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Archive: February, 2010

AGO Celebrates Black History Month

February 25th, 2010

Chris Bosh speaks to students

Chris Bosh speaks the students at the AGO. Photos courtesy AGO photographer Dean Thomlinson.

The AGO is working with its community partners to celebrate Black History Month, an annual remembrance of people and events in the history of the African diaspora.

This past Monday, the AGO hosted members of the Toronto Raptors with 40 young students from Toronto at-risk communities for the NBA’s Read to Achieve program. Our director Matthew Teitelbaum introduced the students to the AGO at this educational outreach initiative, which is aimed at helping young people develop a life-long love for reading.

This evening, the AGO is working with community artist Janine Carrington to present a collage artmaking activity at University Settlement’s Black History Month event, based on the theme "Remember the past, Seize the present, Embrace the future". All are welcome at this event, which will take place at University Settlement auditorium from 5 to 8 pm. For more information about University Settlement please visit www.usrc.ca

And this Saturday, February 27, the AGO is partnering with Kids Up Front Foundation to provide a free group visit for 30 dads and kids from the Black Daddies Club. Kids Up Front is a charitable organization that provides access to arts, culture, sport and recreation for children who otherwise do not have the opportunity. The Black Daddies Club was founded in 2007 by Brandon Hay in response to the lack of forums and spaces for Black men to discuss parenting issues as well as the issues facing the Black Community as a whole. More information at available at Kids Up Front and at Black Daddies Club.

Malaria, not murder felled King Tut

February 19th, 2010

It’s a study in contrasts.

Visitors to the AGO’s exhibition, King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs continue to marvel at the grand scale of Tutankhamun’s accoutrement – from golden jewellery to the elegant coffinette that held one of his internal organs.

Yet just a few months into Canada’s latest case of Tutmania, new research shows that the Golden King actually had physical ailments on an equally grand scale. As the Toronto Star’s Joe Hall reported, “King Tut likely limped through life and died a weary death from malaria and bone ailments.”

Check out the Star’s coverage of new research on Tut’s 3,300 year-old skeleton and DNA as reported in the Feb. 17 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Then visit the AGO’s exhibition (on through April 18) and experience the boy king in a new and unexpected light.

David’s Notes: Where Are All The Women?

February 16th, 2010

The Artist's Painting-Room, Mary Alabaster, 1830

Where are all the women?

The Art Gallery of Ontario’s European collection has only a handful of works by women created prior to 1900. Here’s why:

Before the 1870s, women were discouraged from studying art. For many years, Mary Alabaster’s mother prevented her from pursuing her love of art.

Until recently, the Art Gallery of Ontario didn’t acknowledge the role women have played in the making of art over the last 400 years. Fortunately, times have changed. Women are well represented in the Gallery’s contemporary collection.

Mary Ann Rebecca Alabaster
(British, 1805-1880)
The Artist’s Painting-Room
1830
oil on canvas
84.5 x 70.4 cm
Art Gallery of Ontario,
Promised gift from Carol and Morton Rapp.
© 2009 Art Gallery of Ontario

Sunday Concert: Mezzo Soprano and Pianist Cassandra Warner

February 12th, 2010

Cassandra Warner

(Photo courtesy RCM)

The AGO and the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) continue to host Sunday afternoon concerts by talented RCM students through spring 2010. Concerts are held in the AGO’s Walker Court from 1:30 to 2:15 pm, and are free with admission.

This Sunday’s concert, February 14, features mezzo soprano and pianist Cassandra Warner.

Hailed as "an enchanting Cherubino" by Ken Winters of the Globe and Mail, a "powerful mezzo" and "sensory epiphany" by Opera Canada, Warner kicks off her 2010/2011 season playing the role of Cendrillon, Cendrillon by Massenet this March at the new Koerner Hall in Toronto.

Cassandra is a recent finalist in the 2010 RCO Concerto Competition at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She made her principal debut at Opera Atelier as First Priestess, Iphigenie en Tauride. An accomplished concert artist, she has been featured on CBC television & radio, and Toronto’s Classical 96.3FM. In 2007 she toured China with The Divas, a vocal trio presenting a program that was broadcast nationwide on Chinese television and radio.

Ms. Warner is the recipient of the Glenn Gould School’s highest scholarship in Voice, the Lily Kertes Rolin International Prize in Vocal Studies, and holds a Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould School. This summer Warner has been invited to join Joan Dornemann’s International Vocal Arts Institute, and later in the year she will be joining the Calgary Opera Ensemble.

Don’t miss the next RCM concert:

  • Sunday, February 28 – Claudia Chan, piano, and Melissa Wilmot, violin

David’s Notes: The Artist’s Beret

February 11th, 2010

Self-Portrait with Saskia, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1638

All sorts of little revelations are coming out of the current Rembrandt/Freud exhibition. For example, I’ve always associated berets with artists, but I’ve only recently found out where the association comes from.

Rembrandt, as it turns out, sported a beret in many of his self-portraits, I think for several reasons. Firstly, he was crazy about fancy dress and the way it could evoke far away times and places. Secondly, he usually wore a specific hat – German in origin, which had gone out of style almost 100 years before. This might have been a way for him to show his connection to the long tradition of northern European painting he felt heir to. Finally, the large floppy hat casts a shadow over the face, creating the mystery and ambiguity that he loved.

His students picked up on the hat idea and soon it had become a key part of an artist’s ‘uniform’.

Rembrandt van Rijn
(Dutch, 1606-1669)
Self-Portrait with Saskia
1638
etching on laid paper
9.8 x 9.5 cm
Art Gallery of Ontario,
Gift of Esther and Sam Sarick, 2006.
© 2009 Art Gallery of Ontario

Sunday Concert: Pianist Connie Kim-Sheng

February 5th, 2010

Connie Kim-Sheng

(Photo courtesy Royal Conservatory of Music)

The AGO and the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) continue to host Sunday afternoon concerts by talented RCM students through spring 2010. Concerts are held in the AGO’s Walker Court from 1:30 to 2:15 pm, and are free with admission.

This Sunday’s concert, February 7, features pianist Connie Kim-Sheng. She began piano lessons at the age of three, and was involved in numerous chamber groups since the age of 12, receiving awards and performing for radio broadcasts.

Connie has performed as a soloist with the Rio Hondo Symphony, Verde Valley Sinfonietta, Cal State Northridge Orchestra, and the YMF Debut Orchestra. Her awards include first places in the Young Musicians Foundation National Debut Concerto Competition, Rio Hondo Young Artist Concerto Competition, Los Angeles Liszt International Competition, the Bronislaw Kaper Awards for Young Artists held by the LA Philharmonic and 2009 California MusicFest.  Most recently, she was named a 2009 Davidson Fellow and placed third in New Orleans International Competition for Young Artists. She is currently studying at the Glenn Gould School.

Stay tuned for information on upcoming concerts.

AGO Chefs to Participate in Recipe for Change

February 3rd, 2010

recipeforchange

AGO executive chef Anne Yarymowich and executive sous chef Jeff Dueck will be participating in Foodshare Toronto’s Recipe for Change, an evening of fine food, beer and wine featuring top Toronto chefs on Thursday, February 25.

This fabulous night offers a great opportunity to mingle with local chefs and enjoy a meal composed of over a dozen tasting plates from Toronto's most progressive culinary lights, accompanied by fine local beer and wine. Participating chefs include David Garcelon of Fairmont Royal York, Luis Valenzuela of Torito, Donna Dooher of Mildred's Temple Kitchen, Fabio Bondi of Local Kitchen, and many others.

The event will be held on February 25, from 6 to 9 pm at Foodshare’s Centre of Innovation and Education, 90 Croatia Street.

Recipe for Change is a celebration of food with a purpose, supporting FoodShare’s innovative and multi-faceted work toward Good Healthy Food for All and specifically the Field to Table Schools program, which brings food literacy back to students from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.

For information and tickets, visit Recipe for Change.