toronto art

Toronto: Art is who we are

Written by: Aleksandra Kaliszuk

The City of Toronto has a diverse identity, thriving in arts and culture. Toronto is home to 66% more artists than any other Canadian city. This is directly reflected in the numerous galleries, local eateries, museums and startups that make the city so interesting; the opportunities to create and experience art are everywhere! Toronto hosts 80 film festivals, is home to 10 city owned museums, 200 professional internationally known performing arts organizations, and hosts numerous annual events that support art culture, such as Nuit Blanche, Doors Open Toronto and Cavalcade of Lights. Such attractions and events contribute to the city’s sense of involvement and community. Toronto celebrates local talent and often showcases it throughout the city; there are more than 200 city owned public art works and historical monuments located throughout the city contributing to the generally urban landscape. There are often new installations appearing in new spots throughout the city, such as the annual Waterfront BIA exhibitions of lakefront art (up until February 25, 2018); encouraging city dwellers to pause hibernating during this cold season and explore.

Retrieved from torontolife.ca

The plethora of cultural hubs and attractions in downtown Toronto make it easy for seemingly anyone to find something they are interested in experiencing or pursuing. Annually, Toronto’s cultural economy contributes approximately $11.3 billion to the city’s GDP, which is more than the energy, agriculture, mining, and forestry industries contribute combined!

Most attractions such as museums, galleries, and artistically driven neighbourhoods are located in and around the downtown core, such as the West Queen West BIA (coincidently where Twist Gallery is located) making it a desirable area for many tourists and Torontonians to visit. These areas are also home to some of the city’s most recognizable, and photogenic works of graffiti and street art created by local artists such as Ben Johnston, Kellen Hatanaka, and Arturo Parada (also known as DUROTHETHIRD).  Each of their works can be seen along Queen Street West, extending the charm of Queen Street’s infamous Graffiti Alley to other areas of downtown. Their work brightens up our city by adding colour and artistic flare while keeping it from becoming a boring concrete jungle. No wonder Queen Street West was noted as one of the hip-est streets on the globe in 2014 by Vogue Magazine!

Retrieved from westqueenwest.ca

Being part of the city, we at Twist Gallery, love to support the community and local artists. Our April group exhibit will do just that: support local artists and showcase Toronto cityscapes through their unique perspectives.

 

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

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!