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Snapshots and the visual arts

The Incredible Hulk demanded that I take his picture before I could go into the Gerrard Art Space. Actually, I was supposed to be in the picture with him, because he was a prop for selfies, erected as an attraction at the South Asian Festival.

Yeah, I didn’t know he was South Asian, either.

Anyway, I did get into the art space to look at the current show, loosely themed around the notion of “Home”. There are 16 artists represented. Lots of variety, mostly mixed media pieces.

Danica was immediately drawn to Dana Green’s Spirit Dwells Inn, a more or less life size figure made of wire mesh, attached to a rough 2×4 frame. The appeal was in the innards … a shell, bird’s nest and mousetrap in the head, for example.

A snapshot doesn’t capture a piece like this. It really wants to be seen in person. A perfect exhibition piece, in this respect.

Another of Danica’s favourites was easier to photograph … Susan Aaron’s Spritz of Joy, but that raises a question. Just because I can take a snapshot, as we all can now, with our phones, should I?

Unsure about reproducing the artist’s whole piece, I decided to show only a close-up detail and leave it to you to go see the complete composition.

Danica related to these colourful squares, partly because they reminded her of quilting.

GAS has an upcoming Puppet Show (August 2nd to 21st, Reception Thursday August 3rd 6pm-9pm). 1475 Gerrard Street East

Gardens, bottom to top

I’ve had coffees at the Riverdale Hub, seen shows in its art galleries and even toured the business centre services that provide opportunity for immigrant women. I’ve been in the serene little rain garden on the ground level, too, but never before in the summer.

Tours were on offer during the South Asian Festival and I grabbed the opportunity to get up to the rooftop herb garden I’d heard about.

Volunteer Kelly (right) shows us raised bed boxes, full of herbs and veggies.

The produce goes downstairs and onto the menu in the first floor Social Gardener Café. I believe that’s what you call vertical integration.

The roof is even greener than my photo shows. Large solar panels have been deployed to harvest clean electricity and light wells penetrate to lower floors. bringing in natural daylight.

A note in the window

I had heard that Jim Addison died, but only today saw the note his family posted in the window of his vacant store at Gerrard and Woodfield. I never met the man, but everyone I know who knew him speaks well of him.

When I first noticed it 30 years ago,  the Addison store was a nifty plumbing store with gorgeous, high-qualty, antique fixtures and porcelain on display. Art directors went there to get things for film shoots.

Then his corner store became the first home for Joanne Filetti’s Gerrard Art Space. When GAS moved to its present location down the street, Debby Facey made it into her Vintage Hunter store, for a while. That, too is closed now and the store sits empty. What’s to come remains unknown, but the neighbourhood has lost a good landlord.

South Asia Festival weekend

Cloudy weather suited me. Other years, Gerrard Street East has been a bake oven on festival days, making evenings my preferred time to go.

Only passing rain showers dampened things a little this year, and the threat of thunderstorms.

Slide show


Two sculptors meet

Readers may recall posts about my conversations with sculptors Gord Smith and Rob McBride. Today I had the pleasure of introducing them to one another.

Gord Smith, centre, in the Tragically Hip T shirt, Rob McBride in the hat.

As I expected, Rob was blown away by the art in Gord’s condo/studio. I learned of some new, textured relief sculptures Gord is working on at present, too.

Gord’s website can’t keep up with the man, but a good representation of his impressive 60-year career is there.

Rob’s site is just at the beginning stage and photography of more work is underway.

No can do, Snapchat

Terms of Service: You must declare that:

You are not a person who is barred from receiving the Services under the laws of the United States, the United Kingdom, or any other applicable jurisdiction—meaning that you do not appear on the U.S. Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals or face any other similar prohibition.

How would I know this? Tell you what, Snapchatyou provide me with the lists and I’ll check to see if I’m on them.

On a brighter note, Snapchat Inc. acquired a popular Canadian web app called Bitmoji last year, for US$100 million. Yay, our guys!

For now, we can still play with the Bitmoji app without using Snapchat. Here’s the best I could do, using the app to make my own avatar.

Why so techy these days?

Weather is the reason I’ve had more time for indoor activities. I wish I could send some of our excessive rain to British Columbia this summer. They need it to quench all those forest fires.


Of course, this is another opportunity to demo my new toy … lazy-loading video. It loads on demand, so it’s more efficient. (See preceding post) This is an iPad video, edited on the iPad with iOS iMovie.