Exclusively at Twist Gallery - The Northside Series by Patrick Skals

Hey Toronto! Remember when the Raptors made basketball history in the 6ix smashing records, defying expectations and winning it all!? We do too. ☺️ 🏀 🎨

And we are thrilled to share with you an exclusive series created by Patrick Skals.

The Northside Series

“The limited-edition series celebrates the beautiful mayhem and unadulterated jubilation that ensued following the Toronto Raptors odds-defying championship.


“Inspired by graffiti that embroiders the city streets, by the introspective rawness of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the history-making ‘Northside’ Raptors – the series is loud, energetic and unapologetic


“The mixed media paintings embody the city and country’s’ collective passion using abstract symbolism, emotionally charged colours and urban-inspired composition. It is meant to be conceptual versus a literal interpretation of the championship.”

-Patrick Skals

“0.9 seconds” 2019; mixed media on canvas (48 x 60”); $1,900

“0.9 seconds” 2019; mixed media on canvas (48 x 60”); $1,900

“paint the town red” 2019; mixed media on canvas (48 x 60”); $1,900

“paint the town red” 2019; mixed media on canvas (48 x 60”); $1,900

“midnight marauders” 2019; mixed media on canvas (48 x 60”); $1,900

“midnight marauders” 2019; mixed media on canvas (48 x 60”); $1,900

About the Artist

Patrick Skals is a multi-disciplinary artist from Toronto. His work is inspired by ground-breaking artists and the vivacity of urban life. He draws audiences in with engaging colours and stimulating composition. 

Patrick’s style is distinctive, spirited and curated to provoke reverie and mindful reflection.

His work can be found at juried shows, galleries and private collections throughout Canada, United States and the UK.

Energy at Twist

Don’t miss the chance to add this to your collection! Be sure to visit us at 1100 Queen Street West and check out our latest exhibit: Energy on NOW till August 29th. Our doors are open every Tuesday to Saturday from 11am till 6pm. And our dedicated staff can help you take this gem, and many more like it, home! You can call us at (416) 588 - 2222 or email your questions and inquiries to info@twistgallery.ca.

And since you’re here, why not check out our all the other incredible artists showing now at Twist in our Artist Showcase? CLICK HERE.

To see what’s Upcoming at Twist Gallery CLICK HERE.

Please follow us @Twistgalleryand @TwistGallery!

3 Tips for Hanging a Painting

So, you’ve just fallen in love with a piece of art you’ve seen in your local art gallery. You know that it would be the PERFECT addition to your home, so you pass through and buy it. The gallery director puts a little red sticker on it, signifying that this particular piece is spoken for; its dance card is full. Now comes the hard part: waiting for the exhibition to be over, so you can proudly display your new cherished treasure. But how should one display art? There must be rules to follow or a guideline? Sort of. Below are Twist Gallery’s 3 Tips for Hanging a Painting. Enjoy!

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🎨 Hang a painting by its focal point.

Every piece of art is exceptional and different. Art tells unique stories, boasts diverse triumphs and impacts viewers individually. Therefore, it’s your job; nay your duty, scratch that; your privilege to decide where the art’s focal point is located. Essentially, the focal point, is where the viewer’s eye is naturally drawn. Often times, this is the centre of the painting, however many artists play with asymmetry in space and varying scale. So, what does that mean? It’s up to you! You fell in love with this painting for a reason. Where does your eye naturally fall on the canvas? This part of the painting should be hung level with your eye. 

For instance, check out this vivid piece by Sandra Di Leo below.

Figure 1 “Rebel” by Sandra Di Leo; 30 X 40 acrylic on canvas; $2,100

Figure 1 “Rebel” by Sandra Di Leo; 30 X 40 acrylic on canvas; $2,100

At Twist, we’ve been debating where one’s eye instinctively falls on Di Leo’s work. Some follow the curves of the powerful black lines reaching rest inside the circular shapes. However, other eyes tend to focus on the bright colours, especially the electrifying greens and glowing pinks. Wherever you decide the focal point is located, it should be hung close to eye level. 


🎨 Carefully think about lighting the artwork. 


Lighting can be tricky, especially if you don’t have track mounted lights at your home. You want to avoid direct sunlight because it can be very damaging to surfaces. Try to mount the art in a room with lots of natural indirect light. Also, you’ll want to give your artwork even light. This is why many gallery’s mount works on walls with numerous light sources to ensure an even amount of light bathing the canvas. Lastly, consider the type of light (if not natural light). Fluorescent light is awful for dramatic art.  You’d be wise to stick with bulbs and light sources that replicate soft daylight. For example, take a glance at Courtney Senior’s “Where the Magic Happens”.

Figure 2 “Where the Magic Happens” by Courtney Senior; 48 x 48 acrylic on canvas; $2,000

Figure 2 “Where the Magic Happens” by Courtney Senior; 48 x 48 acrylic on canvas; $2,000

As the bright colours shatter and splinter apart revealing the strong dark tones of the background, Senior’s expression is fully realized. A robust piece such as this requires a room full of indirect light. Any direct sunshine or incandescent light would overwhelm the already strong colour pallet presented. 


🎨 Group pieces of art together for dramatic effect.

When you are decorating a space, consider how several paintings can work together. Perhaps the canvas’ were created by the same artist and represent similar thematic elements or feelings? Conversely, this can work when the paintings are dissimilar. Imagine the contrast and complication to viewers by pairing pieces that clash or challenge each other. Can you think of a time when artistic elements clashed so strongly that the effect was incredibly profound and memorable? After all, art is about expression and creativity. Ultimately, it's up to you. Consider the work of Elena Dinissuk featured next.

Figure 3 “Beach Tranquility” by Elena Dinissuk; 24 x 24 acrylic on wood; $500

Figure 3 “Beach Tranquility” by Elena Dinissuk; 24 x 24 acrylic on wood; $500

Figure 4 “Flying Over the Ocean” by Elena Dinissuk; 24 x 24 acrylic on wood; $500

Figure 4 “Flying Over the Ocean” by Elena Dinissuk; 24 x 24 acrylic on wood; $500

These two pieces compliment and accent each other. The wild and energetic ocean waters of the first painting is referenced by the same blue hues in the second. Furthermore, viewers regard the land and sky embodied with oranges and pale blues in the second painting. This only highlights the lack of land in the first painting. As viewers begin to consider both paintings simultaneously, they see elements that are repeated and elements that exists individually. Dinissuk’s work instigates an exciting story of the majestic mighty ocean and our beautiful planet.


We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our 3 tips for hanging a painting. And if you think we’ve missed anything, please comment below and let us know your tips. We’d also love to hear from anyone who has purchased from Twist Gallery in the past. How did you hang your art? Share a picture on Instagram and remember to tag us! @twistgalley 


And since you’re here, why not check out the other artists in our Artist Showcase? CLICK HERE.

To see what’s Upcoming at Twist Gallery CLICK HERE.

Keep us in your focal point by following us @Twistgallery and @TwistGallery!


With its many cafés and hip s it’s no surprise West Queen West was named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Vogue magazine. Here are a few things you may not have known about the stylish street.

Photography by Kathy Dwulit

1. Queen St. was originally named Lot St. - For the first 60 years Queen St. was known as Lot St., although in 1837 the famous street was renamed in honour of Queen Victoria.

2. “First Thursday’s” - A majority of the galleries of Queen St. are open to showcase their art exhibits for the following month.

3. The 501 streetcar - It is the longest route on the TTC, as well as one of the longest streetcar routes in North America.

4. It’s a popular filming location - Around 25% of Hollywood movies are actually filmed in Toronto. When looking at Queen Street in specific, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy has used Queen and Gladstone to resurrect the old Gladstone Café as Gritty’s Doughnuts.

5. Queen St. is home to one of the oldest bars in Toronto - The Black Bull Tavern formerly known as Clifton House has been brewing since 1833.

No wonder Queen St. is continually referred to as Toronto’s very own SoHo!

Come visit us at Twist Gallery, 1100 Queen St. W. Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11AM-6PM.

Colour and Form: A Delicate Balance of Elements, Experience and Personal Heritage

By: Andy Ingram

Figure 1 Feathers by Eva Horthy Turkewitsch; $450

Hey Queen West: there’s a brand-new exhibit for you to come check out for free at Twist Gallery. Our World with Colour and Forms is open now till June 28th. Many featured artists are members of the Hungarian Visual Artists of Canada (HuVAC) and several select invited painters. The exhibition explores the interaction between colour and form; coupled with the personal and unique heritage of each artist.

When viewing and analysing visual art, often times experts consider the various elements of art. According to the J. Paul Getty Museum, these elements, “are the building blocks used to create a work of art.” The main elements are:

·     Line     

·     Shape & Form  

·     Space  

·     Color   

·     Texture

For the purposes of today’s discussion, we can focus on just colour and shape & form.


Colour is essentially the reflection of light off of a surface of an object, in this case a canvas. However, colour is so much more than that. Colour can be broken down into three distinct characteristics:

·     Hue (where does it fall on the colour spectrum)

·     Value (how light or how dark it is)

·     Intensity (how bright or how dull it is).

Artists showing at Twist Gallery, exhibit an elegant dance of these characteristics, all working in synchronicity.

For example, look how Kati Siklos interweaves the dark and light values of colour in her piece “Burst of Sunshine”, featured below.

Figure 2 Burst of Sunshine by Kati Siklos; $1,150

She captures the notion of fading sunshine on the trees and roofs of the quiet Toronto neighbourhood by fluctuating the intensity of the colours. The skyline of the city is seen less intense in the background, evoking a feeling of familiarity, home and distance. Yet, the interplay of reds, oranges, browns and yellows remind of a distinctly European heritage.

“Kati Siklos was born in Budapest, Hungary and completed her studies at the Budapest Art School. She left during the 1956 Revolution and immigrated to Canada. Her career started in Montreal as a lithographer while participating in art studies and exhibitions. In 1973, she moved to Toronto with her family. Some of her work has been featured in government buildings, Etobicoke’s City Hall, several coffee houses and galleries in the GTA.”


Shape and form are used to define an object in space. Shape mainly refers to height and width in a two-dimensional space. However, “form has depth as well as width and height,” says the Getty Museum.

Below, consider “Sunset Landing” by Rita Vindedzis.

Figure 3 Sunset Landing by Rita Vindedzis; $500

See how Vindedzis creates depth with the altering values on the horizon? The dramatic sky is made more mysterious in the contrast between dark and light. She also uses lines to create the shape of the horizon to signify the landscape beneath the sunset. She employs key geometric shapes with lighter colour values to signify the grid pattern of a city when observed from a distance. Viewers begin to share a common experience with Vindedzis, seeing and feeling what she was when she first saw this gorgeous sunset. Maybe she saw this from an airplane when landing at Pearson Airport? It’s for the viewer to decide.

“Rita’s work is often included in lifestyle and decor magazines such as Canadian House and Home, Chatelaine, and Style at Home. Her work has appeared on various television programs and noted interior designers regularly select her work. Surrounded by the city and living in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District, Rita is inspired by tall glass and steel, concrete structures, and the way the light plays through the buildings. Streetlights and reflections provide the backdrop for the moodiness of her work. Every painting tells a story.”

Lastly, study Katalin F. Lowy’s “Margit Chapel” seen below.

Figure 4 Margit Chapel by Katalin F. Lowy; $1,500

The eye is naturally drawn along the smooth curves of the path toward the more rigid structure of the chapel. The viewer regards the altering colours of the natural and man-made landscape and objects and feels a sense of place and memory. Moreover, the darks signify the cool shade whereas the lights arouse a feeling of bright, warm sunshine and good weather and optimism. The delicate relationship between colour and form is fully realized by the artists’ gentle touch.

“Katalin Lowy has been painting for over 35 years and studied under the famous Canadian painter, Doris McCarthy. Over the years, she has won many juried art competition awards for her exceptional work. The paintings reflect a wide range of different European and Canadian East Coast selections.”

We’ve only begun to scratch the surface to Our World with Colours and Forms. There is so much beautiful work to come and see. Why not take a stroll and come and visit us? Entry is free to all, and we really love when folks from the neighbourhood stop by for a visit. Bring a friend and enjoy our quiet and calming space. Or you can relax with some of our colouring books. Maybe it’s time for you to explore colour and form yourself and make something beautiful? Our doors are open Tuesday – Saturday, 11a.m. to 6p.m.

To see more beautiful works in our Artist Showcase CLICK HERE.

To see what’s Upcoming at Twist Gallery CLICK HERE.

Never miss a paint stroke by following us @Twistgalleryand @TwistGallery!

Yoga in an Art Gallery

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On Wednesday May 22nd we had the pleasure of having Alyssa Pawlak come into the gallery and teach a Hatha Flow Yoga class right here in our space! We could not have asked for a better turn out as everyone who attended was ready to start and thoroughly impressed with the session. The group enjoyed a refreshing yoga class surrounded by some beautiful landscape photography from “The Walk Through Nature” exhibit. Luckily for the beginners, Alyssa led a beginners class which everyone was able to take part in and enjoy.

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This was our first but definitely not last class, fortunately we are having Alyssa come back on Tuesday May 28th at 12pm to teach another one of her great Hatha Flow Yoga classes and we are so excited. Everyone is invited meaning you and your friends can come! Just dm us on instagram @twistgallery to reserve your spot today.

Artists Connection to Nature

Andrew Collet Photography

Andrew Collet Photography

There is something about getting out in nature, following the most beautiful path, hiking the dangerous ways just to get that 2 seconds worth of footage from the camera. But the 8 artists displayed in Twist Gallery’s nature exhibit let it be known that these hikes and that beautiful path are worth it.

Andrew Collet, has been in the photography business for 15 years and says he loves to shoot “very moody” nature photography. He says sunrise is the best time to take pictures. Unlike most photographers, he says, “I love to start at 4 am, and as the sun rises, land reveals itself.”

Getting up early to get that perfect picture of the sunrise or that fresh feeling of the first peak of the sun upon your face is what the landscape photography is all about. This contact season is what nature photographers thrive off of as May is the perfect season to get those amazing pictures.

Larry Herscovitch Photography

Larry Herscovitch Photography

Larry Herscovitch had an opinion about the connection of taking photos of nature and the calmness inside your mind. “My art is a demonstration of an appreciation of the beauty of nature. Being out in nature whether it be, hiking or taking photos while hiking is very therapeutic. Being in nature is a chance to slow down from our busy fast paced world.”

Twist holds exhibitions every month to support local artists from Toronto. Nadia Kakridonis, Director of the gallery says she enjoys seeing artists with their artwork “coming into life” and talking to artists about different ways of displaying their art in the gallery.

Vincent Apa Photography

Vincent Apa Photography

“I got very lucky getting into Twist. I started photography in 2012 when I bought my first DSLR. I pursued it as a hobby that would bring together my love of motorsports and photography. I’m not artistically inclined, I’m a science geek at heart. My degree in physics helped me learn about light and how to manipulate it and capture through the lens of my camera.” Says Vincente Apa another artists displayed in this months exhibit.

He shows that sometimes the love of nature and photography can come out of nowhere when you least expect it and maybe it can come from checking out our “Walk Through Nature”  exhibit this month before it ends on May 28th.

5 Hidden Gems in Toronto

By: Paol Wierzbicki

Toronto is a bright city with many hidden treasures. Our current exhibit Lights of Toronto showcases some of the most exciting places in the city. To celebrate these treasures, here is a list of the 5 best places in Toronto you haven’t seen! And yes, all of these photos can be found in our gallery!

Kajeh Mehrizi,  The Bridge - Humber Bay Shores

Kajeh Mehrizi, The Bridge - Humber Bay Shores

Humber Bay Shores is one of the most beautiful sights in all of Toronto. Enjoy some fresh air by the lake as you stroll through the great white bridge. Encompassing the Humber river, the bridge connects Toronto's nature to its vibrant city life. In the summertime, you can go swimming at the Sunnyside pool and explore the beach. Warm up in the winter at local restaurants Eden Trattoria, or watch a hockey game at Firkin at the Bay. If being by the water is your thing, then you will love Humber Bay Shores.

Josh Meilach,  Empty Streets  - Old City Hall

Josh Meilach, Empty Streets - Old City Hall

Old City Hall celebrates its 120th birthday this year and while you can’t visit unless you’re planning to attend court or book a school trip, it’s still worthwhile to see the exterior of the building. Located at Queen and Bay, this stunning photograph captures one of Toronto’s most breathtaking views – the perfect shot of the clocktower. You’ll want to be around when that magical clock tower chimes. With Nathan Phillips Square and the Eaton’s Center within walking distance, this building is MUST SEE for first timer’s to Toronto.  

Nick Wons,  Honest Farewell - The Annex

Nick Wons, Honest Farewell - The Annex

While Honest Ed’s may be gone, The Annex remains one of Toronto’s most charming areas. Full of small shops, unique restaurants, used bookstores and all kinds of fresh farmer’s markets, the annex is a cornerstone of Toronto culture. Located at the intersection of Bloor and Bathurst, this spot is a must traveling to the city for the first time. And don’t worry if you missed the giant lit sign, there are plans in the works to relocate the sign to outside Ed Mirvish Theatre. You can also purchase a bit of Toronto’s history, as their hand painted signs are on sale for $60.

Julian Toh,  The Market - St. Lawrence Market

Julian Toh, The Market - St. Lawrence Market

If you’re a foodie fanatic, we’ve got the place for you! St. Lawrence Market is the perfect neighborhood area to explore delicious restaurants, art, and food markets. This is the ideal stop to enjoy a sunny day out or even a winter day. You can catch a glimpse of everything from jewellery stores to unique home accessories, and even outdoor events or festivals. St. Lawrence captures a moment of history as to being one of the greatest markets in Toronto. Food is for eating and good food is to be enjoyed.

Julian Toh,  The Photographer - High Park

Julian Toh, The Photographer - High Park

High Park is Toronto's greatest escape from the citylife. With a zoo, swimming pool, hockey rink, and countless nature paths to explore, High Park is a vacation destination in your own backyard. In spring there are the famous cherry blossoms, and in fall there are dozens of colours to admire. Skate on the frozen lake in the winter or their professionally built hockey rink, and enjoy the Canadian winter for what it is. Among the many dog walkers are plenty of birdwatchers searching for the elusive Canada Goose. Just kidding! Home to the Great Blue Heron, Belted Knightfisher, and the Purple Martin, among others, the park is full of interesting wildlife.

That concludes our list of the best places to visit! Lights of Toronto runs from January 3rd to February 22nd. Among the photos shown here, there are plenty more views to be enjoyed at the gallery! Drop by anytime From Tuesday to Saturday, from 11-6.

5 Artsy Activities for a Creative Holiday Season

By: Tiara Chutkhan


Twist might be closed for the holidays, but you can still enjoy art this holiday season! With so much time for friends and family, here are our top 5 picks for art related activities you can enjoy over the holidays!

1.    Galleries 

Plenty of galleries around the city are still open throughout the season. Check online and on local blogs for exhibits going on and gallery hours. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends or for a date with your sweetheart. End off with a warm drink and yummy treat at a local café and you’ve got the perfect holiday afternoon.

2.    Paint Night

Looking to create your own art? Try a paint night! Many local artists and art spaces hold paint nights. Some are structured, giving you something to follow along and paint, while others allow you to freely express yourself however you’d like. No matter your skill level, there’s surely an evening that can cater to what you’re looking for. Fun fact- some even include wine!

3.    Holiday Markets

If you’re not much of an artist, but still want to support the local artists in your community there are plenty of holiday markets this time of year. Whether you’re looking to finish your Christmas shopping or just shop for yourself, supporting local artists is a great way to do it. Check local blogs and social media for any markets happening in your area. You never know what amazing handmade goodies you’ll find!

4.    Crafting at Home

If you’re looking to enjoy more time at home, try doing some home craft projects. Whether it’s something you’re already familiar with or trying something new, looking on sites like Pinterest can give you a ton of inspiration on things you can do with items you have handy at home. Creating decorations for the holidays or repurposing old things can get the whole family involved. 

5.    Colouring Books

After the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas, you may be looking to just spend some creative time alone. Colour books are perfect for those quiet evenings. With so many different designs and themes available, there are more than enough to choose from. All you need is a box of pencil crayons and you’ll be good to go for hours!


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Artist Spotlight: Cobie Cruz

November at Twist has been all about abstract art. Meet Cobie Cruz, one of the amazing artists in our group exhibition. Vibrant colours and bold strokes are just a taste of what you’ll get from this artist.

Q: What inspires your art?

A: For me I think it’s seeing a lot of colours around me. I love colours, I love textures, I like brush strokes. Most of the time before I start, I get inspirations from all sorts of media. For example, just a simple picture of a poster. Sometimes when I drive by a gas station, you see big posters there. Sometimes I see the particular image, the composition, whether there’s a person standing, or person promoting the poster. I see that composition and the colours in it like an abstract. That’s how I start.

Q: Can you talk about your process? What tools do you use to create?

A: I normally start applying modeling paste. Modelling paste allows me to add textures and details. I just apply without thinking of anything. I just apply on the white clean canvas and then sometimes I let it dry and add a little more later, a thin layer of the modelling paste. It gives me all sorts of textures. Sometimes I use a simple cleaning brush and once I apply the modelling paste, I scrape the cleaning brush onto it and it creates the vertical, diagonal strokes or whatever I want to do. It’s a stroke I freely apply.

After that, that’s when I apply the colours that I have seen around me. I start, in my mind, with three or four colours. I apply it and sometimes fill the canvas with 3 or 4 colours on it. That’s normally my first stage. I freely do my brush strokes without thinking of anything else. Nothing. 

Stage 2 of the process is what I call the push and pull. When I say push, I add more colours that I think lack on the stage 1. The pull that I’m talking about is editing it, meaning that if I find that the colour red is too much, I’ll paint white over it to lessen the red. Sometimes if I find it lacks red, I’ll push it back. When I pull it that’s when I subtract or edit the colour. 

Stage 3, that’s when I start to smile. When I feel that I am smiling already. Stage 3 is when I just do the final touches. That’s the process that I always apply to all of my paintings.


Q: When did you first discover art? Are you self-taught or did you go to school for it?

 A: At an early age of I think 8 or 9. Seeing my dad work at an artist also, it runs in the family. I saw him working in an advertising agency and at the same time painting. He was a realist and I think I was exposed to his art that when I was 9 years old. I started doodling and I discovered that I can draw and paint. I remember my dad allowed me to use his leftover paints because art materials are really expensive. 

I thought I had fun doing that when I was younger and then couple of years later, I clearly remember that I knew what I was going to take up in university and it was fine arts. I majored in advertising, but my dad encouraged me to take up painting as my major. But I said no, I think can learn painting on my own, just watching him, just loving the colours around me. I think that’s how it started. I didn’t feel bad that I didn’t follow his advice because right now I am painting. 

I went to advertising industry after university, it was only until the late 90s I started painting. I used to paint realistic clouds. Then after that I remember I said in the late 90s, if I am going to be a visual artist, I’m not going to be like my dad who is a realist. He painted flowers, rocks, fields, he loves those earth tone feels where green is the guide. I even asked permission from my dad that if I’m going to be a visual artist, can I do abstract. “Absolutely” he said. “I just want you to paint, I don’t want you to let go of your talent. I believe you have the talent.”

 I was able to have my first one man show in 2000 and a few years later my second one.


Q: What is your person goal as an artist?

A: Besides the money. I’m not going to lie to you, beside the finances that I can acquire from painting, on the human side, I want to see people smile, at least smile at my work. I think that one is already a real goal I have achieved. Hopefully they will like it and eventually go to the financial side, but the goal is to create art. It sounds cliché but every time I finish one piece for instance, like I said, on my own if I feel like there’s a smile on my face already, that’s a goal.


Q: How do you title your artworks? 

A: When I title my artwork it’s not an individual thing, it’s a series. When I paint, I want to make sure I have a series, I’m not going to paint this colour scheme and then later on another colour scheme. It’s like having a theme.


Q: Do you have a particular piece that has a special connection to you?

 A: Yeah, but you know what? That piece wasn’t sold. I have a lot of paintings that I really love that have stayed in my art studio. I remember one artist friend of mine said it’s natural that you have your favourite painting, but it doesn’t get sold. It’s like music, the melody flows and when the melody flows very well you tend to like it, you tend to keep it to yourself. It’s like your heart talking to you, that this is the kind of music you like. That goes for my paintings as well. The composition, the colours are flowing smoothly. It’s like my eye is flowing fluidly, it’s not jumping from one spot to another although sometimes there are paintings that I’ve done that my eyes wander. It’s like my eyes are exploring. That’s also a good indication for me that I love my creation.

Q: Who are some of your favourite artists?

A: Robert Motherwell is one. De Kooning is one. I have some influence from his drippings even though I don’t apply it. During my early stage when I was painting, I was influenced from De Kooning’s drippings and then later on I discovered Robert Motherwell. He had this stroke that’s very similar to my strokes. I thought of studying his strokes. If there’s an artist I’m influenced by I think it’s from those two artists. I think they’re the 50s artists. 

Q: What is it like to be an artist in today’s world?

A: To be honest, there’s a lot of artists in the past fifteen years. Maybe because I am already exposed to it in the community, there’s artist from young to old generations. Again, another cliché, it’s passion. In the morning, I wake up and after doing my responsibilities, because I have another job, if only I can make this painting my full-time job, I would be the happiest visual artist in the world. I love to paint. I get inspired from painting as well. Especially if I’m in the zone, I feel so light. It’s like I want to forget the other responsibilities and I want to paint the whole day. Although sometimes it’s tiring because your mind keeps working. 

I have a lot of friends who are not artists and they say “wow, I think you’re the happiest person in the world.” I say why? They said because you’re doing what you want and you’re happy with it. My answer to them is yes, I’m very happy but at the same time it’s tiring, my mind keeps thinking. Am I complaining? I say no. It’s not that I simply sit down or stand up. I let my hands do the strokes with the help of the brush right, but it’s tiring as well. But at the end of the day, sometimes after two hours, three hours, when I feel like I have this smile on my face I feel like it’s okay. 


Q: Do you find it financially challenging?

 A: Right now, honestly no because I’m selling. Thank god I’m selling. People appreciate my work and because of that I can sustain my painting because obviously I have to sustain it with art supplies. The challenge there is not just the money. I want to make sure people will smile when they see my paintings. That’s my biggest challenge. To be honest, money will come later on, but I have to take care of the people who will like, who will love, and will buy my paintings. That’s the challenge.

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Sasha & Illian

How truly special it is when a beautiful couple share their vows right here at Twist Gallery.

We felt blessed to have had this event take place here. Just imagine all the joy and laughter that was shared! We wish a life time of happiness to the couple, Sasha & Illian.

Check out the amazing photos taken of the wedding by Oleh Bozhyk. Click through the gallery and the sheer amount of happiness captured will surely put a smile on your face.

Artist Profile: Gene Tempelmeyer

They say that smell is one of the most powerful senses, that it will bring up clear memories you haven't thought about in a while. For artist Gene Tempelmeyer, coffee and turpentine bring back the memory of his mother painting.

"My mother was an artist and took her art seriously. However, as a stay-at-home mom in a rural area in the 50's and 60's, she did not have a great deal of opportunity to express that. She gave us lessons as a way to keep us busy while she painted," says Gene, who is showcasing his work at Twist art gallery this September in a show entitled Watercolour and Modern Landscape.

In large part due to his mother's influence, Gene continued painting through high school, teaching himself almost everything he knows. However, he stopped for about 25 years after entering his career.

"[But] In 2003 I was inspired by a wall in Mexico to gather some art supplies and paint again. As soon as one canvas was finished I started another. Gradually people began to ask if they could buy a painting, and I began selling."

Gene's work is strongly influenced by the post-impressionists, as he likes his materials to be evident to the audience - as his mother used to say, "If you want a photograph, buy a camera."

Recently, Gene's landscapes have moved to more colourful interpretations. The pieces going in the show may be of the traditional Ontario landscape but the execution of these scenes is anything but traditional; you will see iconic locations with splatters of colourful paint or vibrate pallets livening up typical picturesque scenes. Gene calls the style "Tom Thompson on acid."

The works will be available for purchase through the show in September in a wide variety of sizes and prices. Come pay these beautiful pieces a visit and possibly take one home so that your home is a little warmer - and much more colourful - in the Ontario winter. 




Twist Gallery is known for organizing monthly group exhibits. Each month we welcome a new set of artists to decorate our gallery walls with their work! If you have ever wondered how we choose each theme, how we find local artists to showcase, or what exactly goes into planning such an exhibit, here is an inside scoop to how we do it:

1: Monthly Schedule

A lot of planning goes into organizing a group exhibit, so we often start this process months in advance. Twist Gallery does sometimes rent out the space for solo shows and other events, so the first thing we do is choose a month that is yet to be booked and we go from there!



2: Choosing a Theme

Choosing a theme for the month we are organizing a show for seems like an easy task, but there is a lot of details we need to think about. Firstly, Twist Gallery is also an event venue, meaning we host many weddings, receptions, and business parties. We always try to choose a theme that would be unique and intriguing, but also one that is fairly versatile (we tend to stay away from portraiture, and nudism as that style of art is not everyone’s first choice decor in their wedding photos). Secondly, we have to choose themes that will be somewhat easy to book. If we choose a specific theme that not many artists work with, the chances of filling our gallery walls for that particular month are not as high (sometimes we have to change the theme a few times before thinking of one that works).



3: Scouting Artists

Once a theme has been chosen, it’s time to look for local Canadian artists that create works of art that would fit the theme (and that can be hung on the wall). Everyone has their own way of searching for artists. Looking for artists online, contacting art schools and various artist collectives, following other organized art shows, and via social media are all great ways we find artists to feature. Sometimes, we will create a post online calling for artists for a specific month, which is also a great way to reach out to our followers who are artists themselves, or who may know someone who they think would be interested in having their work showcased.



4: Emails, Emails, Emails..

When we find an artist that creates pieces that would fit the theme and is based in the GTA, we give them a shout. We explain our vision for the group exhibit, and see if the opportunity interests them. We email as many artists as we can, and stop searching for artists once all the wall space has been booked!



5: Autograph Please

To finalize the exhibit, interested artists are required to sign a contract, and pay the fee for their chosen wall size. Artists can choose from purchasing either 10ft of wall space for $150 or 20ft of wall space for $400. Their art is up for the duration of the month, and is available for purchase!



6: Floor Plan

We plan out where each artists will hang their art prior to them arriving on set up day. We like to find a perfect spot for each artists work to stand out and compliment the works of the other artists!

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7: Set Up Day (Yay!)

Each artist is responsible for hanging up their artwork the way they want it!



8: Advertising

To generate buzz about the new exhibits we print flyers to give out, and we regularly update our website and all our social media outlets! We also send out reminders and invitations to our subscribed mailing list!



9: Opening Night

We organize an opening reception to introduce the exhibit to the community! This event is open to the public; people love meeting the faces behind their favourite works of art! We send out invitations to our subscribed mailing list and always encourage everyone to spread the word of this fun night! ...and yes, refreshments are provided!



Contact: The World’s Largest Photography Festival

    By: Marryiam Niazi

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Some photos are so immensely meaningful, they span an entire city. This month of May, 2018 marks the 22nd annual Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.

   Contact Photo Fest: A Historical Lens

   Just like the photos it features, Contact has unique origins and history. The festival was founded in 1990. It had its first run in the same year. There were three main reasons behind this large venture:


1. Expanding The Arts Industry

    The original aim of CONTACT was to explore the hidden potential of Toronto’s art community. The festival provided a way for photographers to work in sync, and even collaborate together. They could pitch their portfolios and installations to galleries and business points. If selected, these artists would receive awards and accolades. They could even sell their high-quality work. All in all, the city-wide recognition itself was a compelling value factor provided only by CONTACT.

    The festival aimed to cater to two main types of curations: Primary Exhibitions and Public Installations. In both cases, the artists selected displayed INNOVATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY, which pricked the social conscious of citizens. The featured works each year continue to be depth focused, and stand apart from others, due to their distinctive take on the subject matter. Through its curatorial form and guidelines, CONTACT encourages healthy competition, development and innovation in Toronto’s creative industry.



2. Localizing the Global

    The 1990's are widely regarded as the sitcom and dotcom bust years. Contrary to pop culture satire, the 90's marked a dramatic shift towards increased globalization and great economic interdependence between countries. This also meant that Canadians were exposed to the grim realities of life in other countries. Even more so, they were at the heart of the conflict. Being a neighbouring country to the world’s biggest economy was not exactly a smooth sail. Threats of war, terrorism and nuclear war were well underway by 1990. Contact Photo Fest was pinned as the backdrop to showcase the volatile global political climate of the 90's. This trend has continued well into the third decade of the festival. This year, the festival includes poetic video stills commenting on the ongoing conflict over the land of Palestine. Available until June 30th, this collaboration by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme are just as impressionable, on the mind, as the current death toll from the conflict itself.

                "Incidental Insurgents" Video Still, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme

                "Incidental Insurgents" Video Still, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme


3. Exposure for Fresh Talent

    Lastly, Contact Photography Festival was a move towards equity and equality. It is no secret that Toronto’s art scene is as lucrative as it is competitive. Contact Photo Fest sought out to redress these challenges of represenration. They allowed entries by emerging and established photographers. In doing so, both types of artists got their work displayed alongside each other every year. This gives new comers a chance to seek out mentorship, training, representation and career development opportunities in the future.



CONTACT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL is the largest photography festival in the world. TWIST GALLERY is proud to be in partnership with CONTACT to showcase the work of Ann Leese until May 26th.