Tag Archives: Toronto


FLY is thrilled to celebrate the upcoming opening of JACKALOPE GALLERY at 1558 Queen St East, Toronto, by artists GAIL WILLIAMS and TRACY DAVIES (pictured below) this Saturday 5-9pm.When Covid struck Toronto, we lost so many indie art galleries due to enforced isolation and closures. Now, as art lovers are craving their gallery fix, Gail and Tracy bring us a brand new space located in the east end of downtown Toronto. FLY recently spoke with Gail who shared her thoughts….

So many indie galleries closed down due to Covid – what prompted you and Tracy to open a gallery now?  It was serendipity really – I met Tracy at a Cornwall gallery and we got talking about a collaboration and decided to look for a gallery space in Toronto. We found the right with a wonderful landlord who bought into the concept of an art gallery and work studio. My studio is actually there, too, so I have a lovely creative space in which to work.You offer wall space to other artists – how do you plan to promote their works as well as your own?  Both Tracy and I are very savvy with social media and have created an Instagram account for Jackalope and will be launching our Facebook one, too. We’re thrilled to celebrate other artists via regular postings, show announcements and a monthly newsletter.You put out a call for artists and ended up with numerous submissions – what was your curatorial process to select the artists for your first show?  We first decided upon a theme for our debut show and that was “courage” so we reviewed all the submissions to find art pieces that reflect boldness and uniqueness. We also made sure that the individual artists had active websites and social media accounts themselves to enable us all to cross-promote and support each other.

How many shows do you plan to present over the coming months?  We’re planning a period of 4 weeks for our curated shows – this enables artists to invite their family, friends and followers down to see their work hanging on our walls. We’re also presenting artist workshops and other special events as we move forward through our first year….it’s all so exciting. And we already have 500 online followers with 200 people signing up for our monthly newsletter.

GOOD LUCK to Gail and Tracy, and if you want to keep up with news from the gallery, check out the website and social media…. https://www.thejackalopegallery.ca/
Instagram: @thejackalopegallery  or the artists themselves:  @gailwilliamsartist  @tracydaviesart

..in the meantime, FLY will be buzzing around the gallery on Saturday to report on the launch. Check back with us for the big blog.


FLY was thrilled to attend Saturday’s opening of LENA SHUGAR‘s solo show “Moonstruck” at the Women’s Art Association gallery at 23 Prince Arthur Ave in Toronto – runs until Sat. July 15th. So many beautiful paintings priced for collectors of all means. FLY just missed out on buying a small canvas as another fan beat her to it!! Here’s Lena to tell you all about her show…

FLY was indeed moonstruck by all the mysterious and exciting artworks featuring the moon, as well as other contemporary abstract works Lena brought in to the show. Here are just a few luna masterpieces….. …and these two works (below) proved very popular will all the gallery attendees:Guests were treated to wine, cheese and other assorted nibblies which seemed to fuel the buying mood. FLY watched as 2 red dots went up within a 15 minute period…bravo, Lena!There was one ethereal portrait of a lady (below) that was very popular…FLY spoke with Lena after the show and she shared the following….

What first lead you to pick up a paintbrush and start creating?  My family and I were lucky to escape the horrors of the war which began in Poland in 1938, that was the beginning of the WW2.We managed to take the first train that was going east away from Poland towards Russia where we sought refuge at a farm for four years. My mother used to entertain me by drawing pictures, one in particular was a rooster on a roof! I was hooked from then on.

You’ve lived in several European countries as well as here in Canada – have the different cultures influenced your work? Yes they have, particularly living in Norway, with its dramatic landscape, of fjords and magnificent mountains.

As a teacher, how have your own experiences in the art world impacted your mentoring/lessons?  I impressed the students to paint from the heart and from life experience. I encouraged my students to experiment with various applications of materials and tools that are available to them. I want them to feel free and confident that what they create is important.

This current solo show, Moonstruck, features beautiful, haunting images of the moon as well as pieces created prior – what would you like gallery visitors to come away with, apart from a canvas they just purchased?  My hope is that they take away with them the mystery and beauty of our world in all its forms.

So congratulation to Lena for a successful opening and, hopefully, a very successful week-long show.

Women’s Art Assoc., 23 Pr. Arthur Ave, Toronto. T: 416-922-2060




What a pleasure it was to meet up with all the talented artists showcasing their work at this year’s Toronto Outdoor Art Fair at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto. It was the first time artists got to meet with art lovers and buyers in-person since Covid struck down all the galleries, art expos and fairs so FLY was delighted by all the exciting multi-disciplinary artists and creators massed together again. It’s so hot down there so if you’re visiting this weekend, FLY recommends lots of sunscreen, water and a great big hat, none of which FLY took with her so it was a flying visit, pun intended!  Here is a selection of artists you MUST visit….First up, Rob Croxford (below) who is always smiling and happy to see FLY…no swatting here! His pop-culture artworks are fabulous and a great pick-me-up after the last 2yrs of closed galleries and non-live shows. www.robcroxford.comAfter Rob, FLY found Maureen O’Connor who was just awarded the Best of Photography & Digital Media prize! Congrats, Maureen. You can learn more about her at www.maureenfaithoconnor.com FLY was already starting to wilt but she found cool comfort in Kari Serrao‘s tent.  Check out Kari’s stunning large-format paintings at www.kariserrao.com...and next door was Zoey Zoric (below) whose innovative “smartphone portraits” were all quite provocative.  www.zoeyzoric.comFLY was immediately drawn to the unique artistry of Owen who fabricates his metal artwork out of reclaimed old farmyard and barn  treasures. www.burnisland.ca
Next, FLY dropped in on Christopher Masoure (below) who has been busy attending lots of shows this spring and summer www.studiomazur.com …and a quick buzz around the corner and there’s Morgan Jones with his engaging mixed media artwork www.morganjonesart.comFLY was excited to see Jibola Fagbamiye at the fair – his love of African history and N. American pop culture is evident in his stunning large portraits. www.jibolastudios.comDenise Buisman Pilger (below) from Quebec came to play with these fabulous works in B&W with spot colours. www.ArtistAbroad.com That happy smiling face can only mean one thing…it’s Cherie Harte! FLY first met Cherie at this year’s Artist Project with her happy heart paintings. www.cherieharte.comAnd now…ta-daaa. You show FLY some great bling and she’ll stop flapping her wings instantly! FLY is a HUGE fan of jeweller Pamela Lauz and flew home today with a shiny new treasure from Pamela’s boot. www.pamelalauz.com The final tent FLY visited was that of Bhavya Dixit – her husband was manning the booth while she took a quick break and he proudly showed off her stunning work. FLY’s friend and artist Susan Howling pointed out the cute elephant she wanted….Santa now has this on Susan’s Christmas list! www.bhavyadixit.com This is just a tiny taste of the great work done by Canadian artists and craftspeople over the past 2yrs of Covid isolation that is now on display at the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. Please go support them and visit this weekend. Info and directions can be found at https://torontooutdoor.art/


Thank goodness the weather cooperated today with more sunshine than raindrops, and FLY was able to buzz around the artists’ tents of this year’s ROSEDALE ART FAIR – the first time for nearly 3 years, thanks to Covid. Usually held further up Toronto’s Yonge Street at Summerhill, the park setting was lovely with lots of green grass and leaves.
FLY’s first port of call was the charming display by Michelle Hutchinson – her abstract florals were so colourful you’d expect to see bees hoping from flower to flower!  www.MichelleHutchinsonArt.com…and next door to Michelle was Gail Williams whose paintings were fun and filled with wonder. www.gailwilliamsartist.com  FLY particularly like one titled “Prince” so here’s a closer look… Sculptor Chaka Chikodzi always has a busy tent…FLY had to do some pretty fancy flying between his potential buyers just to get a couple of great close-ups!  www.chakachikodzi.com  Mark J. Gleberzon has been a friend of FLY’s for many years, and his work is definitely a favourite of the winged-one! Mark recently had great success exhibiting in Chicago, selling multiple paintings and even before today’s Fair opened, he had already sold 2 of his Barbie & Ken pop portraits. Bravo, MJG!  www.markgleberzon.com Jibola Fagbamiye was too busy selling his fabulous portraits to stop and chat with FLY – bravo Jibola- but FLY grabbed a few shots of his booth in action!  www.jibolastudios.comThe weather started to cloud over so to avoid getting wings wet, FLY flew over to another aisle sheltered under the trees and immediately stopped when spying FLY’s favourite colour…cobalt blue…at Andrew Stelmack‘s booth. www.astelmack.com  Next door was another FLY favourite, Michael Toole, who greeted FLY with another gorgeous blue graphic artwork! www.michaeltooleart.comMeet the delightful Ghazaleh Naderian who showed FLY around her booth, filled with beautiful floral mini-paintings. Perfect for that little space you need to brighten up.  www.ghazal-arts.com
FLY’s bestie, Erena, ran into one of her favourite artists, Olaf Schneider – she has a number of his paintings herself. Those parrots were magnificent but scared FLY somewhat as they like eating little insects….oh dear!  www.olaf.ca  
You still have another opportunity to visit the Rosedale Art Fair tomorrow, Sunday June 12 so please go visit and say hi to all the artist – they’re so pleased to get back to “normal” and show their work to art lovers and (hopefully) buyers. 

Artist DONNA WISE introduces spring/summer ’22 series with new colour palette

After wintering in sunny warm Florida (and avoiding the final few months of Covid lockdown) Toronto-based contemporary abstract painter DONNA WISE has been busy creating a beautiful series of spring/summer “flavoured” large canvases – some reminded FLY of ice cream cones and sundaes. Here is From the Sea (48×48), including a close-up from the canvas.
And this blue & white 40×40 painting is titled Shadow Play The 48×48 header canvas is titled On the Bright Side…here are a couple of close-ups:

FLY’s favourite is Dragonfly Dancing (48×48)
The close-ups allow you to see Donna’s textural canvases…she seals each painting so you can run your hands over the artwork to feel as well as see her work.
She has also done a series of smaller paintings (24×24) with bold colours and compositions…

Donna is planning a big exhibition at the end of the summer and FLY expects to see lots more new masterworks between now and then so watch this space for news of date and venue. In the meantime, you can reach Donna via her social media – IG: @donnawisefineart or on Fcbk: donna.wise.921677   And you can learn all about this exciting & prolific octogenarian artist at www.artbydonnawise.com 


FLY braved the lower humidity yesterday and headed down to Art Square Gallery, 334 Dundas West (opp. the AGO) to visit super talented artist JOHNY DELUNA whose solo show “Still Life with Fruit” closes this Sunday, August 4th. The A/C is fabulous so no excuses…hurry hurry hurry to this unique showcase of extraordinary works.The main inspiration for my work is observing the human condition. I try to say things about happiness, sadness, confusion, hypocrisy, ignorance, cruelty, indifference and self delusion. I never put myself above these frailties but I laugh at my own weaknesses more than I laugh at others. I try to embed my stories deep enough in the paintings so that each viewer can experience them in their own way. I try to entice the viewer into the work through color, energy, humor and curious or bizarre imagery.  Behind all that is the story – the viewer is free to go as deep as they want. I hope everyone see’s the works differently.
I believe that humor is the best way to connect with others, because if we can laugh at ourselves there is still hope. As an artist, the only thing I can do is be honest, brave and stay true to my vision. ~ Johny Deluna

FLY  strongly recommends you see these stunning large-format paintings to appreciate the intricacies of each – pointillism meets surrealism meets contemporary meets…OMG!Each of Deluna’s paintings portrays deeper, darker stories beneath the exterior of bright, joyful images. The textural quality of the “pointillism” inspired works creates a 3D effect for each canvas. Every masterwork has been thoroughly thought out, exploring abstract themes in his signature riotous palette of primary colours. See close-up details from 3 of his paintings – belowWhile FLY was in the gallery, several visitors came by and took several minutes in front of each painting – so much to discover on each canvas…So don’t forget…Still Life with Fruit closes end of day Sunday Aug. 4th so plan on including a visit over the next few days – you will be amazed, inspired and mind-blown by Johny Deluna’s paintings.For more info on the artist, visit his website www.johnydeluna.com   or follow him on Facebook.  Johny’s work  is in several distinguished collections in Europe and the US, and he also works on corporate & private commissions.


FLY has long been an admirer of the fabulous and funny ROB CROXFORD whose humorous pop-art paintings are immediate smile-inducers! In late May last year, a studio fire all but destroyed his Toronto studio and his complete inventory of artworks. This new studio at 100 Sunrise Avenue in the east end, offers Rob a fresh start and, as with all new beginnings, Rob is focusing on new experiments and new artworks.  This year marks Rob’s 15th year as a professional artist and the completion of some 1,500 works of art – CONGRATULATIONS, ROB! He’s shown in over 125 juried & solo exhibitions here and in the United States. His work is in the permanent City of Toronto’s Art Collection, and in the private collections of several Mayors, and celebrities such as Alex Lifeson, Stuart McLean & Ann Marie MacDonald. You will find his art and his commissions in many private collections all over the world from Istanbul to California. Here’s Rob to tell you himself about the new space and his new collection….

Media-darling Rob has been profiled in Argyle Magazine, Neighborhood Living Magazine, The Society for Commercial Archaeology, Spacing Magazine and many others. Rob’s acrylic paintings are intentionally upbeat and humorous. His vintage-inspired work is instantly identifiable and has a clever approach to pop culture that often merges political topics within whimsical compositions. 

FLY recommends a personal visit to Rob’s studio so reach out via social media or check his website for upcoming shows: www.robcroxford.com Apart from his large-format original paintings, Rob also offers quality prints and giclees of his most popular pieces.


This past Saturday, Toronto’s URBAN GALLERY hosted the opening reception for the annual student art exhibition from the Centennial College Fine Arts Studio Program and what a resounding success it was! Within minutes of opening the door to the show titled “Syzygy”, the gallery was packed with enthusiastic art students and their families excited to view their work hanging on the walls – their first experience with a professional gallery. Here are just a few of the exciting works on show…. “SYZYGY” is described as: Everyone has a colourful story…this is ours!  An alignment of celestial creations by Toronto’s emerging art stars from Centennial College Fine Arts Studio program.
This year’s participating students are:  Hiba Abdul-Kareem, Edwin De Villa, Janset Evcimen, Lauren Faughnan, Alice Gong, Adriana Gruszka, An Ho, Manasi Joshi, Vaishak Muralidharan, Yenny Nguyen, Peter Onovo, Haewon Park, Ye Jin Park, Kyeongmin Park, Walter Penado-Vasquez, Shreya Praveen, Paul Rajan, Selenea Rikkonen, Talha Saaed, Erik Sanderson, Alexis Santha, Alexandra Seventikidis, Ghanwa Shahnawaz, Darja Sikorova, Cameron Tausch, Noah Tuomisto, Ruby Urlocker and Madeline Wong-Mayhew
Congratulations to all the participating young artists whose work will be on display until March 30th so come out and support these emerging Canadian artists. URBAN GALLERY is located at 400 Queen St East, Toronto – just 1 blk E of Parliament.
Visit their website for hours and directions:  www.urbangallery.ca