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Artful ways to say “I do”

May 23rd, 2017

Courtesy of Tara McMullen Photography.

Although the AGO is a year-round wedding venue, summer is the most popular time of year to say “I do.” Flowers of every shade are in bloom, the days are long and the nights are warm. Shutterbugs both professional and amateur already know this, but the AGO is pretty photogenic. Plenty of tall windows means lots of natural light, and striking architecture makes every picture look like a mini-masterpiece. Mix that with the best event team in town (made up of experts who can bring inspired designs to life), and a wedding couldn’t get more picturesque. To prove it we’ve selected some highlights from our AGO Events team’s Instagram feed to inspire you:

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Wonder-ful accolades for Boxwood

May 23rd, 2017

South Netherlandish. Prayer Bead: St. James the Greater (closed), 1490 – 1530. Boxwood. Overall height x width: 5.7 × 4.8 cm (2 1/4 × 1 7/8 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund, 1961.87. Courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Did you catch our Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures exhibition last year? Blending cutting-edge technology with ground-breaking historical art research, the exhibition astounded and amazed visitors with its tiny, mesmerizing carvings from the early 1500s. It also made its mark with some of our peers, earning the exhibition three awards to date! Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight on Ontario wine

May 23rd, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Finally, the weather is putting Toronto in the spring spirit!

It’s perfect timing for the next event in FRANK’s Curated Dinner Series, a monthly event that features a six-course meal with wine pairings. For this month’s instalment, happening on May 24 (make your reservation now!), the theme is “Springtime in Ontario.” Along with dishes featuring locally-sourced ingredients like lamb loin, maple, whitefish, dill and ramps (wild leeks), we will also feature Emma Garner from Thirty Bench Winery, who won Winemaker of the Year at the 2015 Ontario Wine Awards. Garner will speak to each wine – some of which are only available at the vineyard.

We spoke to AGO Executive Chef Renée Bellefeuille, Restaurant Manager Eva Lam, and The Small Winemakers Collection’s Richard Godin to get a taste of what’s to come. The interviews have been compiled below.

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How do you make a painting “stable”?

May 23rd, 2017

Rita Letendre. Victoire, 1961. Oil on canvas, 202.6 x 268 cm. Gift of Jessie and Percy Waxer, 1974, Donated by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1988. © 2017 Rita Letendre.

A lot goes on behind the scenes at the AGO as we get ready for exhibitions, including giving a little TLC to the artworks that are going to be displayed. Our renowned conservation team makes sure all of our works are in great condition and ready for the viewing public.

Rita Letendre’s large-scale painting Victoire, painted in 1961, needed a bit of a touch-up in preparation for our upcoming retrospective Rita Letendre: Fire & Light, opening on June 29. Letendre created the work for a Toronto exhibition in the early 1960s, which completely sold out, and the AGO was lucky enough to snag Victoire for our collection afterwards. Find out more by watching the video below with curator Georgiana Uhlyarik and conservator Meaghan Monaghan. Read the rest of this entry »

“You can always give back.”

May 16th, 2017

Volunteer Annual Party 2017

At the end of April, National Volunteer Appreciation week showcased the tireless work of many Canadians who devote their spare time to helping charitable causes – free of charge. So many organizations we know and love, including the AGO, could not function without them.

Both the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario held award ceremonies recently to honour exceptional volunteers, including AGO volunteer Sybil Wilkinson, who has been working with the AGO for 37 (37!) years. Sybil, a prolific volunteer, was honoured with the Toronto Volunteer Legacy Award this year, specifically for her time spent with Hospice Toronto. We caught up with her to get her thoughts about volunteering. Read the rest of this entry »

Canadians make a splash in Italy

May 16th, 2017

Geoffrey Farmer. A way out of the mirror, 2017. Installation view at the Canadian Pavilion for the 57th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, 2017. (FRANCESCO BARASCIUTTI / © GEOFFREY FARMER, COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.)

Vancouver artist Geoffrey Farmer was tapped in late 2015 by the National Gallery of Canada to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale 2017 – one of the most high-profile annual events in the art world. Farmer asked the AGO’s Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Kitty Scott, to curate his installation. (The two last worked together on Farmer’s 2014 AGO exhibition, Every day needs an urgent whistle blown into it.) The final result is making some waves in Venice. His installation, A way out of the mirror, has been earning high praise from both local and international press.

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Mabel’s Bubbles

May 16th, 2017

Courtesy of the AGO

FRANK restaurant’s popular bartender, Stephen Gaessler, is responsible for creating the most unique art-inspired cocktails in the city, including one of our current bestsellers: Mabel’s Bubbles.

Stephen pairs his love of mixology with his passion for extending the art experience into the AGO’s restaurant. For each major exhibition, he plans FRANK’s cocktail menu by reflecting on the themes of the show, often exploring facts about artists and their surroundings.

Each cocktail has been meticulously researched, carefully crafted, and is above all else, absolutely delicious! For the AGO’s current exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe, Stephen has developed six extraordinary drinks, each with its own distinct flavour.

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Hurvin Anderson is nominated for the 2017 Turner Prize!

May 16th, 2017

Hurvin Anderson at the public opening of Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop. Photo courtesy of the AGO.

British artist Hurvin Anderson is internationally renowned for his vibrant paintings of urban barbershops and lush Caribbean landscapes, drawing on his own Jamaican ancestry and his upbringing in England. This dual identity forms the basis of many of his works – which is something that obviously isn’t lost in a city like Toronto, where duality and complex notions of home and memory are so common in the population.

That’s why the AGO was so proud to show the first major solo exhibition of his work in Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, which ran from May 19 to August 21 in 2016. It’s also why we are THRILLED to hear that Anderson was nominated for this year’s Turner Prize for his exhibition at the AGO, as well as his exhibition Dub Versions at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham, England. The esteemed prize honours a Britain-based artist for an outstanding showing of their work anywhere in the world in the preceding year. The award winner, who receives a cheque for £25,000, will be announced on December 5, 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

Get arty outside

May 16th, 2017

Courtesy of the AGO

We’re halfway through May, so let’s get cracking on those summer plans before the siren call of the patio takes over! The AGO has a huge lineup of summer courses on its roster. Along with perennial favourites, we have a selection of new offerings designed to take advantage of the warm weather.

City Explorations: Street Photography Intensive, a four-day course, gives participants hands-on experience shooting Toronto street life images. City Explorations: Traveller’s Sketchbook offers quick drawing and painting techniques that are perfect to capture scenes during your travels.

If you’re keen to learn more about the amazing public art that populates Toronto’s urban landscape, we have two tours along the waterfront, exploring bold and beautiful public art installations with Public Art: Touring the East Side Lakeshore and Public Art: Touring the West Side Lakeshore.

Want a break from the heat (we have air conditioning!) and want to learn something new? As always, there is an impressive range of intensive workshops that take place over a weekend. From drawing to painting, and workshops with a Georgia O’Keeffe-inspired twist with a focus on flowers, make your summer an artful one. And for the kids, don’t forget our lineup of summer art camps that are open for registration now!

Sign up today! Click here for more information.

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