Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Art Matters Blog

Archive: April, 2009

Grange Park Cleanup By Numbers

April 28th, 2009


Last Friday the sixth annual Grange Park cleanup proved to be a huge success. This year the AGO partnered with the Ontario College of Art and Design and University Settlement, and the cleanup included Butterfield Park, underneath the OCAD tabletop.

  • 3 – organizations that partnered to get the job done
  • 60– number of small garbage bags turned in between 2 and 3 pm
  • 120 – number of people who showed up to help, plus 3 dogs
  • 4 – large bags of garbage filled
  • 7 – dozen cookies eaten
  • 1 – TV Station (City TV) who came out to interview participants

Most interesting garbage finds: one Barbie shoe, and one umbrella stand!

Grange Park cleanup is held each year in conjunction with Mayor Miller’s Community Cleanup day. This initiative is a great opportunity to connect with our neighbours and show community pride for Toronto’s key downtown park.

AGO Youth Council: Helen & Charu

April 24th, 2009

It is our pleasure to introduce the members of the AGO Youth Council.
Week 4: Helen Han and Charu Jaiswal.

Helen Han

My name is Helen and I am from South Korea. Here’s something interesting about me, all my names in Korean, Japanese, and English has the same meaning, which is “light”. I love music and history and I despise math! I love learning other languages and cultures!

Charu Jaiswal

Charu Jaiswal

Hello! I’m Charu and I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. I came to Toronto when I was 4, and ever since then I’ve loved this city! I’m a fanatic vegetarian- for social and environmental reasons. Because I’m really environmentally conscious, I like to recycle things to make art. My specialty is jewelry, especially earrings. My most ‘bizarre’ pair was made from pine cones that I literally found in a forest. I love to create and hopefully you’ll see some of my stuff someday!

Find out about Youth Council projects and activities and how to get involved.

Annual Spring Clean Up – Grange Park and Butterfield Park

April 17th, 2009

Grange Park

It’s that time of year again!

All neighbours are invited to join the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Ontario College of Art and Design and University Settlement in our annual spring clean-up of Grange Park on Friday, April 24, 2:00pm. This year, we will include Butterfield Park…. because we need a bigger challenge!

We will gather by the University Settlement (at the south end of the park) to distribute plastic gloves and garbage bags and get a quick briefing on what / what not to pick up. After our 20-minute cleanup, we’ll have some light refreshments.

The spring clean-up of Grange Park and Butterfield Park is part of Mayor Miller’s 20-minute Toronto Makeover initiated by the Mayor’s Clean and Beautiful City campaign.

Hope to see you in Grange Park!

For more information, please contact:

Sue Boyle, AGO: 416-979-6660 ext 461
Jeff Zoeller, OCAD: 416-977-6000, ext 469
Katie Urquhart, University Settlement: 416-598-3444, ext 229

AGO Youth Council: Celine & Morgan

April 17th, 2009

It is our pleasure to introduce the members of the AGO Youth Council.
Week 3: Celine Fletcher and Morgan Gibson.

Celine Fletcher

Celine Fletcher

My name is Celine Fletcher. I was born and raised in Scarborough Ontario, near the Cathedral Bluffs. I have two natural languages: French and English. I’ve also learned Spanish! My hobbies include sketching, reading, writing poetry, singing (But I don’t perform!), and playing the piano. My favorite thing to do is write and drawl in my journal. I have British heritage, but I feel extremely proud to be Canadian because I firmly believe that Canada is the most beautiful and multicultural country in the world.

Morgan Gibson

Morgan Gibson

Morgan Gibson is a Hong-Kong raised Canadian who returned recently to study history and art history at the University of Toronto. Excited and passionate about American politics, fashion and Surrealist art, she is looking forward to a life full of discussion, reading and talking to interesting people! Morgan is a big fan of collage, anti-rhythm dancing and her twin sister Scotti.

Find out about Youth Council projects and activities and how to get involved.

AGO and OCAD Collaborate on Exhibition

April 16th, 2009

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has collaborated with the Ontario College of Art (OCAD) on a unique curatorial project and exhibition. The Matter of Loss, which runs from April 15 to July 19, was organized by five OCAD student curators are from its new MFA program, Criticism and Curatorial Studies.

The new program offers the course “Inside the AGO,” which provides an in-depth look at the Gallery’s curatorial process from start to finish. Students are guided in both theory and practice by the AGO’s Michelle Jacques, associate curator of Contemporary Art; Kelly McKinley, director of Education and Public Programming; and Judy Koke, deputy director of Education and Public Programming.

“Inside the AGO has been an amazing opportunity to curate with one of the most significant collections of art in Canada,” said Rose Bouthillier, curator from OCAD’s MFA program. “Navigating the layout of such a large institution has been an invaluable learning experience.”

Inspired by artist Jane Martin’s drawing series “Something Happened,” which documents the terminal illness of her husband, The Matter of Loss explores how artists have responded to loss in terms of memory, history, and physical absence. The exhibition features works by Canadian artists Greg Curnoe, Spring Hurlbut, Martha Issumatarjuak, Brian Kipping, and Jane Martin, as well as international artists Christian Boltanski, Eric Fischl, and Dena DeCola & Karin E. Wandner – most from the AGO’s permanent collection.

Student curators of The Matter of Loss are Rose Bouthillier, Sky Goodden, Amber Landgraff, Deborah Wang and Lauren Wetmore. A public reception with the curators was held last night, Wednesday, April 15, from 6 to 8:30 pm.

AGO Youth Council: Natalie & Catherine

April 10th, 2009

It is our pleasure to introduce the members of the AGO Youth Council.
Week 2: Natalie Dunn and Catherine Eun bin Whang.

Natalie Dunn

Natalie Dunn

My name is Natalie Dunn. I was born in Canada, but I am half Australian and half Columbian. I have been described as a walking exclamation mark. I am a very positive, bubbly person. I love to laugh. I make art with all mediums, ink, pop cans, acrylic paint- anything! I love to travel, read and to write. I am obsessed with fashion. I want to be a journalist. I love to have fun, and I look forward to tomorrow. I am an environmentalist!

Catherine Eun bin Whang

Catherine Eun bin Whang

Catherine was born in Korea. She moved to Canada when she was in grade 6. Catherine has organized and participated in many activities related to art and design, such as art shows, exhibitions and concerts. Her interests are in fashion design and fashion photography. Her favorite designers are Marc Jacobs, John Galliano and Tom Ford. Her favorite photographer is Steven Meisel. She is hoping to be a leading fashion designer in the future.

Find out about Youth Council projects and activities and how to get involved.

Sketchbook from The Art of Drawing

April 9th, 2009

In this busy world, drawing can be a meditative act and a powerful way to focus concentration. Students in the Art of Drawing, taught by Kelley Aitken, sketch in the galleries of the AGO, inspired by works including Henry Moore sculptures, Group of Seven paintings, the work of the Dutch masters, and the architecture of the spectacular Galleria Italia.

Here are some examples of drawings produced in the course last term…

Art by Geraldine Sadoway
Art by Geraldine Sadoway

Art by Marlene Etherington
Art by Marlene Etherington

Art by Miyuki Fukuma
Art by Miyuki Fukuma

Students at work in the AGO
Students at work in the AGO

A new season of the course begins this month — find out more!

Staff Spotlight – Amynah Jiwa

April 8th, 2009

Amynah Jiwa
(Photo courtesy AGO photographer Carlo Catenazzi)

By Amanda Gabriele, Public Affairs Intern

If you have ever wondered how to make use of all 24 hours in a day, Amynah Jiwa could certainly offer some suggestions. Tucked away on the second floor, she takes a much-needed coffee break to discuss one of her most secretive subjects – herself.

Amynah started at the AGO in September 2007 as executive assistant to the Chief Financial Officer. She also occupies the role of executive assistant to both the AGO Foundation Board and the Finance Committee.

Although she holds a B.A. in Economics from York University, Amynah decided to try something new, so she moved on to a diploma in Marketing Administration at Seneca College.

"Learning is a life long process," she says. "It’s important to keep yourself busy and interested; to always be learning something all the time." With that in mind, she is currently on the path to higher education, working towards a degree in her Bachelor of Commerce part-time at Ryerson University.

Along with the commitment of work and family, Amynah has more than enough responsibility to keep her busy. A proud member of the Ismaili Muslim community, she acts as a liaison on the executive committee of the core volunteer group at her mosque. She oversees many of the community’s youth group initiatives, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program, which commends youth for their hard work in skills and fitness training and dedication to voluntary service. She was also a key player in this year‘s Aga Khan Golden Jubilee celebrations, a succession of events leading to a grand event that catered to more than 60,000 people in Toronto at the Rogers Centre where Amynah was overseeing all of the refreshments for all five days.

"It gives me a sense of purpose," says Amynah about her commitment to her faith and community. "The more you do, the more you can accomplish. I feel rewarded when I see things come to fruition. She has served as a voluntary with the executive committee for three years but has been an active volunteer since she was 13. She is a role model to many members of the community.

When asked about her plans for the future, Amynah’s enthusiastic response is, "2009 is my year!" She will continue her volunteer commitments, as well as her passion for education. As far as her time at the AGO is concerned, her job is a welcome priority for her.

"I feel at home here," she says about her love for the Gallery and her job. "It’s like the TV show Cheers! It’s nice to go where everybody knows your name; where you walk down the halls and people say hello."

That said, the remaining question for this modest busybody would be, "When do you have time to sleep?" Somehow she fits it in, but whether or not Amynah gets her recommended eight hours of shut-eye or not, she is always a pleasure to meet in the halls.

Vogue Wines

April 6th, 2009


On the heels of fashion week, it seems only appropriate to talk about fashionable trends in wine. I sat down with Courtney Henderson, restaurant manager and sommelier at the AGO’s FRANK restaurant, to discuss the hits and misses for spring.

“Heavy, full-bodied wines are out,” says Courtney, as she goes on to explain that we are looking at more floral “pretty” wines for spring, much like the floral prints we are seeing on the runway. “Another trend is single-grape wines,” Courtney adds, referring to wines made of one type of Riesling, Aligoté or another chic grape.

FRANK’s ever-changing wine list is made up of Ontario wines echoing the restaurant’s philosophy around slow, sustainable food. “When we can drink amazing wines from our own backyards, why would we look anywhere else?” Courtney points out. Instead of focusing on the foreign creators, she has chosen to focus on the local up and comers, which may even include some expansion to wineries in Eastern Canada, “They have some fabulous wines.”

If you’re looking for a fashionable night out, make sure you try a lively fresh white like the 2007 Chardonnay Musque from Cave Spring, Niagara or the 2007 Creekside Sauvignon Blanc which is described as a “Hi-styling Sauvignon”. I had to ask Courtney which one was her favourite, “The 2006 Chardonnay, Le Clos Jordanne, from the Niagara region…has great body and interesting flavour.” A perfect match for FRANK’s potato, squash and cheddar perogies, or even the pan fried rainbow trout. Yumm, being fashionable has never tasted so good!