer_Kris_NeverADullMoment_2010_18x24_Linocut Bovenizer_Kris_RightWindowFrenchRiverPEI-2016_13x10_LinocutI am a Toronto-based artist who teaches Printmaking. My past experiences working in the field of Archaeology fuel my exploration about identity and perception in my work. I travel so that I always have one of my feet in water; Ocean, Lake, Pool or Puddle. Canada’s Maritime Provinces have forever changed me. My experiences growing up in Ontario – by the lake in Toronto and up at the cottage near Algonquin Park – also work their way into this exhibition. Kris Bovenizer   www.krismadethis.com

Kris’s fellow artist Dawn Hemmy is showing a number of prints inspired by her travels in S.E. Asia and India – I particularly liked her “Monkey Palace” print (below)…can you count all the monkeys?HEMMY_Monkey Palace20161103_17582520161103_181001I have been fortunate to have been able to pursue art my entire life.  Teaching art and printmaking for most of my career has allowed me to be in a creative environment with so many other artists. The prints in this exhibition have been greatly influenced by travelling through Asia and India, and experiencing the magic and mystery of their cultures.  Dawn Hemmy  www.hemmyimages.com 

 

 

 

 

Driftwood & Dharma runs until Sat. November 26th – see Urban Gallery’s website for directions and gallery hours: www.urbangallery.ca20161103_180911All the framed artwork on display is available for sale, plus there are some unframed prints (mounted with mattes) also available.20161103_180952

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“It’s a Party” with Toronto digital artist GINA GODFREY

I had the pleasure of visiting the studio of artist GINA GODFREY yesterday, and she was gracious enough to show me around personally. Working with digitally manipulated collages that she painstakingly crafts first, Gina creates provocative, colourful large format artwork to fit any home or commercial space.20161026_13461520161026_134554Gina was the first international artist to show at the red-carpeted halls of the Jerusalem Theater in 2007 in Israel. Her works are also on permanent display in the Ohel Moishe Synagogue in Shanghai, China. Her works are on display and in collections in Israel, England and throughout North America including the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto.
Her current show (closing the first week of November) is called “It’s A Party” and features numerous pieces (giclee on canvas) that stimulate conversation and definitely promote a party mood!image001I absolutely adored her series of 4 “fishy” images, appropriated titled Fishy Fishy One, Two…etc.20161026_134912…as well as her moody smaller pieces like High Pigment and Incognito 2 (below)20161026_140429Here, let Gina tell you about her creative process herself….

Thank you, Gina. We then went into her backroom where she pulled out some amazing images she created of pop-culture icons that we all know, such as Sophia Loren, Brooke Shields and Canada’s own literary lion, Mordecai Richler (below)20161026_140218 20161026_140307 20161026_140400The prints of Sophia and Mordecai were done on handcrafted Japanese paper and in person, were so stunning to see. Sadly, my photos don’t do them justice here.

Gina is involved with a number of important causes and charities including this year’s The Brain Project. Her brain sculpture (see below – courtesy Toronto Sun) was part of an awareness program by Baycrest Health Sciences aimed at sparking a nationwide conversation about brain health and research. Her sculpture was on view this past summer at Toronto City Hall Square.Sun

She has just launched another project to raise funds and awareness for therapy dogs called Dogs on the Catwalk, again benefiting a Baycrest Health Sciences initiative www.baycrest.org/dogsonthecatwalk/   Bravo, Gina!

You can learn more about Gina’s digital artwork and upcoming shows as well as her passion for philanthropy by visiting her website and following her on social media.   www.ginagodfrey.com 

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ST. PAUL’S ANGLICAN CHURCH ON BLOOR ST. EAST UNVEILS “When I Was a Stranger” SCULPTURE BY TIM SCHMALZ

I have really nice next-door neighbours – I overlook St. Paul’s Anglican Church on Bloor St East and today I joined the staff, Board of Trustees and members of the congregation as they unveiled the beautiful bronze sculpture by leading Canadian artist Tim Schmalz, called “When I Was a Stranger”. Here, let Pastor Barry Parker do the honours….

20161013_110700 20161013_105652As Pastor Barry suggested, come visit, sit a spell and take a selfie with Jesus!

Artist Tim Schmalz is an accomplished sculptor and has undertaken many religious commissions which you can see on his website: www.sculpturebytps.com Below, Tim explains more about his work for St. Paul’s

And below, Bishop Peter Fenty (Bishop for York-Simcoe and the Diocese of Toronto) offers up a prayer

Immediately after the speeches, visitors started sharing their selfies, like this lady here…20161013_110740….and there were lots of photos being snapped for the Church newspaper and local media….20161013_111036 20161013_111050 20161013_111341(0) 20161013_111505The gentleman who modelled for the face of Jesus came by to lend support & congratulate Tim (below left)20161013_111257And this is the result…the serene face of Jesus, bowed in humility, full of warmth and love. 20161013_111248Inside the church lobby, there was also a display of paintings by local artists Ruthia Pak Regis and Matt Wood…..nice to pop in and warm up a bit.20161013_110821 20161013_110843 20161013_110855Thank you to Exec. Pastor Joyce Badley for her kind invitation to join the celebration today, and to Assoc. Priest Sandra Seaborn for sharing additional information about the event & other church activities.

www.stpaulsbloor.org20161013_105406

 

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TORONTO’S URBAN GALLERY LAUNCHES DUAL ARTIST SHOW FOR OCTOBER

Throughout October, URBAN GALLERY is pleased to showcase two Toronto artists whose journeys into distant landscapes where light and shadow ignite the senses allow the viewer to experience life with heightened awareness and inspiration. This wonderment helps to reveal the genuine beauty of living life in the moment.  Last night, the gallery hosted an opening party where both artists welcomed friends, family and potential new art collectors to their show.  VISTA TRAILS and THE GEOGRAPHY OF LIGHTruns from October 6 to October 29, 2016, featuring Annie Mandlsohn (Painting, Sculpture & Mixed Media) and Robert J. Brodey (Photography)20161006_174000 20161006_182228For over 30 years, Annie Mandlsohn (pictured below with a gallery visitor) has exhibited her artwork across Canada. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (B.F.A.) from Concordia University in Montreal specializing in visual arts and music, and also holds a Master in Environmental Studies Degree (M.E.S.) from York University in Toronto.20161006_173911Annie has lived and worked in urban, rural and remote areas of the country, and has travelled across Canada, USA, Europe and Japan. Her love of faraway places, often where tourists do not go, leads her to experience various cultures and adventures she encounters, finding unique journeys guided by an inner compass. The beauty of nature and the spirit and power of landscapes are reflected in her work (samples of which are pictured below)20161006_173806 20161006_173427 20161006_174131 20161006_174015VISTA TRAIL framed Pastel 19x16 MOUNTAIN LAKE Collage Indian and Nepalese paper abalone beads 24X34 MandlsohnI got a chance to chat briefly with Annie before losing her to a crowd of art fans!

Robert Brodey is a Toronto-based writer and photographer whose longing for new places has sent him travelling around the world, writing and shooting for the likes of Street Kids International, Outpost Magazine, The Toronto Star, and The Houston Chronicle. Below are a few of Robert’s stunning portraits and landscapes featured in this current show…20161006_17103620161006_171045 20161006_171139I have always been attracted to movement and change.  I love the element of surprise, the contrasts, and the rush that comes when all the senses light up. For me, what is distant holds a degree of mystery and stokes the fire of imagination and curiosity. I need to experience it.  In that way, travelling is a conscious seeking — for different cultures, different landscapes, and, yes, sometimes even different light.     Robert J. Brodey

Here, let Robert tell you more about his work himself……

Artist, actor and poet Philip Cairns in front of Annie's artwork

Artist, actor and poet Philip Cairns posed in front of Annie’s artwork

Gallery curator Allen Shugar (R) talks with Annie's fans/collectors

Gallery curator Allen Shugar (R) talks with Annie’s fans/collectors

Gallery assistant Kelly chats with performance artist and art lover David Roche

Gallery assistant Kelly chats with performance artist and art lover David Roche

There are always scrumptious treats at Urban Gallery's artist receptions!

There are always scrumptious treats at Urban Gallery’s artist receptions!

Annie was interviewed by Mark Hasan of KQEK.com arts blog

Annie was interviewed by Mark Hasan of KQEK.com arts blog

20161006_182328VISTA TRAILS and THE GEOGRAPHY OF LIGHT2 runs from Oct.6 to Oct.29 at URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto  For gallery hours, visit: www.urbangallery.caUG-Letterhead-BC