First Nations team turn construction hoarding into a colourful polyptych!

An eight-foot-high, 700-foot-long polyptych documenting native history, is being created in the southeast corner of ALLAN GARDENS (Sherbourne Street at Gerrard Street East).  A 21-person drawing and painting crew is working on the huge mural, which portrays Canada’s indigenous history from the earth’s creation to modern times.  It will include a memorial to more than 600 native women across the country who have gone missing or been murdered since 1990.Denise Booth, a co-ordinator of the Native Women’s Resource Centre, told the GRID: “The beauty of TORONTO’s multiculturalism makes me love it, but indigenous people quite often get lost in the sea of multiculturalism.  To have artwork up, created by our community, is really a giant honour.”

The Old Don Jail (1862-65) shows its true colours

Hidden under years of grime and soot, the OLD DON JAIL (Broadview and Gerrard Street East) is emerging as a fairly attractive ‘swan’.  After a lengthy bath and stone restoration (thanks to Bridgepoint Health), this building – which has seen plenty of horror in its time – takes a rightful place in the city’s heritage trove.  A Victorian-era gaol, meant to intimidate, it’s actually quite elegant once its face has been washed.  PHOTOS – the cleaned-up Don Jail in 2012, AND some of the out buildings which are also being restored


YDESSA HENDELES – Toronto’s international art world ambassador – in BERLIN

Wandering around the Oranienburger arts district in BERLIN a couple of weeks ago, I came across posters announcing an exhibition curated by Ydessa Hendeles – well known in TORONTO – and becoming more so internationally.  This is her third show in Germany, following the critically acclaimed Partners (Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2003) and Marburg! The Early Bird! (2010). As gallerist and exhibition-maker, she has mounted more than 100 exhibitions – many of them in her TORONTO gallery space on King Street West.The Bird That Made The Breeze To Blow challenges conventional assumptions about the boundaries between artistic production, collecting, curating and exhibiting. The show provides viewers with an art installation experience, as well as a group of autonomous works, each standing on its own outside the context of the exhibition. It’s made up of photographs and text pieces in conjunction with antique clockwork key-wind tin toys and a custom-fabricated, painted-metal automaton that performs in a large mahogany vitrine.