Tag Archives: Urban Gallery

20191003_143531

OSVALDO “OZZIE” NAPOLI OPENS HIS 2ND SOLO SHOW @ URBAN GALLERY (runs throughout October 2019)

Yesterday, Sat. Oct 5th, multi-media artist Osvaldo Napoli launched his latest solo show E-POQUE at Toronto’s Urban Gallery.  I spoke with Ozzie earlier in the week and he shared his thoughts and inspirations for his current works…

We walked around the gallery together as Ozzie told me the stories behind each piece….20191003_140159 20191003_140226 20191003_140352Across one wall, Ozzie showed me his collection of “smalls” – each incorporating computer & tech salvage into the artwork to tell the story of humanity intersecting with technology.

20191003_140356 20191003_140405 20191003_140636 20191003_140759…and one piece in particular, Ozzie told me, focuses on the issue of cyber-bullying and how technology impacts the young via social media.

Ozzie will be in the gallery every Saturday during October between 3-6pm to meet with art lovers and share his unique perspectives on technology and the human condition.  URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto www.UrbanGallery.caIMG_215420191003_140217 20191003_140242 20191003_140327

20190905_161809

URBAN GALLERY PRESENTS VAYA’s FIRST TORONTO SOLO SHOW THROUGHOUT SEPTEMBER ’19

Swiss-born painter, photographer and performance artist VAYA has her first solo show in Toronto, CHILD OF ROCK, at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, throughout the month of September. The opening reception took place Thurs. Sept. 5th and gallery visitors were thrilled to meet the charming and engaging artist in person and viewing her unique artworks that included large format B&W fashion photographs and paintings built upon underlying photographic images of the artist herself. 20190905_165758Pictured above: Vaya, 2nd from L, is joined by her husband as well as gallery director, Calvin Hambrook (L) and curator Allen Shugar (R)

The show also features a stunning portrait of pop culture idol, Jim Morrison, in an acrylic and oil print on textile… Vaya created a huge canvas especially for this show that takes up much of the gallery’s rear wall!20190905_161642An incisive & provocative artist, VAYA explores, mixes, meets and transcribes the darkness in the angels’ voices. An energetic claw on each canvas, VAYA dances as she works and often by candlelight to be closer to the imperceptible. “It’s always a discovery the next day in daylight.”

She also employs a camera to share her creativity, “A way of getting out of yourself and becoming your own observer is fun and fascinating”.  VAYA has fun, dances, writes prayers on the souls of her music legend subjects.  “I like to pay tribute to those who have suffered so much, laying some particles of peace over their restless souls – isn’t that the artist’s role? Transfigure suffering into masterpieces? 20190905_16165120190905_164658In her own words….meet Vaya:

20190905_172710 20190905_161827Local artist Jennifer Hossein was welcomed to the gallery by Calvin… (below)20190905_173002…and Allen welcomed first time visitors Maryam and her budding artist daughter Ayda (below)20190905_180359(0)Of course, everyone wanted to check out Vaya’s exquisite footwear which were works of art themselves!20190905_183035If you’d like to learn more about this exciting new (to Toronto) artist, you can join Vaya at the gallery this coming Thursday Sept. 19 (6-7pm) for a special live performance of her music, dance and art. RSVP to attend: info@urbangallery.ca

CHILD OF ROCK runs until September 28th @ Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, Toronto  www.UrbanGallery.ca 20190905_164710

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URBAN GALLERY OPENS “HOT TOWN, SUMMER IN THE CITY” GROUP SHOW, RUNS UNTIL AUG.31ST

Yesterday, the gallery was hopping with art lovers, friends and family of the seven featured artists in the August show HOT TOWN, SUMMER IN THE CITY which runs all month at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, Toronto.20190810_144320 20190810_141319 20190810_140508The talented artists whose work covers the gallery walls are: Kris Bovenizer, Kirk Sutherland, Aisha Chiguichon, Moses Salihou, Michelle Hudson, Liliana Vera and Andres Valencia Zava, most of whom were present yesterday at the official launch reception.
Below, contemporary artist Moses Salihou, (originally from Cameroon, now living in Toronto) and his lovely wife Catherine pose in front of 2 of his 3 canvases…Moses & Catherineand below, gallery regular Kirk Sutherland whose work is represented in more than 15 int’l galleries, proudly showed off his “Metropolitan Panorama”20190810_142315…and here’s self-taught contemporary artist Michelle Hudson with her 3 colourful pieces painted on Yupo paper:Michelle Hudson with her artworksKris Bovenizer, who has previously exhibited at the gallery, also teaches traditional print-making, showed off 2 of her hand-pulled relief prints…20190810_144209Aisha Chiguichon came to the gallery ready to party and shared a toast with one of the gallery’s photographers. She’s self-taught and her colour palette has been inspired by her childhood in the Caribbean. Cheers, Aisha!Aisha Chiguichon with her artworks-1Unfortunately, I was not able to stay to meet up with Liliana or Andres but their works were exciting and stimulating, and very evocative of their own personal summer experiences. Their works are below, in order as mentioned: IMG-1027 (1) IMG-1031

The show runs until the end of August so if you’d like to enjoy viewing these paintings in air conditioned comfort, visit the gallery’s website for hours and directions: www.UrbanGallery.ca

And if you’d like to learn more about the artists, here are some weblinks or social media addresses for you to peruse:
@moses_salihou (IG)
www.kirksutherland.com
www.michellehudsonart.ca
www.krismadethis.com
@thecatintherain (IG – Liliana Vera)
www.capturethesoulcreations.com   (Aisha Chiguichon)
www.facebook.com/Andres-Valencia-ZavaIMG_5574

Summer Sumach

ARTIST ALLEN SHUGAR UNVEILS MAGNIFICENT COMMISSIONED INSTALLATION IN TORONTO

This past Wednesday, artist and curator for Urban Gallery ALLEN SHUGAR unveiled his stunning “Summer Sumachs” painting installed in the new luxury Chartwell retirement residence called The Sumach located on…Sumach Street (of course!) in downtown Toronto.20190717_145310Located inside the entrance foyer, the 3 x 3 panel painting overlooks the reception desk where residents and visitors can enjoy viewing Allen’s interpretation of the native sumach tree in full bloom – perfect for brightening up those grey winter days. I took the opportunity to briefly interview the artist about this work……

Allen, congratulations on your recently unveiled installation at the new Chartwell retirement residence in downtown Toronto. Being on Sumach Street, your painting featuring the colourful sumach tree on multiple panels fits perfectly into the space – tell us how you were contacted for this commissioned work.   At Urban Gallery, we occasionally receive requests from companies (in this case Daniels Corporation) for artists to submit proposals for commissioned art works. In the past, we have passed these requests on to artists who have exhibited in the gallery and whose work we felt was particularly suited to the project – resulting in some successful and lucrative commissions for those artists! I myself had never responded to one of these requests before, but this one really sounded like it was right in line with the type of work I like to do, so I thought, why not! 

How long did this magnificent work take to complete, and in what medium did you work?   The painting is oil-on-canvas. I was on a very strict schedule in order to meet a pre-established installation date. I had just slightly over 2 months to complete the work and this had to include enough drying time (oil paint is slow to dry) so that the pieces could be handled safely for installation. It was a very tight timeline for a painting of this scale and I really had to work furiously in order to meet the deadline! 

Did the client give you certain parameters or directions as to content and style of your work?   A lot of my paintings are nature studies and it was some of those that I sent off as examples of the type of work I was proposing. The client was particularly interested in a painting of mine called TRANSITORY FOREST which is painted on 9 panels and totals 6 feet square in size. They requested a painting of the same size and format but they wanted Sumach, in full summer bloom, as the subject matter. This made perfect sense with the new building being called The Sumach Building, located on Sumach Street in downtown Toronto and it suited me just fine, because I’ve always admired Sumach trees and this gave me the opportunity to paint them. 

As the curator of Urban Gallery (since it opened in 2012) who is responsible for working directly with the individual guest artists organizing the hanging of each month’s shows, how does it feel to see your own work presented in such a fashion?   I’m very pleased to have this work installed in a public location. It’s on a scale that would make it unlikely to find a home in a private residence and here, in the lobby of The Sumach Building, it can be enjoyed by all the residents and their guests throughout the year. I think it might be particularly appreciated in the winter when it can almost stand in for that much missed glimpse of green from a window.20190717_145314Any other commissions on the horizon, and how about any upcoming shows of your work at the gallery?   I did complete another commission just before starting on this one. It was a smaller work painted on 3 panels for a residential installation. It was also a nature study entitled “Morning Mist” (pictured below) and depicted a branch of a Ginkgo tree in Autumn colour. At the moment, I am busy working on a number of paintings with a wide variety of subjects – nature, figurative and abstract – which I hope will become part of my next show at Urban Gallery.  Morning MistThanks to hosts Katrina (Lifestyle & Programs Mgr) and Margaret (Gen’l Manager for the building) for arranging the visit and hosting an artist talk with a group of residents who were interested in the art hanging in the various community rooms in the building. Here, Allen engages with his very enthusiastic audience…20190717_160459 20190717_161409We were also given a tour of this new residence by Katrina and oh my, the attention to detail in the fixtures and fittings…wow! They have a small cinema, a reading room, a games room, a well-appointed gym, a large rooftop patio and a fabulous full-service dining room; there are several layouts & sizes for the rental units all with washer/dryers, dishwashers…all the mod cons. The Sumach offers a selection of personal services for those needing a little extra care, too. Definitely worth checking out if you are planning for retirement. www.thesumachbychartwell.com

To learn about Allen, visit his website www.allenshugar.com to see past and current artworks, and feel free to drop into Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, Toronto, to view works he’s curated for other artists. urbangallery.ca 

20170907_164330Above, Allen poses in front of his previous multi-panel installation at Urban Gallery for his 2017 solo show

VOLUPTUOUS by Nicolas Pearson oil and twine on Canvas 60 x 36 2010 copy

URBAN GALLERY HOSTS NICOLAS PEARSON’S SOLO SHOW “IMAGINARY NONSENSE” FOR MONTH OF JULY, 2019

The first thing you notice when entering Urban Gallery this month is the riot of colour! Big, bold and full of energy, each canvas offers stunning graphics, mixed media and just simply….joy. Local artist NICOLAS PEARSON delivers an exciting solo show in Imaginary Nonsense: A kaleidoscopic journey of abstraction through painting which runs through July 31st at Toronto’s leading non-commission gallery located at 400 Queen Street East…and it’s well air-conditioned for those who find the heat and humidity unbearable (like this writer). Here’s Nicolas to tell you about his art and his inspirations….

My work is primarily abstract oil and acrylic paintings. I produce my work in a subconscious manner where I start with an idea and jump into the painting, changing my vision as I go through the process as inspiration hits me. Inspiration comes from my fascination for the natural world and random mundane items I encounter in my daily life that enthuse me. Anything can be a visual stimulant and can be incorporated in my art, the idea that anything and everything can become art gives me motivation. I started this fascination when I experimented with mixed media collage using everyday buttons off a dress shirt or jacket. These items, which would normally just form a practical purpose, are now being used to create an artistic expression. I also use twine, cheesecloth and impasto painting techniques to create texture and areas of interest in my work. – Nicolas Pearson

Born and raised in Toronto Canada, Nicolas attended the McMichael Art Gallery summer camp for art where he would later work for a few years. He studied fine art and art history at the University of Toronto’s joint program with Sheridan Collage, graduating in summer 2012. During university, he also participated in a summer study abroad program for Modern Art History, with a focus on Italian Art in Siena, Italy, in 2010.  He was also involved in several group shows including the Chancellors Exhibition at the University of Toronto 3 years in a row, and a one-day pop-up show at the Gladstone Hotel.

Today, his latest works were admired by gallery visitors and friends…20190713_14180720190713_141652 20190713_141917 20190713_142012Here is the artist with gallery curator Allen Shugar (below), and gallery owner Calvin Hambrook (lower)20190713_14193620190713_141640(0)..and sharing the camera with one of his energy-filled paintings (below)20190713_134946Here are some exquisite close-ups/details from some of his work….20190713_131155 20190713_131202 20190713_142156 20190713_142335The show runs throughout the month of July, closing on the 31st, with another opportunity to meet the artist on Sat. July 27th (2-4pm) so we hope you will join us to celebrate this talented Canadian artist.  Space is limited so kindly RSVP to: info@urbangallery.ca20190713_144330

Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East (just E of Parliament)
www.UrbanGallery.ca

20190608_153050

URBAN GALLERY HOSTS OPENING RECEPTION FOR BRIAN GIBSON’S SOLO SHOW “ICONS” FOR PRIDE MONTH

Throughout June, Toronto celebrates its LGBTQ community and each year URBAN GALLERY hosts an art exhibition as part of the city’s PRIDE festivities. Pride2019-CommunityEventLogo_Black with colour copy

This year, hyper-realist portrait artist BRIAN GIBSON is launching his ongoing project ICONS featuring legends from Hollywood and the music industry. This past Saturday, the gallery was filled with Brian’s family, friends and fans, along with a DJ spinning tunes by some of his artistic subjects. Brian (below left) and his partner, Danny (below right) enjoyed sharing stories behind each portrait and how each star has impacted Brian’s work in this special ongoing series of paintings.  20190608_164818Portraiture has been a historic representation of society and the continuing similarities found in the human experience. Hair & clothing styles may change but we are fundamentally the same throughout time. ~ Brian Gibson.

Gallery curator Allen Shugar (below R) really enjoyed hanging this show and being surrounded by such famous faces…as did gallery director Calvin Hambrook (below L)20190608_15513220190608_153236 20190608_153115 20190608_153227 20190608_154843Even a young Sophia Loren made an appearance alongside Judy Garland (below)20190608_153111The guests were enthralled by the uncanny likenesses…20190608_153212 20190608_153527…and Brian was happy to chat with everyone and pose for photos…20190608_15434620190608_16441620190608_154328The whole gallery was a-buzz with people sharing memories of concerts attended or movies they watched starring these “icons”…20190608_154356 20190608_154426 20190608_163349 20190608_164121

ICONS runs until June 29th so we look forward to introducing you to Cher, Marilyn, Doris, Rock and Prince!
URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto
www.urbangallery.ca

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MARILYN by Brian Gibson Redford

HUANG Fukushima No 1 Okuma 2017

URBAN GALLERY PRESENTS PHOTOGRAPHER PENG-KUEI (BEN) HUANG – SCOTIABANK CONTACT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

After yesterday’s successful launch to the annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Urban Gallery invites lovers of photography and art to visit BEN HUANG‘s haunting solo exhibition “SOLEMN PINES, FADING THINGS” running throughout the month of May.20190504_140133

 

In the beginning there was an earthquake, then a massive wave took everything.  But just as things couldn’t get any worse, an explosion at Fukushima coast released dangerous amounts of radiation. Survival instinct took over: residents left behind things that were precious to them as they escaped. And the trauma remains, like ghosts of the dead lingering upon the land. Over time, as debris is cleared and towns are being rebuilt, the sorrow persists. HUANG Relics Okuma 2016HUANG Rikuzentakata 2013 HUANG Rikuzentakata 2017Ben Huang began visiting Tohoku coast in Northeastern Japan in 2012 with an idea of documenting the transformation in the aftermath of the disaster. Throughout his numerous journeys since then, he learnt how a supposed recovery effort has had a profound impact on the environment and the people living there. These photographs are a testament to such a change; they tell a story of hope and uncertainty of the future, as well as grieving for the lost. It is hopeful yet somber, fragile yet strong, and vulnerable but determined as the region and its inhabitants come to terms with the tragedy.HUANG Okirai Port Ofunato 2018 20190504_130746 20190504_130813 20190504_130831ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Native of Taiwan, Peng-Kuei “Ben” Huang first moved to Indonesia in 1990 and later to Los Angeles, California in 1993. In 1997, he attended Pitzer College where he studied international politics. He began to take an interest in photography in 2001 and left for San Francisco where he earned a BFA degree in 2004. In 2008, he attended the Magnum Workshop Toronto under the guidance of renowned photographer Larry Towell and was selected as one of the finalists for the Scotia Bank Prize.  Ben has been living in Canada since 2005 and splits his time between Canada and East Asia. www.benhuangphotos.com

Ben was thrilled to welcome family and friends to Urban Gallery which was soon packed and buzzing!20190504_141335 20190504_141451 20190504_141509Toronto arts journalist, Mark Hasan, interviewed Ben (below) who was happy to share his thoughts on the current state of the environment, esp. around the Fukushima reactor that released dangerous amounts of radiation and is still impacting the world’s oceans.20190504_134532You have another opportunity to meet Ben in person – Saturday May 25th (2-4pm) – the gallery looks forward to welcoming those interested in the art of photography and learning from Ben’s first-hand accounts of how Japan is recovering from the earthquake & tsunami. All photographs are available for purchase – the archival pigment prints are 16″ x 24″ (framed or unframed) and are in limited editions of 20.  Further details: www.urbangallery.ca20190504_130715

SOFT LIGHT IN THE GLOAMING by Lori Ryerson for OFF THE BEATEN PATH April 2019 at URBAN GALLERY

LORI RYERSON’s solo show “OFF THE BEATEN PATH” runs thru April 27 at URBAN GALLERY, TORONTO

Yesterday, Saturday April 13th, Urban Gallery’s artist of the month LORI RYERSON (pictured below) hosted a meet-the-artist event after her big launch reception last week. Lori Ryerson Photo Portrait 2018Those fans who couldn’t make it for the grand opening of her show “Off the Beaten Path” poured into the gallery and another photographic artwork was quickly sold…red dot firmly affixed to one of my personal favourites, “Tears of a Peacock” (below)20190413_150833Most of the photographs featured in Lori’s show illustrate the remoteness and emptiness of spaces in far off lands…Sea to Sky-393 SKYFIRE by Lori Ryerson for OFF THE BEATEN PATH April 2019 at URBAN GALLERY The House with the Red Roof-145My photography is usually the result of serendipity. I look for an alignment of things that convey a story, for the narrative in abandoned urban landscapes. I try to capture what silence looks like. These are the stories I tell through my lens. – Lori Ryerson, 2019

Here’s Lori to tell you about the show in her own words:

Lori enjoyed sharing her inspirations and travel stories with gallery visitors….20190413_123713…and Lori’s sister, Lisa, dropped in to wish her well with the show (below)20190413_144824…as did her fellow artists and friends20190413_152508Over the years, Lori has amassed a huge portfolio of photographs, many of which have been compiled into books that her fans appreciate and stand in line to purchase at her shows…20190319_133415 20190319_133545 20190319_133459Off the Beaten Path runs until April 27th at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, Toronto (just 1 blk E of Parliament). Gallery hours and directions: www.urbangallery.ca

If you’d like to learn more about the artist, follow her on social media or visit her website: www.focalocity.ca20190403_125949(0) 20190403_125915

 

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VANESSA CUARTAS’ COLOURFUL HORSE PAINTINGS STAMPEDE INTO URBAN GALLERY, TORONTO

URBAN GALLERY‘s artist for December 2018 offers up a whole herd of colourful, vibrant horses galloping across the gallery walls: VANESSA CUARTAS presents lively abstract equine portraits in her solo show BRIO that runs now until December 29th….a glorious exhibition on which to end the year!

Of Colombian heritage, Vanessa is originally from Miami, and now resides in Toronto. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Central Florida with an emphasis on graphic design, later receiving an Art Direction Diploma from the Miami Ad School.  Throughout her school years and any personal time, Vanessa always found time to paint as much as she could, and rode her family’s horses regularly. She became passionate about the Puerto Rican Paso Fino breed and if you look carefully at her paintings, you can see their influence in the  conformation (stance) of each subject.20181208_132318 20181208_132234We spoke with Vanessa just before the gallery doors were opened and here is what she shared…

A designer by day and artist by night, her passion for painting has grown stronger in recent years. When she first moved to Toronto, she was without an established circle of friends and struggling to find an artistic focus so Vanessa decided to do what she loved most: paint horses. Her unique contemporary style has found an appreciative audience and her circle of friends has grown exponentially, many of whom attended the gallery on Vanessa’s opening day, Saturday Dec. 8th (below).20181208_15345720181208_145619 20181208_145604Her bold colorful BRIO series conveys movement and a lot of positive energy that attracts attention, even from the littlest art fans….20181208_152742Joining Vanessa at the opening were her husband, Mario (below R) and brother JP (below (L)20181208_132939And gallery curator, Allen Shugar (below L) and gallery director Calvin Hambrook (below R) joined Vanessa to celebrate her opening.20181208_135152If you love horses, you will LOVE this exhibition….20181208_132332 20181208_132959 20181208_141302_001…and within the first half-hour of her opening reception, Vanessa had already sold one piece, titled “The Journey”(below)20181208_142046

20181208_132149 20181208_132114 20181208_135547 20181208_135803If you missed the opening reception, you can come meet the artist Saturday Dec.15th (2pm to 4pm) and you can also visit the gallery weekdays and Saturdays throughout the month of December. Log on to www.UrbanGallery.ca for hours and directions – located at 400 Queen St East, Toronto.IMG_3165

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20181110_132645

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