Posted in Art
Contributed by Christopher Jones
12/19 2011

Creating Memory with Public Art

Several years ago, retired York University Professor John Warkentin found himself in Paris with a few days to kill so he set about leisurely walking the city and enjoying the abundance of public sculpture, which he discovered told the story and history of the City of Light.

Warkentin, a life-long geographer, wondered whether a similar chronicle could be made of his adopted home of Toronto and so he began compiling Creating Memory, an “incidental” dossier of more than 600 public sculptures, artworks and memorials that enliven the city.” READ MORE

Posted in Theatre
Contributed by Christopher Jones
12/16 2011

Kid-Pleasing Puppetmongers

There was a mini mob scene at the Tarragon Extra Space Theatre on Wednesday following the season’s first school performance of Bed & Breakfast by Puppetmongers Theatre. One of two school groups had to bolt to catch a bus but the other group rushed the stage to pepper actors/puppeteers Ann and David Powell with questions about how the puppets work, how the set was built and to marvel at the tiny mouse trap, among other delightful doll’s house details.

Puppetmongers has been playing both in and out of town for 37 years now and frequently performs for parents who first saw a show as children and are now bringing their own kids to see the Powells play.


Posted in Art
Contributed by Christopher Jones
12/9 2011

Toronto Art in Your Inbox

After a couple of false starts and some good media buzz, Toronto’s ArtBomb is now dropping into electronic in-boxes near and far.

Launched by artrepreneurs Carrie Shibinksy, Jim Shedden (both AGO alums) and View on Canadian Art‘s Andrea Carson Barker, ArtBomb is a daily art auction featuring work by local artists. Today’s offering is Jen Mann’s “For Eyes” (2010, oil on canvas, 24″ x 30″), which carries an opening bid of $400. Each weekday morning a new work is offered to ArtBomb subscribers who can bid on the piece from 6 am until 11 pm; the winning bidder is notified the following day with free delivery of the work within the Toronto area.

“The Toronto art market is not strong,” says Carson Barker, “even though there is world-class work being produced here. ArtBomb is a way to bring the art world to people who wouldn’t necessarily spend their Saturdays going around to the galleries but who may very well want to have contemporary art on their walls.

“We’re focusing on high quality, contemporary work that’s not very expensive,” she adds. “It’s by emerging and established artists and generally speaking we expect the works to start in the $500 – $600 range and we’ll see how the prices go as ArtBomb gets up and running.”

Sign up for ArtBomb here.

Posted in Dance, Music
Contributed by Christopher Jones
11/30 2011

Putting the Multi in Disciplinary

rehearsingSMWhen I interviewed choreographer Andrea Nann last week following a rehearsal of Tumbling into Light (left), the multidisciplinary show was still coming together, far from nascent but not yet fully formed. With music by artistic director David Buchbinder and Dave Wall, the show features a live band, video and dance from a diverse cast of local pros working with emerging artists and non-professional members of the Thorncliffe Park community.

Playing at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre December 1 – 4, Tumbling into Light is the latest creative offering from Diasporic Genius, whose first show, last January, was a critical and creative hit.

This year’s effort explores “a journey through the darkness of our times to arrive at a new illumination . . . Tumbling into Light questions some of our basic assumptions about who we are and how we got here,” according to the press materials.

“The idea,” explains Nann, “is to work in an interdisciplinary manner so that no one form really stands out, there’s always a movement of the audiences’ attention from one area to another as opposed to, oh, there’s a dance number, and oh, there’s a vocal number. We’re trying to blend and blur those lines.” READ MORE

Posted in Art
Contributed by Christopher Jones
11/29 2011

‘Tis the Season to Buy Art

Open Studio artists' proof sale
Two of Toronto’s leading visual arts establishments are having fundraising sales this week, 401 Richmond’s Open Studio (above) and Gallery TPW, which celebrates its 25th annual Photorama affordable art fundraiser beginning December 2.

Open Studio’s annual artist proof sale is Thursday (December 1) from 6 – 9 pm featuring excellent local print art in the $50 – $300 range. The sale continues until December 17 but for best selection, shop early. Thursday’s print preview begins at 6 pm with the sale starting at 6:30; print making demos will be part of the action.

Photorama features works by renowned local photographers including Ed Burtynsky, Suzy Lake, Robyn Cumming and many other talented photo artists. Your best hope of snagging one of the highest profile works is to buy yourself a gallery membership ($75), which allows you to attend the exclusive members preview (“collectors” get first dibs), December 1 (6 – 9 pm).