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Archive: April, 2006

Why I Volunteer

April 27th, 2006

This week the AGO celebrated National Volunteer Week – and this year marks 60 years of volunteering here at the AGO, where art matters to the more than 500 volunteers who choose to give their time and talent to our institution.

Here is one volunteer’s explanation of why volunteering is important to her.

It is a way for me to both support and enjoy the endeavour of my choice, although I will admit that I first came to the AGO as a way of making myself go out on a weekend in the winter! They were much colder then (1980!!) and I would come home from work Friday night and stay in my apartment until Monday morning.

But from that origin as a Special Exhibition volunteer, I had the opportunity to get involved in many projects and special events and still immensely enjoy the support I can give to the AGO.

I am also a member of the organizing committee for Polo for Heart and am very involved in the Polo event held on a weekend each June at Gormley – it’s a wonderful day in the country so come on up! Here again, I can offer my support and thus assist in the overall accomplishments of Polo and its fund raising.

- Barbara Carson

Massive Party Success

April 27th, 2006

More than 1,000 party-goers filled the space at Muzik on the evening of April 6 for the AGO’s annual fundraiser Massive Party, where unexpected installations and performances by contemporary Canadian artists took centre stage.

The off-site location for this year’s annual fundraiser proved a huge success in the spectacular and newly renovated MUZIK, located in the heart of the CNE grounds. Co-chaired by Perry Dellelce and Gordon Love, the hip and outrageous evening began at 8 pm and ran well into the night, with the last stragglers leaving after 2 am.

“Massive Party was all-class,” said Eli Singer, party guest and Marketing & Communications Strategist at Cundari SFP.”Never before have I been part of an art happening that so brilliantly fused sculpture, performance art, and the New York style party scene.”

Art was evident throughout the space – from Max Streicher’s larger-than-life inflated sculptures hanging in the glass dome, to the pink cocktail napkins designed by Derrick Hodgson. Contemporary art installations were arranged especially for this event, and included Bruno Billio’s multitude of chairs suspended from the ceiling, Shary Boyle’s performance with lighting tricks and mythological creatures, and video artist John Marriott’s intriguing “Where the Cat’s at” vide, in which a cat slowly roams through the AGO’s galleries .

Guests were invited to participate in the creation of four Pearl Van Geest paintings by kissing a canvas. Fifty limited edition ties by Laura Kikauka, for sale during the party, completely sold out. Visitors to the washrooms came across Brian Joseph Davis’s vinyl text piece on the mirrors.

To coincide with the theme of the unexpected, the Great Bob Scott five-piece marching band appeared out of the blue, and paraded through the crowd. DJs Walrus Tusks, Geoff Kelleway and George Chaker spun tunes all evening and got the crowd dancing.

Cocktails and fabulous food rounded out the evening – the AGO’s own Anne Yarymowich, along with Gibson & Lyle, created a fantastic menu of miniature burgers, corn dogs and grilled cheese, plus frites, sushi pizza, lamb böureke, chicken b’stilla, pink cupcakes, to name just a few.

Funds raised from this event benefit the AGO’s exhibitions and education programs.

Imagination and Creativity

April 26th, 2006

Image: Self Portrait by Ariana Andrei submitted as part of In Your Face.

This morning on my way to the subway I picked up a day-old newspaper that was heading for the garbage. A column on the front page hit home. The article was about imagination and creativity. A bit of a coincidence really…. A colleague and I recently launched In Your Face, an AGO project to encourage creativity. We’ve invited submissions from anyone anywhere for 4 x 6” portraits. We’ve already received a thousand or more. This week five hundred have been laid out in a gallery. They’re amazing to see together – a real hymn to creativity. I’m not surprised by how different the faces are but I am surprised by the diversity of approach (the way the artists have used colour, technique, composition, materials…). Some are careful, delicate, thoughtful. Others are bold and aggressive. Where does this very personal power of invention come from? The newspaper article suggests that we spend only a tiny part of our lives being creative. How does that belief reconcile with a note included with one submission. It read: "art is for everyone. Art is in everyone."

David Wistow is one of many AGO staff members committed to experimenting with new programming ideas at the AGO.

Click here for more information about In Your Face.

AGO Podcast #12 – Frank Gehry: Art + Architecture – Described by Larry Richards, Professor of Architecture, University of Toronto

April 6th, 2006

University of Toronto professor of architecture Larry Richards discusses each of the five project models featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s exhibition: Frank Gehry: Art + Architecture, continuing at the AGO through May 7, 2006 and curated by Dennis Reid, the AGO’s director of colelctions and research.

Professor Richards has known celebrated architect Frank Gehry for more than 20 years and writes frequently about his work. Professor Richards also curated an exhibition on through June 7 at the University of Toronto Art Centre, titled Frank’s Drawings: Eight Museums by Gehry.

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Images: DZ Bank, Berlin. © 2006 Thomas Mayer; Walt Disney Concert Hall. © Gehry Partners, LLP; Stata, MIT, Cambridge. © 2006 Roland Halbe; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. © Gehry Partners, LLP; Millennium Park, Chicago. © 2006 Kenneth Tanaka