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Lots to see at the Blue Crow

I dropped in to the Blue Crow Gallery today, to see art that Karen Bell told me about … her friend Borge Jorgensen is showing there now.

Good timing, because a big, new group show was just going up on the walls.

The Canada 150 show will be up from July 1st to July 31st, but go to the reception if you can. The one’s I’ve been to have been well attended and fun.

Borge Jorgensen is a whimsical, witty Dane who came to Canada 50 years ago. He makes colourful sculptures out of found materials, modified with plaster of paris and paint. While they are easy to enjoy at a glance, closer views expose a clever mind at work. Jorgensen’s style is distinctive and his output, impressive. He’s not 90 yet … but about as close as you can get.

I hesitate to mention Jorgensen’s age because, although it’s an interesting fact, it has no bearing on his art. It is sophisticated, competent work in its own right, an expression of a certain unique genius.

Thanks for the heads-up, Karen.

Peeping Marks

Danica was doing some online shopping the other day and soon received this, via her email subscription.

It wouldn’t be funny if it weren’t obviously sent by a mindless adbot. A human had to think up the copy, though, and didn’t think through the applications of the message.

I like to give my name to data-collecting marketers as “Sucker Andersen”, just for the fun of receiving ads that begin with “Hi, Sucker”.

What happened here?

What do you get for Presto fare failures, massive route diversions, falling ridership growth rates, sweltering street cars, mechanical break downs, broken vehicle delivery contracts, failed substance abuse tests and chronic overcrowding?

What happened? Who did we beat? When did Andy Byford know that the APTA Award was coming?

Back on January 7th, the Toronto Star quotes Mr Byford saying, ““I think we will meet that objective of being back to number one in North America by the end of this year.” Something’s fishy about this award, and not just the obvious.

John Lorinc has done a much better job with the subject than I can.

Corley innovation: Small home, small car

A couple of weeks ago, Danica and I were happy to see work resuming on Corley Avenue’s innovative pied-à-terre. The stacks of new timber are going into place, in a way that surprised us.

Skilfully engineered into the small frontage, 6×6 timbers form stepped planter boxes. Look at the hill beside, on the right. That’s basically all the space that’s been used. Now it’s going to give the little house some presence on the street.

Today I was fortunate to be passing at lunchtime. Rob and Josh were out front and filled in some blanks. What’s happening in the centre opening? A small car will be going in there. Perfect companion for the concept.

Usually the landscaping gets done last, but in this case the timber planter boxes will not impede construction and they will provide a stable base for scaffolding, when it comes time to do the windows and stucco.

This search link will pull up previous posts about this nifty project. Of course, more will follow.

Graceful garlic

Admiring my neighbour’s garden today, I asked if she had tied the garlic plant this way. No, she assured me … it took the shape itself.

I was dubious. Garlic knows how to tie a knot? On close inspection, I see that it’s not a knot … but almost!

Bazaar doc and street festival

TVO will soon be airing a documentary that Danica and I saw being filmed last summer. Air date: July 1, 2017 Time: 9:00 pm

Also in July, the don’t-miss, 2-day annual street festival that runs from NOON to 11 PM. It’s a free event but you’ll probably want some money for food, beverages, shopping and maybe a piece of art. Gerrard Street is closed to vehicle traffic, so we get the whole street to walk.

Festival of South Asia, 2017

Food, horsepower and hand held zoom

Brian Hickey has fulfilled my request for a change of blog content. He even provided the title.

I asked for pictures from Brian’s just-completed trip with Ralph Luciw to the National Hot Rod Association’s drag racing event in Ohio.

The photos hit the essentials. Perhaps we’ll get some details in comments.

Here’s the sound file Brian mentions in his comment … the perfect thing to show us how quickly these races are over.

A Zolte/McBride artistic collaboration

Beachers have long known Harold Zolte as the proprietor of the Ends bargain clothing store and some are aware of his artistic side. Framed example of Harold’s designs hang inside the store and some very distinctive sculptures are his, too. They are assemblages made from wooden casting forms, dating back to the 1880s.

As Harold winds down his Ends operation, he needs help to deal with the big collection of foundry forms that aren’t finished yet, as works of art. Enter Toronto sculptor, Rob McBride.

Slide show


Jumbled together, partially painted, don’t some of these things look like cubism that predates Cubism? Just what condo buyers need, to overcome the curse of drywall sterility.

Positive wooden shapes were used to make sand casts. The wooden shapes were removed, leaving negative shapes to receive molten iron and steel. Rob pointed to the train wheels. Other shapes were much harder to identify. Wonderfully steampunk, though.

The pieces are being sorted out, recombined and readied for an upcoming show … hopefully by the time Queen Street fills up with Jazz Festival crowds. Better work fast!

I introduced myself to Ron when I found him working on a 350 pound piece in one of Harold’s stockroom/studio spaces. He’s an easy guy to talk to, with wide-ranging life story. I caught some of it over a coffee today. You’ll find some of it here, on his developing website. Probably, more coffee will be necessary.