Art must be experienced to truly feel its presence and magnitude. Artists know that, collectors know that. The internet and social media is littered with artwork these days, and I enjoy that immensely, but there is nothing that compares to being in the presence of original artwork. Art in the Flesh.
This, my second Art Think Cafe post, is about going to art shows, and I will tell you about a few of my current favourites and why you should go! At the bottom of the post, you will also find a studio update, including information about my new fall 2016 workshop schedule.
Living in a major center like Toronto, there are unlimited opportunities to experience art that is truly alive with our countless public galleries along with commercial and private galleries, big and small, all over the city. It is particularly interesting to attend show openings and art parties, where you can celebrate with the artists themselves. Learn first hand what inspires them and why they do their work. All artwork has a story.
When you go to an art event, be prepared to spend time, allow the artwork to connect with you. Art is alive, give it permission to find your heart and soul and mind. Feel the peace and relaxation surround you as you examine a sublime landscape. Artworks featuring people and places will inspire memories and story telling. Pure abstraction is just that – pure abstraction; complex but emotional, it can inspire curiosity, critical questioning and other forms of creative and abstract thinking. When you find another person looking at the same piece, start a conversation; you may be surprised at how differently two people respond to the same piece of artwork.
I go to exhibitions frequently. Being in the presence of original artwork and the people who create it is motivating and energizing – and fun! I often set myself a challenge: select the piece of work in the show that connects with me in the most compelling and intriguing way, and then I ask myself “why does it grab me?” It is not about whether I LIKE the artwork, but rather about the emotional attraction.
Below are a few current exhibitions in Toronto, some I have already experienced and others I plan to take in. I encourage you to go too, just for the fun of it!
Earlier this week I made my way to the McMichael Gallery for the Jack Bush: In Studio exhibit. The show includes 20 pieces of artwork by the famous Toronto artist, many from private collections that have never been shown before. Truly an abstract experience!
I have also gone to see Theaster Gates, showing on the 5th floor at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario); it is a contemporary and immersive experience. Gates, a Chicago artist, proposes new ways of honouring and remembering the Black Experience. It is on until Oct 30, so not much longer.
And coming up at the AGO starting Oct 22, Mystical Landscapes features masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh, Munch, and many more. A not to be missed show.
The Thompson Landry Gallery, in the Distillery District of Toronto is featuring a 10th Anniversary Group Exhibition, showcasing the work of several of their Quebec artists. I have seen many excellent shows here, and this is another one that I will go to see. The Anniversary show is on until Oct 16.
And very close to home, for me at least, is the Yellow House Gallery. As part of their ODAD U Alumni Tribute Exhibition, they will be featuring the work of John Inglis along with others. Below is an example of John’s fascinating watercolours. The show will run Oct 13 – Nov 3, the opening is on Oct 13.
If you know of a show or event that you would like to share, I invite you to add it in the comment section below.
Just Do It! Workshop Update
After much discussion, and just a little procrastination, I have finalized my “Just Do It! workshop schedule for fall 2016. At the moment, there are two 1-day workshop scheduled for Oct 29 and Nov 5, with the potential of adding more, depending on demand. As previously announced, I will also be teaching a workshop at Momiji on Oct 15 – coming up next weekend! Descriptions of all the workshops and information about who should attend has been posted on my website. Registration is on-going.
The Fall session of the Just Do It! classes are now running on Monday morning and afternoon at Rebellion Gallery, and on Tuesday afternoon and evening at Cedar Ridge Creative Center. Go Figure is also running every Thursday. The Learning Season is upon us.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!