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.


“Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibility.”

                                                                                                                   - Anne Hathaway


By: Marryiam Niazi

Summer is the season of opportunity. A chance to get outdoors. A chance to eat Gelato and ice-cream. Music and Fairs. Food Festivals. Pomegranates and Promenades. On a more sentimental note, it's WEDDING SEASON!!!

Is there a bigger milestone than your own wedding?


Maybe. However, we can't seem to think of any. Weddings bond couples and families for a lifetime of happiness, bliss and surprises. It's no wonder planning a wedding is so taxing, both financially and emotionally. Having a summer wedding only adds to this heat. No matter which part of your wedding planning journey you're at, TWIST GALLERY is here to support you. We're rooting for your success in marking the beginning of your eternal bliss. Here are 5 tips to start you off.

1. Serve Sparkling Lemonade:

The most vibrant part of summer is the yellow sun. The sweetness and yellow hues of cold lemonade capture this essence. Starting your wedding reception off with lemonade is a great way to cool off your guests. Every time they drink a lemonade, it will always remind them of your wedding. Every time they drink a lemonade, it will always remind them of your wedding. Plus, it's much cheaper than champagne. 


2. Book a Venue in Advance:

Summer weddings are a big trend, especially in western countries. Summer is a very small window of opportunity for outdoor weddings. However, couples share this space with other event managers. The supply of venues is equally matched, if not surpassed for demand. Weddings have to compete alongside festivals, trade shows and shopping/media fairs for space. It is always a good idea to book your wedding well in advance. This will help ensure you get the setting you desire, minus the headache and last minute add-in costs. At TWIST GALLERY,  our venue starts to book a year in advance for summer wedding receptions. The best time to book a summer wedding is when it's still cold outside. 


3. Embrace Summer Themes:

The most popular and vibrant summer colours are similar to summer produce. Bright hues of orange, yellow and white. Speaking of white, it really is all about you and the dress. To top off, you can include lavender flowers as centerpieces, green goblets and feminine, sky blue bridesmaid dresses.

4.Throw Lots of Shade:

Summer Weddings are probably the place where throwing shade is acceptable. Make sure to cover your outdoor wedding with tents and cool shelter. Depending on how hot it is, you may want to consider putting up fans or offering extra ice cubes by the buckets. This will be especially necessary if your wedding vows run the length of River Nile. Which is actually a GOOD THING! 


5. Try Ice Cream Cake:

Like winter, traditional wedding cake are white and layered. However, a summer wedding calls for a summer style cake. Ice Cream Cake are the Holy Grail of summer. You can choose from an assortment of custom-made ones for your wedding. Did someone say BASKIN-ROBBINS? The Ice cream will appeal to everyone's inner kid. You can get away with it too. It's still a cake!! These cakes go well in the spirit of a summer wedding: fresh, creamy and cold. Just the perfect complement to your warm and glowing love. 



May your wedding bloom like sunflowers.

Twist Gallery

The Introspective Nature of Architecture

By: Marryiam Niazi

    April showers bring may flowers. Here at Twist Gallery, they also bring concrete and glass. We kicked this rainy weather off by showcasing our much-awaited installation series, called Cityscapes.

    Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America, behind New York and Los Angeles. This city is a diverse hub of people from all walks of earth. The different neighborhoods of Toronto vary by their cultural distinctions, commercial investments and gourmet delights. The link between all areas of Toronto is the strong architecture that connects the city. In an attempt to explore this common thread, Twist Gallery decided to put Toronto’s architecture up for public introspection.


Artwork from The Toronto Sunrise Series Collection by Taku Kumabe

Artwork from The Toronto Sunrise Series Collection by Taku Kumabe

Marzena Kotapska`s vibrant acrylics of Toronto capture its energy and people

Marzena Kotapska`s vibrant acrylics of Toronto capture its energy and people


     The artists featured in Cityscapes are fellow Torontonians. They have a first-person account of what the city feels and looks like. These urban dwellers have channeled the inspiration from architecture into art. This is no easy process. It involves hours of observation, people watching and deep introspection. These steps are just the beginning. The next step in their work involves carving out hours of isolates time slots, gathering materials/resources and making art out of architecture. In doing so, they have managed to provide Twist Gallery patrons with visible nuances and perspectives on the same city.

    Our Cityscapes exhibit includes a mix of art styles. Kotapska’s version of Toronto is colorful and energetic scenes of the city in motion. Meanwhile, Lorie Slater prints her city on metal. Her pictures are a more jagged edged perspective on the fast-paced realities of city life. One of the pieces that seems commonplace, yet very significant is the image of a subway station car (Finch Car). Many people associate architecture only with buildings. However, architecture is not just stationary shelter. In her collection, Slater argues that moving objects ( streetcars, subway trains etc) are equally important and connected to large infrastructure. In fact, one might even refer to them as “Connecting Architecture”.

King & Bay Streetcar, Lori Slater

King & Bay Streetcar, Lori Slater


TWIST GALLERY invites you to come check out your city, from a fresh pair of eyes. Cityscapes runs for the full month of April. We want to hear what you have to say. After all, it is YOUR CITY!

Students in the Spotlight

Written by: Aleksandra Kaliszuk


This month, Twist Gallery is pleased to be featuring artwork created by students from the Visual Arts Claude Watson program at Earl Haig; a high school located in North York. The program gives talented students professional training in their field and experiential learning opportunities that help them develop their art and individualism. The school prioritizes their talent as much as their academic careers, shaping their minds and letting them express themselves through dance, drama, film arts, music, and of course, visual arts. 

Works included in the exhibit are created by students from grades nine to twelve, and feature a variety of mediums, such as watercolour, graphite, acrylic and photography. The students were actively involved in aspects of exhibit curation and the set up process.

The exceptional work and attention to detail is truly inspiring. It is no wonder that the exhibit has received great feedback from the public so far. 

Encouraging individualism, creativity, and self expression at a young age, allows youth to develop their talents and reach their true potential. Gaining exposure and gallery presence as an emerging artist is exciting and beneficial. Such opportunities allow the students to gain experience and exposure, which can lead to great successes in the future. 

Come visit Twist Gallery to see the refreshing perspectives of Toronto youth. The exhibit is up for the entire month of March! 

Artist Project 2018

Written by: Aleksandra Kaliszuk

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Thinking of things to do this weekend? Consider checking out the Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair taking place at the Better Living Centre (Exhibition Place, Toronto). Here for a short time only, from February 22th to 25th, the Artist Project is hosted in Toronto for the 11th consecutive year, and has yet to disappoint. The art fair features various works from over 250 local and international artists and appeals to artists and art lovers alike. 

Guests have the opportunity of chatting with the artists and purchasing art directly from them! Find out exactly what inspires your favourite artists! 



Aside from a guaranteed good time, there are various exciting events and installations that take place during the fair. There is an Art Battle held on Friday February 23, featuring 16 selected artists competing in a 20 minute live painting competition. The audience plays an interactive role in the event and has the opportunity to vote for the best painting! 



OCAD University, one of Canada’s largest art and design universities, partners with the Artist Project to put on a presentation called ‘Under Construction’ by James Knott. This presentation runs throughout the weekend, and explores reality, its notions and challenges, through a queer perspective. Showtimes are listed on the Artist Project website. 

The UnTapped Emerging Artists Competition, presented by DeSerres, features 20 selected emerging artists. Chosen out of hundred of applicants, these artists are given the opportunity to showcase their work in a dedicated space at a professional level art fair, free of charge. This allows them to gain exposure and network with other artists. This competition is dedicated to supporting the development of students and emerging artists and to bridge the gap between professional and emerging artists.



You may even run into some of Twist Gallery’s very own at the fair. Artists such as Michelle Vella, Carolina Vargas, Lori Mirabelli and Zoey Zoric, have showcased their work at Twist Gallery in the past, and will be featured at the Artist Project. You can even get a sneak peak of the upcoming April exhibit at Twist, by admiring Lorie Slater’s work at the fair. 



If you are from out of town - Artist Project has got you covered. Located in downtown Toronto, the fair is accessible by TTC, Go Train, and is surrounded by public parking for those who decide to drive. Artist Project has also partnered with the Gladstone Hotel to offer those who choose to stay the night 20% off their stay. All direction and promotional details can be found on their website; www.theartistproject.com.  


Twist Gallery: The Wedding Venue You’ve Been Looking For

Written by: Aleksandra Kaliszuk


Picture yourself on your wedding day, surrounded by loved ones, good food, even better music, and.. art! Twist Gallery, a charming, loft-style art gallery located in the heart of downtown Toronto, is the ideal venue for your wedding and/or wedding reception. Our staff are here to help you make your special day, and all the planning leading up to it, seem effortless.

This elegant venue can accommodate both your wedding and the reception, without any additional setup required. Whether you would like a buffet or seated meal reception, Twist Gallery staff will take care of all the set up and clean up necessary to make the evening run smoothly.

We partner with local vendors to create the wedding you have been imagining. We will help you take care of details such as finding the perfect DJ to curate the soundtrack of your night, to choosing a florist that will put together flawless floral ensembles to decorate the space.

In hopes of helping you check those details off of your wedding checklist, here are some of our favourite vendors:


Wedding Officiant

Sarah Bunnet Gibson


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Retrieved from sarahbunnett-gibson.com



Gusto Catering


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Fusion River Photography


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Retrieved from fusionriverphotography.com


Leonardo Films Photography


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Niv Shimson


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Christine Lim


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DJ Danny Floh Back


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Scarlets Table


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June Bloom Events


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Flora & Forage


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Petals & Stems


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Coriander Girl


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DeLight Floral Design


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Together with your chosen vendors, we guarantee that your special day will be no less than perfect.

For more information on renting our venue, click on the ‘EVENTS’ tab or contact us at 416-588-2222.





The Step by Step Guide to Taking Part in a Group Show Exhibit at Twist Gallery

Written by: Aleksandra Kaliszuk

Step One: Contact Us!

If you are interested in showcasing your work at Twist Gallery, send us an email or stop by to show us your work! There are twelve months in a year, meaning twelve new and unique exhibits hosted at the gallery and twelve months of opportunity. We love showcasing all local artists, no matter if you are well established, emerging, or a student!



Step Two: Be Picky

Once we determine that your artwork is a perfect fit for an upcoming exhibit, we ask that you show us samples of your work that you would like to feature. This helps us visualize the show and select wall space in the gallery which would best compliment your work.



Step Three: Wall Space

Depending on how many pieces of your collection you would like to showcase, and how you envision them to be hung up during the show, let us know how much wall space you would like to purchase for the month.



Step Four: Getting Down to Business

Now that we know what pieces you are interested in showcasing at Twist, and how much wall space you would like, we send you a contract illustrating all the details of the show! Signing it and sending the payment confirms your interest and secures your spot in the exhibition.



Step Five: Let Us Get to Know You

It’s time to start putting together advertisements. We ask that you send us samples of your work, and any information about yourself that you would like to include in the flyers. We'll take it from here. Our subscribed mailing list will receive exhibition alerts and reminders as the time approaches as well as an invitation to the opening reception when the time comes. All of Twist Gallery’s social media outlets will be updated with information about you, and the exhibit in the upcoming weeks and during the month of the exhibit!



Step Six: Time to Celebrate!!

The month of the exhibit has finally arrived. Once you hung up your artwork on the wall and took a selfie with it for your own Instagram, all that is left to do is attend the opening reception, meet the other artists taking part in the show, and the people who came to admire you and your 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.


Meet the Artists Behind This Month’s Exhibit

Written by: Aleksandra Kaliszuk

This month, Twist Gallery is hosting an encaustic art exhibit. For those less familiar with the term, encaustic paintings are created by layering pigmented hot wax onto various mediums and manipulated to illustrate the artists’ vision. This unique technique results in beautiful textured artworks.

Each artist featured in this month’s exhibit creates encaustic work that is mesmerizing and unique.

Sandy Middleton

Sandy Middleton is a Canadian photographer and artist; she combines both passions to create her pieces. Photographs are often the main element in her works, while using beeswax and other materials to enhance the image and how it is perceived.



Dania Al-Obaidi

Dania Al- Obaidi is a local artist, living and teaching art in Toronto. Throughout the years, her love for abstract painting has developed into a passion for encaustic art. She believes that art should come from within a person, and is a reflection of their lifetime, skills and experiences.



Anastessia Bettas

Anastessia’s encaustic abstract pieces connect the urban developing world with the world of art. She uses grid to portray urban sprawl, loss of open space and imaginary territories. Her work can be admired in various commercial and public galleries throughout Canada and the USA.

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Retreived from anastessiabettas.com


Susan Fisher

Susan Fisher combines her interests in printmaking and photography with encaustic techniques to create beautiful art pieces. Susan shares her talents and expertise through private workshops, and is part of various solo and group shows throughout Canada and the USA.



Claudia Mandler McKnight

Claudia  Mandler McKnight uses encaustic painting to express landscape and its reflective presence of place. Her work and its imagery is often inspired by the physical painting surface, its imperfections, and the overall process of creating the work. She is a visual arts teacher and maintains a private practise as an art therapist.



Maggie Doswell

Maggie creates work that combines geometric shape and pixilation using wax and ink compositions, describing the transition from reality to abstraction, inviting the viewer to look more closely at the compositions and its meanings. She believes that visual art is a connection of material and artist through a process.



Joya Paul

Joya Paul is a mixed media visual artist, often including a combination of collage, photography, found objects, drawings, pastel and oil paint in her work. She opened up Second Door Studio in 2015 and continues to work on her art and exhibiting, while also teaching workshops. She hopes to inspire others to discover art as an outlet to express emotions.



Ann Sheir

Ann Sheir’s background in fine art, pottery and graphic design influences her work as an encaustic artist. Ann’s work can also be admires at her gallery/studio in the Distillery District and at Second Door Studio; she teaches workshops at both locations.



Carolanne MacLean

Carolanne is a local Toronto artist. She creates work that is figurative and abstract, seeking to illustrate the absolute point of beauty through colour, form and texture.



Kato Wake

Kato is a graphic designer and painting instructor in Prince Edward County. Kato believes that the creative process of painting is playful dialogue in which the conversation between the canvas, materials and the artist. It is a symbolic and physical experience in which colour plays a significant underlying role. Once the dialogue stops, the painting is finished.



Ian Varney

Ian Varney is a local artist, using bright colours and linear motions to create encaustic works of natural scenery. Ian’s goal is to integrate unrelated images to create new places that are not found in reality.