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Archive: January, 2017

Look up from your phone!

January 31st, 2017

Art is (almost) everywhere.  A new AGO installation maps out where you can—and can’t—find Toronto’s public art.

Map Detail, Toronto Downtown Core. Cartography by Kai Salmela. Image courtesy the Artful City.

Did you know that the City of Toronto currently has over 700 public artworks on display, free of lineups and admission fees? And now, for the first time ever, a map has been created that marks where all public artwork can be found in the city. Created by Toronto-based public art research collective The Artful City in collaboration with the Martin Prosperity Institute and presented in partnership with the AGO, The Artful City: Mapping Toronto’s Public Art Landscape 1967–2015 is a new installation in our Weston Family Learning Centre Community Gallery.

This large-scale installation, featuring a detailed map and illustrated timeline, was a year in the making.  The map reveals patterns: the growth of public artwork has been concentrated in particular neighbourhoods and has prioritized certain forms of practice over others. As part of the experience, visitors are invited to identify areas in need of public artworks, and answer the questions “What does public art mean to you? What can it look like in the future?”

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Lido Pimienta headlines AGO First Thursdays this week

January 31st, 2017

Don’t miss the powerful presence of this Colombian-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter.

Lido Pimienta. Photo by Alejandro Santiago.

Lido Pimienta’s music defies categorization; it’s a swirl of electro beats, Afro-Colombian rhythms, dramatic vocals and politics. A truly independent artist, she recently released her second album La Papessa and is already working on crowdfunding her third. La Papessa refers to the High Priestess, a figure that appears in a traditional deck of tarot cards.

We caught up with Lido Pimienta ahead of her First Thursday performance this week (on February 2) to learn more about the music she’s making in honour of this month’s theme, Shapeshifters. What did we learn? This is not one to be missed. Read the rest of this entry »

Snap a selfie – or a backie!

January 31st, 2017

Share your AGO experience with your friends…yes, you can take photos here!

Last week, gallery-goers across the world snapped a selfie with their favourite collection or work of art for #MuseumSelfie Day, and the AGO was proud to take part. The one-day event was founded in 2014 by London museum blogger Mar Dixon to encourage people to visit their local museum. Here is what #MuseumSelfie Day looked like at the AGO:

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Art is political

January 31st, 2017

Art and art-making can be powerful tools for change. One of our newest courses for adults, Art-making Inspired by Feminist Ideas, looks at the creative process through a feminist lens, providing students the opportunity to discover artists whose works exemplify feminist strategies and to explore ideas that help inform and communicate a sense of identity. The class is open to participants of all genders.

Aleks Bartosik. Photo by Crystal Lee.

The AGO talked to instructor and artist Aleks Bartosik to learn more about the class and hear about her own feminist inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »

Canada: a work in progress

January 31st, 2017

This summer we’re marking Canada’s 150th birthday with an ambitious contemporary exhibition that explores three urgent questions through the eyes of some of the country’s best emerging and established artists: where has Canada come from, what it is now, and where is it going?

Opening on June 29, 2017 and taking over the entire fourth floor of the AGO’s Contemporary Tower, Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood is a dynamic exhibition that aims to address the mistakes of the past, rewrite and reclaim history, and move into the future with new insight. The multimedia installation features 33 new and recent projects by artists from across Canada, including Gu Xiong and Yu Gu, Robert Houle, Meryl McMaster, Seth, Esmaa Mohamoud, Ed Pien and Shuvinai Ashoona, among many others. Read the rest of this entry »

A painting and a…saw?

January 23rd, 2017

It’s not every day an artist decides to take a circular saw to his work. With one slice, Belgian-Mexican artist Francis Alÿs dramatically split one of his paintings into two equal parts. The result, The Cut (2015), is currently on view in the AGO’s John & Nancy Mulvihill Gallery (Level 1). From one canvas, Alÿs created new two paintings and left a deep jagged incision in the wall, inviting viewers to consider how creation and destruction can be one and the same.

See him in action here:

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The Grange is haunted?

January 23rd, 2017

 Julia Cannella is a Public Relations student at Humber College. She recently started a three-month internship with the AGO’s Public Affairs and Communications Department.

Julia Cannella

My first day at the AGO as the Public Affairs and Communications intern started two hours too early. Two things were running through my head when I set my alarm the night before. The first one is a line that a professor often recited: If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. The second thought was a series of unfortunate events that would make me late for my first day. Turns out that two hours of spare time was the best thing I could’ve brought to my first day; it’s just enough time to get your nerves to settle, and to buy a doughnut. Read the rest of this entry »

We won an award (or two)!

January 23rd, 2017

We’re excited to spread the news about one of our award-winning programs –it’s not every day we get recognized with two awards at once. So yes, we’re patting ourselves on the back…just a little.

We were honoured to recently receive the City of Toronto’s Quality Improvement Achievements award for our Seniors Arts Engagement Program. This prestigious award recognizes initiatives that help improve the quality of life for its Long-Term Care Homes & Services residents. We also received the People’s Choice Award, voted on by our industry peers!

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Peek inside a 5 year old’s imagination

January 23rd, 2017

Two of Toronto’s smallest screenwriters have dreamed big and created their own movie. Cave Small Cave Big, a short film about losing a cherished item and finding inspiration, makes its world debut at the AGO on February 16. Directed by Toronto artist Joële Walinga, the film was scripted by five-year-olds Madeline Harker and Adelaide Schwartz as part of a workshop series run by Walinga. In this professionally shot 11-minute film we follow the “Butterfly Girl” as she wanders through the woods searching for a cave. Catch the trailer here:


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Get your dine on

January 23rd, 2017

Feeling the winter blues? Get out of your comfies and come experience the perfect marriage of art and food during Winterlicious 2017 at the AGO’s FRANK restaurant. Running from January 27 to February 9, Winterlicious is the perfect time to try Executive Chef Renée Bellefeuille and Chef de Cuisine John Romick’s fresh, innovative and well-crafted cuisine. This delicious prix-fixe menu is available for lunch and dinner.

FRANK Winterlicious prix-fixe menu includes vegan options like this smoked eggplant and tomato tagine with jewelled couscous. Photo: AGO

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