July 22nd, 2009
The Centre Pompidou, the Tate Modern, the Met—you’ve been to the world’s best galleries, but the cherished prints you brought home are still in poster tubes under your bed.
Take your collection to Akau Framing and Art Inc. In business nearly twenty years, Akau frames for some of the top galleries in town, and yet its experts are far from snobby. They came up with a solution that worked with our vision and budget, and even masked our poster’s tattered edges without a trace (pictured).
The shop is also home to conceptual art shows, so if you aren’t feeling inspired when you arrive, you will be before you leave.
Akau Framing and Art Inc., 1186 Queen Street W. (Rear Unit), Toronto, 416-504-5999, http://www.akau.ca
April 15th, 2009
While Barbie celebrates her 50th year (with nary a gray hair, wrinkle or ounce of cellulite) we’re turning our attention to a much edgier, cooler kinda doll.
From Winnipeg printmaker Suzie Smith comes a collection of humorous hand silk-screened "Art Action Figures" ($39.99) sold individually or hung in large bunches.
Pick from Yoko Ono, Tina Turner, Johnny Cash, Courtney Love and Nina Simone. Each comes with his/her own identification tag bearing a memorable quote from the celebrity.
Step aside Barb—we’re with the band.
At Eye Spy, 1100 Queen St. E., Toronto, 416-461-4061, www.eyespygifts.com
March 26th, 2009
Fancy yourself the next Shepard Fairey?
Aspiring silk-screeners should check out Julian Finkel’s twice-monthly Kensington Market workshops ($175, includes 2 T-shirts and supplies).
Held in the basement of his eclectic boutique, Finkel teaches students how to stretch, coat, and shoot a full sized professional silkscreen. From illustrators to left-handed accountants from Whitby, all types of burgeoning artists are welcome.
Next up: MoMA.
At Model Citizen, 279 Augusta Ave., Toronto. Contact Finkel at 416-553-6632 for details.
March 18th, 2009
Okay, so it may not be as posh as London’s National Portrait Gallery but here in Toronto, Sarah Lazarovic’s ‘gallerage’ of faces is the next best thing.
Frustrated by the lack of a portrait gallery, Lazarovic decided to create her own in her laneway garage.
One wall features dozens of tiny portraits of various Torontonians from Bob Rae to June Callwood. Another wall reveals portraits (photographs, paintings, illustrations) sent in from artists from Vancouver, New York and Missouri as well as ones from locals such as Mendelson Joe, Tristan Zimmermann and Kagan McLeod.
And that’s the beauty of our laneways: Eye-popping architecture, murals, and a gallery of talent hidden behind old garage doors.
The Montrose Portrait Gallery of Canada, garage behind 390 Montrose Ave., Toronto, open by appointment until April 30, www.theportraitgallery.ca
March 4th, 2009
If you love art but find art fairs intimidating, don't miss the chance to snap up a bargain at The Artist Project.
With over a hundred emerging and established artists on show, you’re bound to snag yourself the perfect print, photograph or painting to fill that big blank wall.
With every rising star, there's always the chance of a prospective comet.
March 5–8 ($12 entry) at Liberty Grand, 25 British Columbia Rd., Exhibition Place, Toronto, www.theartistprojecttoronto.com
February 26th, 2009
With its pastel-coloured lifeguard towers, palm shaded beaches, and calm blue seas, there’s no better mid-winter remedy than a fleeting stay in sun-soaked Miami.
You’ve done the Delano and the Gansevoort—why not try The Tides? Located on South Beach’s famed Ocean Drive, this landmark deco hotel is pure old-world glam. Sip a ‘Tides Royale’ (spiced rum with guanabana and cranberry juice) on the terrace and watch as snake-charming rollerbladers whiz up and down the sidewalk. All 45 rooms have ocean views and are chicly decorated in a palette of muted pinks, creams and tans. 1220 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 305-604-5070, find winter room rates at www.tidessouthbeach.com
For a break from Miami’s South Beach scene, mosey over to the Design District where Marni, Marimekko and the Rug Company share square footage with international art galleries, design companies and artists. Bottega Veneta designer Tomas Maier has a concept boutique selling slinky bikinis, Matta caftans, limited edition CDs and bags and gorgeous coffee table tomes. Tomas Maier, 1800 West Ave., Miami Beach, 305-531-8383, www.tomasmaier.com
Check out emerging artists, galleries and projects in the Wynwood Art District. Galleries hold open houses on the second Saturday of every month.
From the legendary Joe's Stone Crabs to DeNiro’s Ago, there is no shortage of fabulous places to eat. We loved Michy’s classic yet original cooking. Portions are small and designed for co-nibbling. Reserve a table on the back terrace and don’t miss the blue cheese-and-ham croquetas with fig marmalade. Michy’s, 6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-759-2001.
Escape the thumping radio tunes of Ocean Drive for late night cocktails at the stunning Setai. With its peaceful Far Eastern interiors, this place will send you into a state of total zen. Try the Chili Passion cocktail. The Setai Resort & Residences, 2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-520-6000, www.setai.com
See snapshots of our Miami vacation on today's Editors' Diary.
January 21st, 2009
If you haven’t indulged your creative side since that life drawing class in university, we have the perfect way to revive your inner Rodin.
The Gardiner Museum runs drop-in clay classes twice a week for students of all levels. Book one of its nine throwing wheels or hand-sculpt your work of art (we attempted a set of retro eggcups). The vibe is relaxed, materials are provided and a professional is on-hand to answer any questions. In the Friday evening crowd, we spotted stylish hipsters, seasoned experts and cute couples on what looked to be first dates.
Our tip? Start small. The two hours are through before you know it. Then head upstairs for a glass of wine at Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner. We just love his work.
Tickets on sale 30 minutes before each session. First come, first served. $10 public, $8 members, seniors, students, $5 firing fee per piece. The Gardiner: Drop-in Clay Class, Fridays 6-8 pm, Sundays 1-3 pm. 111 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8080, www.gardinermuseum.on.ca
December 2nd, 2008
If the thought of trawling through stall upon stall of knitted, silk-screened, glass-blown, and hand turned wares at the One of a Kind Show makes you dizzy, why not turn to Canadian webshop goodEGG Industries?
In the comfort of your own home you can explore an eclectic assortment of home accessories, art objects and papergoods made by the cream of Canada’s crafting crop.
Talk about easy-peasy Christmas shopping.
September 6th, 2008
Need to channel your kids’ creative energy? Have them paint on someone else’s walls for a change at the 4Cats Arts Academy (now with 10 locations).
Its Jackson Pollack birthday parties get the kids splattering stylishly on massive canvases, and this fall’s Georgia O’Keefe classes will have them turning up roses.
Think your kid really has talent? Before you stick a $3,000 price tag on their chef d’oeuvre and send it to Monte Clark, watch the fantastic documentary, My Kid Could Paint That about the rise and fall of a 4-year-old New York artist.
Ah, fleeting fame.
View art classes and locations at www.4catsartsacademy.com
May 14th, 2008
We’re midway through Contact and you’re still leafing through the catalogue of shutterbugs trying to map your picks. So why not join a guided tour?
Led by local art aficionado Betty Ann Jordan, this photo packed gander along Queen Street West beelines art lovers to the best shows in the ‘hood.
Highlights include Magnum in Motion at the Drake, First Nations artist Jeff Thomas at Steven Bulger plus star talents like Raymonde April, Robert Burley and Nan Goldin at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Don’t miss Anthony Koutras’ life-size images of Toronto bicycle lock posts installed along Queen Street.
Tours ($25) are scheduled for every Saturday in May and begin at the Drake. For more info visit www.artinsite.com