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Archive for April, 2011

Cheers!

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Happy Passover to all of my non-Easter friends out there.

The tale of the Easter Bunny has always been a mysterious one for me, being a rebellious Catholic and all.  When my children started questioning the Resurrection stories (not from me) and how the Easter bunny came into the picture, I would inevitably tell them something like  “God had a pet Bunny…..”  They were too smart to believe me.

But now all of my questions have been answered, and it all makes sense.

Click here for the true story of how the Easter Bunny came to be.

Thanks Patty!

Happy Easter everyone!!!

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About 10 years ago, I did a screen-printing course with Kingy Carpenter at Peach Berserk. Her tables were covered in industrial felt that immediately caught my attention.  My tactile sensibilities fell in love with this felt and I started thinking of things that I could make with it. I do this with a lot of materials.  Then a few years later I started to notice felt products appearing in certain stores.  That’s when my love affair was reignited.  The products I found came from a company called FELT. Kathryn Walter is FELT Studio.

When I arrived at Kathryn’s new studio, I commented on how clean it was since I was expecting to see fluff everywhere from her recent project with Johnson Chou.  But Kathryn, ever considerate, cleaned it better than I clean my house! So organized! I was shown her wall of samples.  It was amazing to see how versatile the material is.

Wall of samples

 

Kathryn’s Studio

Kathryn comes from a long line of felt dealers.  In fact, her great-grandfather started importing felt from Germany, which makes it a 100+-year-old family business.  As a sculptural artist, Kathryn found that using this material was a natural progression to her career.

“Felt is sustainable. It’s a renewable resource, like wood and is amazingly durable”.

Kathryn’s work has brought her all over Canada and into the US.  Her small production items can be bought at MADE, the Textile Museum and online.  She works on large-scale commercial and residential projects as well.

On now, you can see Kathryn’s work at the Bulthaup Showroom, 280 King St. E, Suite 100, and at the Gladstone Hotel, with her Patchwork Exhibit.

Bulthaup Showroom

And you can purchase her beautiful felt products on her site here.

 

 

My favourite is the Briefcase. Nah! I love them all!

Cheers!

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On this gloomy day, I wanted to share some lovely art from Louise Cass.

Louise has been an artist her whole life and has travelled the world, creating beautiful images from her experiences.  She has exhibited in Milan, London and North America and has collections all over the world.  Louise opened a new show this past Saturday at the S. Walter Stewart Library in East York.  A gem of a library with lovely modern architecture exposing expansive spaces.

Even though the weather was cold and rainy, Louise saw over 60 people at her reception. The yummy treats of fruit and cheeses and an assortment of delicious breads from newly opened Cliffside Hearth bakery helped provide sustenance.  And the very pleasant sounds of pianist Alan Zemaitis made me happy to be in this special space.

Check out Louise’s complete works and then visit the S. Walter Stewart Library to get a real-life view of her beautiful work.

Cheers!

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I’ve been lucky enough to visit Milan about 4 times in my life.  And the saying “Milan works, so that Rome can eat!” always pops into my head whenever the name is said.  Milan is an industrial city with areas of extreme beauty and areas of big city decrepitude.  And I’ve stayed in both areas.  For those of you who have taken the train into Milan will know what I’m talking about.  It’s here, many years ago, that I saw tagging at it’s most prolific.  It seemed that everywhere outside of the Duomo district, buildings were tagged. This shocked me. And then I heard that the mayor at the time was of the opinion that if the people weren’t bothered by it then why should he do anything.  That’s the Italian way.

Milan is home to some of the biggest design shows in the world and the Salone Internazionale del Mobile is one of them.  This is the biggest design event in the industry. And yes, I missed it again this year!  It ended this past Sunday April 17th. Oh well, there’s always next year.

I’ll mention the interesting pieces found at the show in future posts, but today I came across the Palazzo Segreti; one of the many hotels servicing the show.  But this one is special.

Palazzo Segreti, is a new concept hotel conceived and designed by Roberta Tibaldi and her husband Francesco, “Palazzo Segreti is designed as our home. A house is open to the guests with a warm touch but at the same time, respecting their privacy. In a more and more media-oriented world where Privacy fades, Palazzo Segreti recovers the charm of mystery, of knowing how to retract and relax – perhaps – to regain our truest innerself. For Business man it’s a refreshing retreat, for tourists it’s the discovery of the Italian allure and flavours”.

In Italy, it’s all about the food, art and architecture and the Tibaldi’s have done a beautiful job combining all in their hotel.  They have liaised with Lia Rumma Gallery to bring their guests the newest in artists work.  And architecture was completed by Brizzi+Riefenstahl-Studio.

The design of the rooms is what caught my attention.  The use of Venetian plaster is so fresh when combined with modern pieces. Italians know how to do “sexy” really well.

For your next trip to Milan, stay at the Palazzo Segreti and let me know how your stay was.

Cheers!

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Is this the new Red Light district in Toronto?  Hardly. Well…

But the opening party of NSC(Neubacher Shor Contemporary)- The Venue, was a clear indication that something very cool is happening in the art gallery world in Toronto.

Anya Shor and Manny Neubacher, art experts, gallery owners and otherwise known as The Art Stylists have collaborated with Eatertainment to create this amazing gallery and event space.  It’s fortunate when you find an old building like this and can turn it into something amazing.  When they found it, “it was some sort of storage warehouse,” said Anya, who also mentioned that she wanted to do more research on its history.

“The collaboration just came together one day when Manny and Anya approached me with the idea” said Sebastien Centner of Eatertainment.  “Using the space for events after gallery hours just made sense” said Anya.  And I have to agree.  Imagine having your wedding reception in a beautiful gallery surrounded by the cream of Canadian artists.  And with one of my fave artists, Thrush Holmes as a new addition to their roster, you can’t argue.

The opening was by far the event to kick off the spring party season. Food was yummy with drinks flowing on through the night. Morgan Shim provided the cool tunes. There were tons of celebs, artists and fashion designers.  We bumped into Bruno Billio, – artist extraordinaire, Leah Bazian- fashion designer, Glen Baxter – reporter, and lots of socialites and models.  I was having too much fun to take everyone’s picture, but here are a few:

NSC – The Venue is now open to the public Wednesday to Saturday 11 – 5pm, at 5 Brock Ave. just north of Queen St. W.

You’re invited to visit every Saturday during April for a celebratory tour and cocktail.

For gallery appointments or booking an event contact – 647-933-0193 or info@nscvenue.com.

Cheers! 

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I was speaking to a friend in the development industry the other night and he revealed that he had a cool million to spend on public art for his development.

Sounds good right?  But don’t think this money is a freebie from our local government.  It comes right out of the developer’s pocket.

In fact, most people don’t realize that developers are required to put back millions of dollars into the infrastructure of a community – whether it’s sewage and drainage or roadways, parks, schools etc.   And it is mandated that “a minimum of one percent of the gross construction cost of each significant development be contributed to public art.”

So my mind started racing with all the ideas and artists that I could recommend and all of sudden I received an email.  This email showed a presentation by Wooster Collective and Faith47 from South Africa, via Design Indaba.  It’s about street art around the world. After watching it, I felt the urge to graffiti my house, but thankfully, my rational mind took over and stopped me.

I challenged my friend to consider creating his public art by making it relevant and thought provoking rather than just an interesting art installation.

So grab a tea or coffee and prepare to be inspired:

Click here.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

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