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Project Gallery opens its doors tonight for the opening reception of “Spoila Opima”, an exhibition by Toronto-based artist and painter Ted Zourntos. Spoila Opima or “rich spoils” is an ancient Roman term referring to the plunder and riches striped from a defeated combatant in mortal combat. Ted’s complex still life paintings connect and highlight the issues of contemporary consumer culture while touching on the oil economy and military conflicts in today’s world. The exhibition runs from April 7 – 24th at Project Gallery, located at 1109 Queen St East. Enjoy the show!

To see more of Ted’s work, please visit: tedzourntos.com

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In less than a month Fashion Art Toronto, formerly known as |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week, returns for five spectacular nights, from April 12-16, with over 50+ runway shows and performances, photography exhibits, interdisciplinary art installations and a selection of curated fashion films.

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Daniels Spectrum plays host to this years 11th annual Fashion Art Toronto, as the only festival of its kind in Canada, setting the stage for over 100 emerging and contemporary fashion designers, artists and stylists to unleash a stimulating and inspired showcase that creatively fuses fashion and art; providing a much needed platform and exposure for independent fashion and design.

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For more info visit: fashionarttoronto.ca

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The Scotiabank Photography Award

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Back in 2006 when Scotiabank hosted a photo exhibit for the CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto, they witnessed first-hand “the powerful way photography helps connect people con-nect with a moment in time.” This, according to Barbara Mason, Group Head & Chief Human Resource Officer at Scotiabank. By 2010, they became the title sponsor for CONTACT, the largest photography festival in the world.

To deepen their commitment to the art of photography, Scotiabank developed the Scotiabank Photography Award. Barbara describes it as, “Canada’s largest and most prestigious annual peer-nominated and peer-reviewed award that acknowledges the outstanding contribution that our winners have made to contemporary art and photography. These are artists who strive to invent, influence and redefine the reception of art in ways that will endure.”

This year’s shortlist of nominated photographers include:

Suzy-Lake
Suzy Lake, Toronto, Ontario

Pascal
Pascal Grandmaison, Montréal, Québec

Jayce
Jayce Salloum, Vancouver, British Colombia

Suzy Lake, who is from the Little Italy area, had this to say about her nomination:

“I am very grateful to be nominated in such an important competition among a broad range of notable photographers. I admire the full list of nominees…I am honoured that an esteemed jury has selected my work to become a finalist. It is overwhelming.”

The winner will go on to receive $50,000, a book publishing contract by internationally ac-claimed photographic art publisher, Gerhard Steidl and a feature exhibition at the Ryerson Im-age Centre in next year’s festival. Past winners have gone on to exhibit worldwide from Paris to Chicago to Jerusalem and continue to grow acclaim.

Barbara adds, “We believe we get more from the arts than we could ever give. The arts enrich the communities where we live and encourage us to develop new perspectives.” The winner of this year’s award will be announced on May 3, 2016.

For more info, visit: scotiabank.com

Posted by Samira

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“The Youth Are Revolting” is the latest exhibition to take over the Gladstone Hotel. The show, which features a spirited collaboration between high-profile Canadian artists and students from the Oasis Skateboard Factory, runs from March 2 – 11th. All the art is produced directly on the skateboards, with this year’s theme focusing on teen stereotypes and rebellion.

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The Oasis Skateboard Factory is an innovative TDSB alternative school program where students learn how to run a skateboard business through entrepreneurship and design all while obtaining a credit towards graduating.

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If you’re free this week make sure you check out their closing party and silent auction on Friday from 7 – 10pm.

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You may be familiar with Corbin Portillo’s aka @Blkoutln work, but if not, this Hamilton/Toronto-based artist is set to catch your eyes. Corbs is a graphic designer and illustrator who studied at George Brown College, but his ‘career’ started long before hitting the books at post-secondary school. Corbs has been drawing and painting since he was a kid, always knowing that the creative industry was where he wanted to work. He’s worked in a print shop, marketing/branding studio and recently he’s been focusing more and more on his freelance work. His work on Instagram has become very popular with people like Drake, Jeff Staple, and Demar Derozan, re-posting his work. He’s also got a growing client list with work for the likes of TSN, DVBBS, King of the Dot, and many more.

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To see more of Corbin’s work, check out: corbs.ca

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Body Thoughts Experience

From February 11-21, the city of Toronto opened its doors and its individual minds to a new type of art experience on King St. West, called #BodyThoughts. A real, raw and thought provoking art pop-up experience that creates a unique space for honest conversations about our bodies.

Co-founders, Alexa Mazzarello is a former photographer whose focus was on female models and brides, and Erica McDonald is a former international model. Together, they wanted to create a different conversation around body image. They designed the experience using their multidisciplinary backgrounds and personal experiences to create an immersive, multi-medium focus that invites guests to reflect and discuss the way they think about their bodies in a meditative way.

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Mazzarello expressed her exhaustion with women in front of her camera lens asking her to Photoshop certain parts of their bodies, telling her to avoid their ‘bad side’ and criticizing photos of themselves in real-time by asking to view every photo directly after each shot. It was then that she turned the camera on herself — creating a series of six self-portraits featuring none other than herself in the nude, along with an intimate audio interview.

“As an opportunity to shift the conversation, I had to put myself in front of the camera. I had to take a stand for what I was talking about… I sat down with all of my beautiful belly rolls exposed and took a picture of it. And looking at those photographs to see myself as a form, so separate from me — I saw a beautiful girl, that’s all I saw.”

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With a background in sociology and a masters in public health, Mazzarello felt the need to take responsibility and stand as a woman, artist and photographer to start a new conversation for women and their bodies.

“Stepping in front of my camera was an opportunity for me to reclaim my body and my voice in a very powerful way. It was a way to liberate myself from the concerns I had about my body and to speak about what is important to me,” she said.

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The #BodyThoughts experience is personal and contemplative, allowing each guest to find insights in their own thoughts around how they experience the world through their body. How do you listen to your body? What are your body thoughts? There are no right or wrong answers or premeditated takeaways. On the one hand, the goal is to challenge conventional thoughts about the way we think about our bodies. It is also a call to action for content creators to become conscious about the content they put into the world.

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Something fresh and exciting is going on over at the CBC. A new show called Exhibitionists is exploring a wide spectrum of Canadian art, carving out a new segment of national identity. The show features artists within various disciplines who are doing something edgy, different or daring. We met up with Amanda Parris, Host of Exhibitionists, to tell us more.

She starts by explaining when art is equated with celebrity, status and entertainment, other unique/niched artists, often go unrecognized. ”There hasn’t been a national televised space for exploring artists who are doing things that might not necessarily be perceived as sexy to the mainstream but are emerging, avant-garde… they’ll never make it to the mainstream and don’t even want to but there should be a platform to share what they do.”

That is exactly what Exhibitionists does while instilling a sense of intrigue and Canadian pride. “I hope with the opening of this door, Canadians will watch, be inspired by it and feel proud.” Subjects are selected by a team of researchers or through e-mail pitches from artists or videographers who the CBC commission to produce mini docs. “Although Canada is not conventionally thought of as an artistic and creative country, maybe we should start to see ourselves that way.”

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Well before her time at the CBC, Amanda fell in love with the arts and community scene. Years ago, she served on staff at The Remix Project, an artistic incubator serving youth from under-served communities. Although she was the youngest and the only girl, she held her own. “That experience has been critical to my entire development. Remix opened the doors for me to recognize and understand so many artistic industries across Toronto. The connections I made have served me so well. I still feel to this day, it’s a family.”

So what exactly is it that drives this passion? “For me, art in general, engaging in it, creating it and being able to support other people in the creation of art, gives me life. It makes me excited! It’s where I find passion, it’s where I find inspiration, it’s where I find perspective.”

And like many young professionals she faced obstacles and rejections but says, it was all meant to unfold exactly how it has saying, “The universe works in mysterious ways. So many opportunities came up that I didn’t get for whatever reason but I think, I wasn’t supposed to get them because if I did, I wouldn’t be able to host Exhibitionists.”

You can catch Exhibitionists on CBC every Sunday at 4:30pm.

Watch: Season 1 Episode 17

Photos by Patrick Leung

Posted by Samira

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PIQUEd has officially launched! It’s a documentary series produced by PIQUE which focuses on 10 Toronto creatives. From music to fashion to art, the participants all embody a singular characteristic: dedication. Starting this week, they’ll be releasing one documentary every friday for 10 weeks. We talked to all the participants and got some insight into their world.

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Dustin Good + Mario Anzola, “Subtle Blend”
Subtle Blend has built a community around providing a stage for local live electronic acts and beat makers. The evenings are usually comprised of an eclectic mix of performers who bring out live gear and play all original music. The audience is able to experience live music-making and watch as artists explore and put themselves out in the open. Subtle Blend inspires audiences to open themselves to innovative local talent at the same time as inspiring artists to truly perform for their city and expose themselves to new creative situations. – Dustin Good

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The showcase has had a positive response because of the people I’ve met through it. Now in its second year, it works more as a collective effort and it is based on what the acts brings each night. I started doing lives sets and booking myself because I wanted to play more and meet other people to share a stage with. Now every month, we put together these shows and I get to work with truly talented and humble musicians and video artists that joined the showcase in the most organic and perfect way possible. They came up and said: ” what’s up,…”. – Mario Anzola

Photography by Patrick Leung

Posted by Samira

Previously: PIQUE: Tabban (aka Bonblivious)

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PIQUE: Tabban (Bonblivious)

PIQUEd has officially launched! It’s a documentary series produced by PIQUE which focuses on 10 Toronto creatives. From music to fashion to art, the participants all embody a singular characteristic: dedication. Starting this week, they’ll be releasing one documentary every friday for 10 weeks. We talked to all the participants and got some insight into their world.

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Tabban S., Bonblivious
I’m not really sure how to describe my art but I can say that it’s an extension of my personality. It’s not about discovering anything particular because your ‘style’ is already a part of you. It’s how you perceive the world and how you choose to communicate that visually. Once I stopped trying to draw like everyone else, I noticed a pattern in my mark making. My hands just kind of do their thing and I’m learning to really embrace that. There’s something so powerful in knowing that no one will ever draw like me, because no one will ever be like me.

Photography by Patrick Leung

Posted by Samira

Previously: PIQUE: Taha Photo #StreetSoul

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6IX x 6 Toronto Instagram Exhibit Returns!

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We’re excited to announce the return of the MNFSTO x 1LOVETO co-curated “6IX x 6″ photography exhibit at Steam Whistle Brewing Gallery next month! Taking place between February 3rd – 29th, this multi-layered exhibit features the work of some of Toronto’s top Instagram photographers, including official @1LOVETO photographers @soteeoh & @ellenaturel along side @bora.vs.bora, @mr.jobeezy, @jayscale, and @tahaphoto.

Join us for the opening reception on February 3rd, and get more information HERE

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Previously: 6IX x 6 Interview Series: Mr. Jobeezy

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On February 14, the eyes of the basketball world will be on Toronto as the city host’s the NBA All Star Game. As a proud partner of the NBA, Mountain Dew worked with designer Naturel, to create this limited edition DEW can to celebrate this big event. You can find the can at most major convenience stores and gas stations across the country for a limited time.

We’ve teamed up with Mountain Dew to help celebrate the All Star Game with ‘6 Reasons Why We’re Excited The NBA All Star Game Is In The 6ix’.

REASON 1
For the first (and possibly) only time in the history of the NBA, Canada is hosting the NBA All-Star game here in Toronto! Basketball fans, both young and old, will be able to enjoy this historic moment for years to come. If that’s not exciting, we don’t know what is.

REASON 2
This is our time to showcase what makes Toronto so special. We are a world-class city and we can’t wait to showcase our diverse sense of culture and community. We have so much to offer North of the border! Toronto really is the ‘world in 1 city.’

REASON 3
What a way to celebrate Basketball’s 125th anniversary! We take great pride in knowing the game of Basketball was invented by a Canadian – Dr James Naismith, in 1891. The love for the game in Canada, specifically Toronto, has grown considerably thanks to our very own Toronto Raptors. They’ve created a new wave of enthusiasm towards Basketball that we’ve never seen before. #WeTheNorth

REASON 4
Local businesses will win big. Tourism will be at an all-time high, with restaurants, hotels, bars, and our favourite ‘mom & pop’ shops playing host to many new customers, from not only south of the border, but from around the globe.

REASON 5
In good humour, we can’t wait to see the friendly off-court instagram battle between Drake and Kevin Hart become an on-court reality. They’ll be facing off as opposing Coaches at this year’s Celebrity All Star Game.

REASON 6
You never know who you’ll see in the 6ix! From your favourite NBA All Stars, Hall of Famer’s, On-Air Commentators, to Celebrities, Actors, Artists, Musicians, the opportunities are endless. There’s going to be athlete meet-and-greets, countless after-parties, community initiatives, youth programming and more. Don’t miss out on your chance to rub shoulders with the best of the best.

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Photography by @SoTeeOh

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Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen

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The fascination with fame seems to only get stronger with time. With the developments of social platforms like Instagram and YouTube, these days it seems like everyone is fighting for their 15 minutes. The man who fore-shadowed this phenomena and one of the most notable figures who was obsessed with celebrity culture, was American artist Andy Warhol.

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Andy was born in the 20’s to a poor but close family in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. At a young age he began collecting images of glamorous celebrities from magazines his mother would give him. Slowly but surely, he be-came enraptured in this ‘other world’. In school, he excelled in art and eventually earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He moved to NYC in 1949 where he found success as a commercial artist but not before receiving a string of rejection letters from various galleries and industry bigwigs. Today, he is celebrated world-wide among the ordinary and elite, for introducing the Pop Art movement to the 20th century.

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TIFF Bell Lightbox is continuing the celebration by bringing their largest exhibit to date: Andy Warhol – Stars of the Silver Screen, to Toronto in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum. The 800+ piece exhibit takes you through the journey of a sickly, starstruck kid to star-maker through his personal collection of photos, earliest works and some his most famous pieces. You have to see the exhibit to truly appreciate the gravity of this multi-faceted artist but we want to tell you about our favourite aspects:

1. Everyone is familiar with the famous silkscreen series of he did of Marilyn Monroe. You get the see the actual image of Marilyn he tore out of a magazine (given by his mom) and framed her face with paint. This particular image would become iconic throughout the world.

2. They’ve re-created a room to depict the famous Silver Factory where Warhol created his work and where countless stars hung out and partied. Attendees are welcomed to go in and back in time.

3. Personal letters, notes and mailgrams sent to Andy including some from Elizabeth Taylor.

4. The Screen Test Machine. You can take your own Warhol-style 3 minute silent film.

The exhibit surrounds you with his work and propels you into his world. You encounter mirrored panels throughout which creates a truly immersive experience, like you are a part of the art. Loops of his video work accent the exhibit and offers a look at themes Andy is known for: sexuality, consumerism, luxury, and more.

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In addition to the exhibit, TIFF has curated specific cinematic programming to honour the artist; Nothing Special: Andy Warhol’s Star System, a retrospective of his films and Liz & Marilyn: Black and White in Colour. Liz & Marilyn, a favourite fascination Andy had with the two icons, is a curation of some of their most famous films including The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Cleopatra (1963).

The exhibit runs until January 24th 2016. For more programming details visit: tiff.net

Posted by Samira

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