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Archive: January, 2019

Readers rejoice! Author talks at the AGO

January 14th, 2019

A composite image of headshots including Donna Bailey Nurse, Esi Edugyan, Angie Thomas, M. NourbeSe Philiip
Top: Donna Bailey Nurse, L-R: Esi Edugyan, Angie Thomas, M. NourbeSe Philiip

Compelling characters, confident craftsmanship and deep meaning: these are the qualities literary critic and columnist for CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter Donna Bailey Nurse looks for in a really good book. And as part of our winter season of programs centring the perspectives and experiences of Black women artists, she’ll host a series of talks with Black female authors who are making waves on the literary scene.

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Meet Just John

January 14th, 2019

A photo of Just John pulling at his lip
Photo by Brianna Roye | @briannablank

In 2016, when 25-year-old artist Just John saw a lack of space for artists of colour in Toronto, he leaped at the opportunity to create one. Enter Blank Canvas, a collective of artists building a vibrant arts community in the city with a focus on emerging and marginalized artists. Now, three years later we’ve partnered with Blank Canvas for a six-week program of FREE After Three Tuesdays titled Drew a Blank. Kicking off this week, the workshops for youth 14–25 years old include everything from grant-writing and financial literacy to photo editing and DJing.

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Art and the afterlife

January 14th, 2019

An installation view of Winsom's exhibition I Rise
Winsom, The Masks We Wear, 2019, Installation view © Winsom. Photo Art Gallery of Ontario

Maybe it’s the sound of the soft music or the sight of the vibrant colours that draws you into the space; either way, I Rise, the new exhibition by Canadian-Maroon artist Winsom, captivates your senses. Inside this new two-room exhibition filling the south end of the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art, you’ll find incredible large-scale multimedia installations of photography, sculpture, painting and more that explore themes of freedom, resilience, renewal and African spirituality.

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Is the Earth doomed? Maybe not.

January 4th, 2019


Edward Burtynsky. Mushin Market Intersection, Lagos, Nigeria, 2016 . Mural, 304.8 × 609.6 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto. © 2018 Edward Burtynsky.

Through powerful images of plastic-filled landfills, massive coal mines and clear cut rainforests, our major exhibition Anthropocene revealed the scale of human impact on the planet. Visitors to the exhibition told us they were inspired to ask: what can I do to help the Earth? Although the exhibition closed this past weekend, our podcast series Into the Anthropocene has helpful tips for how to build a better, healthier planet. Apple also recently selected it as one of the best Canadian podcasts of 2018.

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Face off

January 4th, 2019

John McEwen, The Distinctive Line Between One Subject and Another, 1980. Flame-cut plate steel, Wolf 1: 54.5 × 116 × 6.4 cm, 136.1 kg; Wolf 2: 55.5 × 116.4 × 6.4 cm, 136.1 kg. Purchase, 1981. © John McEwen 81/73

Rounding the corner of the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art, there’s a line many visitors hesitate to cross. It’s an invisible line cutting diagonally across the gallery floor, anchored on either end by two low steel sculptures affixed to the floor. Even without eyes, these minimalist silhouettes have an unmistakably canine presence: a pair of life-sized wolves, locked in opposition. Entitled The Distinctive Line Between One Subject and Another (1980), this work by Toronto-born artist John McEwen is on view now on Level 2.

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New year, new youth programming

January 4th, 2019

Person using DJ equipment
Image Courtesy of Blank Canvas Gallery

The AGO is the place to be this winter for creative 14–25 year-olds. Starting this month on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, FREE After Three workshops invite you to create and print your own zines, learn vogue dancing (a dance style popularized by queer communities of colour in the late 1980s) or try your hand at DJing – all for zero dollars! The workshops are led by talented local artists like Blank Canvas Collective, legendary vogue pioneer Twysted Miyake-Mugler and Colour Code Printing’s Jenny Gitman and Jesjit Gill.

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The beauty in found objects

January 4th, 2019

Installation image: Kara Hamilton. Crown for Ina after Beyonce, 2018. Gold, fool’s gold, pearl,  39.4 × 17.8 × 17.8 cm.  Courtesy the artist and Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto. Photo: © Art Gallery of Ontario   

Toronto-based artist Kara Hamilton’s work is mysterious, graceful and ambitious. The contemporary artist transforms found objects into stunning pieces of art. Her new AGO exhibition Water in Two Colours features three works created from reimagined elevator panels. The exhibition also includes a unique work that combines two crowns – one chosen by Jay-Z for Beyoncé and one for Hamilton’s lost relative – into an exquisite sculpture.

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