Why Everyone Should Support Local Artists

Written by: Aleksandra Kaliszuk

It’s no secret that purchasing a piece of artwork for your business or home will improve the aesthetic of the area. It is where and from whom you purchase the work of art that makes all the difference though. Supporting local artists by visiting local art galleries or purchasing their work creates a relationship between culture and community. One’s form of expression can be another’s inspiration.

Visiting local art galleries and art shows to admire local art empowers the artists’s freedom of expression, while potentially allowing the visitor to gain a new perspective or to be inspired. You don't have to be an artist to like art. Plus, the artworks displayed in shows are often available to be purchased!

@twistgallery

@twistgallery

Purchasing art from a local artist, is not only supportive to the local artists community, but leaves you with a unique work of art! Buying pieces of art or prints from larger corporate stores means that you and thousands of other people have the same piece. So if you're thinking of purchasing a new work of art, shop locally and support your local artist community.

@twistgallery

@twistgallery

Twist Gallery prides itself in supporting local artists and always looking for new talent to feature their art in a group show. Each month there is a new exhibit organized, always featuring local Canadian artists!!

Pop Art: What they got away with

Written by: Aleksandra Kaliszuk

There is a lot of discussion regarding who originally said the quote ‘Art is anything you can get away with’. Both Andy Warhol, a famous American artist, and Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian media influencer have said the above quote.  Both men shared a passion for the influences of art and media. The message is widely interpreted, however can be reflected in all forms of art, specifically in pop art. 

Art is a form of expression reflecting aspects of current societal influences. It gives us the opportunity to look into the past, as well as observe the present through a different lens. Pop Art is a post WWII art movement, that was largely media influenced and inspired by popular culture (hence the name, pop art). 

This art style is inspired by comic books, popular culture and mass media. A lot of pieces are images with a twist on advertisements and consumerism. The post WWII media boom is reflected in many artists pieces, as they mimic images, norms and ads of that era. For example Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1962, combined consumerism and commercialism of the time through the use of image arts. This differentiated pop artists from other artists; they presented seemingly regular objects and images in a unique style.

@warholpopart

@warholpopart

Andy Warhol also created prints of actress Marilyn Monroe, one of the most popular figures of the era. These prints are recreated and mass produced to this day.

@warholpopart

@warholpopart

In the month of November, Twist Gallery invites you to see Toronto’s local pop artists and admire their representation of popular culture through art. Come see what these local artists got away with. 

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 2.15.36 PM.png

The Holiday Market: The Most Wonderful time of the Year

Written by Aleksandra Kaliszuk

 

What: Twist Gallery’s Annual Holiday Market

Where: 1100 Queen St W

When: November 25, 2017 from 1-9pm

Who: Everyone!! This event is FREE to the public!

 

The weather is getting colder, meaning the holiday season is fast approaching! Tis’ the season for various gatherings and festive activities. We all know that there are more than twelve days of Christmas, and they start on November 25, 2017 at the Holiday Market hosted by Twist Gallery!

@theholidaymrkt

@theholidaymrkt

Come see Twist Gallery transform into a Holiday Market; the perfect setting to welcome the holiday season and to enjoy with your family and friends! The artistically decorated gallery will be free to the public from 1-9 pm. The market will have interactive entertainment, such as a DIY Christmas tree (which guests will help decorate) and a holiday photoshoot (where you can make your own props), which will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit! It’s a great place to find unique stocking stuffers and gifts for your loved ones from our local vendors. Sip on hot chocolate and shop while enjoying live entertainment.

The holidays are also a time for giving, so we will be accepting food and toy donations for the local food bank!

The Queen Street West Holiday Market is definitely a place to visit, so save the date and help spread the holiday spirit!

For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/theholidaymrkt/.

Day @ Queen West

Written by Aleksandra Kaliszuk

Queen Street West is packed with various shops, restaurant and attractions that’ll make your day trip to Twist Gallery THAT much more fun! Aside from checking out the monthly exhibits Twist has featuring local artists, you can explore everything Toronto’s Art and Design District has to offer.

Cafe NEON

1024 Queen St W

www.cafeneon.ca

To start your day off right, visit Cafe NEON for some great drip coffee and brunch!

@cafe_neon

@cafe_neon

El Almacen

1078 Queen St W

If you enjoy the aesthetic of a rustic cafe, stop by El Almacen for some Mexican style brunch; they're known for serving authentic yerba mate and empanadas.  

@jessemilns

@jessemilns


Sweet Olenkas

1056 Queen St W

www.sweetolenkas.ca

Sweet tooth? No problem. Sweet Olenkas is just a few doors down from Twist Gallery and will, without a doubt, satisfy any craving. This family run business makes their own ice cream and has desserts that are both gluten free AND vegan! All treats are beautifully detailed and designed. Need I say more?  

@sweetolenkas

@sweetolenkas

Dynasty

1086 Queen St W

www.dynastytoronto.com

It’s always a good idea to surround yourself with greenery. While in the area, check out Dynasty, a Toronto based boutique, which carries various tropical botanicals and vintage planters! This shop is just as aesthetically pleasing as their Instagram page. You’ll likely leave with a plant.. or two!  

@dynastytoronto

@dynastytoronto

Peace Collective

131 Ossington Ave

www.peace-collective.com

Stop by the Peace Collective flagship store, located just north of Queen and Ossington and purchase their infamous ‘Toronto vs Everybody’ apparel. They partner with local charities; for every piece they sell, $2 is donated to a good cause. If that isn't enough- they even have an assortment of Peace Treats, such as gourmet milkshakes!

@peacecollective

@peacecollective

The Drake Hotel

1150 Queen St W

www.thedrakehotel.ca

If you are interested in food, Toronto merchandise, the arts, or events- this boutique hotel is definitely a place to visit. It is even a venue for local artists to perform and display their work! What’s not to love?

@thedrakehotel

@thedrakehotel

‘You've Changed’ Mural

This mural created by Jesse Harris is a common spot for a classic Toronto photo-op, located right at the corner of Queen and Dovercourt. It pays tribute to the ever changing city, and the neighbourhoods' recent gentrification, as well as sending a positive message to the patients at CAMH just next door.

Retrieved from pinterest.com

Retrieved from pinterest.com

 

 

Art: How it Benefits Everyone

Written by Aleksandra Kaliszuk

Art is good for you! Yes, you read that right. The process of creating or experiencing art, whether it be a painting, music, writing, you name it, has positive benefits on one’s psychological well being! Engaging in a creative activity will result in ample health benefits.

Distraction From Everyday Life

Art is a great way to get distracted from that crazy daily routine. We are all constantly bombarded with information and notifications. Taking a moment (or two) to slow down and create something is a great way to unwind and get distracted from all those responsibilities and tasks you've been thinking about all day.

Instagram @twistgallery

Instagram @twistgallery

Stress Relief

Its no secret as to why art and creativity are used as a form of therapy. Research has shown that the right kind of art can affect a hospital patients’ well being by stimulating their brain, taking their mind off their worries and decreasing their stress levels! Art is a form of meditation, and is used to nonverbally express emotions. So yes, go buy yourself that adult colouring book you were eyeing!

Instagram @twistgallery

Instagram @twistgallery

Sense of Accomplishment

Creating something, anything, will trigger an individual’s sense of accomplishment. Feeling accomplished, could result in an increase in self esteem and happiness. Be proud of what you create!

Instagram @twistgallery

Instagram @twistgallery

Problem Solving

By creating art, you challenge your imagination and ability to continue working on a project, making mistakes and facing potential obstacles. This can promote personal growth and problem solving skills which can be reflected in various situations in your life.

Instagram @twistgallery

Instagram @twistgallery

Critical Thinking

Creating and experiencing art can help develop critical thinking skills that can be applied in all areas of one’s life. A recent study at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Northwest Arkansas found that students that were taken to the museum improved their ability to think critically! Other benefits of visiting the museum included historical empathy and a sparked interest in art museums.

Instagram @twistgallery

Instagram @twistgallery

There is evidently a relationship between creativity, individual development and healing. So create something beautiful or visit a gallery… Art is for everyone!

Instagram @twistgallery

Instagram @twistgallery

Twist’s Top Picks for Nuit Blanche 2017!

By Nuala Murray

Saturday September 30th marks our city’s 12th annual nocturnal celebration of art and culture, Nuit Blanche. Every fall Toronto is transformed into a cultural playground for one night only: as art lovers tour the city in search of entirely free exhibitions from some of the nation’s top contemporary artists. However, as even the most seasoned Nuit Blanchers know -- it's always easy to get swept up in crowds of excited art-fanatics or stranded between remote subway stops  and end up missing the best exhibits and installations. This year the program will feature over 85 contemporary art projects by more than 350 local, national and international artists. So if you’re planning to hit the town on Toronto’s infamous White Night, take note of Twist’s top 5 Nuit installations to make sure you don’t head home without catching the highlights this year!

image by blogto.com

image by blogto.com

1. Prosperity for All, Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology

Where is it? East Harbour (formerly Unilever soap factory)

EDIT will be opening their doors to the public for an immersive all night experience on the first floor of East Harbour (formerly Unilever soap factory). The theme of the exhibit is “Prosperity for All,” which is a wide-reaching exploration of the world’s global issues through design, photography, speakers and installations. Check this immersive art-scape out to see how design, innovation and technology have the power to transform our lives for the better!

image by nbto.com

image by nbto.com

2. Have You Seen My Sister? Artists of the Aurora

Where is it? Grosvenor Street between Bay Street and Surrey Place

Nuit Blanche isn’t only about visual art. It’s a celebration of interdisciplinary forms of culture that speak to contemporary Canadian life. This musical project features a group of artists that sing the names of Canada’s missing and murdered aboriginal women in order to draw attention to these identities that have been ignored and erased by the Canadian legal system. The collaboration of musicians and artists invite participation from their audience through a traditional Call and Response musical style, in order to directly involve Torontonians in the pursuit of justice for missing and murdered indigenous women. This musical performance is symbolically located on the grounds of Ontario parliament, in order to gesture towards the government’s lack of recognition of the lives of aboriginal women. Make sure to check out this stop to become part of an authentic musical ritual and show solidarity for our nation’s aboriginal women!

image by nbto.com

image by nbto.com

3. Layered Cities, Anne Hanrahan

Where is it? Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street (Flex Studio 107)

This maze-like installation work superimposes images of Canadian environments with other locations that Canadians have originated from, in order to create a multiplex portrait of the future of urban Canadian landscapes. The installation works to give its viewers a distinct sense of space and locality, while reminding them of the diverse nature of our cities. The projections in the exhibit move as individual viewers walk through the exhibit, giving each viewer the power to self-create their own unique experience of time, place and location. Make sure to explore this urban maze to celebrate Canadian citizen’s diversity and to see a unique vision of the future of Canada’s multicultural urban centres!

image by nbto.com

image by nbto.com

4. StarSCAPE by F_RM lab

Where is it? 5 Camden Street

This installation by F_RM lab, a student-led collective comprised of graduates and undergraduates at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, works to reconnect city-dwellers with their natural surroundings. The vast, glowing natural skyscape and galaxy of stars around us is rendered invisible by the pollution-clouded night sky of Toronto, but this architectural installation (an undulating canopy that stretches through an alleyway) works to surround viewers in a veil of digitally generated stars. This installation allows its occupants to be engulfed by a beautiful and immersive digital starscape -- paradoxically providing them with an artificially created experience of being within nature. However, the installation also shows its occupants a view of the real night time sky, so that viewers can see the stark contrast between the fantastic, digitized stars that surround them and the reality of the barren polluted atmosphere that hovers over our urban core. Check this installation out for a fully immersive experience that demonstrates technology’s power to actually reconnect society to nature!

image by nbto.com

image by nbto.com

5. Holding Still // Holding Together by Annie MacDonnel

Where is it? Medical Sciences Building Courtyard, 1 Kings College Circle

Part performance art, part video installation, this work explores the body in relation to politics. The work draws inspiration from contemporary issues of police brutality in order to negotiate the relationships between bodies, power and vulnerability. The live performance aspect of the work features dancers that work together to reenact the moments of bodily/political resistance, transferring them from still image into live action. By bringing to life images from film, MacDonnel aims to give viewers a more in-depth and up-close view of bodies in conflict, hoping to influence people’s perceptions of street protests, police conflict and other methods of physical resistance that continue to circulate through contemporary media. The artist also creates an interesting contrast within her work, by using the beautiful art of dance to represent brutality and violence. Check this performance out to see how body art and dance have the ability to influence political discourse and challenge contemporary perceptions of violence!

image by nbto.com

image by nbto.com


An Interview with Kim Puil, the Artist Behind Inner Landscapes, Arisings from the Space of Being

Written By Simran Birk

This month's exhibition at Twist Gallery, Inner Landscapes, Arisings from the Space of Being, features the extraordinary work of Kim Puil. Half way into the show, Kim’s work has met many positive reviews. Each piece is a big, bold and colorful collage that has its own backstory. We sat down with Kim to gain some perspective on how she was able to create such magnificent pieces.

I understand that you started off as a dancer, was art something you’ve always been interested in? or did you find it as another medium that you could express yourself?

 I have always been interested in art and cannot imagine a world without it. I had the privilege of being a young artist in a very exciting time in the art world. The 70’s were bristling with artists breaking boundaries and rules- and the independent art scene was thriving. The dance form that I trained in was technically very hard to do requiring discipline and commitment yet it was full of emotion, intensity and included the shadow side of the psyche. I have been drawing and creating alongside my dance since the beginning.

I understand Bon-Buddhism and yoga are important influences to this exhibition. Could you elaborate on this? Could you describe what Bon Buddhism is?

The dancer and yoga have always walked hand-in-hand so from a very young age I have practiced yoga and continue to do so. They are very complimentary to one another- i.e. movement and stillness etc. As a seeker in life, meditation was the next natural step and I even paused from my life to enter an ashram for a number of months to deepen my experience.

For me, meditation is not about “exiting” the reality of one’s life here on this planet, but it is to understand and work with the realities on all levels, of what it is to be a human. This includes all parts of us whether they are labelled “good” or “bad”, “pleasant” or “unpleasant”. I feel blessed that I was fortunate in my life to have an art form whose purpose of expression and content was to transmit these realities to the audience.

Buddhism has always peaked my curiosity because the teachings are about how to navigate the waters of this life. There is acknowledgement that suffering does exist but at the same time the idea is that we are responsible for and can mitigate how we cope with and react to the challenges that we come across.

Bon buddhism has its roots in the ancient shamans of Tibet and its culminates in the advanced meditative practices of Dzogchen- “The Great Perfection”. The Bon practices encompass the “whole” - our external world as seen in nature and the universe, and the internal world of our mind, emotions and thoughts.

I enrolled in a self-transformational program in the United States called The 3 Doors Academy that was started by my Bon teacher Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche . Over a period of 2 1/2 years one had to practice various meditation techniques, do group and personal retreats and reflect on challenges, resistance or blockages (a.k.a.”pain”) in three areas of our life: personal self, family and work/community. This culminated in 63 written “transformations” where over a period of time by working with formal and informal mediation practices we “dissolved” or experienced a “shift” in the nature of our “pain”.

Kim Puil and In the Midist of It All

Kim Puil and In the Midist of It All

Could you also explain the processes behind these collages? They’ve must have taken hours and hours of work! Could you elaborate on the type of mediums you used?

The first step in my process is meditation practice either with or without a purposeful intention. My subject is my experience of “how things are living in me” at a particular moment in time and my working relationship with the meditation practices in any given moment. It’s funny that my work space is very, very tiny and yet the collages are big! I am choreographing in a new way - and at times I am moving my body all over the place as I cut and try to reproduce the kinesthetic sense of what it is that I have felt. I like to use handmade papers from around the world, discarded and found objects as well as the recycled cardboard that is the “canvas.” It takes usually 3-4 weeks to lay down the layers of paper and objects. The job I hate the most is the gluing as I do not usually glue as I go along. I have to make sure that I am well-centered and not tired as this is an arduous process that requires concentration and great patience - a practice of its own!

Inner Landscapes, Arisings from the space of being. Why this title?

“Inner Landscapes” refers to me, the traveler, and my reactions and feelings travelling through the different terrains of my life. “Arisings From The Space Of Being” alludes to what they refer to in Dzogchen as the base of all or on the elemental level - the element of space where everything in existence arises from and dissolves back into. These collages are my arisings- past, present and future and an expression of what it is to be alive.

Finally, what is your favorite piece in this work? Why?

I don't have a favourite piece. I know all of them very intimately as they are all “me” and are a visual, kinetic experience from a very real moment of time in my life. My connection to them is much like that of 2 lovers…we shared, we loved, we travelled the heart and corners of ourselves and now it is time to part, to continue the journey of exploration and share the love with others.

With many great reviews, Inner Landscapes, Arisings from the Space of Being is not to be missed. Come on down to Twist Gallery before June 30th, to see the work before it is gone!

 

150 Years of Canadian Art

Written By: Simran Birk

Canada is short of its 150th birthday in a few weeks. Over a century of development and progress has ranked Canada among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. However, Canada’s progress and flourishment in cultural and artistic movements should also be acknowledged and recognized.  Let us recount Canada’s finest artists from the past century and half.

It is important to start this article with recognizing and celebrating indigenous art. Indigenous art is an important part of Canadian art as it describes a history and culture that has been established in Canada for centuries. It should also be acknowledged that the word ‘Canada’ is believed to originates from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement". Bill Reid is a renowned Haida artist who specializes in jewelry, sculpture, screen-printing, and paintings. His work has can be found in various galleries and museums across Canada. An important accomplishment of Reid’s is that two of his sculptures, Raven and the First Men and Spirit of Haida Gwaii, are prominently featured on the $20 Canadian note from 2004 to 2012.

Bill Reid, Spirit of Haida Gwaii, 1986

Bill Reid, Spirit of Haida Gwaii, 1986

Another aboriginal artist that deserve recognition for their artistic work is Rebecca Belmore. Belmore specializes in installations and performance pieces. Belmore is especially important as her piece’s addresses history, voice and voice-lessness, place, and identity. Belmore work incorporates art, history, and politics to create a truly impactful piece of work. Some of Belmore accomplishments include the 2013 Governors General Awards as well as being the first aboriginal woman representing Canada at the Venice Biennale in 2005.

Rebecca Belmore

Rebecca Belmore

Moving on to other artists who have influenced the Canadian art scene, the Group of Seven is a name that is known by many Canadians. The Group of Seven is a group of artists who specialized in painting Canadian landscape during the early 20th century. The group originally consisted of Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley. The Group of Seven is best known for initiating a national art movement in Canadian art. The Group traveled across Canada, depicting its varying landscapes in a new perspective, that gained popularity among Canadian society.

Emily Carr is name that is often associated with the group of Seven and Canadian artists. Although Carr was not officially member of the group, she was closely associated. Carr is known for being one of the first artist to adopt a Modernist and Post-Impressionist painting style. Initially, Carr’s work is focused on indigenous culture and art. However, there is an evident shift to landscape paintings later in her life, when she became involved with the Group of Seven. Carr is an important figure in Canadian art history as she broke and changed the customary representational form of landscape paintings by painting the landscape and spirit of Canada in a modern style. Carr’s life and work is recognized through the many Canadian art institutions named in her honor and the various galleries and museums that hold her work.

Emily Carr, The Indian Church, 1929

Emily Carr, The Indian Church, 1929

The late 20th century and early 21st century art scene has also been impacted with various artists from different movements and mediums. One group that should be mentioned is the media based artists, General Idea. General Idea was an active art group from 1967 to 1994, that is made up of artists Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson. General Idea’s work specialized in the twisting forms of popular mass media culture, such as beauty pageants, television talk shows and trade fair pavilions into unconventional media forms. These forms would include postcards, posters, balloons etc. General Idea’s later work addresses the AIDS crisis’s, spreading awareness of this disease through various projects. General Idea’s accomplishments include being featured in the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Canada.

A.Y. Jackson, Red Maple, 1914

A.Y. Jackson, Red Maple, 1914

General Idea, AIDS, 1988

General Idea, AIDS, 1988

Canada’s art scene is much like the country; incredibly diverse with passion and culture. The artists in this article are a few of the many who contribute to Canadian art.  However, it is important to understand that art in Canada is influential and impactful in various ways; whether its making a statement about politics or bringing awareness to a disease, art always has a purpose. With Canada’s 150th birthday coming up, it is important to not only celebrate the birth of this great nation but also to recognize it many accomplishments throughout the years, whether it be in science, culture or art.

ABUSING COPYRIGHT JUST AIN’T RIGHT

By: Lauren Ali

Three years ago, artist Richard Prince caused one of the biggest stirs in the art world with his exhibition entitled, New Portraits. In the project, he screenshotted and printed Instagram posts of celebrities and random teenagers that he then proceeded to sell for $900,000 a piece. Prince has been known in the past for violating previous copyright laws by reproducing other artists work but this project really created a stink. Perhaps it was the fact that the pieces sold for $900,000 and these people in the photographs who originally posted them on Instagram got no credit or portion of the sale. Or maybe because the project lacked creativity and Prince selectively printed sexualized photographs of women while adding unsettling comments underneath them. In all fairness, some people who had their images blown up were simply flattered by having been noticed by the photographer and to have been featured in the exhibition. However, this whole situation leads back to the main issue of copyright.

 

Instagram’s copyright laws state:

 

“Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service’s Privacy Policy, available here http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/, including but not limited to sections 3 (“Sharing of Your Information”), 4 (“How We Store Your Information”), and 5 (“Your Choices About Your Information”). You can choose who can view your Content and activities, including your photos, as described in the Privacy Policy.”

In a nutshell, it means you have the right to what you post on Instagram and you own the copyright to those images. It also states that by choosing to post on Instagram, you do not surrender your rights and ownership to those photos and anyone wishing to copy or reproduce them requires your permission. Although, it is also important to note that when you post content on the platform that it is solely your content or you have obtained the permission to post it.  

 

Initially, Prince didn’t alter the physical image at all besides deleting some comments and adding his own caption underneath it. Some could argue he didn’t appropriate the entire image since he changed the comments so it wasn’t the exact same image as before. It’s difficult to dictate what does and doesn’t qualify as copyright since it is so simple to get around the already established but rarely followed laws. When in doubt or fear of having your working being stolen, remember to upload the images at a lower resolution and add watermarks over the content. Certain websites can prevent the copying and pasting of images unless they are given proper consent by the artist. If you want to repost or reproduce, remember to contact the artist asking for their permission first! It is hard to remain truthful and original with the work that people are producing nowadays with social media circulating images every second of every day, who is to say they didn’t think of an idea first? But remember, being an artist has many challenges so it’s important to respect your fellow person and their work.

What do you think of Richard Prince’s controversial exhibition? Do you believe that what he did was an appropriation of art or he was simply taking advantage of an opportunity? Let us know below!

 

 

Priceless Art; Five Most Expensive Artworks Ever Sold.

Written by Simran Birk

It is an ironic statement, priceless art; when in fact most Van Gogh’s or Picasso's pieces are sold in the millions. So how can be art be referred as priceless if there is often a selling price. The idea that famous works of art are considered priceless, is the result of the inflating value of the artwork overtime. When a museum or private buyer acquire the infamous artworks of Warhol or Da Vinci, there is no reason to sell the work for it will always be considered valuable. With time, these pieces will be worth more than what was invested. Therefore, essentially they are considered priceless due to its exponentially increasing worth.

What classifies a ‘priceless’ work of art. The title of the most expensive artwork is shared between, Willem de Kooning, Interchange and Paul Gauguin Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?). Each were purchased at 303 million and now inhabit a museum or the collections of private buyer.

Paul Gauguin, Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?), 1892

Paul Gauguin, Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?), 1892

Willem de Kooning, Interchange, 1955

Willem de Kooning, Interchange, 1955

Paul Cézanne, The Card Players is the third most expensive piece of art. It was sold at a 256 million to the Royal Family of Qatar. The fourth most expensive piece of art sold is Jackson Pollock, Number 17A which sold at 202 million to a private buyer.

Paul Cézanne, The Card Players, 1894–1895

Paul Cézanne, The Card Players, 1894–1895

Jackson Pollock, Number 17A, 1948

Jackson Pollock, Number 17A, 1948

Finally, the fifth most expensive piece of artwork ever sold is No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red) by Mark Rothko. It was purchased by Dmitry Rybolovlev in a private sale for 188 million.

Mark Rothko, No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red), 1951

Mark Rothko, No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red), 1951

The value of art is a subjective matter; as cliché as it sounds, one mans garbage is another’s treasure. It is believed that Van Gogh had only sold one painting in his whole life; however, he is now considered a prominent figure in the world of art and his work is worth millions. This demonstrates that the value of art is ever changing. However, it is evident that the most valuable art is one whose intensity and expression has the power to impact the emotions of another. That is truly priceless art.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PUTTING ON A GALLERY EXHIBITION

Who knew so much went into planning an exhibition when making the artwork was hard enough in itself? Unfortunately putting on exhibition is more than simply printing photographs and framing them onto the wall but never fear, we have complied a small list of things for you to consider before displaying your lovely work!

1.     THE LIGHTING

It is important to consider the type of the lighting your work will be placed under. If you have fairly warm tones in your photograph and it is placed under tungsten or natural lighting, this could create an overall warm tone to your photograph that you may not want. It is key to view the space beforehand and colour balance your work to fit the lighting accordingly or bring in additional lighting as needed. Windows will also affect lighting and mixing different colour temperatures can cause an odd colour balance. Remember, the photographs will appear darker and less vibrant once printed than on your computer screen so it is always good to make multiple test prints!

2.     HOW TO DISPLAY IT

There is more than one way to exhibit your work than simply hanging it on a wall. You can use magnets to create a seamless and borderless look or use frames for a geometric structure but be sure to consider the reflection on top of the glass! The artwork could be tethered to wire and suspended from the ceiling or at the top of a wall to appear as if floating.  Depending on what surface you choose to print or paint onto such as a fabric, it can then be folded and draped across a wall. Light boxes are also a unique and innovative way to display photographs that further illuminate and intensify the details of the images.

3.     TYPES OF SURFACES

Depending on the type of surface your work is printed or painted on, the texture could create an unwanted appearance. Glossy paper is going to be highly reflective once a light is shone on it, however it makes coloured images look more vibrant and lively. Matte paper can appear quite flat and cause photographs to loose depth. It is always good to print on multiple surfaces and bring them into the gallery space to see how the look under the lighting. You could also print on: metal, wood, fabrics or glass; the possibilities are endless.

4.     SEQUENCING

If you’ve created a body of work that all flows and connects with one another, consider how they will be placed and sequenced on the wall. You can place the images chronologically as if to tell a story or if the images do not necessary belong together, they can be grouped by colour or content. Sequencing is important to keep in the back of your mind when arranging the images. Try to think as a viewer walking into the gallery and where their eyes will travel first and carry through onto the next image. How do you want the work to be observed? Be sure to leave space between each piece to allow it to be observed solely on its own or keep them together if you wish to create a different affect.

We hope these tips and tricks have given you some things to consider when planning your next exhibition! You can always draw inspiration from other galleries to see how they display their work or call on other artists for assistance and opinions. Best of luck!

Welcome to 2017

It’s that time of year again. January is the start of a new year and new adventures. Every year we all want to start our blank canvases with a shiny new coat of paint to achieve that end goal. But with our eyes on the prize and the steady stream of every day life- how can we achieve all our resolutions for the new year?

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Black on Grey), 1970

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Black on Grey), 1970

Abstract Expressionism is a 20th century movement in art that focused on using abstraction to invoke a sense of emotion for the viewer. Rather than looking at a painting, a viewer is invited to experience a painting. With large-scale works like Rothko’s Untitled (Black on Grey), 1970 and Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950 it’s easy to see how one might find themselves lost in thought, transfixed by the meditative quality of the paint.

Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950

Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950

So how can we better achieve our goals and find that perfect work-life balance for 2017? Slow down. Abstract art’s contemplative expressiveness can help us train our minds to relax, enabling us to better focus our attention and really take on our goals. Relaxing your mind, body, and soul is key for success. And what better food for the soul is there than art?

At Twist Gallery, we want to see you set new intention for this year. We change our exhibits every month so there is always something new to experience and something new to learn. January features several abstract artists and we have a whole year of exciting art to look forward to in 2017. Make time for art. Make time for you.   

Detail of Liv Collins, For You, 2017 (on exhibit at Twist Gallery until Jan 27)

Detail of Liv Collins, For You, 2017 (on exhibit at Twist Gallery until Jan 27)

Catherine Harasymiw, Cosmos A; Cosmos B (on exhibit at Twist Gallery until Jan 27)

Catherine Harasymiw, Cosmos A; Cosmos B (on exhibit at Twist Gallery until Jan 27)

Joseph Connolly

October 1st, 2016 marked a day in history for 94-year-old Joseph Connolly. It was on this day that an effervescent smile brushed his face while watching twenty-eight of his large-scaled paintings being installed before his eyes. It is now, several years later, that Connolly is reunited with a few of his beloved paintings, which were concealed in a Montréal storage. That Montréal storage was a time capsule of over a hundred pieces of Connolly’s artwork. A selection of his paintings are now being featured for the first time ever and Toronto’s Twist Art Gallery is playing host.

Before paintbrushes and stretched out canvas, Connolly was formally trained as a businessman; the owner of a women’s clothing company. By the time he was 50, he had sold the successful company to explore the road untraveled.

Connolly swapped his commerce way of thinking for an abstract way of looking at the world. He originally wanted to dip his toes in the arts by participating is a class or two to learn the various painting techniques. After being informed that he wasn’t allowed to take one class, and that he had to be a registered student, he took the plunge and enrolled at Concordia University, in Montréal, Québec. It was during the 1970’s that Concordia University embraced the young-at-heart artist and reconnected Connolly with an artistic passion that would consume him in his Montréal studio for 35 years.

Connolly’s current solo exhibition reflects the influences of his generation. His artwork varies from bold geometric abstraction to passionate brush strokes that paint the flower beds that resemble the fervor techniques of French Impressionist painter, Claude Monet.

It is now - because now is a better time than any – that the wisdom passed on from businessman and artist is being told with the support of his family. Connolly embodies the true meaning of art, what it means, and why we value it. At 94, Connolly is living proof that a person’s creative ambition is the patient warrior guiding us to our triumphant accomplishments.

Joseph Connolly. Photo Taken by Amie Lovan 

Joseph Connolly. Photo Taken by Amie Lovan 

Joseph Connolly and his family. Photo taken by Amie Lovan 

Joseph Connolly and his family. Photo taken by Amie Lovan 

 Joseph Connolly’s solo exhibition is being held at Twist Gallery, located at 1100 Queen St. West, Toronto. It is open to the public from Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 6pm, October 1st to October 29th, 2016. 

KINO SPACE: Artist Feature

Kino Space is currently on at Twist for the month of September. The show consists of several artists who work in the film industry with a diverse background in photography, painting and mixed media works. KINOSPACE began as a way for artists working in the film industry to get out of their working studio environments and create and collaborate together.  

This week we’d like to take a closer look at Shari Lee Hollis’s work and her process behind it. Shari creates large scale oil paintings on wood. Her work is inspired by personal notes to self, and things we need to remind ourselves of. A particular standout piece of hers in the show is three wood panels titled 'Let Go or Be Dragged'. Shari says this piece evolved from the idea of human nature’s pattern to often repeat a behaviour over and over hoping for a different outcome when what we really need to do is just let go for change or to move forward, saying that “sometimes we need a fix foot painting with a relevant message to push us forward!”

Shari was kind enough to share some images of work in progress.

Kino Space runs until September, so be sure to come by the gallery to see this and more in person.

Peep The Technique: Gary Barnett

Gary Barnett is an abstract painter residing in Kitchener, ON. This month Gary's best works are being featuring in his solo exhibition, 'One Concept' here at Twist Gallery. We caught up with Gary at the opening reception for his show to learn about where he gets his inspiration and the techniques he uses in his work.

How have your past experiences in music and graphic design led you to pursue painting?

Well music, I got involved with music when I was very young actually. I started taking piano lessons when I was about ten years old. A little bit beyond that I got into new age music, which really is a more natural, organic type of music, so I think that got me interested in other forms of art, which led me into graphic design. I took graphic design in college and in that program I studied life drawing, which really inspired me to go more in the direction of fine art rather than graphic design.

 

Explain the philosophy or concept behind the artistic style in your paintings.

The concept for my paintings when I first started painting, I used to draw landscapes, flowers, trees, I think I was inspired by nature like most artists are. But I soon realized I was just copying nature and I wasn’t really happy with the results I was getting, so I wanted to experiment with trying to re-create nature. I guess it comes from the concept that all nature, all life in the universe is just chemistry and energy, we’re basically just a mass of energy floating through time and space, that was kind of the initial concept behind my art. Then I started using paint, mixing it with different chemicals, applying forces to the paint rather than controlling the paint with a brush or a knife or other traditional tools. I started blowing the paint, using gravity to control the paint, vibration, and mixing different chemicals with the paint to see what kind of results I could get. Basically the idea is that I wanted to create a natural event on the canvas, actually re-create life on the canvas, or as close as I could get to that.

You have a unique method of painting that combines paint and natural forces. Can you explain this technique?

The technique is again based on the fact that all life is chemistry, and through experimenting with different chemicals , mixing different types of paint together, I use different forces to control the paint. I have a table that I work on that’s about eight feet long and about four feet wide with a glass top. So what I do is I lay a canvas on the table, soak it so it’s really flat, and then I start pouring the paint on the canvas and start using forced air to blow the paint, add different chemicals with the paint, I mix different types of paint together. One thing I’ve discovered is that at a molecular level, acrylic paint and different types of paint are very similar to organic life. So when you mix them together and apply energy to them you can get very interesting, natural results that appear, fine details and things that happen in nature that you see in plants or frost on a window for example, and you can get that by manipulating the different types of paints.

What do you want people to feel when they see your work?

I guess I want them to feel the same way that they would feel looking at a sunset or looking at an ocean or just looking at nature. I think a lot of paintings, they create the mood or they depict that scene but you don’t really feel that energy or feel that connection with nature and that’s what I’m trying to depict with my paintings, to re-create that emotion that you feel when you look at nature.

 

What sets your work apart from other abstract painters?

What would set me apart is the fact that all of my paintings are all based on this one central concept of energy, nature and life, and in effect trying to re-create nature on the canvas, and I think a lot of painters, they create a concept, each painting has its own message or it own concept, whereas for me all of my style of paintings relates to one central concept, which I think makes me different than most painters.

Where/how can people learn more about you and get in touch?

The best way to get in touch with me is through my website at www.garybarnett.ca. There’s links to all my social media on there and also my e-mail.

Gary's exhibit, 'One Concept' is open to the public until December 12th, check our Exhibitions section or go to www.garybarnett.ca for more info on the exhibit and Gary's work.


Putting A Price Tag on Your Magnum Opus

As an artist it can be a challenge earning yourself and your artwork recognition, this can be a daunting task on its own. But once you have established yourself and your style the next step is making it all worthwhile, a.k.a selling your work and actually making a profit.

One of the most important factors concerning selling one’s artwork is pricing. It is easy to set the bar high for yourself but it is also all too common for artists to sell themselves short, resulting in lost time, money and effort, which can become very discouraging.

Obviously if you are an artist you do what you do because you are passionate about it, not because you want to make money. But taking yourself and your work to the next level requires a marriage between this passion and a business-minded approach to pricing your work.

Here are some key tips to consider when deciding how much you think you and your artwork is worth:

 

1. Materials.

First and foremost, whatever the cost of all materials used in producing any given artwork should be the base for giving it a price tag. Let’s say you spend $60 on all materials for a single piece, start here.

 

2. Time.

Decide on an hourly wage that you think you deserve, but be realistic. If you haven’t sold anything before, then start low, obviously no lower than minimum wage. Then multiply this number by how many hours you spent working on your piece, plus the cost of materials.

And remember; base this off how much time you spent working on the piece, not how long it took you to complete it. Let’s say your wage is $18/hour and you spent 10 hours working on it, that’s $180.

 

3. Be competitive.

Now that you have priced your work according to the cost of your materials and the time you have devoted to your baby, take a look around. Explore how much people are paying for similar artwork by similar artists within your community or artist network.

You don’t want to charge way more than other artists are charging for art that looks just as good as yours, nor should you sell yourself short. This is the trickiest part of setting your price and it can add hundreds if not thousands of dollars to your price tag.

 

Planning Your Event at Twist

Whether it is a wedding, corporate event, seminar or any kind of celebration, it is our passion to deliver to our clients a personalized and unforgettable experience here at Twist Gallery. Over the past 6 years we have hosted countless events ranging from wedding receptions, to yoga seminars, to corporate conferences to virtual reality film festivals and we have had a blast doing it. In working with our event partners we have the ability to give our clients an acting role in planning their event down to the smallest detail, and this is what keeps our clients coming back.

Through working with some of Toronto’s most notable catering organizations we are able to make the food at your event a major hit with your guests. With top-notch presentation, quality control and creativity our caterers can impress even the most skeptical foodies. Whether your event calls for a 5-course meal, or simply snacks and appetizers, our caterers have proven over the years that food will be a major hit with your guests.

Consider our 5,000 square foot venue as a blank canvas that can be fully customized and transformed into your ideal event space. With fully customizable furniture, bar, food, lighting and sound options you can make your dream event a reality. Call us today to get started on planning your next big event with Twist Gallery.

KINO SPACE

Kino, the word for cinema in several languages, has become synonymous with a cinematic movement that encourages non-competitive creativity and community amongst filmmakers internationally. KINOSPACE is committed to spotlighting Canada’s screen-based artists by showcasing works from a diversity of backgrounds, provinces, mediums and formats including: film imagery as photographic stills; short films; painting; photography; and mixed-media works.

                                                                                                                      Works by Youri Makovski

                                                                                                                      Works by Youri Makovski

KINOSPACE began as a way for artists working in Canada’s film industry, unionized and independent filmmakers, craftspeople and technicians to get out of the studios and collaborate together. Launching this exhibition during the month of September enriches the film festival spirit in the city by broadening and opening doors for artists to participate and engage in Toronto’s major celebration of cinema while exhibiting a broad spectrum of image art talent from Canada’s community of film makers.

                                                                                                    Works by Annie Bradford Metheany

                                                                                                    Works by Annie Bradford Metheany

The exhibit features work by Chagall Velleneuve-Hollis, Shari Lee Hollis, Youri Makovski, Jack Ruttan, Jeremy Kane, Frances Mckenzie, Annie Bradford Metheany, Debbie Wong and Jasmine Mujkanovic. Each artist brings a unique artistic style to the table and showcases their creative abilities aside from those they demonstrate in Canada’s film industry. Twist Gallery invites you to experience the pieces on display in KINOSPACE that cumulatively resonate a deeply genuine and organic portrayal of each artist’s talents apart from the film industry. 

                                                                                                                      Works by Shari Lee Hollis

                                                                                                                      Works by Shari Lee Hollis

                                                                                                                        Works by Debbie Wong

                                                                                                                        Works by Debbie Wong

                                                                                                              Works by Jasmine Mujkanovic

                                                                                                              Works by Jasmine Mujkanovic

                                                                                              Works by Jeremy Kane and Jack Ruttan

                                                                                              Works by Jeremy Kane and Jack Ruttan

                                                                                                                  Works by Frances Mckenzie

                                                                                                                  Works by Frances Mckenzie

                                                                                                       Work by Chagall Velleneuve-Hollis

                                                                                                       Work by Chagall Velleneuve-Hollis

Output - Spring at Twist Gallery

This month at Twist Gallery we are proud to be featuring photographic work by alumni of Humber College’s renowned Creative Photography Program. The diversity of approaches to photography is quite broad and each artist has done a stunning job of putting their own twist on the conventions of photography.

 In the spirit of the annual CONTACT photography festival that spans across Toronto for the month of May, we have focused this month’s exhibit on photography. It is an interesting time in the world of photography as the tools needed to experiment with photography are now readily available to almost everyone. Almost all mobile devices these days now have built-in cameras to utilize, many more people have their own camera, and quality has become evermore affordable. Social media has also opened the door for the masses to photography, with apps like Instagram that allow anyone to have a chance to develop their own photographic style.

Last month’s exhibition “Reverie” featured the portfolios of photographic work by students graduating from Humber’s Creative Photography Program this year. If you checked it out you would have seen the works of talented emerging photographers. It is interesting to see where the artists in this month’s exhibit are at in their photographic journey knowing they too were once curating their own portfolios for graduation. We invite you to experience the work that these alumni have produced in their artistic journey since their graduation from Humber’s Creative Photography Program.