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Art

Artist Spotlight: Valerie Metcalfe

By Kelsey Schaefer

VALERIE METCALFE has dedicated more than 45 years to pursue her pottery passion.

Decades of practising this meticulous art form have resulted in stunning works that evoke organic shapes and subtle floral details. She currently produces more than 1500 artworks per year. Inspiration comes from her life-long interest in nature and her love for the flow of a paintbrush.

While Valerie credits art school for introducing her to pottery, much of her learning has taken place outside of the classroom. She is the last founding member of the Stoneware Gallery, an artist-run business managed by a co-operative of ceramics artists. She also teaches classes at the Stoneware Studio.

Valerie admits that following her passion may not have brought her immense wealth, but it’s provided her with something she believes is much more valuable: a lifelong career full of reverence and significant relationships.

2018 marks the 40th anniversary of Stoneware Gallery, where throughout her extensive career, the love of the craft has kept Valerie committed. Valerie’s collections are sold at The Stoneware Gallery, 778 Corydon Ave, 204-475-8088, stonewaregallery.com

Artist Spotlight: Christian Worthington

By Teena Legris

CHRISTIAN WORTHINGTON is a Canadian multimedia artist who has garnered both local and international acclaim. With over twenty years studying the techniques of classic masters such as Rembrandt and Caravaggio, along with American abstract expressionists, he is endlessly intrigued by historical periods and the experimental trends in art.

   Christian is dedicated to applying his broad range of work in a variety of genres, narratives and themes. From representational portraits in oils to contemporary abstracts, he considers himself “an investigative painter delving into sculpture.” Each explorative medium, including his three-dimensional forms in clay, copper, and steel, demonstrates attention to precision with dramatic effects rendered through the contrast of light and shadow.

   Seeing each project as an opportunity to explore art on a macro and existential level, his objective is to “take an immaterial essence, an emotion or even a spiritual idea, and make it tangible. Like a transfer of stewardship from conception to creation.”

   The desire to delve further into large-scale industrial design led to a melding of creative minds in the spring of 2017. Christian connected with Swiss-born sculptor, Jürgen Cooper Meier, whose art consists of a prolific body of privately commissioned, large-scale abstract steel sculptures. Both artists have created a dynamic series of small prototypes (maquettes), representative of large-scale pieces intended for public exhibit. Paul Zacharias, Director of the LANTERN Gallery, hosts the exhibition of collaborative sculptures by Christian Worthington and Jürgen Cooper Meier from April 6-14, 2018. 211 Pacific Ave, 204-226-2357, lanternshows.com

Artist Spotlight: Kal Barteski

KAL BARTESKI is a Winnipeg-based multimedia artist, activist, and author known for her signature illustrated typescript and wildlife paintings. Her artistic journey has seamlessly evolved from a love of painting animals into projects with a purpose.
    The aspiring artist sold her first painting (a portrait of a dalmatian) in Saskatchewan at the age of 8, validating her pursuit of doing what she loved. Kal’s move to Winnipeg in her twenties proved to be the ultimate brush with destiny, as a fascination with a polar bear at the zoo inspired an impressive portfolio of 150 polar bear paintings that became an international sensation.
    Regular visits to Churchill, Manitoba prompted study of polar bears and their habitat, leading to The Polar Bear Fund initiative in 2016 supporting non-invasive polar bear research. In June 2017, Kal participated in Churchill’s mural festival and inspired a “Back Alley Arctic” campaign in Winnipeg’s Wolseley neighbourhood (pictured). The walkable art gallery included several garage murals featuring her beloved bears and other illustrated wildlife.
   
Kal’s wild obsession garnered attention from Brent Christensen, Creator/Founder of Ice Castles, spurring a cool collaboration. Kal’s paintings can be viewed inside the shimmering icy tunnels and glowing palatial archways of Ice Castles throughout the winter months at Parks Canada Place at The Forks.
    Of her famed polar bears, Kal acknowledges that “it’s not the hipster cool theme, but I’m grateful for who I am and how this intuitive journey has gifted me some beautiful opportunities.”
   Followers can view her work website kalbarteski.com and on Instagram @kalbarteski.

Things to do in Toronto This January

The Lorax

Next Stage Theatre Festival
Jan. 3–14
Next Stage is the winter cousin of the Toronto Fringe Festival. But where the Fringe is made up of both established and up-and-coming theatre artists chosen by lottery, Next Stage is a juried affair and consists of both new and remounted plays from past festivals. This year’s highlights include a new work by comedy troupe–puppeteers Sex T-Rex and Fringe vets Martin Dockery and Vanessa Quesnelle.
Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst St.

The Canadian Odyssey of Lord Milton
To Jan. 7
In 1862, English nobleman Viscount Milton and physician Walter Cheadle travelled across Canada, looking for a direct route to the Cariboo goldfield in British Columbia. The story of their trip was detailed in a book, illustrated by Cheadle, called The North-West Passage By Land. Visitors to the Gardiner Museum can view 13 pieces from both public and private collections of a commemorative tea set featuring hand-painted art inspired by the book’s drawings.
Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park

Monster Jam
Jan. 13 and 14
In terms of pure spectacle, a monster truck rally is already the automotive equivalent of professional wrestling. Monster Jam likes to take that combination of raw energy and technical expertise and turn it up a notch. The custom-designed trucks that compete for the Toronto Monster Jam championship at the Rogers Centre are an impressive 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide. They sit on 66-inch tires, weigh 10,000 pounds at minimum, and can drive off a ramp and land up to 130 feet away or bounce 35 feet into the air.
Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way

Toronto Light Fest

Toronto Light Fest
Starts Jan. 19
The Toronto Light Fest aims to combat winter’s dark days by illuminating at least one small pocket of the city. Spanning three months, the festival transforms the historic Distillery District into one of the largest open-air art galleries in the world, thanks to an estimated 750,000 artistically placed lights. The Distillery’s dozens of Victorian-era buildings are surrounded by—and incorporated into—a wide range of sculptures, light canopies and installations created by both local and international light artists.
Distillery District, 55 Mill St.

Arts of the East: Highlights of Islamic Art from the Bruschettini Collection
To Jan. 21
Lavish textiles, patterned carpets, paintings and inlaid metalwork from the 13th to 17th centuries are on display at the Aga Khan Museum in this debut exhibition of one of the most important private collections of Islamic art in the world.
Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr.

The Lorax
To Jan. 21
Few people realize beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss was an early supporter of the environmental movement. His 1971 book The Lorax directly addressed threats to nature poised by economic greed. This stage adaptation educates as much as it entertains—courtesy of a set design that will make you feel like you’re living in a Dr. Seuss book.
Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W.

Winterlicious
Starts Jan. 26
This citywide celebration of culinary excellence encompasses more than 200 restaurants, each with their own prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. This year’s participants include Bar Buca, Canoe, Colette Grand Café, and The Carbon Bar among others. Spots fill up fast at so make sure to make reservations ahead of time.
Various locations

Christian Dior at the ROM

Christian Dior
To March 18
Christian Dior was one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century, known for his use of luxury textiles and gorgeous embroideries. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior, the Royal Ontario Museum displays items from its rarely seen collection of haute couture pieces designed by Dior from 1947 to 1957.
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park

Market Round Up Nov 30 – Dec 3

With the holidays fast approaching, artists and creators are gathering and ready to share their crafts. From Holiday themes to educational lectures, these galleries and markets have something for everyone. (more…)

3 Must-Visit Art Exhibits in Calgary

By SILVIA PIKAL, MICHAELA RITCHIE and RACHAEL FREY

Meryl McMaster, Dreamcatcher, 2015.

IMAGINING NEW FUTURES
Future Memories (Present Tense): Contemporary Practices in Perspective
brings together the work of six contemporary Indigenous artists from different regions of Canada. Each artist was invited to explore how every moment in time has multiple perspectives, and how these perspectives have often been ignored or silenced when experienced by Indigenous peoples. (more…)

Four Must-see Art and Museum Exhibits for Fall

From imaginative monsters to Nazi history to indigenous art to crafted textiles, there’s a wealth of exhibits to experience this season

Delve into the collection of imaginative items at Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters.

 

Raise a Flag: Works from
the Indigenous Art Collection (2000–2015)

To Dec. 10

OCAD University, Canada’s largest art and design school, christens its new 8,000-foot flagship galley in September with an exhibit that creates a dialogue surrounding Canada’s national identity. Works by more than two dozen First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists will be on display from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s comprehensive art collection.

Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond St. W., ocadu.ca

 

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters

To Jan. 7

Few modern filmmakers have made their stamp on the fantasy genre like Guillermo del Toro. This fall, the Art Gallery of Ontario exhibits a selection of items from del Toro’s famous personal collection of curiosities, including art, books and ephemera surrounding the afterlife, magic, occultism, alchemy, freaks and imaginary creatures. This show provides a window into the creative process of the mind behind Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim and The Hobbit.

Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W.

 

The Evidence Room

To Jan. 28

In 2000, architectural historian Robert Jan van Pelt proved in a landmark court case that Auschwitz was purposefully designed by the Nazis as a death camp. His research became a source for the emerging discipline of architectural forensics. The Evidence Room—an acclaimed exhibition when it debuted last year at the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice—displays key objects central to that research, including full-scale reconstructions of three major components of the Auschwitz gas chambers along with more than 60 plaster casts of additional architectural evidence.

Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park

 

Diligence and Elegance: The Nature of Japanese Textiles

To Jan. 21

This exhibit displays 19th- and 20th-century fabrics and garments from Kyoto’s professional weaving workshops alongside Canadian-made cotton, cloth and silk kimonos created using traditional techniques. The show features work by contemporary artists Hiroko Karuno and Keiko Shintani, both of whose work has evolved from Japanese textile traditions.

Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave.

Bytown’s Best Beers

By Matt Harrison

It’s a golden age of sorts. Golden suds that is. Awash in beer, the capital’s not quite drowning but rather happily drifting along in a frothy sea of microbrews. Last count finds the area home to at least two-dozen breweries and growing.

Not confined to area pubs and bars, the breweries themselves have become tourist destinations such as Beau’s Oktoberfest in September (less chance of snow!), or Les Brasseurs du Temps, a beautiful stone brewery located in Hull’s former waterworks building with patios overlooking — fittingly — Brewery Creek, an arm of the Ottawa River.

What’s driving this industry? The answer is found in the hardworking brewmasters who pride themselves in being natural and authentic. But to stand out, you also have to be a little quirky (the Broadhead team brags about giving up shaving for its craft) or take a mad-scientist approach to experimenting (an Earl Grey Marmalade Saison anyone?), or get creative with naming beers (Bog WaterPink FuzzHeller Highwater).

We asked some of the city’s top brewers to talk about what makes this city’s suds scene so great.

Father-son team, Tim and Steve Beauchesne of Beau’s Brewery. Photo courtesy of Beau’s.

Beau’s Brewing Co. (Since 2006)
Steve Beauchesne, co-founder, and CEO

What makes your brewery unique?
Our close-knit family and friends, company culture, and each of the beers we brew.

What is your favourite beer?
Bog Water. It started us on a path of experimentation, and has spawned so many interesting projects. When we decided to brew a Gruit beer [brewed with herbs other than hops], I don’t think we fully realized how much it would impact our brewery. Now with a full-time Gruit program, and as originators of International Gruit Day, it is something that many brewers [worldwide] look to us as experts on.

Les Brasseurs du Temps (Since 2009)
Alain Geoffroy, president

What makes your brewery unique?
BDT is the first craft brewery established on the Quebec side of the Outaouais. It is literally a temple of beer brewing more than 35 different types of beer [always 17 fresh beers on the menu], located in a heritage centennial building and featuring a self-guided beer museum.

What are your most underrated and favourite beers?
Underrated: L’Allumante is our nut brown ale. Despite the fact that it is our second best-selling beer [OK, not really underrated!], it remains, to my point of view, one of the best American-style nut brown ales you can find: a subtle nutty flavour sustained by a long and smooth bitterness. Favourite: La Framboyante, our raspberry pale ale. Fruit beers tend to be oversweet to my taste. La Framboyante has a perfect balance of bitterness [like biting into the raspberry seed] and sweetness of the fruit.

Brewery Kichesippi Beer Co. (Since 2010)
Paul Meek, co-owner and president

What makes your brewery unique?
Our commitment to brewing rare global styles and making them available to our customers. Logger (Pennsylvania Porter), Wuchak UK (British IPA), Donny’s Dort (Dortmunder), Phoenix and the Cat (Rauchbier), and Dartmouth Common (Steam Beer) are all great examples of [our] hard-to-find global styles.

What are your most underrated and favourite beers?
Underrated: Probably our Kichesippi Logger. The style is a Penn Porter, which was a style created by Yuengling in the U.S. It is a not a traditional British Porter or Baltic Porter as it uses a lager yeast instead of an ale yeast. Favourite: Our Kichesippi 1855. The great thing about this beer is that it teaches the customer that the colour of the beer is not directly related to its flavour. When you try this amber ale with your eyes closed, you would never guess that it’s a darker beer in the glass.

Laura Behzadi, co-owner of Bicycle Craft Brewery.

Bicycle Craft Brewery (Since 2014)
Laura Behzadi, co-owner

What makes your brewery unique?
We pride ourselves on sourcing local ingredients when available and our passion for craft beer ensures that our beer is delicious every time it’s poured. We are also avid supporters of women in the brewing industry and celebrate International Women’s Day every year with Freedom Machine, our cherry pale ale that’s named after the suffragette name for the bicycle.

What are your most underrated and favourite beers?
Underrated: Vinternat Liquorice Stout. The added raw liquorice root gives the beer a crisp finish that cools the mouth and is very thirst-quenching and refreshing. Most people are surprised when they try it. Favourite: Velocipede IPA. It’s our flagship beer and is inspired by the original name for the bicycle. Hoppy, with citrus notes and a refreshing bitterness — it’s perfect any time of year.

Whiprsnapr Brewing Co. (Since 2014)
Ian McMartin, founder, co-owner, head brewer

What makes your brewery unique?
We have a baby system (150L) and a big system (2000L). The baby system allows us to play a lot and have lots of different beers on tap, while the big guy lets us get our beers into the LCBO and The Beer Stores. We also have a great front-of-house area [for] events.

What are your most underrated and favourite beers?
Underrated: Our Carol Anne Irish blonde ale. There’s just so much flavour in it for such a light, easy drinking beer [4.7 percent]. It’s got a lot of body from wheat and honey malts, and loads of hops give it a real spring-like aroma. Favourite: Our ginger coriander cream ale. It’s based on some of the travel I used to do to China, Malaysia, and Singapore, and the flavours they use in their foods: ginger, coriander, lemon, and honey. The beer is light, crisp, bright, vibrant, packed with flavour, but still balanced.

Art Exhibits You Can’t Miss in Calgary

By HANNA DEEVES and MICHAELA RITCHIE

Courtesy of cSPACE

Calgary is home to some amazing artists. Here are a few exhibits and projects that you won’t want to miss.  (more…)

Artist Spotlight: Hubert Theroux

HUBERT THEROUX grew up in the rural community of Cardinal, Manitoba with a love for Canadian prairies. At the age of 10, Hubert began to sketch illustrations of art and prairies. Post-high school graduation, he took photography courses to help feed his creativity and inspiration for future paintings. “Next thing you know I was shooting weddings for friends,” Hubert laughs.

    Known internationally for his realistic landscape paintings, Hubert has made a living as an artist for more than 25 years. His art continues to be inspired by the ever-changing colours of the prairies. Hubert also generously devotes time to the local art community and as the acting president of the Assiniboia Group of Artists Co-op. From Oct 27-29, meet Hubert and 40 other local artists at Manitoba’s largest professional art exhibition show Manitoba Art Expo at Assiniboia Downs. Be inspired by paintings, photography, sculptures and other medias throughout the weekend exhibit.

    In addition, Hubert’s art can be viewed at Birchwood Art Gallery year-round.

Assiniboia Downs, 3975 Portage Ave, manitobaartexpo.ca; Birchwood Art Gallery, 1068 Pembina Hwy, 204-888-5840

Top 5 Art Finds

These Winnipeg boutiques are filled with art beyond the traditional paint brush and canvas. Take home one of these spectacular artful items, handmade with love.
A mash-up of 110 Canadian artisanal products fill the walls and display boxes at Tara Davis Studio Boutique. Find beautiful pieces from hand-embroidered maps from Sadie and June to Birch Street Studio’s laser cut jewellery.
• 246 McDermot Ave, 204‑504‑8272, taradavis.ca
On the fourth floor of an historic building, discover the dream studio of Mud and Stone. Watch the potters hand mould and paint one-of-a-kind decorative serving trays, flower pots and tableware.
• 290 McDermot Ave, mudandstonestudio.com
Find treasures crafted by First Peoples of North America at Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique. Check out the stunning painted mural mug and coaster sets by Rabbit Studios (pictured).
• 1 Forks Market Rd, second floor, 204‑946‑0539
Shop WOW! Mabuhay outdoor and indoor home décor at the Johnston Terminal at The Forks. Unique products are imported from colourful wind chimes to stone sculptures.
• 25 Forks Market Rd, main floor, 204-947-9342
At Blue Hills Design, find paintings made by Canadian artists along with home décor. Check out the decorative painted wood boxes by British Columbia company Cedar Mountain Studios.
• 444 Academy Rd, 204‑487‑1151, bluehillsdesign.ca

Top 5 Arts & Food Pairings

Get dinner and a show by pairing a performance with a masterpiece meal at one of these local restaurants.

Housemade pastas at The Mitchell Block are the perfect prelude to curtain raising at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Try tender agnolotti stuffed with sweet potato and sage bathed in brown butter.
• 173 McDermot Ave, 204-949-9032

The oldest continually running theatre company in Canada, Le Cercle Moliere delights with whimsical French language performances. Stop in at the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain before a show and dine on filling tourtiere covered in maple cream sauce at Stella’s bright, welcoming space.
• 340 Provencher Blvd, 204-447-8393

Make a pitstop at the Saddlery on Market, steps from the Centennial Concert Hall, before watching one of Winnipeg’s most venerated arts institutions perform. Roasted beet and goat cheese salad (pictured) will have feet tapping even before the Royal Winnipeg Ballet takes stage.
• 114 Market Ave, 204-615-1898

Magical adventures unfold on the Manitoba Theatre for Young People stage. Take advantage of the theatre’s location at The Forks and slurp up a plate of spaghetti bolognese at the Old Spaghetti Factory inside the Johnston Terminal.
• 25 Forks Market Rd, 204-957-1391

At the Winnipeg Art Gallery, glimpses of Wanda Koop’s work grace the walls. After touring the exhibits, head to the museum’s penthouse level, where Table restaurant serves scrumptious exhibit-inspired lunches.
• 300 Memorial Blvd, 204-948-0085