Last night (Wed. Nov. 6) FLY was thrilled to be invited to the official opening of The Artists’ Network new digs in downtown Toronto. Located in the vibrant cultural community of Leslieville at 1158 Queen St East, the gallery hosts a juried exhibition of Artists’ Network members that includes original works inspired by a broad interpretation of the theme MOMENTUM, from the act of moving forward to the poetics of spiritual growth. FLY was invited to the celebratory soiree by the fabulous Connie Gorsline who posed in front of her wonderfully energetic seascape (below)The gallery filled quickly with members and fans of fine art ….….who discovered lots of stunning artworks on the walls…….and FLY was pleased to see a favourite photographic art piece by Lori Ryerson (below)And here’s Connie with fellow artist Nancy Bennett (below) enjoying a glass of cheer and the great company!Congratulations to Kate Taylor and the entire Board of The Artists’ Network in securing such an amazing new HQ, and FLY recommends a personal visit to see the talent contained within its walls. The current show runs until November 24 (see details below) and to learn more about the organization and upcoming events, visit their website: www.theartistsnetwork.ca
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.
Regardless of the lack of subway transportation this past weekend, FLY managed to make it to the Rosedale Art Fair and discover new exciting artists as well as visit old friends. Located in the grounds surrounding the big LCBO in the historic railway station at Summerhill (how convenient), the tents and booths contained oils, acrylics, pastels, photographs, sculptings…something for every artistic taste and wallet.
The first booth FLY visited belonged to Brigitte Nowak whose bright colourful canoes drew lots of visitors into her temporary studio. Even FLY was ready to pick up a paddle and set off into the wilderness after spending time with Brigitte’s paintings! For more info on the artist: www.facebook.com/brigitte.nowak1FLY then buzzed over to meet sculptor Chaka Chikodzi whose beautiful tactile stone carvings were attracting lots of interest and sales. The Kingston-based artist was an exciting discovery…can’t wait to see more of his work. www.chakachikodzi.com Next to Chaka, FLY bumped into Dave Rheaume whose work features vintage views of city life including puffing steam trains and snow-covered streets from early to mid-century Toronto. www.daverheaume.com
Next door to Dave was long-time friend and fave artist Mark Jeremy Gleberzon (below). FLY is proud to own one of Mark’s sparkly colourful pieces. Mark has been very busy this year with exhibitions in the U.S. and Canada – here he is posing front of his latest artwork featuring a sunny beach scene based on a photo a very young Mark took, digitally enhanced and blown up real big! www.mjggallery.com A little further along the tent, FLY ran into the delightful Genie Kim (below). FLY has been paying attention to Genie’s adorable “smalls” and giant artworks at various art shows and expos – her booth is always full of happy laughing young art enthusiasts...I want that one, no THAT one…and that one! www.geniekim.com Across the tent, FLY found another old friend, photographer extraordinaire, Lori Ryerson. Lori has recently returned to Toronto from a photo safari in Utah and the American south-west so FLY can’t wait to see the results. Here Lori poses in front of some digitally enhanced close-ups of water – who knew water could look quite so edgy and funky? www.focalocity.ca Across the aisle from Lori, FLY found the delightful paper sculptor Anushka Deshpande who creates charming still life images by folding and rolling coloured papers. Due to reflections on the glass frames, FLY asked Anushka to send studio photos of her work (lower pics) so readers can see the intricate beauty. www.PaperSwanStudio.com Zoey Zoric (below) always provokes and engages with her unique portraits, be they of people or individual body parts! She’s all heart as witnessed in her painting of that specific organ. FLY loves Zoey’s enthusiasm and joy which is reflected in her work regardless of the dark palettes or subjects – the light always shines thru and Zoey frames each still life in exquisite hands. Check out her work at www.zzfineart.com Speaking of still life subjects, Marsha Strycharz always appeals to FLY – her glasses and ceramics have that certain “sparkle” and suggests the viewer can just reach out and pick ’em up! www.marshastrycharz.com Camera-shy photographer Janine Sindrey let her work speak for itself. FLY loved the giant ocean wave (lower) – very powerful and FLY swears you can hear the sound of the wave if you stand really close to the picture! www.janinesindrey.com Laura Dick specializes in stunning floral portraits…in fact, they’re quite breathtaking in person. Can’t you just smell the fragrance? Spring is certainly well represented here at Laura’s booth! www.lauradick.com And what’s an art fair without the fabulous Rob Croxford? FLY got to his booth just as he was making a sale so FLY snapped a couple of candid shots showing the artist in action! www.robcroxford.com Next year, please come out and support your local artists at the Rosedale Art Fair – check the website for news and updates: www.rosedalemainstreet.ca
FLY set out early to outrun the rain that was forecast for the afternoon of Saturday June 1st, the first day of the annual Riverdale Art Walk weekend. Armed with a trusty umbrella, FLY eventually proved the Weather Network & Mother Nature wrong! Come walk the grassy aisles of the art fest located in Jimmy Simpson Park, Queen St East in this virtual tour….
First tent FLY hit belonged to Nancy Bennett, always a fun and favourite artist to visit:
Visit Nancy’s website for more art and info on her upcoming shows: www.nancybennett.ca
This year, FLY was thrilled to discover the beautiful fine art photography of Laura Berman (below) whose digitally enhanced photos of farmyard beasties were simply entrancing. www.laurabermanphotography.com Nadia Lassman (below) was as sunny and sparkly as her work! Check out her website for more of her paintings: www.nadialassmanart.com Hyper-realist painter Ian Bodnaryk (below) proudly showed off his delicious artworks – even his vegetables made me want to eat healthy!! www.ianbodnaryk.com Long-time participant, W. Stephen Cooper, is always a joy to greet…his photographs of vintage autos and old rusted out junkers are gorgeous..perfect for any man-cave! www.wstephencooper.com
Rea Kelly was busy setting up her tent as well as chatting with potential buyers so FLY discreetly snapped away at some of her smaller pieces (below) You can see her larger pieces at www.reakelly.com Felicity Somerset exhibited lots of beautiful colourful photographs of flowers, art glass, even hummingbirds. She employs stunning colour combinations to tell illustrate her subjects. She is also participating in an exhibition that explores the remains of rural life in Eastern Ontario Oct. 27 at the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto. Visit her website for info: www.felicitysomersetphotography.com Super cute Zoey Zoric was there with her large canvases as well as smaller still-life pieces of everyday things. You can sign up for her newsletter and see more of her work at www.zzfineart.com One of the more prolific artists and a member of several artist collectives, Kate Taylor‘s colourful and joyful artworks always promote a full booth of admirers…but FLY managed to catch her in a rare moment of freedom (below). Viewmore of her work and learn when/where you can see Kate’s work next at www.katetaylorstudio.com
Poor Lori Ryerson (below) was suffering with a bad cold but FLY managed to convince her to pose for a quick snapshot! You look fabulous, Lori, don’t worry. Lori travels the world on photo “safaris” and she finally managed to stop still long enough to participate in this fun outdoor show. www.focalocity.ca Josée Savaria (below) is always smiling…FLY met her last year and again, today found her pleased to be at the Riverdale Art Walk, chatting with enthusiastic visitors. www.joseesavaria.com FLY is a proud owner of a Mirek Bialy original and was pleased to see his latest, newest artwork here. Mirek integrates copper strips in many of his pieces, adding a unique reflective quality to the high-glass finishes. See more here: www.mirekbialy.com Neerja Trehan (below) is such a lovely lady as well as talented artist…she’s always smiling and happy to greet you. She’s created a lot of new, exciting pieces for the season, including the fluid, flowy silk scarf-like paintings in the 2nd picture. Neerja is also quite brilliant at marketing – she’s incorporated her designs into coasters, trays and other little treasures that are perfect (and very affordable) for hostess gifts, wedding or birthday presents and esp. for Christmas treats. Check her website for more ideas: www.neerjatrehan.com FLY found Pam Mayhew with a big smile on her face – she was enjoying the crowds and meeting fellow artists. Surrounded by her bright, free-form brushstrokes, she was a gracious tent hostess and excited about her second outdoor show of the season next week up at the Rosedale Art Fair (Yonge & Summerhill, outside the big LCBO in the old CN railway station). Visit her website for news and more examples of her work: www.pammayhewstudio.com
Glassmaker extraordinaire Layne Verbeek was on hand with samples of his glass sculptures. Layne also instructs kids and adults in his studio, offering courses for those with or without any previous experience. Information on these plus more of his work can be found at: www.verbeekglassstudio.com
FLY made another wonderful discovery of a new artist, Lucky Jackson (below) who creates stand-up 3D portraits of cultural icons – see how many you can identify in this photo. Betcha you can find your fave tv, movie or music stars on her website: www.luckyjackson.ca A few clouds moved in and the sky over the park went a little dark so it was time to skedaddle into the big hall where a number of FLY’s fave artists had smartly reserved their booths. Here’s the fabulous Rob Croxford (below) busy with potential clients/sales…. www.robcroxford.com …and across the aisle was his studio-mate, Jessica Lin (below) www.jessicalin.ca And last but not least, the incomparable Mark Jeremy Gleberzon (below) who’s been so busy lately with US-based shows and art expos. Follow Mark on his very active Fcbk page: MJG Gallery by Mark Jeremy Gleberzon If you’re looking for a great way to spend a few hours tomorrow, Sunday June 2, why not go support local artists? Details & directions here: https://riverdaleartwalk.ca/
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.
After a few months away from the blog (yes, our site was hacked by a nasty person!), Fly is starting off a whole new year with a visit to ARTUSIASM Gallery in Toronto (St. Clari West & Caledonia) – their new show is called Carnival and runs until January 26th, 2019. Fly interviewed gallery co-owner and artist Tanzina Amin (her husband Carlos Sa Rodrigues works with her to run the indie art gallery) and here she discusses her own paintings and the new exhibition:
Thanks, Tanzina. The Fly toured the gallery and took lots of photos of works by local Toronto artists who impressed with their skills, colour palettes and unique inspirations. Hope you enjoy this virtual visit but Fly highly recommends a personal visit to enjoy the stunning works on show for the next 2 weeks. Directions and gallery info at the end of the photo spread.
Fly loved these African-themed portraits by Leroi JohnsonAnd this stunning landscape (below) by Scott O’Neill offers lots of interest – you can see so many beautiful details in the sky, the cliffs, the sea… Next up are these two painted tapestries by Ylana Stelling: Here’s “Busker” from Art Cotrim….reminds Fly of a few well-known Toronto performers:Marcela Maciel offers up this beautiful view of a mystical forest in autumn:Fly loved the fantastic scenes of South American village life by Flor de Maria Mejia – see the close-up detail of the dancers in the middle of the crowd… Maurice Tan‘s “Four Lovers” are beautifully executed with pastel colours – their eyes followed Fly around the gallery, drawing Fly back again and again to the canvases: And here are some of Tanzina‘s own large format contemporary portraits – she has such a sensitive touch with the women she paints: So many paintings by so many talented artists to enjoy including gallery regular Alex Scovino who painted this fabulous queen of the carnival, full of riotous colour and energy: The gallery will host one more show until it closes its doors for good. After creating such a comfortable and respectful environment for local artists, the hard-working Tanzina & Carlos are taking a much needed break in the spring but plan to keep themselves busy with potential annual exhibitions hosted in larger venues. Come say hello in person – Artusiasm Gallery, 1684 St Clair Ave West, Toronto. T: 416-970-7235 www.artusiasm.com
Sadly, the heat and humidity is keeping many art lovers (incl. FLY) home in the a/c, heeding the severe heat warnings but missing some great art…here are a number of shows to be held in well cooled galleries as well as the outdoor exhibitions for those happy to sweat it out in sun!
First off, our friends at Urban Gallery are launching their August group show, Art of Food, this coming Saturday Aug. 11 (2-5pm) at 400 Queen St E, Toronto. The show runs until Aug. 31st so lots of time to visit and support Canadian artists (see Listings page for details). Here are a few images to whet your appetite for this delicious show! www.urbangallery.ca
Last month, Urban Gallery celebrated 4 artists in their “Wild in the City” show featuring the works of Erik Chang, Libby Sims, Lindsey MacKay and Osvaldo Napoli. Below are photos from the opening reception….
Coming up next weekend (Aug 10-12), we also have the Artwalk in the Square (Shops at Don Mills) where friend of the FLY Grace Dam is showcasing her works – one of the FLY’s fave paintings is her “Canadian Icon – Canmore” which certainly cools us down just by looking at it! See the Listings page for details.FLY has been invited to Peter Triantos‘ special solo show on August 23rd so check the September issue to see Peter’s vibrant large format canvases and photos from the soiree. He paints with a vivid colour palette (see below) and his work hangs in many int’l private and corporate collections. In the interim, you can see his work here: www.petertriantos.com Everyone seems to be on summer holiday so if you’re visiting any galleries or shows over August, esp. in cottage country, do send the FLY your photos and details of the art as we’d be pleased to share with our readers. Email FLY at firstname.lastname@example.org