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Archive: June, 2009

AGO’s Summer Ambassadors take the Gallery on the road

June 22nd, 2009

By Danielle Simpson

The AGO is one of Toronto’s cultural attractions to hit the road each summer and attend cultural, multi-disciplinary arts festivals across the GTA. The On the Go summer volunteer ambassadors are the face of the Gallery at these festivals – there to meet people and chat about the Gallery to the diverse sets of festival-goers.

“It’s fitting that we celebrate community through the many expressions of art,” said Sue Boyle, coordinator, Promotions and Tourism. “We are opening doors that will build relationships with communities that represent the building blocks of Toronto. We are reaching out with the hopes of connecting.”

At the AGO tent you might see an ambassador engaging a child in an art-making activity, talking with an adult, passing out gallery guides, buttons or tattoos or simply letting visitors watch AGO TV.

This summer the ambassadors will be at ten or more festivals in the GTA including Pride (June 28), Mosaic (June 21), Big on Bloor (June 20), Afro-fest (July 11-12), Irie (July 30 – August 3), Masala! Mendi! Masti! (July 25) and Manifesto (September 21). Our volunteers will contribute over 300 hours to On the Go.

“By supporting these festivals we are publically stating that we believe in what they are doing,” added Boyle. “It allows us to enter into a conversation with these incredible communities about art, why it matters to them and what role the AGO play in their lives.”

So if you find yourself at a festival this summer, head to the AGO tent and say hello.

Angelika’s Promise: Two Performances Only!

June 15th, 2009

War, a failed marriage, tragic death – the story of German artist Angelika Hoerle brings the adage of a tortured artist to a whole other level. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to check out the exhibition Angelika Hoerle: The Comet of Cologne Dada, but for the next two Wednesdays in June, a one-act one-woman play dramatizing the last moments of her life will be presented in AGO’s Jackman Hall. The show’s curator Angie Littlefield, has teamed up with the talent of Ryerson University’s theatre program to bring Angelika’s story to life.

I had the good fortune this morning of catching a glimpse of the behind the scenes action as they were running one of their last rehearsals, here are a few of my snaps showing Taryn Jorgensen, one of the two actresses playing Angelika.

To learn more, grab tickets, and see a very cute Youtube video of Taryn and Sochie click here.

Performance dates:

Wednesday, June 17, 7pm, Jackman Hall (Sochi Fried as Angelika), Pay What You Can (!! And the AGO is free Wednesday nights, so you can’t use the tough economic times as an excuse!)

Wednesday, June 24, 7pm, Jackman Hall (Taryn Jorgensen as Angelika), Members $15; General Public $18; Students $12.

6 2

David Milne Study Centre – Opening Soon!

June 12th, 2009

dmsc-paintings dmsc-ladder
The crew in exhibitions services is putting the final touches on the new David Milne Study Centre, on the AGO’s second floor (or first floor if you’re from Europe!). David Milne was a Canadian artist who was a contemporary of the Group of Seven, but he developed a style that was completely his own. The study centre features artworks as well as archival materials, such as letters and sketchbooks, and objects, such as Milne’s paintbox. Not familiar with Milne? Or just want to learn more about this amazing artist? Not a problem. In the new study centre, you can explore Milne’s life and art by watching the NFB film on Milne, reading a timeline of his life, or looking through books about the artist.

AGO.net Gets a Facelift!

June 8th, 2009

AGO homepage, June 8 2009

You may have noticed that AGO.net, the website of the Art Gallery of Ontario, got a facelift today.

Why redesign?

Following the launch of the previous look (in September ’08) we received a lot of feedback about how the website looks and acts. You sent us email and posted comments on this blog, and we commissioned a usability study to identify the main issues people were experiencing.

What’s changed?

More colour. The most noticeable change is bolder use of colour. You told us you liked the color shards in the Bruce Mau-designed logo, so we incorporated that palette into the design as vertical strips. The blue band across the top brings the website closer to what you see on other AGO materials such as brochures and the Art Matters magazine.

Less scrolling. You told us there was too much white space and that pages were simply too long: The height of the navigation header at the top of each page has been reduced 45%, and the homepage has been substantially condensed.

Clarified navigation. You told us the navigation didn’t clearly indicate the hierarchy of pages within a section: This has been simplified. You told us you weren’t sure how to get back to the homepage: We’ve added a link.

We hope that these plus a handful of other tweaks make the site easier and more enjoyable to use.

Who dunnit?

The design was created in-house by the AGO’s New Media department, with feedback from the Design and Marketing departments. Our partners at Devlin eBusiness Architects provided technical support for the implementation and conducted the usability study on which it is based. Thanks guys!

What’s next?

This is only the beginning! More usability studies are in the works and we intend for this update to be the first of many. We are committed to continual improvement, listening to the feedback of our visitors and providing you with the best experience possible. Please help us by sending us your comments and feedback, either in the comments here or via email.

Installation This Week for Luminato

June 4th, 2009

Tony Oursler's Haze or Transparency with Friends and Colors near Henry Moore’s Large Two Forms

Tony Oursler’s Haze or Transparency with Friends and Colors near Henry Moore’s Large Two Forms on the northeast corner of the AGO.

In conjunction with Luminato, the AGO has begun installation of three new works of art to be featured in the Luminato festival. The works by multimedia and installation artist Tony Oursler will be installed in distinct outdoor locations. One smaller work will be shown in the street level Young Gallery, along with an older projection work dating from the mid-1990s.
Installation for Void or Everything Ever Wanted began Tuesday morning at 4 Grange Road, behind Butterfield Park, while installation has also commenced on Haze or Transparency with Friends and Colors, sited on the northeast corner of the AGO near Henry Moore’s Large Two Forms. Both of these works are large house-like structures animated by the presence of numerous flat screens which project dramas that Oursler filmed in his New York studio.

Installation for Tony Oursler’s Haze or Transparency with Friends and Colors

Installation for Tony Oursler’s Haze or Transparency with Friends and Colors

The small-scale work, Flood or Fear with Bugs, reveals in intimate terms Oursler’s process. Also on view in the Young Gallery is contextual material, such as scripts and storeyboards that relate to the outdoor works. All three new works focus on the relationship between memory and architecture, video and language, and use the notion of the house to function as a metaphor for the human mind with its various chambers. The content of the films conveys Oursler’s fixation with states of anxiety and interpersonal conflict. Oursler’s customary mix of light, sound, video, performance and smoke will capture the intense psychological states his work seeks to explore.

Oursler (American, born 1957) is well-known for his fractured-narrative, handmade videotapes, which involve elaborate soundtracks, painted sets, stop-action animation and optical special effects. For his project in Toronto he is experimenting with flat screen technology for the first time. All three of these works have been specifically produced for Luminato and the AGO.

Luminato runs from June 5 to 14. Now in its third year, this annual ten-day event celebrates the arts, and Toronto’s stages, streets, and public spaces are infused with theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, film, literature, visual arts, and design.

Discovering the lost art of Angelika Hoerle (Video)

June 4th, 2009

It’s not everyday that important works of art are discovered in a garden shed! Toronto curator Angelika Littlefield describes an amazing adventure – how she uncovered the lost art of her great aunt Angelika Hoerle and Hoerle’s brother in Cologne Germany and how the collection made its way to the AGO. Hoerle died tragically at the age of 23 yet left an important legacy of drawings and documents from between the two world wars. (Interview 1988)

Take a Walk, Hear the Talk

June 4th, 2009

[murmur] in the Grange

Last week, ArtsAccess celebrated the completion of its four-year run that involved a successful partnership among four Ontario art galleries and numerous artists, funders, community partners and participants. To commemorate this venture, the AGO launched its own ArtsAccess legacy project called [murmur] in the Grange, in partnership with [murmur], a Toronto-based oral history project.

“[murmur] in the Grange offers a compelling, immersive experience that unites the Gallery and the Grange neighbourhood through storytelling,” said Colin Wiginton, manager of Education Programs at the AGO. “It is fitting that the legacy project has brought us right back to our own neighbourhood.”

Catherine Campbell on behalf of ArtsAccess and Robin Elliott on behalf of [murmur] worked together to identify and contact local residents and to record their stories related to the Grange neighbourhood. More than 50 stories were gathered as told by 30 different contributors who either live, work or have strong connections to the neighbourhood in and around the AGO.

These stories are now accessible via cell phone across 18 different story locations in the Grange neigbourhood as well as online: http://murmurtoronto.ca/grange/. When walking the neighbourhood the story locations are designated by a green, ear-shaped sign that includes a telephone number and location code. Simply dial the number, enter the location code and experience the Grange from the unique perspective of those who know it best.

ArtsAccess was a multi-year community arts initiative that involved a partnership between the AGO, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Woodland Cultural Centre. Its goal was to unite artists, community members and cultural organizations, and engage communities in conceptualizing art projects that mattered to them. Together, ArtsAccess and Collection X – an interactive website that enables users to showcase their own content and connect with other users – promoted creativity and built relationships through a combination of community-based and online experiences.

Family Secrets: An Inside View of the Short Life of Angelika Hoerle (Audio)

June 1st, 2009

Curator Angelika Littlefield talks about the works of her great aunt Angelika Hoerle whose short life blazed across the Cologne arts scene. Angelika shows how the artistic, political and social life in a time of tremendous flux finds its way into Angelika Hoerle’s small, intense works. According to Littlefield, “Family stories show new perspectives on Max Ernst and other artists working in Cologne at the time and they tie Angelika Hoerle’s works to our society and the arts today.”

Recorded: Wednesday, May 27, 7 p.m.
Duration: 49:00

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Download 33.7 MB MP3