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Magical ‘Window Wonderland,’ Toronto’s First Augmented Reality Outdoor Art Exhibition, Opens This Weekend in the Junction



Window Wonderland is presented in partnership with Buds Collective, a Canadian organization based in Calgary that provides local artists and makers with opportunities, visibility, fair compensation and access to tools and resources, and with Augle, a Canadian-made art and lifestyle mobility platform, that allows users to see an enhanced point-of-view of the world through augmented reality.

Visitors can see the creations ‘come to life’ by downloading the Augle App and pointing their phone cameras at the large-scale artwork displayed on the windows of ten storefronts to engage with this exciting public art experience outdoors.

“We needed to think outside the box and find new ways to support the Junction community, our local artists and businesses, during the pandemic. With creative thinking and collaboration, we’ve now turned a challenging circumstance into an incredible outdoor exhibition. Window Wonderland presents an opportunity for us to see the work of our local artists in an entirely new way; large-scale and brought to life on the storefronts of Dundas Street West,” said Carol Jolly, Executive Director, The Junction BIA. “Window Wonderland is bringing our eclectic neighbourhood to life and giving families a great reason to get outside this winter. Our goal is to support local artists, shops and businesses during the colder months with a safe and magical experience that all Torontonians will enjoy.” 

Window Wonderland visitors will become immersed in local art like never before. By downloading the Augle App and pointing their phone at the artwork displayed in each of the ten large-scale art installations, visitors will see the artwork transform and transport them to a digital world of wonder. Here’s how it works:

  • Local artists paint various scenes on windows along Dundas St. W., inspired by the shops and their owners
  • Each scene is animated by local animators to align with the painted windows
  • “Meet at the Pacific Wall Mural” and follow the flags to discover the ten interactive painted windows along Dundas St. W. in the Junction
  • Using the Augle AR app, visitors point their phones at the art to see an entertaining series of digital animations bringing the window artworks to life!

“I built my installation at Junction Pharmacy to transport the visitors of Window Wonderland into an enchanting snow globe scene, to create the feelings of whimsy and wondrousness that winter and the holidays bring,” said Jasmine Pannu, owner of Pasmine Pannu Art Studio. “The Junction is such a beautiful community, and I wanted to include design elements that inspire us to explore and connect.” 

Window Wonderland is a safe and family-friendly outdoor public art experience that everyone can enjoy, allowing for social distancing by following Ontario’s health and safety guidelines. Window Wonderland is the best way to get outdoors this winter to support our local artists and businesses. Take a walk in Window Wonderland to experience all that the Junction offers, from coffee shops to art galleries and local small retailers.

The Junction BIA is a community-driven non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the economic & cultural vitality of The Junction. We provide a beautiful, safe space where the local business community can flourish as part of the robust neighbourhood anchored at Dundas St. West and Keele St., east to Indian Grove, west to Quebec Ave. Building on the area’s history as the original commercial strip for the West Toronto railway connection community, the Junction is TORONTO’S FAVOURITE MEETING PLACE.

The Junction BIA was selected to receive the City of Toronto’s Innovation Fund, which provides the BIA with $25,000 to go towards the Window Wonderland project. The Innovation Fund is a grant that provides funding to BIAs to test innovative and creative solutions to BIA issues and share their findings and results with other BIAs. The program exists to encourage innovation within the BIA model and allow for unique projects to be piloted throughout the city.

SOURCE The Junction BIA

For further information: For General Inquiries: Carol Jolly, Executive Director, The Junction BIA, [email protected], 416-561-3683,, @TorontoJunction; Media Contact: Mary Dunne, [email protected], 647-971-9220

Source: – Canada NewsWire

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High court to decide whether Nazi art case stays in US court – The Tri-City News



WASHINGTON — Jed Leiber was an adult before he learned that his family was once part-owner of a collection of centuries-old religious artworks now said to be worth at least $250 million.

Over a steak dinner at a New York City restaurant in the 1990s he had asked his mother about his grandfather, a prominent art dealer who fled Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power. “What was grandpa most proud of in his business?” he asked.

“He was very, very proud to have acquired the Guelph Treasure, and then was forced to sell it to the Nazis,” she told him.

That conversation set Leiber, of West Hollywood, California, on a decadeslong mission to reclaim some 40 pieces of the Guelph Treasure on display in a Berlin museum. It’s a pursuit that has now landed him at the Supreme Court, in a case to be argued Monday.

For centuries, the collection, called the Welfenschatz in German, was owned by German royalty. It includes elaborate containers used to store Christian relics; small, intricate altars and ornate crosses. Many are silver or gold and decorated with gems.

In 2015, Leiber’s quest for the collection led to a lawsuit against Germany and the the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The state-run foundation owns the collection and runs Berlin’s Museum of Decorative Arts, where the collection is housed. Germany and the foundation asked the trial-level court to dismiss the suit, but the court declined. An appeals court also kept the suit alive.

Now, the Supreme Court, which has been hearing arguments by telephone because of the coronavirus pandemic, will weigh in. A separate case involving Hungarian Holocaust victims is being heard the same day.

At this point, the Guelph Treasure case is not about whether Leiber’s grandfather and the two other Frankfurt art dealer firms that joined to purchase the collection in 1929 were forced to sell it, a claim Germany and the foundation dispute. It’s just about whether Leiber and two other heirs of those dealers, New Mexico resident Alan Philipp and London resident Gerald Stiebel, can continue seeking the objects’ return in U.S. courts.

In a statement, Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, argued that the suit should be dismissed. The foundation and Germany have the Trump administration’s support.

“Our view is that Germany is the proper jurisdiction for a case which involves a sale of a collection of medieval German art by German art dealers to a German state,” Parzinger said.

The suit’s claim that the Guelph Treasure was sold under Nazi pressure was also diligently investigated in Germany, he said. The foundation found that the sale was made voluntarily and for fair market value. A German commission dedicated to investigating claims of property stolen by the Nazis agreed.

Parzinger said records “clearly show that there were long and tough negotiations on the price and that the two sides met exactly in the middle of their initial starting prices.”

The art dealers’ heirs, however, say the purchase price, 4.25 million Reichsmark, was about one-third of what the collection was worth. Under international law principles, sales of property by Jews in Nazi Germany are also presumed to have been done under pressure and therefore invalid, said the heirs’ attorney, Nicholas O’Donnell.

Leiber’s grandfather, Saemy Rosenberg, and the two other Frankfurt art dealer firms he joined with to purchase the Guelph Treasure did sell other pieces of the collection outside of Germany. But their timing was unfortunate. The Great Depression hit soon after they purchased the collection. Some of the pieces were sold to The Cleveland Museum of Art or private collectors. The Nazi-controlled state of Prussia bought the remaining pieces in 1935. The two sides disagree on whether the collection was ultimately presented to Hitler as a gift.

Leiber says his grandfather never said anything to him about the collection, though the two played chess together on Sundays from the time he was 5 to when he was 11.

“He never spoked of the war. He never spoke of what he lost. He never spoke of the horrors that he and the family experienced. … I think it was very important to him to keep moving on, to move forward,” Leiber said.

Rosenberg reestablished his art business in New York. When he died in 1971, The New York Times called him a “leading international art dealer,” noting that his clients had included oil tycoon Paul Getty, CBS Chairman William S. Paley and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In the nearly 50 years since his grandfather’s death, Leiber has had his own star-studded career. In 1992, he founded NightBird Recording Studios at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, where his clients have included Madonna, U2, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. He’s particularly proud of his work with guitarist Jeff Beck and the late Aretha Franklin. But his grandfather was a singular influence on him.

“He’s a super-human figure in my life,” Leiber said. “And I decided that I had to do whatever it took to have returned what was taken from him.”

Jessica Gresko, The Associated Press

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Toronto is getting a breathtaking new art gallery with work from Andy Warhol – blogTO



York University is getting a new art gallery that could eventually house the school’s current collection, including works from legendary artists like Andy Warhol and Norval Morrisseau. 

The university’s Keele Campus has announced that it’s expanding its 3,000-square-foot Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) with a new building called the Joan and Martin Goldfarb Gallery.

The design proposal from Hariri Pontarini Architects, which was chosen from several submitted to the online design competition, will be located at the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design. 

The AGYU will be expanding with a new art gallery designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects. Photo by Hariri Pontarini via York University. 

The building — which will be named after the Goldfarbs, who gifted $5 million to the gallery in October 2019 — will be home to the university’s collection of contemporary and historic art.

Included in the AGYU’s current collection of 76 pieces of artwork, donated by the Goldfarbs in the 2000s, are donations of works by Andy Warhol, Norval Morrisseau, and prominent Inuit artists like Kananginak Pootoogook. 

Though AGYU hasn’t had any permanently collection works on display up until now, the new building could have space dedicated to the permanent collection. 

Artwork will be viewable to the public over three floors and five separate wings.

The ground level will include an event space with four separate gallery areas and a xeriscape garden, which reduces water waste. 

The original AGYU, which opened in 1988, has been operating at its current location since 2006. Its collection currently includes 1,700 works ranging from prints, paintings, sculptures, films, and more. 

Lead photo by

Hariri Pontarini via York University 

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Six art exhibitions in Ontario you can visit this winter – The Globe and Mail



New York-based artist Moyra Davey’s exhibition, The Faithful, at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.


Consider the humble phragmites. Also known as European common reed, the plant is a ubiquitous sight along highways and across wetlands in Ontario – its tufted stalks so commonplace that they are almost invisible. But it is in fact a killer hiding in plain sight, an invasive species that has been wreaking havoc on Ontario’s ecosystems for decades. Thanks to COVID-19, many of us can relate more keenly to the perilous feeling of being a species under threat of invasion.

While we do everything we can to protect ourselves against that biological menace, artist Cole Swanson has been constructing a sort of temple to this one. “The Hissing Folly,” a thatched pyramid of phragmites installed in the loft space of a historic barley mill at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington in Bowmanville until Feb. 7 weaves together multiple layers of meaning. It draws parallels with the destructive consequences of imperial ambition – the grasses entered North America following the same ocean passage as European colonizers – while also recognizing that phragmites (which derives from a Greek word meaning fence, or screen) possess value as a material for construction. With reeds reaching into the rafters, this folly – an architectural oddity that exists primarily for decoration while signifying a greater purpose – looms as a reminder that nature will always challenge humanity’s attempts to dominate the land.

The natural world and the screen meet again in Chantal Rousseau’s exhibition at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, on view to Dec. 6, though this time with a welcome dose of whimsy. In Tap Dancing Seagulls and Other Stories, the Kingston artist sets her detailed watercolours in motion through the internet’s favourite medium, the animated GIF. A squad of squirrels does fitness training at a frenetic pace, repeating endless sets of exercises without any hope of rest. Two irritated-looking blackbirds stake claim to a Cheezie, wiggling back and forth forever in an interminable battle for some precious neon-orange cheddar dust. At first quirky and even a bit quaint, the animal characters appear increasingly agitated and anxious the longer you look at them. Who can blame them – performing the same routine in the same small space every day is making all of us go a little loopy.

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The first Canadian artists to sit in front of a computer and decide to get creative get their dues over at McIntosh Gallery in London, where curators Adam Lauder and Mark Hayward present a landmark historical survey of first-generation computer art in Computational Arts in Canada 1967–1974, on view to Dec. 12. Western University was “one of a handful of universities across Canada to house a mainframe computer during that time,” Lauder says, so the artists who engaged with the technology were entering territory then occupied only by engineers and other specialists – not exactly the user-friendly interfaces we are now familiar with. Among highlights are dramatic, zigzagging paintings by Suzanne Duquet, who was a professor at the University of Quebec at Montreal. “She is one of the few artists that learned to code,” Lauder says. “Her paintings are based on programs she wrote herself.”

At the Art Gallery of Hamilton until Jan. 3, Rebel Opera is a retrospective exhibition covering four decades of work by pioneering artist Nora Hutchinson, who made key early contributions to feminist video art, performance and installation. Sung and spoken words feature heavily, with expressive and personal poetry recited over experimental music tracks in early autobiographical works and in later works that tackle social issues such as mental health. A teacher at the Ontario College of Art and Design, the University of Guelph, York University and the Dundas Valley School of Art, Hutchinson is revered not only for her artistic contributions but also for her role as a mentor to many in the media arts community. In Opera Around the House from 1987, which she has described as a “comedic tape about everyday life which combines the formalities of the opera format with songs about kids, dogs, cats, laundry, groceries,” she sings, “Courage comes from the word heart / Coeur, coeur, coeur.”

The Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery bravely interrogates its own city’s history of white supremacy and anti-Black racism in Black Drones in the Hive by Montreal artist Deanna Bowen, on view until Feb. 28. Opening on the 100-year anniversary of the gallery’s first exhibition by the Group of Seven, this research-intensive project acts to dismantle the myth of terra nullius espoused in the group’s work and bring visibility to the maligned narratives of Black and Indigenous survival in Canada. Bowen’s own family history is included in 1911 Anti Creek-Negro Petition, a reproduction of a 234-page document recording signatures of people opposed to letting those of mixed Black and Indigenous heritage enter Alberta – some of whom were Bowen’s ancestors. Barker Fairley, an early champion of the Group of Seven, was one signatory. In a video introduction to the exhibition, senior curator Crystal Mowry asks of today’s proliferation of digital petitions, “Who is collecting the proof of dissent? Will we be able to access that proof some time in the future?”

The question of what is worth remembering and preserving for posterity is central to New York-based artist Moyra Davey’s practice. Her exhibition The Faithful at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, on view to Jan. 3, collects 54 photographs and six films – including a new work, i confess – that commemorate the detritus of daily life and chronicle everyday activities of ordinary people. The name of the show comes from a graphic T-shirt worn by a longhaired record collector photographed in one of her signature mail art works, and pays homage to the passion we have for surrounding ourselves with objects and people we hold dear. Nearly all of her works bear the trace of physical touch – a study of marks gouged into soft copper pennies from heavy use, folds and tape remnants left from photographs sent through the postal service – and remind us of the joy of being around strangers. Most commuters probably never thought they’d miss public transportation, but spend some time with Subway Writers, a series of people scribbling in notebooks while in transit, and prepare to feel nostalgic.

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