Tag Archives: AGO

ArtsBeat: Punk And Patti

P1160343

Punk…because a new show will be opening this May at the MET called Punk: Chaos To Couture. From punk’s origins in New York and London, to its ongoing influence on high-end fashion, the show promises to take us on an interesting journey through these two worlds.

Patti…because “the patron saint of punk”, Patti Smith, came to town recently to promote her exhibition Camera Solo at the AGO.  The legendary musician, artist, and poet also gave a concert to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the death of her friend Robert Mapplethorpe. It was Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under ArtsBeat

ArtsBeat: Larger Than Life

Evan Penny‘s silicone sculptures are amazing explorations of the human form. This  Canadian artist uses digital technology, along with traditional methods of sculpting, to create lifelike representations that leave you in awe of the level of craftsmanship. They have such a remarkable level of detail, you can’t help but get lost in the pimples, moles  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ArtsBeat

Embedded

Many of us return from our travels with a few mementos and trinkets tucked into the corners of our luggage. They’re great to use in holiday themed scrapbooks and travel collages, but they’re also perfect for painting like Jackson Pollock. In his 1947 oil painting, Full Fathom Five, paint is thickly layered and drizzled in classic Pollock ‘drip’ style. Put your specs on, however, and you’ll notice a variety of objects embedded in the paint including nails, buttons, coins, and even cigarette butts. It’s a very cool way to immortalize your trip and display your memories. If you happen to be in Toronto, you can view this painting at the AGO until September 4th. After that, you’ll have to head to its home in New York.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under assemblage, Jackson Pollock, mixed media, painting

Drifting Into The Abstract

Jackson Pollock’s explosion of drips filled his canvasses with energy and passion, and while the paint appeared to be applied randomly, he usually had a very clear idea of what he was looking for. This American artist was born in 1912, and died at the young age of 44. Today would have been his birthday.

During his “drip” phase, Pollock dispensed with traditional tools like easels and brushes, preferring instead to place his unstretched canvas on the floor or wall where he could fully engage in applying paint from any direction. His unique style of pouring, flinging and splattering paint with tools such as sticks and basting syringes, earned him the nickname “Jack The Dripper.” His body of work was considered part of the Abstract Expressionist movement, and is currently part of an exhibition at MoMA called Abstract Expressionist New York, on until April 25, 2011. It will then move on to Toronto’s AGO from May 28 to September 4th.

For obvious reasons, children love to explore this technique of getting paint on canvas, so  let’s celebrate Pollock’s work and splatter some canvasses of our own.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Jackson Pollock, painting

Egyptian Amulets

 

All cultures have some form of good luck charm, like the rabbit’s foot or four-leaf clover. In Ancient Egypt, charms were known as amulets and were usually in the form of plants, animals, or sacred objects. They were thought to provide protection against evil or danger, as well as bringing good luck. These ornaments or jewelry were even placed with the deceased to ensure they had a safe afterlife. Some amulets are currently on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I had children make these clay necklaces, inspired by the exhibition King Tut: The Golden King and The Great Pharaohs.

Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under clay, Egypt, jewelry, Multicultural Art

Victorian Photocollage

The Art of Victorian Photocollage is an amusing exhibition currently on at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In the mid to late 1800’s as photography became increasingly popular, aristocratic women began creating unusual collages by placing photographs of human heads on, among other things, animal bodies. These were then placed in imaginary landscapes which were typically watercolours they had made. This created humorous, and often bizarre results. I had children use images of their favorite musicians to create collages in the same vein as these Victorian photocollages.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under collage

Hiding From March Break?

I’m not going to help you hide, but to cope. Entertaining children during March Break may appear to be a daunting task, but you really can come out of it unscathed. And if you’re not escaping to the sun, you can seek solace in the fact that this will not last forever. As soon as kids hit their teens, they’re quite happy to fend for themselves and would rather you not interfere with their chill time anyway.

First of all, weekends don’t count so you’re really only faced with five days to fill, unless of course your children are in private school, in which case I wish you much luck and plenty of wine. I’m down to one child in need of entertainment, and I can’t stress enough the importance of friends. It’s more fun for your kids, and everything they do lasts a bit longer when they’re together.

Unless you’re going on a big outing like skiing, mornings should be long and lazy; that’s half your day already. Let the kids indulge in some cartoons, or throw them outside to play in the snow. Forget the snowman, challenge them to make a snowwoman which will have them in fits of laughter; give them squirt bottles filled with coloured water for a little Pollock on ice; have them shovel the driveway. There could be incentive in this, if you know what I mean. After all, we are also interested in preserving your sanity. Little stolen moments to read the paper and have a cup of tea are golden.

Lunch. At this point, you better have a plan for the afternoon like a friend coming over. Give them lots of opportunity to fend for themselves. Set them up with an arts and crafts activity, karaoke, a dress up theme like Alice, board games, computer games, a treasure hunt, etc. Maybe you’d like to bake something with them that could end up being their snack, and the beginning of a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. You could play ‘beat the clock’ and have them clean up the kitchen before the timer goes off and the muffins are ready. Before you know it, your kitchen’s clean, the kids are proudly enjoying a snack they made, and evening is around the corner.

I’m a firm believer in not having to go out to the same, overpriced, crowded places, year after year. The wonderful thing about Toronto, and many other North American cities is how multicultural they are, giving you an opportunity to play tourist. You can actually go to neighbourhoods like Little India, Little Italy, Greektown, and Chinatown, and feel momentarily immersed in that culture. The people, colours, sounds, smells, food, street signs all help to transport you. Why not propose a day trip to China with your children and their friends? Walk through your local Chinatown, visit the shops, eat some local food for lunch, and don’t forget to buy a little souvenir. Make sure the kids bring a notepad to record their thoughts or make sketches of things they enjoyed seeing. They can also take photographs, and save any receipts and business cards, so when they come home they can create a wonderful collage of their outing.

If you live in Toronto, I do have a few suggestions. First would be the Textile Museum, where they have special activities for the occasion. Since it’s off the beaten path, it’s calmer than the big museums and a beautiful space to visit.  The Paper Place is having a collage competition and providing materials free of charge. You just have to pick up the package, take it home, and bring back the collage once finished. It’s an inspiring shop to take your kids to. Another plan is to hang out at a bookshop, followed by a hot chocolate. Indigo/Chapters and Mabel’s Fables are really great about letting you hang out for as long as you want. And while I’m hoping to stay far from the madding crowd most of the time, I might brave one visit to the AGO, or the ROM which has a new bat cave to visit. And this time, make the gift shop your friend; it’s good for at least half an hour. Bonne chance!

Leave a comment

Filed under events, March break