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10 Contact Exhibits Not to Miss

EVOLVING LANDSCAPES Stan Denniston‘s series of eight barely coloured saguaro cacti photographs (pictured) serve as striking metaphors for America’s evolving socio-political climate. The exhibit Just Until runs from May 3 to 28 at Olga Korper Gallery.

CAPTURED MOMENTS Carlos and Jason Sanchez plunge into the human psyche in New Work: The Sanchez Brothers. The Montreal-based photographers stage their images to replicate events as complex and diverse as the September 11 terrorist attacks and a child’s beauty pageant. Their gripping studies of human behaviour and psychology can be seen at the Christopher Cutts Gallery from May 3 to 31.

ART IN MOTION Iconoclastic Canadian photographer, writer and artist Douglas Coupland brings the artifice of human experience to five transit shelters on Queen Street West, from Shaw Street to Gladstone Avenue. His Warflowers photo series places Japanese ikebana flower arrangements alongside military decals to explore themes of contrivance in nature and human interaction.

BACK TO SCHOOL Exposed to Light places cameras in the hands of Forest Hill Public School’s grade eight students to transform their realities into art. This exhibition of budding photographers runs from May 2 to 17 at the Lonsdale Gallery. From May 23 to June 2, Constructed Realities taps the talents of 18 Bishop Strachan School students to explore how reality is the subjective by-product of pop culture and global events.

SEX-POSÉ Domique Rey appraises female identity and sexuality in Selling Venus/Vénus au Miroir. Glimpse the provocative collection of self-portraits and photographs of exotic dancers at Gallery TPW from May 11 to June 9.

ARTFUL ROOMS The Gladstone Hotel, Queen Street’s boutique hotel-cum-gallery, hosts Rising from May 1 to 31, where 12 emerging artists ascribe art to contemporary and personal issues. From May 3 to 27, see Pierre Dalpé coax the emotions that lurk just beneath the surface into photographic immortality in Personae.

TOY STORY For his exhibit Pretty Pictures, Joshua Jensen-Nagle used a toy camera to capture country and suburban landscapes and transformed them into subtle, eye-catching dioramas with a resin finish. The emerging photographer’s 15 pieces are showcased at Thrush Holmes Empire from April 25 to May 27.

DIGITAL DARKROOM Seventy-two digitally reproduced portraits from Ryerson’s Black Star Historical Black & White Photographs Collection are on display for the first time in Celebrity Persona. The exhibit runs from April 30 to May 26 in BCE Place‘s Allen Lambert Galleria. Rare portraits include singer Elvis Presley, actresses Julie Andrews and Elizabeth Taylor, theologian Dr. Albert Schweitzer and Canada’s 13th prime minister, John Diefenbaker.

CREATING FROM THE GROUND UP From May 5 to 17 at Arta Gallery, Takin Aghdashloo, Brenda Hoffert, Marilyn Lightstone and John Ly draw from their diverse backgrounds to analyze what it means to “construct” photos in Construction/Deconstruction.

WATER WONDERS Photographed at night using long exposures, Water’s Edge is a collection of minimalist photographs by Andrew Wright that capture the mists, mysteries and turbulence of water at the Aurora Power Plant and Niagara Falls. Photos can be seen from May 2 to 26 at the Peak Gallery.

For more on the Contact Photography Festival, see Festival Snapshots.—Gaya Arasaratnam

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