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Stephen Bulger Gallery

Contact Photography Festival Daily Pick: Danny Lyon

Where Toronto brings you a new image for each day of the 2013 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, which runs throughout May with exhibitions at more than 175 venues across the city.

Today’s top Contact Photography Festival pick:

Photo: Etherton Gallery and Stephen Bulger Gallery

© Etherton Gallery and Stephen Bulger Gallery

Photo: Crossing the Ohio, Louisville, 1966
Artist: Danny Lyon
Exhibition: From May 11 to June 15, the camera’s power to record for the masses places, people and events that would otherwise be clandestine is observed at Stephen Bulger Gallery, which this month features Danny Lyon’s seminal “Bikeriders” series of images. Shot between 1963 and ’67, Lyon’s photos represent a pioneering effort in the then-novel field of participatory journalism. In the manner of contemporaries like Hunter S. Thompson and George Plimpton, Lyon fully immersed himself in his subject—in this case, Chicago’s Outlaws motorcycle club, of which he became a member—to provide an intimate and truly authentic view of an American counterculture.

Check back daily for more Contact Photography Festival coverage, and visit scotiabankcontactphoto.com for more information about this exhibition!

Weekend Roundup: January 20 to 22

Friday: Clarinetist James Campbell performs with Sinfonia Toronto (photo by Tim Leyes)

Friday, January 20
Start your weekend with a touch of class at Sinfonia Toronto’s Black and White performance at the Glenn Gould Studio. Featuring the talents of Canadian clarinetist James Campbell and Russian pianist Dmitry Gordin, the recital—of chamber works by Shostakovich and Mozart—promises to weave these two exquisite soloists together in a musical dialogue you won’t soon forget.

You won’t be able to sit still as Harbourfront Centre reprises its Dance Ontario Weekend, a three-day extravaganza with dozens of local dancers, choreographers and musicians. Enjoy a heart-pounding spectrum of musical styles—from ballet, to flamenco, to Middle Eastern—both live and on film.

Our beloved Sesame Street muppets are all grown up, and foul-mouthed to boot. Tony Award-winning Avenue Q, the riotous coming-of-age musical comes to the Lower Ossington Theatre, and explores coming-of-age anxieties through such tongue-in-cheek numbers as “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?” and “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.”


30 Things We Love About Toronto This June

3. The Art Gallery of Ontario, complete with Henry Moore sculptures (photo by Roger Yip)

1. The soulful voice of Aretha Franklin, who opens the TD Toronto Jazz Festival with a free concert on June 24.

2. Donning red and white to cheer on the Toronto FC.

3. Admiring the collection of Henry Moore sculptures housed at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

4. Sipping a cappuccino from White Squirrel Coffee Shop while seeking its namesake critters in adjacent Trinity-Bellwoods Park.

5. Practicing your swing at Polson Pier’s lakeside driving range.

10. Toronto's skyline

6. Receiving a boisterous greeting from servers and chefs upon entering Japanese izakaya Guu.

7. Examining industrial-landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky’s latest exhibit about the oil business at the Royal Ontario Museum.

8. Strolling the pedestrian-friendly outdoor retail complex Shops at Don Mills.

9. The fervor of the “scramble” at Yonge and Dundas, where you can cross the street in any direction.

10. Taking the ferry to the Toronto Islands and looking back at the impressive skyline.

13. The Rex

11. Perusing refined Scandinavian design at Mjölk.

12. Admiring the cavernous grandeur of Union Station (65 Front St. W.).

13. Winding down the week with the live jazz and laid-back vibe at The Rex.

14. Walking beneath architectural artist Philip Beesley’s Sargasso installation, featured in Brookfield Place during Luminato.

15. The sense of otherworldliness in Sarah Anne Johnson’s Arctic Wonderland photos, displayed at Stephen Bulger Gallery.

19. Buca

16. Queuing for the $5.99 lunch specials at Sushi on Bloor—it’s worth the wait.

17. TV’s Rachel and Finn—a.k.a. Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith—belting it out on stage for Glee Live! In Concert!

18. Working up the courage to step onto the CN Tower’s glass floor, then looking down at the street 342 metres below.

19. Crunching on crispy pigs’ ears within Buca’s reclaimed industrial space.

20. Centering yourself at a drop-in yoga class at the Evergreen Brick Works.

24. Stillwater Spa

21. Finishing off a meal at The Gabardine with a burnt marshmallow ice cream sandwich.

22. Ordering creative cocktails and shareable snacks at Origin.

23. Admiring the elaborately designed merchandise windows at posh Holt Renfrew.

24. Getting pampered with a deep blue Tahitian massage at Stillwater Spa.

25. Picking up a new pair of flip-flops or sandals at always on-trend  shoe store Get Outside.

26. The Drake General Store

26. Quirky items from the Drake General Store to bring back home to your family and friends.

27. Tucking into tacos el pastor and a bowl of guacamole at Mexican stalwart El Trompo.

28. Coveting the volume of tomes at The Cookbook Store.

29. Scouring the rows of kitchenware at Chinatown’s Tap Phong Trading Company (360 Spadina Ave., 416-977-6364).

30. A stroll through the ravines of the Don Valley—you might glimpse a white-tailed deer by the river.

Hot Art: Sarah Anne Johnson’s Arctic Imagery

Fire Works, by Sarah Anne Johnson

JUNE 16 TO JULY 16 Environmental concerns have long informed the works of Sarah Anne Johnson. In the past she has used photography to document—and, in some cases, re-create—tree planting in Manitoba and agricultural rehabilitation on the Galapagos Islands. Arctic Wonderland, her latest series at Stephen Bulger Gallery, chronicles a schooner trip to the Arctic Circle. But these are not simple snaps of glaciers and icebergs. Instead, Johnson has subtly manipulated her images using overpainting, embossing, Photoshop and other techniques. The results are
a whimsical and ironic interpretation of the impact of humans on nature, depicting, to paraphrase the artist, not just what she saw, but how she feels about what she saw.

Contact Curated: Queen & Dundas West

This year’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival is now in full swing, with exhibitions at more than 200 venues across the city. Make the most of your festival experience by concentrating your gallery-hopping within specific Toronto neighbourhoods, such as the western sections of Queen and Dundas streets.

At the Drake Hotel: Alex Prager's Irene from the Long Weekend (courtesy of Yancey Richardson Gallery)

Gladstone Hotel
Martie Giefert: Reconstruction (Gladstone) (May 1 to 31)
Isabel M. Martinez: The Weekend
(May 1 to June 3)

The Gladstone Hotel hosts two Contact featured exhibitions. Inspired by the boutique hotel’s third floor, Martie Giefert deconstructs and recreates a hyperrealistic experience of the space through film and digital photography. Similarly, Isabel M. Martinez splices leisure and landscape photos, bringing them together in a single frame to create a shifting scene for the viewer.

Drake Hotel
Robyn Cumming, Sara Cwynar, Daniel Gordon, Alex Prager, Geoffrey Pugen: I’m Not Here (April 22 to June 20)

This featured exhibition at the Drake Hotel emphasizes a contemporary take on portraiture. In many of the photos, the subject’s face is obscured, masked or abstracted in order to draw attention away from the customary focus of portraits and, instead, toward other elements of the image.

Le Gallery
Scott Ramsay: Carril Bici (April 27 to May 22)

In his open exhibition at Le Gallery, photographer Scott Ramsay turns his lens toward Cuba—specifically, that country’s ability to adapt to modernity without industrialism via the relationship between the Cuban people and the bicycle.

Stephen Bulger Gallery
Robert Bourdeau: The Station Point (May 5 to June 11)

Bourdeau’s large-format photographs document four decades worth of old landscapes, historical architecture and inactive industrial sites throughout Europe and North America. The photos offer a sense of how old structures can lose their identity over time yet still contain feelings, ambiguities and  even emotion.

At Angell Gallery: Alex Kisilevich's Stick Figure (courtesy of Angell Gallery)

Angell Gallery
Geoffrey Pugen: Long Divisions
(May 5 to June 11)
Alex Kisilevich: Kallima (May 5 to June 11)

Angell Gallery offers exhibitions by two of its contemporary artists. With Long Divisions, Pugen uses video and photography to manipulate ordinary objects into fantastical ones. Kisilevich explores the idea of camouflage and identity in the natural world and in social contexts for humans.

Gallery TPW
Eric Gottesman: Paths That Cross Cross Again (May 12 to June 11)

True to its history of presenting documentary and political photography, Gallery TPW displays Paths That Cross Cross Again by Eric Gottesman. The exhibit features images that reflect Gottesman’s work with Sudden Flowers, a children’s art collection in Addis Ababa, showcasing the complexity of human relations across social contexts.

Paul Petro Contemporary Art
Suzy Lake: Extended Breath (May 6 to June 4)
Su Rynard: Seed Bank (May 6 to June 4)

For more than 30 years, Suzy Lake has explored themes of female identity and beauty. In her Paul Petro exhibition, Lake uses long exposures to express both stillness and movement. Also in the gallery, Su Rynard’s work takes viewers inside the London Seed Bank to explore the irony of preserving nature within a man-made fortress.

At MOCCA: Viviane Sassen's Parasomnia (courtesy of Motive Gallery, Amsterdam)

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
Olga Chagaoutdinova, Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Viviane Sassen, Dayanita Singh: Dynamic Landscape (April 30 to June 5)
Fred Herzog: Vancouver (April 30 to June 5)

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art features two of Contact’s primary exhibitions. Dynamic Landscape, a group show, highlights the interplay between humans and nature from Africa to Canada’s frozen north. Fred Herzog: Vancouver tells the story of the German immigrant’s documentation and transformation of post-war Vancouver.

Elaine Fleck Gallery
S. Vote: The Aesthetic Choices of S. Vote (May 1 to 28)

S. Vote juxtaposes the media of traditional pen-and-ink geisha drawings and contemporary digital photography to create a single unified expression of beauty, elegance, contrast and fragility.

View Contact Photography Festival 2011: Queen & Dundas West in a larger map

Yours to Discover: Day Three

Winter’s on its way out; it’s time to get a head start on exploring. Guide yourself with our specialized itineraries, or contact one of Toronto’s many tour operators to delve deeper into this multifaceted metropolis. And don’t forget to check out previous Yours to Discover posts, here: Day One, Day Two.

Thompson Landry Gallery

Gallery-going made easy.

This city has a reputation as being staid and somewhat conservative, but when it comes to
the creative arts, it’s actually quite adventurous.
For proof, one need but stride down Queen Street—west of Trinity Bellwoods Park are numerous galleries operating on the leading edge
of the contemporary art scene. Among the area’s major denizens are Angell Gallery, conceptualist-leaning Clint Roenisch Gallery and photographic specialist Stephen Bulger Gallery. In recent years, the Museum
of Contemporary Canadian Art
has become a major creative locus, thanks to its consistently well-curated shows and a new partnership with the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Straight in the opposite direction, the Distillery Historic District hosts an equally varied mélange of artists and craftspeople. Within its restored industrial buildings you’ll be introduced to top Quebecois painters at Thompson Landry Gallery, internationally renowned contemporary works at Corkin Gallery and Clark and Faria, and even Israeli artists at Julie M Gallery. Local artisans sell their creative ceramics, jewellery and more at many other boutiques and studios here. You can even print your own images at photography hot spot Pikto.

Gallery Gevik and Feheley Fine Arts

Further north, posh Yorkville hosts many longstanding fine-art houses, the majority of which represent well-established painters and sculptors whose works have gained significant recognition. Keen to see recent pieces by Ed Bartram or Stephen Hutchings? Head to Mira Godard Gallery. Love the imagery crafted by Norval Morrisseau or Haida artist Robert Davidson? Kinsman Robinson Galleries has it in spades. Or find a new favourite at Loch Gallery, Feheley Fine Arts, Gallery Gevik and many more.

For an insider’s view of the West Queen West scene, look no further than an Art InSite tour with effervescent expert Betty Ann Jordan. And partaking in a Yorkville Art Walk offers a great primer of that district’s top galleries.

Weekend Roundup, January 21st to 23rd

Friday: Peter Oundjian leads the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in a trio of classical favourites (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, January 21
Wind down from a busy week at Koerner Hall with The Royal Conservatory Orchestra and award-winning young pianist Grace Kim. The ensemble, led by Toronto Symphony Orchestra conductor Peter Oundjian, is set to serenade audiences with Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony, Rachmaninov’s The Rock and Debussy’s impressionistic La Mer.

See Toronto’s landscape transform through the eyes (and lenses) of talented contemporary and historical photographers—Stephen Bulger Gallery’s new exhibition, The Toronto Show, gathers images of the city spanning from the late 19th century to the present day.

Head down to Harbourfront Centre as hundreds of Toronto-area dancers burn up the Fleck Dance Theatre stage. B-boys, ballerinas and belly dancers are just a few of the fleet-footed folks who can be seen at this exciting, weekend-long extravaganza of dance.

Saturday: See Kim Dorland's A Walk in the Forest and many other new works at Angell Gallery (image courtesy of Angell Gallery)

Saturday, January 22
The always provocative artist Kim Dorland opens his highly-anticipated exhibition, Nocturne, tonight at Angell Gallery. Dorland’s latest series features spectral figures and eerie paintings of the skull of his greatest inspiration, Tom Thomson. Also at the gallery: new photographic works by Bonnie Baxter.

The soulful sound of Lauryn Hill resounds tonight at The Sound Academy—her first Toronto appearance in a decade. The acclaimed if mercurial artist breathes life into the lyrics from her classic album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, as well as (possibly) some fresh tunes from a long-rumoured but never confirmed new album.

Don’t forget your earplugs while gearing up for tonight’s Monster Jam at the Rogers Centre.  The roaring trucks are revving up to thrill with daring tricks from current freestyle champion Charlie Pauken and world champion Tom Meents.

Sunday: Groove with Robert Plant (photo by Man Alive)

Sunday, January 23
Robert Plant is getting a lot of mileage out of his current “rootsy” incarnation. Tonight he offers the second of two concerts at the Sony Centre, accompanied by his Band of Joy. The former Led Zeppelin frontman’s melodic mix of rock and folk inspires a truly unique musical style.

Fly through the skies with legendary test pilot Mike Carriker on a journey of education and innovation at the Ontario Science Centre. In it’s OmniMax Theatre, the new Imax film Legends of Flight takes you soaring through the skies on an expedition through the past and future of flight.

Today is the final day to view Constructions: Contemporary Norwegian Arts and Crafts at the Design Exchange. This exhibit features a variety of objects from Scandinavia and emphasizes—as the title suggests—methods of construction in a variety of art and design disciplines.

Contact Photo: Daily View #21

The Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival—the world’s largest festival dedicated to the display and discussion of the photographic arts—returns to Toronto this month. There are more than 225 exhibitions to see between May 1 and 31; each day Where Toronto offers a peek at one of them.

Today’s Pick:

Artist: Willis T. Lee
Title: Tapestry Wall in the Dome Room, Carlsbad Cavern National Monument, New Mexico (© National Geographic Society; courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery)

See It @ Stephen Bulger Gallery, May 1 to June 5, in a display of vintage prints from the National Geographic Collection.

For more on this exhibition, click here.

You Are Here: West Queen West

Balancing a rough-around-the-edges authenticity with a bit of high-end hipsterism, the section of Queen Street west of downtown’s core has long been a hotbed for creative citizens of all stripes. No surprise, then, that it’s also home to many of the city’s top contemporary art galleries.

Click on any map marker for more information on Where’s neighbourhood favourites.
View You Are Here: West Queen West in a larger map


February Editor’s Picks: Art

Anna Kirzner's Free Space is at the Gardiner Museum.

OPENS FEBRUARY 4 The vibrant ceramic art scene of contemporary Israel draws inquiring eyes to the Gardiner Museum. Its latest exhibition, From the Melting Pot into the Fire, presents almost 40 pieces that examine the myriad issues faced by the Jewish state and its citizens, from the reconciliation of religious traditions indicated in Martha Rieger’s My Melting Pot vessels to the concept of borders—physical and psychological, territorial and personal—evident in Anna Kirzner’s Free Space. Taking cues from pottery’s historical (read: communal, functional) origins while seeking modern, artistic self-expression, each piece offers a unique perspective on matters that shape both individual and collective identity.

Origami in the style of Masahiro Chatani.

TO FEBRUARY 25 Even if you’re all thumbs—or, perhaps, because of this deficiency—it’s easy to appreciate the skill needed to conjure intricate cranes, frogs, flowers and boats out of single pieces of paper. This month the Japan Foundation offers an even more impressive showcase of three-dimensional objects in its Origamic Architecture exhibition, which renders historical and contemporary buildings from around the world in folded and cut paper. Combining a traditional art form with modern design, the survey pays tribute to late Japanese artist Masahiro Chatani—all featured models are originally of his design—but adds a Toronto twist, with many of the pop-up-style pieces freshly crafted by local folders.

A Fair Way to Celebrate Canada's Centennial by Sam Falk.

TO FEBRUARY 27 Toronto’s premier space for fine photography broadens its focus across time and space—more than 140 years and 9,984,670 square kilometres, to be precise—with O Canada, an exhibition of approximately 75 vintage prints depicting landmarks, personalities and events from this country’s past, such as Montreal’s Expo ’67, shown in Sam Falk’s A Fair Way to Celebrate Canada’s Centennial. Collected and presented by Stephen Bulger Gallery, these images reflect the history not only of a nation, but in their analogue formatting and evident wear, that of the photographic medium itself.

Weekend Roundup, October 30th to November 1st

Too old for trick or treating? Try out some of these spooky Halloween-themed activities. . . if you dare!

Friday: enter a pumpkin carving contest (photo by Plutor).

Friday: Enter a pumpkin carving competition (photo by Plutor).

Friday, October 30th
Go on a frighteningly cool auditory treasure hunt at Sounds Scary, a Halloween-themed multimedia installation at the Artscape Wychwood Barns.

Show off your pumpkin carving skills or cheer on your favourite team in the third annual Church Street Jack-O-Lantern competition, part of Halloweek celebrations in the Church-Wellesley Village.

Forget candlelight, try dining in the dark at O’Noir—for daring dinner patrons, the pitch-black surroundings can help to enhance the senses of taste, smell and touch.

Saturday: Kids can be animals at Boo at the Zoo.

Saturday: Kids get to be animals at the annual Boo at the Zoo.

Saturday, October 31
Throw on your favourite pair of animal ears and head to Boo at the Zoo, where critters and costumed humans will be on parade along with lots more spooktacular kid-friendly entertainment.

Listen to the large scale sound of twenty classical pianists simultaneously performing on ten grand pianos at the annual Halloween Monster Concert at Massey Hall.

Dress to impress in Casino Royale–style costume garb at the Distillery District’s Halloween Howl, a devilishly chic Monte Carlo-themed fundraiser to support Canadian Opera Students.

Sunday: Cheer for a mutant superhero in The Toxic Avenger.

Sunday: Cheer for a mutant superhero in The Toxic Avenger (photo by Carol Rosegg).

Sunday, November 1
Snack while you shop at the Drake Hotel’s first urban market, a combination of yard sale and bake sale featuring handmade crafts, vintage clothing and an assortment of Halloween-related goodies.

Get grossed out at new musical The Toxic Avenger. Louise Pitre (of Mamma Mia fame) stars in this hilarious tale of an unlikely mutant superhero from New Jersey.

Take a photographic journey back in time at the Stephen Bulger gallery’s new exhibit, Lieux Mêmes, featuring hauntingly beautiful images by Bertrand Carrier.