art crawl – 01/11

With winter upon us, hibernation is inevitable. Or at least it used to be. Last winter I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t do my usual “I’ll see you in the spring” routine and actually made it a point to go out more, see more people, be outside. My body didn’t seem to agree with me as I got hilariously sick, leaving me couchridden for longer than I care to recall. Nonetheless, the vow still stands and this girl is going to get out, even if it does mean more antibiotics.

Thursday night marked the start of what I hope to turn into a monthly event – the art crawl. In short, a walk down a gallery-lined street to pop into as many opening receptions as possible to see what’s new and exciting. It’s not only a great (and cheap) way to spend the night, but with built-in conversation starters, you’re not likely to get bored.

Our inaugural night saw us taking in the art at 3 galleries and here’s what we saw:

Amy Shackleton at The Elaine Fleck Gallery

From the gallery bio:

Amy Shackleton paints post-industrial worlds that form healthy, sustainable visions of the future. Shackleton recognizes the need for collaboration between urban and rural environments and uses various techniques/media to juxtapose urban expansion and scientific progress with the ecological reality of our shrinking resources.

Her technique was quite interesting – both technically and visually. Personal photographs from around the world are digitally edited, then used as the basis for the paintings which are created with layers of paint and other media. Large paint drops give dimension to the “liquid” quality of the pieces, while enamel gives the intense colours even more vibrancy. The result is undeniably striking.

The pieces will be on display for the month of January (with a possible gallery closure Jan 11-18) and you should definitely stop in to see them up close. Flat photography does not do them justice, but you can get a peak of the works on both the artist’s and gallery’s sites.

Lily Yung at Ontario Crafts Council

A little unexpected on our crawl was this stumble into the OCC to see the works of Lily Yung. Her pieces are equal parts jewelery and art, using unlikely techniques such as die cuts and materials including rubber, beads and anything else to create truly unique pieces. As someone who loves a big piece of jewelery, it goes without saying that this stop made me very happy.

Having received a number of awards herself, Yung had wanted to establish an award to celebrate senior craftspeople. Her family brought this to reality following Yung’s passing, and her name now lives on through the Lily Yung Memorial Award. The annual $1,000 award “acknowledges excellence and innovation in craft as demonstrated by an established professional.” It will be awarded for the first time in June 2011 and donations can be made through the OCC.

Lily Yung’s pieces will be on display until February 6th. Remember to ask for the price list if you see anything you like. I’ve got my eye on some fun, colourful rings.

Carlos Granados-Ocon at GlaDstone ArtBar

From the program:

Granados’ work uses images and depictions of generational characters and events that give the feeling of familiarity, comfort and uneasiness. Comfort comes with the familiarity of the characters being depicted, but when taking a set back and analyzing the ideas and perceptions these familiar and comfortable images have, one is left with uneasiness.

Untitled 32x36’ inches Gesso, print media, and graphite on wood. 2010 Carlos Granados-Ocon

Titled They Told You, the exhibit consisted of pieces shown on both wood and paper with multi-layer prints topped with painting or drawing. While the idea behind the works was interesting, I found the execution fell flat. Many of the pieces showed people who were not so relevant to the Western audience; understandable given this collecting is the culmination of the work he created while staying in Korea. There was, however, some difficulty with the quality of the execution. Many pieces seemed to come from what can only be described as stream of consciousness creation. Random pencil scribbles. Odd color choices. Unfinished edges. Somehow it just didn’t create a piece that was visually impressive. Of course, it’s all subjective, but this simply wasn’t my style of art. But with a background in philosophy and apparent travels to the east, it would seem that Granados has a good source of influences that can no doubt lead to very compelling work.

The exhibit will be on display until January 16, and don’t forget to stop by The Gladstone Cafe for some delish food.


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