Tag Archives: Toronto galleries

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TORONTO ARTIST JUDITH McKAY UNVEILS SOLO SHOW “HIRAETH” @ URBAN GALLERY

Running throughout the month of November, Hiraeth is thesolo show featuring stunning and colourful contemporary landscapes and “tree portraits” presented by JUDITH McKAY at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East in downtown Toronto.20181110_132357The Toronto artist explores fantasy as a means of finding peace in a frenetic world. Trees are her allegory for the endless pursuits of modern life: rooted, yet branching out to reach the sky.20181110_132237

20181110_132301Largely self-taught, Judith’s style is free-flowing. She uses both thick impasto and fluid colour to achieve movement and boldness. Fearless about colour, she uses a vibrant palette, applying interference and iridescent paints to achieve surrealistic effects. Her style is constantly evolving via frequent participation in workshops and exhibitions, as well as studying the techniques of other artists.

Judith (below L) was joined by her husband Rob Sylvester (below R), and her daughter Shannon (below C) came in all the way from New Jersey to celebrate the big opening reception!20181110_134458The gallery looked bright and welcoming on such a grey Saturday – and soon the guests started pouring in, admiring all the canvases….20181110_144400 20181110_142700 20181110_141442

20181110_132308 20181110_132620 20181110_145817ARTIST’s STATEMENT: Hiraeth (here-eye-th) is a Celtic word that means a wistful longing for a place to where you cannot return. A place that perhaps never was. The desire for a sense of peace and belonging are emotions I seek to capture in my work. Such desire can often turn to frustration when the real world doesn’t live up to fantasy, and so I depict trees, firmly rooted yet dancing in the wind, to symbolize resiliency as we continue to seek our true home, despite adversity. For this exhibition, I chose a vibrant palette and the use of high gloss medium and reflective paints to create an ethereal effect, as if awakening from a beautiful dream that quickly evaporates and eludes us. The pieces selected for display are meant to truly express what Hiraeth means to me.   ~ Judith McKay

I had the opportunity of chatting briefly with Judith prior to opening the doors of the gallery and she kindly shared with me her process and inspirations, especially for this collection….

If you would like to see Judith’s gorgeous, lush paintings, visit www.urbangallery.ca for gallery hours and directions, and follow Judith on her Instagram account: @judithmckayart

Hiraeth runs now until Nov. 30th at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, Toronto.

Thank you for supporting Canadian artists!20181110_132455

 

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STOCKYARDS GALLERY DELIVERS KNOCK-OUT SHOW WITH 3 EXCITING ARTISTS!

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).20171201_19282520171201_200217 20171201_211946Jean 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.ca20171201_195811Above, 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.com20171201_192831 20171201_192851_001 20171201_193007Recording 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.20171201_195828 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)20171201_193552 20171201_215558Mr 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.ca20171201_221336 20171201_221251 20171201_221300There 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).

 

 

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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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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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Take a walk with me thru the annual RIVERDALE ARTWALK in Toronto

Hosted annually by The Artists’ Network Board, the RIVERDALE ARTWALK takes place this weekend (June 4 & 5) at Jimmie Simpson Park on Queen St East. Each year, I love strolling through the tents and exhibits, meeting old friends and making new ones among the multi-disciplinary artists participating in this first of the year’s outdoor art shows. It was such a lovely sunny day today, I headed down to the show early so come and take a virtual stroll with me as I introduce you to some of the talented artists…..

First off, here’s Stephen Cooper who is a photographic artist specializing in vintage cars….or should I say the rusted skeletons of vintage autos.  www.wstephencooper.com20160604_120643 20160604_120646He turns dusty old heaps of metal into stunning works of art…here, let Steve tell you himself

I loved the cool, calm tones of Nicky Hindmarch‘s seascapes (below) www.nickyhindmarsh.com Her booth was perfect for taking a breather and sheltering from the hot sun beaming down on the park.20160604_121248 20160604_121253Kate Taylor has been a Facebook friend for a long time and I love seeing her new art each year. Look at these gorgeous vibrant pieces….  www.katetaylorstudio.com20160604_121441 20160604_121452I’m lucky to own an original Ian Busher work of art, so I was intrigued to see his new focus this year which is quite  different from what’s hanging on my wall. Love love love the bright colour blocking featured below. www.studiobusher.com20160604_121619 20160604_121526

The ladies of the Women’s Art Assoc. of Canada were a hoot…here’s a group of artists who really love their work! www.womensartofcanada.ca20160604_120826More fun sights…..20160604_120904 20160604_120445And here’s the fabulous artist/teacher Rea Kelly who is always pleased to welcome visitors… www.reakelly.com20160604_12494820160604_125009I discovered these powerful paintings by Mississauga artist Christopher Masoure  www.studiomazur.com20160604_121925…and I enjoyed meeting Morgan Jones www.morganjonesart.com whose work I had seen at ArtaGallery and included in an earlierr blog from The Distillery District (3rd pic)20160604_122004 20160604_12214220160522_164722(0)The charming and talented Gaya Kairos invited me in to her booth to cool off and enjoy the shade. It was her first time at the Artwalk so I asked her to share her thoughts on the experience.  www.art-gaya.com 

20160604_123951 20160604_123942Peter McLennan was a great new find for me.  His photographic artworks were masterpieces in minimalism and as I stood in his booth, I overheard so many ooo’s and aaah’s. Hope he sells ’em all! www.PeterMcLennan.com20160604_122509I think my biggest discover at this year’s show has to be Gordon Shadrach whose paintings of men’s shoes, socks and powerful portraits took my breath away. www.shadrachartworks.com 20160604_122711 20160604_122717 20160604_122725

I love Karola‘s paintings, esp. her charming chickens …..one day I hope to have one of her colourful roosters on my wall! www.Karola.ca 20160604_123245 20160604_123317Liz Menard invited me in to see her etchings (below) and I loved the delicate designs and colour palette she uses. www.lizmenard.ca 20160604_123623

If the weather holds up for tomorrow (Sunday June 5) I really recommend you visit the Riverdale Artwalk in person. Located at Jimmie Simpson Park @ Queen Street East & Booth Avenue, there is an indoor showroom, too, which I totally missed today so if it’s raining you can still enjoy more art. www.artistsnetwork.ca 20160604_125205

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URBAN GALLERY HOSTS IN MAGAZINE’S PRIDE TORONTO LAUNCH PARTY

IN Magazine is Toronto’s premier LGBT glossy magazine and last night, Publisher Patricia Salib and her colleagues hosted a party to help launch this year’s PRIDE Month (and introduce the office PRIDE Guide) at URBAN GALLERY, catered by sister-company URBAN SOURCE CATERING. And what a fun party it was, too.20160601_18212920160601_18084120160601_182608(0)Sponsored by TD Bank, guests posed at the photowall, including Gallery director Calvin Hambrook shown here (below L) with Patricia and TD’s Regional Mgr of LGBT Business Development, Al Ramsey20160601_183633The delicious hors d’oeuvres circulated constantly…..20160601_180054 20160601_180131…and they disappeared just as quickly!20160601_181141Here’s Maria Khan (below L), Mgr of Talent Acquisition Strategies at Scotiabank who brought her colleagues to support IN Magazine. They’re posed in front of the beautiful paintings by Kirk Sutherland who’s exhibiting at the gallery during PRIDE month – his opening night party is tonight so I’ll share more of Kirk’s work with you later.20160601_180800Also in attendance, M.A.C. Cosmetics representative Drew Bowden who cut such a dashing figure in the crowd, esp. alongside friend Sharon Deebrah of Toronto City Planning (lower pic)20160601_18182120160601_181846More fabulous guests and IN Magazine folks and speeches….20160601_18314720160601_18272620160601_185622Thanks to the hard-working gallery and catering staff, and to Kelly who worked the door, checking the guest list and greeting everyone with her charming smile!20160601_181601 20160601_185832

www.urbangallery.ca

www.urbancatering.com

www.inmagazine.ca

 

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URBAN GALLERY hosts new show ‘HUMANIMAL” featuring soft sculptures & paintings by ZOE CHANGEUN SON

I’d like to intro you to exciting Korean-Canadian artist ZOE CHANGEUN SON (below), whose show of mythical beasts portrayed in soft sculptures as well as paintings, is now on exhibition at URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto, running until Feb 13/16.20160116_142609(0)HUMANIMAL showcases the wee creatures that are 3D portraits of the beasts in her imagination. Scary, weird, humourous and bizarre, the felt and cloth critters are displayed flying across the gallery wall and some mini beasties are on a central table – I just had to say hello (bottom picture).20160116_144929 20160116_144939

20160116_142155 20160116_142404Nancy from Snapd Newspaper dropped in to cover the artist’s reception and was busy snapping away (below)20160116_142030 20160116_142313Zoe’s paintings show the same imaginative spirit, featuring all manner of whimsical humans with “special” powers and appearances. I was intrigued by the snowy bunny-like androgynous being below, titled “Someone’s Portrait #1″….IMG_7210…as well as “Someone’s Portrait #2″, featuring this moose/boy belowIMG_7211Also shown are a series of mandalas and imaginary beasts, painted in acrylics on canvas or wood. Aren’t these extraordinary?20160116_142011 20160116_142451 20160116_14245720160116_145004The fabulous Kaspara Albertsen (below, right) ably assisted with gallery hospitality – a photographic artist herself, she knows how to motivate the staff as well as her fellow artists.20160116_142821The rest of the gallery staff and management were in attendance and joined Zoe for photo opps, below. L-R: Calvin Hambrook (gallery director), Kaspara, Zoe & Allen Sugar (curator)20160116_142946I encourage you all to go see where the wild things are over the next 4 weeks…check out the gallery’s website for hours and directions:  www.urbangallery.ca

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ZEBUU HOME DECOR STORE OFFERS UNIQUE ACCESSORIES IN GALLERY-LIKE SETTING

When I visited Toronto’s Bloordale neighbourhood yesterday to celebrate the opening of the Dead Dog Records store, I walked past an intriguing store offering unique and incredibly beautiful home decor and art that I just could not resist…so I went inside.

20150926_140306Zebuu, located at 1265 Bloor St West just east of Lansdowne, presents its wares much like a curated gallery – collections of bird carvings from Brazilian artisans in lots of lovely colours grouped together like little birdies on a power line…delicately carved wooden angels flew across the entrance wall, and groups of wooden heads marched across the shelves live Easter Island moai come to life!

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20150926_140037Co-owner Craig Williamson explained that he and his partner, Geraldo Valerio, import their home decor, room accents and textiles mainly from Brazil, Turkey and India, all handcrafted by skilled artisans. Check out the stunning copperware from Turkey and the beautifully decorated shears and scissors from Mumbai, India, below.20150926_135902

20150926_135916So many cute little treasures for the wee ones’ rooms as well as the big people…I wanted to play with these hand-carved beasties….20150926_135741…and what kitchen or family room wouldn’t benefit from the addition of these fine home accents?20150926_140134 20150926_135725 20150926_135755Don’t the wooden spoons look like art (above), displayed the way Craig has hung them on the wall? Each is made by hand from native Brazilian hardwoods, ensuring a one-of-a-kind look and feel.

If you’re more into Canadiana, have no fear…Zebuu has lots of lovely goodies for the true blue Canucks, too.20150926_140045 20150926_140139The new website, www.zebuu.com, is still being populated with photos and product information, but you can call them on 647-748-1265 or email: info@zebuu.com 20150926_135656Zebuu is a welcome oasis of art, home decor and giftware amongst a row of unremarkable but friendly neighbourhood cafes, convenience stores and thrift shops.  You will feel welcome and at home so drop in and say hello to Craig and Geraldo, and do tell them I sent you.20150926_140110

 

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URBAN GALLERY HOSTS OFFICIAL LAUNCH FOR “DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOUR” BY NANCY-JANE PRICE

Tonight marked the official launch for local artist NANCY-JANE PRICE‘s latest painting series “Don’t Be Afraid of Colour” at URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto  www.urbangallery.ca

20150910_17535620150910_18313820150910_183135Nancy-Jane’s first passionate encounter with colour occurred while she was still in kindergarten. She was to fill in a single pane of a stained glass window design on a piece of brown paper. She chose the most beautiful shade of magenta her young eyes had ever seen, carefully filling in the space. But when the teacher noticed that Nancy-Jane hadn’t started at the bottom, she was summarily removed from painting duties. That memory runs deep. She continued her love affair with colour in public school and colour has stayed with her ever since, mostly through dress and home decoration.  Five years ago, after various art classes focused on traditional drawing and painting, she decided to “loosen up” her style, and signed up for an ongoing studio class where she concentrates on non-objective painting in acrylics with an emphasis on intuitive sense of colour. IMG_4402IMG_442720150910_183116Artist statement:  Colour, space, juxtaposition, design; the mystery in the way it works, the joy of being alive…

Here’s Nancy-Jane (below left) with KJ Mullins, Publisher of www.Newz4U.net20150910_175434And here’s artist Linda Langerak (below left) with Wayne Abell of UrbanSource Catering, and KJ Mullins20150910_180646

Visit www.Facebook.com/UrbanGallery to take a virtual walk thru the gallery (video)

DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOUR

Paintings by Nancy-Jane Price.  Show runs until Sat. September 26, 2015UG-Letterhead-BC