This will take up serious storage space. It’s an “immersive” labyrinth of 100 Chinese doors assembled by Beijing avant-garde artist Song Dong (b.1966) – originally for the Venice Biennale – and now in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. The armoire doors were rescued from within the Beijing hutongs, a vast network of laneway housing either being demolished or gentrified, in a capital city that’s been expanding and rebuilding at breakneck speed. ‘The Wisdom of the Poor’ addresses the role of traditional architecture in today’s changing urban environment. <PHOTO – Song Dong, Pace Gallery>. <Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West>
Rather than lift your voice
in a thousand laments
at the encroaching darkness,
light a single candle! – by Sung Eun Kim, Chanyoung Park
In 2000 Ryan Dineen approached every B.I.A. in Toronto and landed this one on Carlton St. at Parliament on the edge of Cabbagetown. It’s a winner, instantly recognizable, and from the beginning was created by an accomplished artist who, since 2013, has been represented by the Ingram Gallery in fashionable Yorkville. Many people recognize instantly this image, and know exactly where it’s located, having had much exposure on the Internet. Ryan Dineen now says “My focus these days is primarily oil painting on canvas.” – <Information – Parliament St. News>
The National Ballet School (NBS) of Canada occupies a number of buildings – some historic, some brand new – on Jarvis and Maitland Streets in downtown Toronto. Since its founding, NBS has been acclaimed for excellence in the training of dance professionals. Graduates perform in major companies worldwide, and include some of the finest choreographers and artistic directors. The School is associated with The National Ballet of Canada, itself founded in 1951.
<‘She’s A Soldier Too’ –“sock drama of the gals who wear the pants these days” – Columbia Pictures, 1944, celebrating wartime contributions of working women including Rosie the Riviter & Swing Shift Maisie.><‘Air Hostess’ – “love flies high with the Air Hostess” – Columbia Pictures,1949, thrills, drama, romance.><‘Public Stenographer’> – Showmen’s Pictures, 1934.
“My interest is working with light and space. I have always been fascinated with the range of light at different locations around the world.” – James Turrell . . . . Stop by the Bay/Adelaide Centre, 333 Bay Street, to enjoy Mr. Turrell’s animated sculpture. “Straight Flush”. installed in 2009. It’s in the lobby on the south side.
The 2000-seat theatre, built by David and Ed Mirvish and designed by architect Peter Smith, opened on May 26, 1993 with an interior design by renowned Yabu Pushelberg, and featuring artwork by the brilliant Frank Stella. It was the first privately built, stand-alone theatre in North America in over 50 years. The theatre is named after Diana, Princess of Wales, who was a member of the British royal family. She was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, and mother of Prince William and Prince Harry.
On the outside St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Avenue, is rather grim, but inside it’s another story. In 1923, the painter, J.E.H. MacDonald, assembled a group of Canadian artists (unfashionable in church circles at the time), including Fred Varley, Frank Carmichael, other members of the famous Group of Seven, and sculptors Frances Loring and Florence Wyle. Together they created more than a dozen large paintings, decorative medallions and reliefs of the four evangelists. Combined with the building’s vaulted roof and central dome in the Byzantine Greek Cross style, and stained glass from the original church on Dufferin Street, St. Anne’s became a sight to behold. As it is to this day. The 154-year-old building is Canada’s only Byzantine Revival Anglican church. It’s patterned after ISTANBUL’s Hagia Sophia, and in 1998 was designated a National Historic Site. St. Anne’s has regular Sunday services, or you can arrange individual or group tours through the church office.
This creation by Scott Eunson and Marianne Lovink occupies a 40-metre-long site, and portrays a history of humanity that once occupied this part of Toronto. The focus is on the era of once residents Thornton and Lucie Blackburn from 1834-1890. They were refugee slaves from Kentucky who started Toronto’s first taxi business. The couple lived near Inglenook Secondary School. Artists, students and historian, Karolyn Smart Frost, assembled the stories and poetry together, and the art took shape by 2015. It’s well worth an in-depth look if you pass by.
Canadian Stage is planning to make room for the much-anticipated return of live, in-person theatre, dance and music to Toronto this summer. It’s putting aside the normal Shakesperanean outdoor productions of the Bard – and instead share its 1,000-seat open-air Amphitheatre in High Park with a wide variety of local arts groups from the end of June/2021 into September. Most exciting will be full productions of a new Canadian musical; a new work by two-time Governor General’s Literary Award-winner Jordan Tannahill. A special performance beyond the Amphitheatre will use the entirety of High Park itself. All will be physically distanced, mask-wearing audiences up to 100 – with strict COVID-19 protocols on stage and off. Running times will be around 90 minutes. See the full Dream in High Park 2021 line-up. And there’ll be so much more.