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Archive: February, 2013

March Break at the AGO: Itty bitty fun!

February 28th, 2013

The AGO is offering Toronto families nine days of fun this March Break, beginning Saturday, March 9. Inspired by the imaginative miniature sculptures of Kim Adams, the AGO offers children and families tons of ways to play, shop, eat and create. And all drop-in programs and activities are FREE with the price of admission.

March Break drop-in programs will run daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 9 to March 17. And because March Break only comes once a year, the AGO will remain open on Monday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering one extra day of fun for kids and parents in the Gallery. For updates on daily programming, follow the AGO on Facebook and Twitter.

This year’s theme is Itty Bitty Cities, and children and families can explore all things small from small ships to mini marvels throughout the Gallery including:

  • A Kim Adams kids activity guide and the miniature worlds and unbridled imagination of this acclaimed Canadian sculptor;
  • All-day play at the Imagination Playground in Walker Court, where kids can bend, stack and build giant blue blocks to create their own sprawling kingdoms;
  • All the art making supplies kids need to construct tiny additions to the AGO’s own itty bitty city, available in Walker Court;
  • Free family yoga classes at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. in the Weston Family Learning Centre on Monday, March 11, Wednesday, March 13, and Friday, March 15;
  • Kid-friendly tours of the Gallery, giving families a “kid’s eye view” of the AGO collection, leave hourly from Walker Court;
  • Extended hours at the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre (ages 5 and under), where the Gallery’s youngest visitors can make art, listen to stories and play dress up daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and
  • Screenings of art-inspired short films from the National Film Board all day long in Jackman Hall.

shopAGOkids is celebrating March Break with a variety of daily in-store events and promotions. Highlights include a book reading and signing on Sunday, March 10, at 1 p.m. with the Governor General’s Award–winning children’s author Cybele Young. On Thursday, March 14, visitors can participate in a hands-on demonstration with neon graffiti pens, and on March 19 families can experience hands-on fashion demonstrations with stylists from Cool and Hot Duct Tape.

What’s happening in shopAGOkids during March Break? Click to expand.

Building miniature cities and shopping is hard work, so kids five and under always eat for free at caféAGO with the purchase of an adult meal. During March Break, FRANK Restaurant is offering families a special three-course prix-fix lunch for just $25. Members will get an extra 20 per cent off. FRANK will open for brunch on Monday, March 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with plenty of kids items on the menu. For reservations call 416.979.6680.

In Photos: Patti Smith’s 1976 visit to Toronto

February 27th, 2013

Patti Smith, Dec. 19,1976, at the Seneca College Field House. Photo by Vince Carlucci.
© Vince Carlucci

This March, Patti Smith is visiting Toronto, and we’re very excited for her performances here at the Gallery during our next 1st Thursdays event on March 7. She will also be participating in screenings of the film Patti Smith: Dream of Life and doing a book signing while she’s here for the exhibition Patti Smith: Camera Solo.

This won’t be Smith’s first visit to Toronto, of course. She was here more than three decades ago, in 1976, for a Patti Smith Group concert, and we were lucky to hear from a photographer who was there and captured some amazing images of Smith on stage. Below, Toronto’s Vince Carlucci describes the event that brought his appreciation for Smith and her music to a new level and shares his photos.

Camera Solo highlights the many connections between Smith’s photography and her interest in poetry and literature, and this same interest is present in her music. Thanks to Vince for his contribution and for helping us celebrate Smith’s art across all media. Read the rest of this entry »

Q&A: Andrew Hunter, soon-to-be Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art

February 26th, 2013

On May 1, Andrew Hunter will join the AGO as its new Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art.

He has collaborated with the AGO in the past, specifically on Tom Thomson (2003) and Emily Carr: New Perspectives (2007). He has more than 20 years’ experience and is an accomplished curator, artist, writer and educator.

Currently the co-founder and co-principal of DodoLab, an international program of community collaboration and interdisciplinary creative research, Andrew has held many curatorial positions at such institutions as the Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Kamloops Art Gallery, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Charlottetown’s Confederation Centre Art Gallery, to name a few. He has taught at OCAD University, the University of Waterloo (Faculty of Arts and School of Architecture) and lectured on curatorial practice across Canada, the United States, England, China and Croatia.

Andrew graciously answered some questions we had about his outlook on Canadian art and his decision to join our curatorial team. Read the rest of this entry »

Conservation Notes: The fight against (harmful) light

February 25th, 2013

We’ve all seen the yellowing of old photos and the fading of fabrics near windows in our own homes. The effects of light on works of art in our collection could be just as harmful, but our ever-vigilant conservators aren’t about to let that happen. In this post, conservator Katy Whitman explains why and how we keep different kinds of light in check. Read the rest of this entry »

Life of a Craphead Present: Doored (Video)

February 21st, 2013

Watch the video archive of the live-streamed event.

Recorded Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, 8:30 pm in the Weston Family Learning Centre Gallery School, Art Gallery of Ontario

What is this video?

On Feb. 10, AGO artists in residence Life of a Craphead presented a new edition of Doored, a monthly performance show that they have been curating and hosting since 2012. Doored features exciting new work from performance artists and comedians in Toronto. This edition’s participants were Bridget Moser, Cameron Lee, CN Tower Liquidation, Daniel Goodbaum, Fake Injury Party, Glenn Macaulay, Gwen Bieniara, Laura McCoy, Lisa Smolkin, and Neil LaPierre and David Tallis, with live music by Man Made Hill, visuals by Nikki Woolsey and door by Zoe Solomon.

Doored is part of the regular programming at the artist-run venue Double Double Land in Kensington Market.

About Life of a Craphead

Life of a Craphead is the collaborative work of Amy Lam and Jon McCurley, comprising performance, comedy, theatre and video. Established in 2006, their projects include transporting two psychopaths in a cage on the back of a truck, touring a live comedy show, giving away everything on a restaurant’s menu, and building a three-storey maze. Their first feature-length film, Bugs, is in post-production. Life of a Craphead have presented work at The Power Plant, Toronto; Gallery TPW, Toronto; Hotel MariaKapel, Hoorn, The Netherlands; Department of Safety, Anacortes, U.S.; and the Banff Centre, Banff, as well as at numerous comedy venues and music shows in Canada and the U.S.

Life of a Craphead live and work in Toronto and collaborate frequently with other artists and performers.

Participating performers

Bridget Moser is an interdisciplinary artist whose performances combine inanimate objects, affect, prop comedy, and escape art. She has presented work in various venues across Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Cameron Lee received his BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD U, the University of the Imagination. He hasn’t drawn or painted much since graduating.

CN Tower Liquidation is Sebastian Butt, Charlie Murray and Xan Hawes. They specialize in the dematerialization and reconstitution of objects into cubes. Recent shows include Free(or Best Offer), Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Guelph; THASDF FORDFBDFG CDFBLLimdbbing MEAD, Gendai Workstation; and Paul Petro’s Christmas Spice.

Daniel Goodbaum is either an artist/comedian or a comedian/artist. He’s attempting a ‘reverse Woody Allen’ by starting as a filmmaker and working his way into standup. He makes videos about food, fashion, film, and one or two things that don’t start with the letter ‘f’.

Fake Injury Party are three full grown men who know how to get the job done and have fun doing it! Experience: catering, dishwashing, serving.

Glenn Macaulay has been performing comedy in Toronto since 2005. He believes in true love and has to get to the theatre nice and early in order to fully enjoy the experience.

Gwen Bieniara is an artist from Toronto who works closely with performance.

Laura McCoy lives and works in Toronto.

Lisa Smolkin is an artist living in Toronto. Some of her creative stand-out moments include hosting a connectedness workshop, having a home-museum tailored to its visitors, and co-presenting a performative installation about the idea of emotional receptivity/industrial receiving areas.

Man Made Hill is the Solo Funk Agenda of Randy Gagne. Incubated in a crusty basement in Cambridge, ON, Man Made Hill has been steady mutilating sounds since 2004. Armed with a modest arsenal of synthesizer/sampler/drum-machine/voice/dance MMH assumes a series of transformational stage personas including Extra-Terrestrial Sex Judge, Diseased Futuristic Priest, Energy-Mayonnaise Demonstrator, Prison Disco-Enthusiast etc…

Neil LaPierre and David Tallis are prophets of the hypercassional (events you’ll be finding yourself doing everyday several times a day). This is their first performance at the AGO.

Nikki Woolsey lives in Toronto and makes mostly sculpture and photography. She collaborated with Life of a Craphead at the Hotel Maria Kapel residency in The Netherlands and contributed to CN Tower Liquidation’s performative “Theory of Condensation” event at the AGO. She was included in the recent exhibition “That’s not a run in your stocking, it’s a hand on your leg” at Narwhal Art Projects. She sometimes works as a prop maker and production designer.

FRANKly delicious: Chef Anne’s Buttermilk Bacon Biscuits

February 6th, 2013

In this video, executive chef Anne Yarymowich shows how to make the Buttermilk Bacon Biscuits served alongside Nova Scotia Clam Chowder on FRANK’s Winterlicious lunch and dinner menus.

Buttermilk Bacon Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup cooked bacon bits, drained of fat
1 cup buttermilk

For the bacon:

  • Use good quality double smoked slab bacon. About 8 ounces raw will yield a half cup cooked. If you are using a commercial sliced bacon your yield will be much less. Cut into quarter-inch cubes.
  • Render in a pan on medium low heat until most of the fat is rendered out but the bacon still has a bit of chew. Remove from fat and drain well on paper towel. Set aside to cool.

For the biscuit dough:

  • Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk together until well blended.
  • Cut in the cold butter using a cheese grater. Work the butter into the flour mix with your fingers, until well incorporated.
  • Add in the cooked cooled bacon.
  • Add in the buttermilk all at once and mix just until liquid is incorporated and the dough comes together.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured board. Roll out to 1 inch thickness.
  • Cut into 2×2-inch squares or with 2-inch round cutter.
  • Place on parchment lined tray.
  • Bake at 375 F for 12 minutes, turning the tray once, halfway through the baking time.
  • Serve immediately

Video by Danny Winchester/AGO.

Art. Food. Talk. Find out more about FRANK, including its hours, menus and special events and see photos of its modern, inviting setting.

How to get AGO podcasts using iTunes

February 5th, 2013

1. Open iTunes on your computer
2. From the Advanced menu, choose “Subscribe to Podcast…” and enter the podcast feed URL (the URL will end with “.xml”)
3. iTunes will subscribe you to the podcasts and begin downloading immediately
4. If you want to listen to our podcasts on the go, make sure your iTunes files are synced between your computer and mobile device; from the File menu in iTunes, click on “Sync [name of your mobile device]”

If you’d like to subscribe to all AGO podcasts, use this feed URL: