For those of you unaware, Art Battle is a thing. Beyond that, it is a really unique, engaging and entertaining thing. We were fortunate enough to attend the Art Battle National Championships on Saturday at the old Maple Leaf Gardens. Since 2011, regional winners have advanced to the National Championship held every year in Toronto. When many of us hear or read the term “battle” we immediately envision two emcee’s on a stage or in a circle verbally assaulting one another with an onslaught of rhymes until one is deemed the winner. Art battle is nothing like this and everything like this at the same time.
Taking many cues from battle rap, Art Battle is still a distinctive entity unto itself. Many of the artists involved in the competition are fine artists who are technically trained, which shows in their compositions. Each artist has only 20 minutes to complete their piece. With time being every artist’s stodgiest nemesis, the cream of the crop will rise to the top. Wander from easel to easel observing each painter for half a minute at a time (there are 10 artists painting in each round) and upon returning to the easel from which you started the same composition you witnessed moments ago will have transformed into something entirely different. This is what makes Art Battle a worthwhile viewing experience. It offers immediate satisfaction in art, art being a realm wherein we are accustomed to compositions requiring inordinate amounts of time to materialize. In a culture where people want to see instant results, Art Battle offers just that.
Congratulations go out to this years National Champ, Yared Nigussu. Yared has won the last 3 National Championships so as you can imagine he is pretty good with a brush. We are looking forward to watching him defend his crown in 2015! Learn more about Yared Nigussu HERE.
Photos by @marshallcole
Posted by Jesse Ingalls
Previously: Sneak Peek: Art Battle Canada
Recently I got the chance to attend another exclusive Amex experience at the BMW Summer Advanced Driver Training event. As an Amex Ambassador and Platinum Cardmember , I was 1 of 14 lucky individuals who spent the day test driving the new 2014 BMW 435i and 435xDrive as part of Amex’s Business Platinum Cardmember Experience.
The day started at 8 am at The Toronto Congress Centre with breakfast snacks and an introduction from race car driver Philippe Letourneau. We spent the first half of the morning getting expert in-class training before we hit the road. In the words of Drake… “I go 0-100 real quick”, 4.8 seconds to be exact. Speed wasn’t the focus of this driver training event, instead we learned the fundamentals of confident, safe driving, while still exploring the limits of vehicle control.
I did everything from emergency braking, intense understeering and oversteering techniques, drifting, and I even managed to get competitive in the driver team challenge. I ended up with the fastest lap time, but I hit 1 pylon which knocked me out of first place. No matter how you did in the challenge everyone was a winner, as we all successfully earned our BMW Advanced Driver Training certificate.
If you love cars, and want an unforgettable experience or you just want to learn how to be a better driver, I’d encourage you to become a Platinum Cardmember and register for the next session. You won’t regret it!
If you’re looking to start your weekend off right, look no further than Toronto’s Glow-In-The-Dark Shuffle Party! Tonight, with the help of Heineken Music, the popular monthly event series “Shuffle Party” is taking over Revival (783 College St West), with black lights, glow sticks, strobes, and more! The event is hosted by MR. 1LOVETO aka T-rexxx “Canada’s Party Animal”, along side DJ ILLO & our official 1 LOVE T.O. DJ DLUX.
RSVP GUEST LIST
For more info: facebook.com/shuffleparty
This past weekend, one of Toronto’s most anticipated pop-up events entitled; Walk-In Closet, took place in the city’s most eclectic, vibrant and cultured area of Kensington Market called “A HOMERUN” on Augusta Ave. Since Kensington Market is notorious for vintage and thrift fashion, it was only fitting to have the event held in one of the city’s most respected thrift shops.
Organizing the event was Singhnature’s Natasha Singh, whose personal mantra is to recycle, reuse and reinvent. Hence, Walk-In Closet, a one-of-a-kind trunk sale whose target audience is geared towards like-minded fashion conscious Torontonians who have extensive wardrobes they’re looking to purge. Essentially, the goal is to celebrate life and style through clothing and accessories, while finding loving new homes for once-treasured belongings.
This WIC series edition was dedicated to men whilst featuring three of Toronto’s influential male movers and shakers: Bryan Brock of 1LOVETO, Daniel Eckler of MIJLO, and record producer Jahmal Padmore.
“Walk-In Closet has been highly female focus but I am sure not to forget about the men. This was my second edition of a full on men’s closet,” said Natasha.
Collaborating with three of Toronto’s creative and fashionable men, Natasha said it was only natural to have them share their closets in conjunction to her event:
“Lucky enough they connected with me and I knew they had great gear and lifestyle goods appropriate for WIC. As much as I like to curate and select my “closeters” so often they come to me, and these three gentlemen all came to me around the same time. So I thought, why not do a collaboration of men’s closets which will give the customers variety in style and size.”
Hosting a men’s edition of Walk-In Closet definitely brought on a positive and interesting dynamic and trend to her usual crowd. For instance, featuring three outstanding individuals from Toronto who have a wide range of various styles, it was inevitable to suit the likes of not only men, but also women who appreciate men’s fashion.
“I was impressed with the men who shopped this WIC versus the women. Especially since I have a larger female following, I really pushed for a his-to-hers concept showing females how to rock some dope men’s wear fashion in my promo. With that being said, knowing my following is female dominated, I was sure to cover my tracks to push this closet for males and females equally.” said Natasha.
Also new to the WIC event was a curated collection of art and lifestyle second hand books; along with lifestyle goods inspired by simple living collections of well-designed, quality goods, specializing in small space solutions.
With the success and support Walk-in-Closet has had over the past, along with being a lover of connecting and sharing the stories individuals have with their fashion, it’s inevitable for both Natasha and WIC flourish. So when asked what the future holds, she expressed foreseeing it going online sooner than later. “WIC started off as a pet project and has now turned into a unique networking and social shopping experience. It allows for an authentic storytelling from the closeter to the customer, and going online only helps expand that.”
For those interested in participating in the future of Walk-In Closet, Natasha expresses that it may be difficult as there’s a high demand of requests and a tedious wait list to follow. Torontonians just have so much to give!
“What makes WIC fun for me is scouting out the right closets. I love finding people who have a story to tell and aren’t shy to put their closet and life on blast. I have accumulated a waiting list of interesting individuals who would like to share their story, so the selection process can be difficult.”
Nonetheless, feel free to contact Natasha in regard to participating in one way or another by visiting singhnature.com
Posted by Christina G. Cheng
Previously: Walk-In Closet
This Saturday, July 26th Art Battle will be hosting the 2014 National Championships at the Mattamy Centre in Toronto. The event stands to be the biggest to date, with an estimated 2,500 patrons attending. Prior to this Saturday, we were invited to a kick-off event held in conjunction with Sick Kids. Each youngster got paired up with a champion painter and the art that ensued was absolutely amazing! All of the artists killed it and they truly demonstrated what it means to be creatively liberated!
Posted by Jesse Ingalls
Kayo Guevarra is an artist you need to know. Hailing from the island of St. Lucia, he now calls Toronto home. “Song For Nicole” are the latest visuals from his newest project “S.L.A.V.E.”, which is available for download here: kayoguevarra.bandcamp.com. Enjoy!
Posted by Jesse Ingalls
Absolut Makerfest is coming to Toronto on August 9th, celebrating the cultural impact of Canada’s emerging “makers”. The maker community is made up of world-class artists, inventors, tinkerers and entrepreneurs who combine traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking and craft with technology-driven creativity, including 3D-printing, device hacking, electronics, robotics and more.
Toronto’s own Eric Boyd (Sensebridge) and Jonathan Moneta (MakeLab) are among the list of celebrated “makers” who will be exhibiting their work at Makerfest. You’ll also be able to see works from Marc Reeve-Newson, Derek Gaw, Corey Clayton and Steven Enns.
This special event will also play host to 2 celebrity “makers” of their own kind, featuring a DJ set by Q-Tip from the legendary A Tribe Called Quest, along side performer Theophilus London!
Join us on August 9th at 99 Sudbury for what promises to be a unique mash-up of art, technology, music and of course cocktails!
(Space is limited. Email does not guarantee admission. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.)