A hotel art show, a Trump-era drama and six other things to do in Toronto this week – Toronto Life
A hotel art show, a Trump-era drama and six other things to do in Toronto this week
An artsy hotel takeover
1Of all the weird-yet-irresistible trends in 2019, the made-for-Instagram pop-up craze surely tops the list. But fake private-jet booths and neon-coloured velcro walls have nothing on the Gladstone’s OG art maze. Back for its 17th run, Come Up to My Room gives every inch of the hotel an artsy makeover. Among this year’s 27 quirky installations: a collage of floating, ghostly cut-outs, a magical enchanted forest filled with sculptures and fairy lights, and a room packed with neon-orange furniture. January 16 to 19, Gladstone Hotel.
A design refresher
2New year, new decor? The Interior Design Show is a timely opportunity for those resolving to overhaul their living quarters. It runs three and a half days and features more than 400 exhibitors, plus interactive displays and drool-worthy decor galore. Internationally acclaimed architect Francis Kéré and Oscar-winning Canadian production designer Paul Austerberry—he created The Shape of Water‘s eerie reptilian look—will deliver design motivation via illuminating keynotes. January 16 to 19, Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
A class act
3Hailed as “the first theatrical landmark of the Trump era,” Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-winning rust belt drama Sweat digs into the blue-collar discontent that helped put the Donald in the White House. Set in the early 2000s in a Pennsylvania bar, the play charts the economic and racial tensions among a group of factory employees facing an uncertain future. The anger escalates when one of them is promoted to management and layoffs are announced. Nottage interviewed real Pennsylvania steelworkers to write this powerful but compassionate play about the victims of late capitalism, which receives its Toronto premiere from Studio 180 and Canadian Stage. January 14 to February 2, Berkeley Street Theatre.
A bloody royal affair
4Canadian playwright Kate Hennig’s celebrated Queenmaker Trilogy comes to a boil in this blood-soaked final instalment. In Mother’s Daughter, the focus is on Mary I, a.k.a. Bloody Mary, and her tempestuous five-year reign as Queen of England. Urged by memories of her late mother and threatened by her half-sister Elizabeth, Mary sets out to reverse her father Henry VIII’s protestant reforms by any means necessary. Like its predecessors, The Last Wife and The Virgin Trial, Hennig makes Tudor politics thrillingly contemporary in this gynocentric take on English history. January 14 to February 9, Young Centre for the Performing Arts.
A frigid song cycle
5There are usually only two people on stage for a Schubert song cycle: the singer and the pianist. Philippe Sly and Le Chimera Project’s Winterreise breaks with tradition by adding a small chamber ensemble and some seriously dramatic lighting. Winterreise (“winter journey”) is one of the most demanding pieces for any vocalist—24 settings by the German poet Wilhelm Müller that must capture the despair of a man alone on a winter night, hoping to find solace for a broken heart. Bass-baritone Philippe Sly brings a voice of many colours and an assured stage presence to this newly dramatized masterpiece. January 17, Koerner Hall.
A tale as old as time
6The Barber of Seville, Rossini’s comic celebration of wit’s triumph over status, is one of the oldest Italian operas never to have gone out of fashion, thanks to its dazzling coloratura singing and implicit social critique. The titular character, Figaro, helps his former employer, Count Almaviva, wrest his beloved Rosina from her guardian’s grip. Staging by Spanish theatre troupe Els Comediants promises much splash, dash and colour. The endlessly resourceful Figaro is sung by baritone Vito Priante, Count Almaviva by tenor Santiago Ballerini and sought-after Rosina by mezzo Emily D’Angelo. January 19 to February 7, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
A VR expedition
7Jawa El Khash, a Syrian-born Toronto-based artist, uses virtual reality to archive architecture and greenery that no longer exist in the real world. In her latest exhibit, the Upper Side of the Sky, she recreates the ancient setting of Palmyra, Syria, with its towering ancient ruins and plant life destroyed in the civil war. January 15 to February 15, InterAccess.
An electro-dance party
8The indigenous artist iskwē is Canada’s answer to artists like Florence and the Machine and FKA Twigs. This Friday, she gets the energy pumping with a funky dose of her alt-electronic pop tracks. The show follows up on the release of her latest album, acākosik, which includes the catchy “Night Danger,” co-produced by Red Hot Chili Peppers collaborator Garth Richardson. January 17, Mod Club.
Renowned Queen Elizabeth II portrait on display at Art Galley of Peterborough – Global News
As he stood in the Art Gallery of Peterborough looking at the large portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, Alex Bierk says he can “hear my dad painting on it, being excited about working on it.”
The city councillor spoke passionately about his father David Bierk as the portrait went on public display Wednesday evening for the first time since it was removed from the Peterborough Memorial Centre last fall where it hung over the ice for nearly five decades.
“So intuitively and immediately I’m connected to my dad’s big presence and his energy when I view this work,” Bierk told the audience.
READ MORE: Art Galley of Peterborough acquires Queen Elizabeth II portrait from Memorial Centre
In February, the gallery acquired the eight f0ot-by-12-foot portrait, which was first installed at the arena in January 1980 and remained there until the State Funeral of the Queen on Sept. 19, 2022.
Original commissioning documents, held at Trent Valley Archives in Peterborough, state that if the painting ever needed to be removed, it should be donated to the Art Gallery of Peterborough, or the Peterborough Public Library, whichever was preferred.
Briefly in 2003, the painting was removed from its original location due to arena renovations. However, public protest saw the portrait rehung.
Bierk follows in his father’s footsteps as an oil painter and says the portrait is a labour of love. He recalled running around the Memorial Centre as a kid looking up at the painting. Bierk’s brother Zac is a former Peterborough Petes player. David died in 2002 at the age of 58.
“The painting intersects my dad’s love of sports and his life as an artist and how it hung over Zac’s head all those years he played for the Petes,” Alex said.
The portrait was launched as part of the gallery’s Special Project: Tea with the Queens exhibition, a short-run project to showcase David Bierk’s painting, Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II before it goes into collection storage joining the Permanent Collection.
The portrait will hang in the gallery until June 29 alongside works by artists who are Indigenous, queer, and living with disabilities.
“We’ve got a lot of works by David Bierk so it’s pretty exciting to have this joining a number of his other pieces,” curator Fynn Leitch said.
There will also be a series of afternoon tea sittings or “Tea with the Queens,” hosted by local drag performers Betty Baker and Sahira Q. Seatings will take place on June 11 and June 14 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and June 22 at 4 p.m. Tickets are available to purchase in person at the gallery or by calling 705-743-9179 during regular business hours.
Mayor Jeff Leal recalled he and others taking classes under David Bierk who was seen as an “artistic genius” and helped many to “develop a unique love of the arts.”
Bierk says his family is appreciative of the gallery for accepting the painting.
“The amount of calls I got asking if I was going to take the painting — no!” he quipped as he waved his hands. “We’re really glad it’s here. It’s safe and being a part of the collection at the Art Gallery of Peterborough will ensure it will live on in our community in really beautiful ways — ways like I felt when I walked into this room tonight.”
Also launched Wednesday was Wayfinding: Works from the Youth Art Mentorship Program, a collection of works by youth artists Amber Rose, A. Carabine, Charley Pesonen, Kellan Mackenzie, Lauren Armstrong, and Mujgan Hussein Zada who spent the last three months working with artist-mentor Spencer J. Harrison. The goal was to explore the professional practice of being an artist and produce an exhibition of their work. The youth were selected by a jury of arts professionals earlier this year.
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Winnipeg Art Gallery sells four QEII prints to purchase Indigenous art – CityNews Winnipeg
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Winnipeg Art Gallery sells four QEII prints to purchase Indigenous art CityNews Winnipeg
Andy Warhol paintings sell for $936,000 at auction | CTV News – CTV News Winnipeg
Four Andy Warhol paintings that were part of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s collection have sold at auction, with the money being used to help increase the Indigenous art collection at the gallery.
Four colour silkscreens of Queen Elizabeth II created in 1985 were on the auction block Thursday at Cowley Abbott Auctioneers, where the realized price when the auction ended was $936,000.
A spokesperson for the gallery says the money from the sale will go towards an endowment that will sit for at least one year. The gallery will use the accumulated interest to begin purchasing artwork by Indigenous artists to add to its permanent collection.
While the Winnipeg Art Gallery contains the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art, only around one per cent of its collection is from First Nations and Metis artists.
The artwork by the famed pop artist was estimated to sell for between $700,000 and $900,000. It was donated to the WAG in 1999 by a collector.
-With files from CTV’s Taylor Brock
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