ON NOW For many people, quilts bring to mind notions of warmth and an embracing comfort. But upon viewing the array of coverlets displayed at the Textile Museum of Canada, you may find another term to be equally fitting—art. Kaleidoscope: Antique Quilts from the collection of Carole and Howard Tanenbaum, gathers 43 delicate blankets from Canada, England and the United States in a prismatic show of colour and craft, exposing the rich quilting tradition of the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries through styles including the pixel-like honeycomb pattern, the log cabin technique with its Canadiana influence, and everyone’s favourite, the “crazy quilt.” Among the most impressive examples: a double Irish chain quilt, comprising 2,965 postage stamp–sized pieces exquisitely stitched into a vibrant diagonal grid.
—Jenelle DaSilva Rupchand
DECEMBER 3 TO 19 Shutterbugs have cause for celebration as unique photography centre and production facility Gallery 44 marks its 30th anniversary. Since 1979 the not-for-profit gallery has displayed the works of more than 750 Canadian and international artists in 240-plus exhibitions; this month, the gallery’s Wall to Wall show and sale collects excellent images that span its three decades of existence. Commemorate the occasion by picking up Gallery 44’s newest book, Emergence: Contemporary Canadian Photography, which examines photographic art and its ongoing evolution in this country.
OPENS DECEMBER 11 Art lovers and cineastes find common ground in Recent Snow: Works by Michael Snow, a survey of the Toronto-born artist’s latest video and film installations at The Power Plant. Though successful in many disciplines, Snow’s most consistently innovative efforts have been in the arena of avant-garde cinema. Experimenting with both structural and narrative techniques, these works—2005’s SSHTOORRTY and two brand new films among them—investigate the interplay between artifice and reality, rewarding the keen viewer with a multilayered cognitive and sensory experience.
ON NOW Get creative with your gift-giving this season by picking up eye-catching artwork and other visual ephemera at these unique shops and galleries.
>> A miscellany of paintings and works on paper is augmented by decorative pottery, sculptures, hand-crafted jewellery and even functional wood pieces at venerable Arts on King.
>> With reasonably priced canvases from dozens of emerging artists, Art Interiors offers an affordable alternative to the more traditional gallery experience.
>> Queen West’s Magic Pony is a mecca for whimsical designer toys and limited-edition prints from the likes of Junko Mizuno and Nicholas Di Genova.
>> Find the perfect coffee-table tome for the graphic designer or (m)ad man in your life at Swipe Books.
>> Toronto Antiques on King houses under one roof a variety of quality vendors who traffic in everything from estate jewellery to Canadian historical art to unique knick-knacks.