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Archive: August, 2011

Happy Anniversary Gunilda!

August 31st, 2011

American Schooner Rigged Steam Yacht Gunilda: The Thomson Collection: Copyright Art Gallery of Ontario Photograph: Craig Boyko

On August 31 1911, steam yacht Gunilda sank beneath the waves of Lake Superior. Her wreckage was to become one of the most captivating intact freshwater wrecks in the world. Today, exactly 100 years on, we look back at the life of Gunilda and invite you to learn more about the intricate model ship we hold in the Gallery as part of the Thomson Collection of Ship Models.

Read the full article

 

Challenge AbEx Challenge Four: Show us your skills

August 30th, 2011

Challenge AbEx is a test of wit, skill and ingenuity. Four challenges will be set during the final three weeks of the Abstract Expressionist: New York exhibition. At each stage of the contest there are great prizes to be won, and one lucky player will also be crowned the Ultimate AbEx Challenge Champion. Find out more about Challenge AbEx

 

Challenge ABEX

Challenge Four: 

Difficulty level MEDIUM

Oh no! It’s our final Challenge AbEx Challenge. We’re sad that it’s drawing to a close but it’s been loads of fun. The next challenge can be entered from the comfort of your own home – but it will test the limits of your artistic ability.

Ready? Here’s what you have to do…

  • Draw/paint/sculpt/create a piece of abstract art. Spend no more than 20 minutes on it (we can’t check so we’re trusting you not to cheat). You can use any materials you choose.

  • Take a photograph of your creation and send it to us by 12:00 on Friday September 02. You can tweet us, post it on our Facebook wall or email it to us.

  • Abstract art is subjective, so we’ll be picking the winner at random from all the entries. We can’t wait to see what you create – if your reactions to abstract art are anything to go by, they’re going to be fabulous!

Good luck everyone! Don’t forget that AbEx closes on Sunday September 04, so if you’re looking for inspiration you need to get down there quick. The winner will receive an awesome AbEx prize pack, a pair of tickets to visit the Gallery plus some extra goodies from Shop AGO. Amazing!

To book your tickets to visit Abstract Expressionist: New York please visit our website.

Don’t forget that whoever performs the best across all four challenges will be crowned the Ultimate Abex Challenge Champion. The Champion will get a bumper prize pack including a family/dual AGO Membership, a night for two at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, AbEx goodies and more.

For more information or to see the terms and conditions please get in touch.

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Two Canadian and Two Indian Photographers Shortlisted for $50,000 Grange Prize

August 30th, 2011

Online public vote and AGO exhibition open today; FREE public launch party on September 7

(TORONTO/MONTREAL – August 30, 2011) Four photographers — two each from Canada and India — have been shortlisted for The Grange Prize 2011, Canada’s largest cash prize for photography. The winner of the $50,000 prize is chosen by public vote, which opens today and continues through October 23 at www.thegrangeprize.com. The winner will be announced at a gala reception hosted by presenting partners Aeroplan and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) on November 1.

The finalists for The Grange Prize 2011 are:

  • Gauri Gill, an Indian photographer born in 1970 and based in Delhi, India, whose work documents narratives of ordinary heroism within challenging environments and includes a decade-long study of people living in marginalized communities in Rajasthan. Gill’s photographs address the twinned Indian identity markers of class and community and document the artist’s often-intimate relationships with her subjects.
  • Elaine Stocki, a Canadian photographer born in 1979 in Winnipeg, who works with subjects from a range of social conditions to create compositions that explore issues of race, class and gender. Her images challenge the limits of documentary photography by utilizing its techniques and conventions to express constructed, fictive narratives.
  • Althea Thauberger, a Canadian photographer born in 1970 and based in Vancouver, who has garnered attention over the past decade for photographs, films and video that explore her engagements and collaborations with groups of people, most often distinct social enclaves, resulting in performances of identity and self-definition that are strikingly and powerfully documented by the artist.
  • Nandini Valli, an Indian photographer born in 1976 and based in Chennai, India, whose carefully constructed, cinematic images of her subjects, often costumed as mythologized heroes and gods and photographed in contemporary settings, have placed her at the forefront of the emerging performance-based photography movement in India.

The four finalists were selected by a nominating jury comprising AGO acting curator of Canadian art Michelle Jacques; Wayne Baerwaldt, the acting vice president of research and academic affairs at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary; Gayatri Sinha, a Delhi-based art critic and curator; and Sunil Gupta, a photographer, writer and curator born in India and living in New Delhi and London, UK.

Read the whole press release

Top Left: Gauri Gill (Indian), Balika Mela Portraits 12. Balika Mela Portrait series2003. Archival pigment print, 30 x 40 in. Courtesy of the artist. © 2011 Gauri Gill

Top Right: Elaine Stocki (Canadian), William, 2008, chromogenic print, 15 x 15 in. Courtesy of the artist. © 2011 Elaine Stocki

Bottom Left: Althea Thauberger (Canadian), Kandahar International Airport (detail), 2009. Digital c-print, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. © 2011 Althea Thauberger

Bottom Right: Nandini Valli Muthiah (Indian), Seated 1, 2006, Definitive Reincarnate series. Inkjet print on archival paper. 31 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist and Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai. © 2011 Nandini Valli Muthiah

Challenge AbEx Challenge Three: Time to come out and play

August 23rd, 2011

Challenge AbEx is a test of wit, skill and ingenuity. Four challenges, each one more difficult than the last, will be set during the final three weeks of the Abstract Expressionist: New York exhibition. At each stage of the contest there are great prizes to be won, and one lucky player will also be crowned the Ultimate AbEx Challenge Champion. Find out more about Challenge AbEx

 

Challenge ABEX

CHALLENGE THREE IS NOW CLOSED: CONGRATULATIONS TO @FlorenceMcC  WHO WAS CROWNED CHALLENGE CHAMPION

Challenge Three: 

Difficulty level HARD

We’ve seen you show off your Facebook skills and witnessed some stunning Twitter work, but now it’s time to step out from behind your screens, put on your thinking caps and head out in to the Gallery. Follow the instructions below carefully – the winner will be the person who completes the most questions before the Gallery closes on Sunday August 28. In the event of a tie, the winner will be selected at random. Up for grabs is a $50 gift card to spend at Frank*, our fantastic Gallery restaurant.

Ready? Here’s what you have to do…

  • Tweet us the following message @AGOToronto “I’m taking part in #ChallengeAbEx Challenge Three”

  • Snap and upload a picture of yourself outside the big AGO sign in front of the Gallery.
  • Answer us many of the following questions as you can. Questions can either be sent via Twitter DM as you wander round the Gallery or emailed to us at the end.


    1. Enter the Abstract Expressionist: New York exhibition. How many times does the word ‘Abstract’ appear in the first room?
    2. Arshile Gorky was known as the ‘Godfather’ of  Abstract Expressionism. He has two paintings in the first room. Who is the only artist to have just one?
    3. Isamu Noguchi was a Japanese American sculptor, furniture maker and landscape artist. His father was an acclaimed Japanese poet, his mother, an American editor. Go to the Noguchi listening station – what is the first sentence you hear him speak?
    4. This particular photographer focuses mainly on landscapes and has a single print in this show. What is his name?
    5. Among the photographic prints there is a poem. Who is the author and what is the 11th line of the poem?
    6. Find Lee Krasner’s painting, Gaea, named for the earth goddess. If you look at Krasner’s three paintings from left to right, where does Gaea fall? First, second or third?
    7. The pieces in the first room were all created between 1943 and 1952. Add up all the years each painting was completed. What number do you get?
    8. Mark Rothko rejected the idea of being labeled an Abstract Expressionist. Enter the Rothko Room and look toward the exit door. Name the two paintings directly to the right of it.
    9. Franz Kline is known for his technique of magnifying pictures and then painting the abstract images he sees. He is also famous for using house paint for his work.  Once his art dealer heard of this, he decided to break into his studio and replaced the house paint with high end oil paints. ‘Chief’is the name of one piece. What are the names of the other two?
    10. Robert Motherwell is one of the artists in the Abstract Expressionist: New York exhibition. But how many of his works appear elsewhere in the gallery?
  • We’d also love to see pics of you taking part in the Challenge. This won’t count towards your final score but it will make us laugh. Photographs are permitted in the Abstract Expressionist: New York exhibition. Please review our photo policy before taking shots in other parts of the Gallery.

To book your tickets to visit Abstract Expressionist: New York please visit our website.

Don’t forget that whoever performs the best across all four challenges will be crowned the Ultimate Abex Challenge Champion. The Champion will get a bumper prize pack including a family/dual AGO Membership, a night for two at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, AbEx goodies and more.

For more information or to see the terms and conditions please get in touch.
*Voucher must be used before the expiry date printed on the certificate. Voucher not redeemable during public holidays. Full Ts & Cs on certificate.

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A Heart To Art Chat with the AGO: Co-creating ideas for the Gallery

August 22nd, 2011

On Saturday August 13 2011 over 60 people took part in ‘A Heart to Art Chat at the AGO’. It was a special event for people to listen, learn and co-create ideas for the Gallery.

The event took place in our new Weston Family Learning Centre –a first chance for most of the attendees to spend time in the space. Taking part were members, casual visitors and even people who had never visited the Gallery before, people from a wide range of ages and from a diverse mix of backgrounds. Those who wanted to join in the conversation online were able to take part on Twitter using the #AGOChat hashtag.

The day was structured like an Unconference – an event that lets the people taking part decide what should be talked about. We asked people what community groups they identified themselves with and what they would like to see at the gallery. They shared their answers on brightly coloured sticky notes which were then sorted to identify common themes.

The following sessions covered a wide range of themes including:

  • Community Outreach & Accessibility
  • Artist & Gallery Talks
  • Web, Social Media and Online Events
  • Evening Events

People talked passionately about their ideas for their AGO. From date nights and reality TV shows to longer opening hours and more events for adults the ideas flowed thick and fast all day. We also managed to get #AGOChat trending in Canada, so a big thank you to everyone that tweeted throughout the day.

What happens next?

  • We’re in the process of gathering all the information generated from the day. Once it’s ready we’ll be publishing it online so that everyone can see what we talked about and we can report back.
  • We think (and from reading your tweets we know you do too) that the Unconference was a fantastic way to share ideas and generate excitement for the Gallery and its programs.  The success of the Unconference has us looking at new ways to communicate and gather input and we’ll keep you posted on future opportunities.
  • Loads of great ideas came out of the social media session, like the adult sleepovers and the desire for a more conversational approach.  We’ll definitely be planning a tweet-up soon and we’re also going to be building a loyal army of Twitter followers who want to volunteer to help spread the word about what’s going on in the Gallery.
  • SIGN UP FOR MORE INFORMATION

  • We want you to continue using the #AGOChat hashtag on Twitter to share your ideas as well as commenting on this blog post. We’re on Twitter @AGOToronto and you can also chat with our Social Media and Internet Content Coordinator Holly on Twitter or via email.

We are grateful to everyone who came out and shared their ideas with us. Thanks also needs to go to Celina Agaton who organized the event and all of the facilitators who ran the sessions: Marisa Gelfusa;  Marco Campana ; Aerin Guy; Darcy Higgins and Ramy Nassar.

Challenge AbEx Challenge Two: Fastest Finger First

August 18th, 2011

Challenge AbEx is a test of wit, skill and ingenuity. Four challenges, each one more difficult than the last, will be set during the final three weeks of the Abstract Expressionist: New York exhibition. At each stage of the contest there are great prizes to be won, and one lucky player will also be crowned the Ultimate AbEx Challenge Champion. Find out more about Challenge AbEx

 

Challenge ABEX

CHALLENGE TWO IS NOW CLOSED: CONGRATULATIONS TO @robotpilot @taushif @florenceMcC & @atlast_atweet  WHO WERE CROWNED CHALLENGE CHAMPIONS

Challenge Two: 

Difficulty level MODERATE

Challenge One was all about Facebook. For Challenge Two it’s all about Twitter, and your ability to solve tough questions about abstract expressionism in lightening-quick time.  Up for the challenge? Here’s how to take part:

  • Make sure you’re following us on Twitter or monitoring the #ChallengeAbEx hashtag.

  • Join us on Twitter on Monday August 22 at 11:00am

  • We’ll be answering a series of tricky questions about our Abstract Expressionist: New York exhibition (hint: you’ll be able to find most of the information on our website

  • The first person to correctly tweet us the answer to a question using the #ChallengeAbex hashtag will win a night for two at a Toronto hotel and tickets to the Gallery. Hotel prize packs donated courtesy of The Westin Harbour Castle and Intercontinental Toronto Centre. We’ve got four fiendish questions and four prize packs to give away.

  • The winner will be the sender of the first correct and correctly tagged tweet that shows up in our feed. No arguments. 


Don’t forget that whoever performs the best across all four challenges will be crowned the Ultimate Abex Challenge Champion. The Champion will get a bumper prize pack including a family/dual AGO Membership, a night for two at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, AbEx goodies and more.

For more information or to see the terms and conditions please get in touch.

Follow the AGO on Twitter
Join us on Facebook

 

Make Your Mark on Canada’s Biggest Photography Prize

August 17th, 2011

Grange Prize image teaser

The Grange Prize is Canada’s largest cash prize for photography and the only major Canadian art prize whose winner is chosen by a public vote. Each year, The Grange Prize Nominating Jury selects a shortlist of four extraordinary photographic artists – two from Canada and two from a partner country. Their work goes on view at the AGO and online at thegrangeprize.com, and then it’s up to you to decide which photographer should win the $50,000 prize. The 2011 shortlist will be announced August 30, the same day that public voting begins. Find out more about The Grange Prize

The Grange Prize recognizes that contemporary photography includes a broad range of diverse practices and places no limitations on approach, subject matter, technology, or presentation. Artists are selected for excellence in the medium.  Watch a clip of last year’s winner, Kristan Horton, talking about The Grange Prize.

How to get involved:

Step One
Join us on the The Grange Prize Facebook page. We’ll give you access to ‘behind-the-scenes’ updates, exclusive contests and great content about this year’s nominees.


Step Two

Celebrate the arrival of The Grange Prize 2011 at an amazing free launch party at the AGO on Wednesday September 7.  The celebration will feature drinks, snacks and a set by DJ Jaime Sin in the AGO’s Walker Court, along with video interviews and live advocates highlighting each of the four shortlisted artists. You’ll also get a chance to meet the artists in person and view their work inside The Grange Prize 2011 Exhibition. Don’t forget to save the date.


Step Three

Cast your vote! Voting opens on August 30 and you can vote in person at the AGO or by visiting thegrangeprize.com. You have until October 29 to make your choice, and the artist who receives the most votes will receive the $50,000 prize at a gala reception at the AGO on November 1. Send me a reminder when voting opens

 

The Grange Prize is a unique partnership between the Art Gallery of Ontario and Aeroplan, The Grange Prize aims to engage the public in a vital discourse about the power and prevalence of photography in our world today through public exhibitions, voting and online dialogue.

New AGO Exhibition Explores the History of Industrial Photography in Canada

August 17th, 2011

“Oh the song of the future has been sung / All the battles have been won
On the mountain tops we stand / All the world at our command
We have opened up her soil / With our teardrops and our toil”

— Gordon Lightfoot, “Canadian Railroad Trilogy”

(TORONTO – August 17, 2011) A new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario traces the history of Canada’s changing industrial landscape through the lens of some of the country’s most extraordinary photographers from the past 150 years. Songs of the Future: Canadian Industrial Photographs, 1858 to Today opens August 20 and includes more than 100 photographs by such artists as Alexander Henderson, William Notman, John Vanderpant, E. Haanel Cassidy, Ralph Greenhill, George Hunter and Edward Burtynsky.

Depicting railway and bridge building, quarries and mines, and the lumber, pulp and paper, and concrete industries in Canada, Songs of the Future traces the shifting perspectives on industry and the Canadian landscape from the Industrial Revolution to today. The exhibition highlights the ways in which the photographers’ perspectives on industry have shifted along with those of society at large, as celebratory images of human domination over nature give way to more critical views of industrial impact.

The exhibition is curated by Sophie Hackett, the AGO’s assistant curator of photography, who integrates works from various periods into thematic concentrations, including images featuring: the construction of the Victoria Bridge over the St. Lawrence River in the late 1850s; the building of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, a pulp-and-paper mill located in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, in 1912; and the development of the railroad in Canada.

Read the whole press release

Challenge AbEx Challenge One: Keeping It Simple

August 16th, 2011

Challenge AbEx is a test of wit, skill and ingenuity. Four challenges, each one more difficult than the last, will be set during the final three weeks of the Abstract Expressionist: New York exhibition. At each stage of the contest there are great prizes to be won, and one lucky player will also be crowned the Ultimate AbEx Challenge Champion. Find out more about Challenge AbEx

ChallengeABEX  2 jpg (2)

CHALLENGE ONE IS NOW CLOSED: CONGRATULATIONS TO LAURALEA RIVET WHO WAS CROWNED CHALLENGE CHAMPION

Challenge One: 
Difficulty level EASY


We’re making Challenge One nice and easy for you. We’re easing you in gradually. Playing nicely. It’s so unchallenging; it’s barely a challenge at all. The winner of the first Challenge AbEx Challenge will receive a fantastic AbEx prize pack and a pair of free tickets to come and experience the show and the rest of the Gallery. Ready? Here’s what you have to do…

  • Join the Art Gallery of Ontario on Facebook

  • Tag us* in the following Facebook status update “I’m taking part in Challenge AbEx at the Art Gallery Of Ontario.” (You can add more words if you feel like it)

  • You have 24 hours to take part in Challenge One. (Although we hope it won’t take you 24 hours to complete)

*To tag us use the “@” key immediately followed by Art Gallery of Ontario (@Art…) You should be able to select Art Gallery Of Ontario from a list once you begin typing.

Easy, right?

Competition closes at 12:00 Wednesday 17 August & we’ll be announcing the winner later that day. The winner will be picked at random from those who successfully tag us. Good luck to everyone taking part!

Don’t forget that whoever performs the best across all four challenges will be crowned the Ultimate Abex Challenge Champion. The Champion will get a bumper prize pack including a family/dual AGO Membership, a night for two at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, AbEx goodies and more.
For more information or to see the terms and conditions please get in touch.

Follow the AGO on Twitter
Join us on Facebook

Navigating the Thomson Collection of Ship Models

August 16th, 2011

homson Ship Collection Photographer: Sean Weaver Copyright Art Gallery of Ontario
Head down the first staircase you see as you enter the AGO and you’ll uncover a collection with some incredible stories to tell. You might feel like you’re descending into darkness, but the dim lighting is just to protect the 130 incredibly detailed ship models housed there, part of the Thomson Collection.

Unique in Canada and considered to be one of the finest private collections of ship models in the world, the Thomson Collection of Ship Models is part of one of the most significant acts of philanthropy in Canadian history. The models span 350 years, combining exquisite craftsmanship and maritime technological and cultural history.

This series delves into the stories behind the ship models, the ships that inspired them and the people that created them. To find more about visiting the gallery, please visit http://www.ago.net

The sinking of Gunilda: 100th Anniversary

On August 1911 the steam yacht Gunilda sank beneath the surface of Lake Superior in Northern Ontario. Today, the wreck is famous amongst divers as being one of the world’s most intact and interesting freshwater wrecks. View fascinating dive photos, explore the Gunilda model and learn more about America’s Gilded Age. Story coming soon

From steam power to steampunk: The history of steam
The invention of the steam-powered engine changed life forever, triggering the industrial revolution and giving people the power to travel previously unimaginable distances. Trace a path from ‘father of the steam engine’ James Watt to steam engines and steam ships and on to the Hollywood depictions of the steamboat era using objects in the Thomson Collection as your guide.  Story coming soon

Tintin on the high seas
Hergé’s classic character from children’s literature, Tintin, gets a new lease of life this Christmas when The Adventure of Tintin: The Mystery of the Unicorn is released in cinemas. Central to the plot of is mysterious model ship The Unicorn. Learn about the significance of model ships like these and see examples from the collection from the same era.  Story coming soon

The Tale of Mimi and Toutou
During World War One an eccentric British naval officer called Geoffrey Spicer-Simpson was tasked with seizing Lake Tanganyika in Central Africa from German control. He was given command of two small gunboats, which he named Mimi and Toutou (“cat” and “dog” in French). Read about their incredible journey and then come to the gallery to see our scale model of Mimi.  Story coming soon

To find out more about The Thomson Collection of Ship Models you can listen to our podcast, narrated by National Maritime Museum Curator Simon Stephens. Click here to book your tickets and visit the AGO.