Posted: June 12th, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Tags: Art, artist, definition, jewellery, mixed media, music, painting, photography, sculpture, stereotype, unique | No Comments »
It has become a lesson in elementary schools to ask young children to draw a scientist. There are generalisations and misconceptions about who scientists are and educators are trying to change this in order to mould the next generation of people practising science, particularly women. When drawing this picture, children often draw a man with crazy hair and test tubes – think Albert Einstein. But is this who scientists really are? Definitely not.
The same could be done for artists. Who exactly is an artist? Children might draw a man, if they are familiar with classic famous artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, or Claude Monet. Their artist would probably be holding a paintbrush and a palette. Even adults might make the same decisions because art is difficult to define. There are so many types of art that artists can make. Is music art? Is designing clothing or jewellery art? We believe so. And let’s not forget sculptures, blown glass, photography, and the countless creative expressions like mixed media, pop art, and digital media works. Advances in technology have only brought us a vaster collection of types of art in various medias. Even paintings come in a variety of styles: acrylic, watercolour, oil, pastels, et cetera.
Thus, an artist is next to impossible to confine to a specific category. The only label that can define everyone is “artist” itself. Art can mean something unique to everyone as each person sees it in a different light.
At Twist Gallery, we love art in all its forms and regardless of what it is, its creator is an artist. Stop by anytime to appreciate some art with us or have a chat about what art is and means to you.
See you soon,
Nadia Kakridonis – Director
Posted: June 1st, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Tags: abstract, acrylic, cityscapes, eleven, group exhibit, human figures, impressions, landscapes, new, oil, paintings, Toronto, Twist Gallery, watercolour | No Comments »
Hello blog-reading friends,
Announcing… our newest exhibit! It’s entitled Impressions Eleven and features the works of 11 local artists, hence the name. It will be running for a short time, June 4th – 14th, so you don’t want to miss out. Our opening reception is on June 7th and we hope to see you all there.
So who are these artists, you ask? We will be featuring the work of: Mel Delija, Mara Schiavetto, John Bellinger, Eva Resch, Joan Forsythe, Marion Wilson, Alfred Sullivan, Bill Wehrspann, Barbara Crowe, Martha dela Fuente and Elaine Ostfield. They are all local artists and the majority of them are members of the Forest Hill Art Club, which was founded in 1949. This historic club is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide art studio sessions at a low cost and promote members’ work. Many of the artists meet there at least one a week and much of the work displayed has been done there. These artists have numerous solo and group experience and they work in a variety of styles and media providing us with numerous vibrant expressions.
Next question – why so many artists in one exhibit? Every artist has their own particular style. These works were chosen as a deliberate showcase of eleven different impressions of eleven individualistic styles. What ties them all together is the fact that they all depict similar subject matter. It’s interesting to see different perspectives as we all see art in our own way.
And finally – what kind of exhibit is this? The type of work displayed is mainly representational. They range all the way from depictions of human figures to landscapes to cityscapes. There are even abstractions and non-objective works. The works are completed in oils, watercolours, and even acrylics – definitely something for everyone!
Hope you’re as excited as we are and see you soon at Twist Gallery!
Posted: February 1st, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Comments Off
Did you know that there are approximately 250,000 child soldiers around the world? And that 40% are young girls?
Casey Narcis wants you to know.
Casey Narcis is an artist with a conscience. An artist who wishes to provoke and engage viewers with images that speak to pressing social issues. During the month of February, he will be debuting the “What If…Collection,” a photo exhibit that seeks to educate, disturb and spark discussion around the prevalent and immoral use of children in war zones. We recently spoke to Casey and asked him about his motivations, his relationship to art, and his involvement with War Child Canada.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background? How did you get your start as an artist?
I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 10 years and being a creative person, this type of career was not very rewarding for me. I have always been interested in the arts – from fashion, graphic design, photography, etc. – and appreciated the creative process. I purchased my first camera about 10 years ago and started to explore photography as a hobby. Photography had captured my passion and has given me a voice without words. I became so involved in this art form that I used every spare moment to learn and understand the craft. I fell in love with this medium because it allowed me to expose another side of my creativity. Photography is not a job for me; it’s a hobby that has extended itself.
What is it that draws you to the photographic medium?
For me, it’s the ability to tell a story and invoke emotion in one single frame.
How would you define/describe conceptual art?
Art in itself is expressive and personal from the creator and from the viewer’s perspective. Conceptual art lives in the “idea”… and asks to look beyond your eye.
Do you feel that artists always have a responsibility to use their creative platform to speak out against social injustices and to critique prevailing systems of oppression?
Artists have the advantage of reaching out to the masses. I do believe they have some responsibility to give back to their audience is a positive way. Let’s face it: actors, athletes and artists all play a major role in society. Whether it’s through their music, photographic images, painting, writing etc., all artists have a responsibility to speak out about “a cause” and help to correct some of the wrong in our society.
To some degree, artists do have the responsibility to critique current oppression to bring awareness to society. Artists have the ability to empower their audiences through their art, and should take advantage of that gift.
How did you come up with the concept for the “What If…Collection”? What was your process for carrying out this concept?
What I wanted to do was tell the story of a child soldier living in conflict from a North American perspective, and with that idea, “What if…” came to mind. What if this was your child, a war child? I wanted the images to be home base, real Canadian children in a real Canadian lifestyle…kids that we are familiar with and care about. They are not wearing rags, there’s no sense of disconnect. By adding one variable to the image – the AK-47 – the whole perspective changes.
How did your connection to War Child Canada come about?
I was inspired by one of their campaign commercials on TV and thought to myself as a photographer, “What can I do to contribute to this cause?” I decided to go to their office and speak with Barbara Harmer, Director of Music and Special Initiatives for War Child Canada. We had an in-depth conversation about War Child Canada and its initiatives. It was that simple. Barbara was very helpful, and we’ve collaborated for the past four years up to today.
In your collection of photos, you ask “What if…this was your child?” How do you hope that people respond to this question?
We live in a society in which we are privileged to have many things, and sometimes these privileges are taken for granted. There are families that live in a society where they do not have the opportunity or basic rights to conserve what being a child is all about.
What I’m trying to achieve is an unsettling feeling of discomfort. The military use of children is wrong, and in most cases this type of injustice only affects us when we conceptually place our own children in that type of environment. I hope the viewers can equate that what happens to children all around the world indirectly and directly affects ours.
What can Canadians do to help end the use of child soldiers in civil/global conflicts?
As Canadians, we have many organizations at the forefront of helping millions of children who are living in the worst humanitarian crisis — helping them to survive and rebuild their lives. These organizations include War Child, Canadian Red Cross, UNICEF, and many more. We need to educate ourselves and become aware of what is taking place in these conflict areas, not turn a blind eye because “it’s too sad.” We can all help by donating to or volunteering with these organizations that are helping to restore hope and opportunities for families living in conflict.
There was a great deal of debate last year around Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 campaign to make Joseph Kony (head of the LRA) famous. Given your investment in exploring the issue of child soldiers, what are your thoughts regarding the campaign?
I found it very sad to see a campaign come to an abrupt end because of the validity of the director and all of the individuals involved. I also found this campaign insulting to those organizations who are trying to save these children and that truly care. Jason Russell, the man behind Kony 2012, did not seem to care about the children and families who are living in conflict areas, or those who are trying to rebuild their lives. His approach to cover the city with Joseph Kony is something that the survivors today would not want to see…let alone make him famous. I found he “oversimplified” the subject of child soldiers.
Regardless of the end result with respect to Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign, the reality is that child soldiers exist today and there are many reputable organizations that do make a difference.
You clearly have a great love for Toronto, which is the city you choose to live and work in. What do you most love about this city and what makes it a great place for artists?
I love Toronto!!! Because of the multiculturalism, you have an opportunity to relish in many different cultures. I find people in Toronto are very accepting to diversity, which is one of the reasons that this exhibit has moved along successfully for me.
Every time I leave Toronto and I’m on the flight coming back, I always say to myself “I’m home.”
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists (of any discipline)?
Being an artist requires not only talent but also hard work and dedication in any of the disciplines. Success will unlikely be knocking at your door; you need to be motivated and make each song, each photograph, each painting, and each piece your best work.
Being an artist is not a 9 – 5 job. It’s a lifestyle.
What’s next for you after this show?
What’s next? Continue to push the envelope and consistently create art with a conscience. My next project is going to touch on the consistent use of “Jim Crow” imagery in hip hop. That is all I can say about my project at this time. You’ll have to wait and see.
The “What If…Collection” runs at Twist Gallery during the month of February. For further information on the exhibit, visit Casey’s website at http://www.caseynarcis.com/index2.php.
To find out more about War Child Canada’s initiatives and how you can help, please go to http://www.warchild.ca.
50% of all proceeds from the”What If…Collection” will be going to War Child Canada.
Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Comments Off
“I wanted Twist Gallery to be different from other art galleries. I wanted it to be the type of art gallery where people didn’t feel intimidated. Even if people didn’t follow art or know about art, I wanted them to feel comfortable to walk in and say hello. I wanted to change the perception of how people view art galleries.” – Nadia Kakridonis
Nadia was recently featured in the Career section of She Does the City, a great online magazine for women. She talks about her personal experiences with running a gallery, her views of the Toronto art scene, and her passion for art and events.
Check out the profile here: http://bit.ly/WicuyL
A special thanks to She Does the City for writing a great article and supporting women who are passionate about their careers!
Posted: January 17th, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Comments Off
“What if… this was your child?”
During the month of February, Twist Gallery is honoured to welcome photographer Casey Narcis and his thought-provoking “What If Collection.” In juxtaposing scenes of Western child subjects with military accoutrement and weaponry, Narcis creates unsettling images that force us to confront the innocence stolen from children due to the increasing recruitment of child soldiers in guerilla warfare.
Tickets to the Exhibit Opening (February 2nd at 6:30 pm) are free and can be reserved at firstname.lastname@example.org.
50% of all proceeds will go to War Child Canada, an organization dedicated to providing education, justice and opportunity to children and youth in war-torn communities. Donations can be made at http://www.warchild.ca/donate.html
You can read more about the artist’s work at http://www.caseynarcis.com/index2.php#/home/
Posted: January 10th, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Comments Off
Tasnuva Hasan is a recent graduate of OCADU who majored in Drawing and Painting. Tasnuva’s expertise is on colour and her main studio practice deals with abstraction.
The “Open Minded” exhibition showcases her best and most current works from her final year at OCADU. The five paintings on display share the common theme of an emotional state of being. Tasnuva exploits the associations of certain colours in order to construct a specific colour palette for each painting; each colour palette is designed to evoke the particularities of the emotion under study. Furthermore, texture is used to add in-depth details throughout the work.
During her undergrad years, Tasnuva became highly interested in psychology after taking an introductory class on the subject at OCADU. She studied the human emotions and one of her assignments dealt with the subject matter of depression. For the assignment, she was able — through her colour palette and painting techniques — to capture a phase a patient diagnosed with depression may suffer from. Automatically, this led her to further explore the psychological conflicts and issues that most of us face.
Currently, Tasnuva is working as a part-time art teacher at High Park Family Fun Place. She is also a freelance painter. Tasnuva hopes to pursue her master’s in the future.
Tasnuva Hasan‘s work is showing at Twist Gallery as part of the “Open Minded” group exhibit, which runs until January 26. The show also features the eclectic pieces of Amy Smillie, Brian Lopes Brito, Callen Schaub, Danielle Edwards, Kate Hogg, and Minjeong Kim.
Posted: January 8th, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Comments Off
This series of paintings focuses on the embodied experience of the present moment. The past and the future are concepts that assist us in understanding the passage of time. The current moment is our only opportunity for experience, poised between memory of the past and the mind’s projection into the future. My paintings are a visual representation of this specific state of mind.
As I paint, I consciously attempt to minimize the clutter of preconceived expectations and instead focus on the immediacy of the moment. Colors, composition, texture and movement are applied on canvas, driven by the natural and often unpredictable behavior of the selected materials as they intersect with my intuitive actions during the formative moment. Acceleration, both centripetal and gravitational, is used to manipulate the paint on the canvas.
My hope is that these paintings will inspire you to experience your own present moment.
Toronto resident Callen Schaub is attending his 5th-year at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Callen specializes in painting, illustration and mural work. He is also a metal sculptor, set designer and art teacher at the Don Valley Art Club, Forest Hill Art Club, City of Toronto Community and Story Planet. He has organized and curated group and solo art shows and has done commissioned murals, book illustrations and published magazine illustrations.
Check out Callen Schaub‘s work in Twist Gallery’s Open Minded group exhibit, running until Jan. 26, 2013. Also featuring the pieces of Amy Smillie, Brian Lopes Brito, Danielle Edwards, Kate Hogg, Minjeong Kim, and Tasnuva Hasan.
Posted: January 4th, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Comments Off
I work with an array of materials, looking at the colours and textures they can produce and the senses they can evoke. I’m inspired by pattern and repetition through both natural evolutions and man-made wonders like a formation of a pine-cone or a ceiling full of mosaics.
My thesis year at OCAD took me to Italy and abroad—with my heart skipping a beat behind me. Viewing other cities, cultures, and environments that were foreign to mine opened me up and shrunk me down all at once. It is a wonderful feeling when you realize just how awe-inspiring our planet is, and how much more is out there still to be experienced. The work I have for “Open Minded” is quite personal, using myself as reference for explorations of visual stimulus and optical illusions. I am most excited to witness how others perceive and experience these illusions within the Twist environment.
Kate Hogg is a recent OCAD grad and an artist whose work is featured in the “Open Minded” exhibit, running until January 26, 2013. Drop by Twist Gallery between 7-11 pm on Friday, January 4th and meet the artists at our opening reception.
Posted: January 3rd, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Comments Off
A fascination with anatomy and decomposition of the human flesh allowed me to intertwine creativity with the fear of the unknown. Before even being accepted into OCAD, I had long been intrigued with Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, Andres Serrano, George Romero (Night of the Living Dead) and Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, whose work all revolve around the unknown, death, macabre, bones and shock factor. I longed to achieve the shock factor.
While at OCAD, I studied vigorously the skeletal and muscular systems of both animal and human, getting a clear understanding of what makes up the human body. My interest in anatomy had become obsessive and my works had gotten darker. My once colourful still lifes were now sober vanitas. By my third year, I was known as “the zombie kid.” My parents always found it odd that I preferred Halloween over Christmas, but supported my work 100% (even if they didn’t get it).
I graduated from OCAD with a Major in Drawing & Painting as well as a double minor in English & Creative Writing in 2012. In the same year, I was accepted into University of Ontario Institute of Technology for my Bachelor of Education. Since then, I’ve been involved with many functions/ fundraisers, including Sick Kids Hospital where Rogers Television provided me with an exclusive interview to share with its viewers.
My hopes are to someday impact the minds of my students the same way many professors at OCAD impacted mine and supported my creativity. Inspiring the minds of those deemed incapable of achieving success fuels my need to create and teach.
Brian Lopes Brito is one of the artists whose work is currently on display at Twist Gallery. Featuring seven recent graduates of OCAD, the “Open Minded” exhibit runs from January 3-26, 2013. All are welcome to the show’s opening reception on Friday, January 4 from 7-11 p.m.
Posted: January 2nd, 2013 | Author: Admin | Filed under: General | Comments Off
This month, we welcome seven talented artists to Twist Gallery for our “Open Minded” group exhibit. All are 2012 graduates of the Ontario College of Art and Design, each artist occupying a unique viewpoint and utilizing a diverse range of artistic techniques.
Amy Smillie is one of the young artists whose work will be featured at Twist from January 3-26, 2013. She recently spoke to us regarding her aspirations, creative processes, and artistic interests:
Coming fresh out of a high school that had been mostly focused on the left side of the brain, it nearly goes without saying that my undergraduate years at OCAD were some of the most eye-opening, heart-inflaming assessments of ability I’ve ever had the pleasure to undergo. The body of work I’ve produced for this show was therefore directly informed by the approach to making art I’ve built up during my time in the Drawing and Painting program there, and in many ways it continues to serve as a cornerstone of my artistic foundation. Following OCAD, I’ve started taking classes at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI) with the intentions of sharing the healing benefits of art with others, and am quite excited to be pursuing a profession that effectively combines my two favourite fields. It is one of my primary goals at this time to do well in my Expressive Arts studies, and become an RCAT— a registered Canadian Art Therapist.
As for the type of art that I do… it’s all very intuitive. Jungian analytical psychology will no doubt have quite a bit to say about all the symbolism and archetypes being used. For one thing, I’ve always enjoyed contrasts in painting—organic vs. geometric, complex vs. simplified shapes—and have discovered upon many a piece’s completion that the human subjects serve as miniature environments unto themselves. How each figure remains a holistic entity apart from nature… as much as nature constitutes a central part of their being.
Utilizing my primary medium of acrylic paint on both canvas and wood paneling, I create celebratory studies of life through the everyday becoming uncanny, and demonstrate how even the most seemingly mundane of objects, outlooks, and domestic situations can hold a certain spark. One that can become everything from psychologically fascinating to inexplicably unsettling, depending on their interpersonal associations within an ordered space.
My creative process includes the extensive use of photography to get a sense for the hyperreal, without ever actually trying to delve into the perfect mimicry the reference already provides. Instead just focusing on the initial impressions of the copied image, but also occasionally endeavoring to digitally manipulate it to either enhance or fragment the figures and background. Giving my viewers the “blurry glimpses of clarity beneath the artifice,” so to speak.
“Open Minded” is showing at Twist Gallery from January 3-26, 2013. Amy’s work will be displayed alongside the art of Minjeong Kim, Brian Lopes Brito, Callen Schaub, Tasnuva Hasan, Kate Hogg, and Danielle Edwards. Everyone is welcome to attend the exhibit’s opening reception on Friday, January 4, 7-11 pm.