Wednesday, December 30, 2009

City of Craft 2009

Okay...I've pretty recovered from City of Craft by now and am on to recovering from Christmas and gearing up for New Years Eve...! This will definitely be my last post about City of Craft this year, so I'll leave you with this link to my City of Craft 2009 installations Flickr page, which includes some great documentation of many of this year's on and off-site installations. Enjoy!

Also, thanks to all of my co-organizers, and all of this year's wonderful installation artists and participating artists in the Home and Away group exhibition:

Jen Anisef, Lizz Aston, Fiona Bailey, Rose Bianchini, Amy Borkwood, Leah Buckareff, The Caribou Collective, Marta Chudolinska, Heather Fagan, Rosalyn Faustino, Meags Fitzgerald and Pamela Norrish, Sara Guindon, Genevieve Jodouin, Becky Johnson, Jacinta Lodge, Serena McCarroll and Tyler Brett, Holly McClellan, The Misanthrope Specialty Co, Megan Morgan, Shanell Papp, Susan Rowe Harrison, Jen Spinner and Laurie McGregor, Streetknit and Ryan Kamstra, The Toronto Hyperbolic Reef Collective and Gillian Wilson.

Huge thanks also to our 2009 Queen Street West satellite installation venues:  Tanya and Scott of Fly Gallery, Janna of the Ontario Crafts Council, Sonja of Thieves, Kristin of The Knit Cafe and Royal Car Wash.

Hope to see you all next year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

City of Craft Window Decals

Here is some step-by-step documentation of the hand-cut vinyl decals I made to mark each City of Craft satellite installation. I got a ton of compliments on them...thanks everyone!

Thanks also to my dad for giving me the vinyl and mask to make these...!

Original City of Craft logo drawing by Amy Borkwood.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bright Lights, Big City of Craft

I haven't posted in a while due to City of Craft craziness, but I will very likely be posting up a storm here in coming days with documentation, thoughts on the this year's show and acknowledgements of all the amazing people I worked with as one of this year's organizers.

Until then, here's a nice piece on City of Craft from Torontoist. Thanks, Tabassum!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Home and Away (and In-Between)

The Home and Away show I am organizing as a City of Craft preview-of-sorts goes up tomorrow, and opens on Friday night! There are a ton of awesome artists participating, and I am even managing to sneak in a brand new piece of my own. Don't miss it! Here's all the info....

Home and Away (and In-Between) A thematic group exhibition brought to you by City of Craft

Opening Reception Friday, December 4th. 7-10pm

Exhibition runs December 3-13, 2009.

City of Craft takes place December 12-13th at The Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen St. West


Cream Tangerine Café

At the Great Hall

1087 Queen Street West, Toronto


Lizz Aston, Fiona Bailey, Amy Borkwood, Leah Buckareff, Marta Chudolinska, Heather Fagan, Meags Fitzgerald, Sara Guindon, Genevieve Jodouin, Serena McCarroll and Tyler Brett, Laurie McGregor, The Misanthrope Specialty Co., Jen Spinner, Gillian Wilson and more.

The Exhibition:

Craft processes and acts of making have a way of rooting people to their surroundings. People make or purchase craft items to enhance their domestic spaces and make themselves “at home.” Alternately, people take comfort in craft and art making when they find themselves in unfamiliar territory or when situated in transitional spaces such as on planes and buses and in waiting rooms. Home and Away (and In-Between) is an exhibition that strives to explore how the act of making enables us to relate to where we are.

Home and Away (and In-Between) is a thematic group exhibition of selected vendors, organizers and installation artists involved with this year’s City of Craft event. The exhibition also includes a few invited special guests artists. Home and Away will serve as a pre-fair party as well as a public preview of the wares in store at this year’s City of Craft. Please join us in celebrating our third awesome year!

About City of Craft:

City of Craft is a collective of craft-engaged locals who aim to build community in the Toronto craftscape, support independent craft businesses, and encourage the larger community to get involved with crafty happenings in the city. City of Craft is also a community-based craft culture event where community-arts groups, craft based initiatives/projects, studios, and other organizations are invited to do outreach to the public alongside a curated craft fair and craft-based installations. City of Craft is a place to buy, observe, experience, chat about, share and re-imagine all things handmade. This year’s City of Craft event takes place December 12-13th at the Theatre Centre. Don’t miss it!

Press Inquiries:

Please contact Tara Bursey

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Interview: Lizz Aston

I've posted yet another interview on the City of Craft blog, this time with fibre-based sculptor Lizz Aston. Her incredible work is simultaneously playful and austere...check out her interview here, which discusses her macrame fetish and the symbolism of knots, among other things....


Pictured:  Decreasing Your Knot Vocabulary, collaged paper fibres, machine embroidery, burnout, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Interview: Jacinta Lodge

I just posted the first of a series of interviews with this year's City of Craft installation artists on the City of Craft Blog.  The interview is with Berlin-based artist Jacinta Lodge, who does incredible and uber-contemporary embroidery work.  Her work will be up in the window of the Ontario Crafts Council during City of Craft, which runs over the weekend of December 12-13.

Take a look at the interview here.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

School Jerks EP Cover


That's what I am.  I did this drawing a few nights ago while in the throes of H1N1 for the cover of Ben's band's next 7".  As I drew this, I felt about as good as the girl on the top left of the drawing LOOKS. All in the name of what?  M&Ms.  Ben bought me a huge bag of M&Ms and that sealed the deal...

This drawing is based on a loose arrangement of 5 ripped fragments of photographs.  The elements are (from the top left) two of the girls from the Manson family, two British bikers from the 60s, a hippie draped in an American flag, and one of the victims of the Kent State shooting in 1970.  The rough concept is the "decline of the 60s counterculture."  

Ben said that certain aspects of the drawing sort of remind him of the cover of the Beatles' Revolver, which is a pretty huge compliment. All in all, I'm really happy with how it turned's different from the last few pieces of record or poster art I've done, but in a good way.

"A photograph of Mary Vecchio, a fourteen year old runaway, screaming over the body of Jeffery Miller appeared on the front pages of newspapers and magazines throughout the country, and the photographer, John Filo, was to win a Pulitzer Prize for the picture. The photo has taken on a life and importance of its own. This analysis looks at the photo, the photographer, and the impact of the photo.

"The Mary Vecchio picture shows her on one knee screaming over Jeffrey Miller's body. Mary told one of us that she was calling for help because she felt she could do nothing (Personal Interview, 4/4/94). Miller is lying on the tarmac of the Prentice Hall parking lot. One student is standing near the Miller body closer than Vecchio. Four students are seen in the immediate background.

"John Filo, a Kent State photography major in 1970, continues to works as a professional newspaper photographer and editor. He was near the Prentice Hall parking lot when the Guard fired. He saw bullets hitting the ground, but he did not take cover because he thought the bullets were blanks. Of course, blanks cannot hit the ground."


Original photo of Kent state shooting by photographer John Filo.

Monday, November 02, 2009

City of Craft General Store

Here is a small fraction of the plaster fingers I made for the City of Craft General Store at Canzine yesterday.  Sadly, I was forced to be a no-show because of...swine flu?!?!  I'm not 100% sure, but boy do I feel sick!  I'm sorry to anyone who dropped by to say hello, and sorry to the lovely organizers of the COC room installation who I flaked out on.  Don't be fooled by these sanitary looking fingers...I would have been a living germ bomb had I attended...

Next on deck for City of Craft:  the main event.  Scary, but exciting. Stay tuned for more posts about installation programming in particular, which I've been working my butt off organizing this year!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The City of Craft General Store at Canzine 2009

I'll be taking part in the City of Craft Collective-produced room installation, The City of Craft General Store, at Canzine tomorrow! I'm one of twelve artists with goodies included in the "store"...stop by and check it out.

The Info:

This year, City of Craft is teaming up with the good folks at Broken Pencil Magazine to bring a brand new 'art room' to their annual celebration of indie culture, Hotel Canzine. Our room, The City of Craft General Store, will be a one-day jam-packed old-timey shop to delight all your crafty senses.

Sunday, November 1, 2009
1pm - 7pm

The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen St. West (Queen just East of Dufferin)
$5 admission comes with a free copy of the Fall issue of Broken Pencil Magazine

The City of Craft General Store features selected works from:

Bespoke Uprising  -  Bettula  -  Tara Bursey  -  Damned Dollies  -  Shannon Gerard  -  Lee Meszaros  - The Misanthrope Specialty Co.  -  Mr. Skona  -  Nightjar Books  - The Pinpals  -  Resurection Fern  - The Sweetie Pie Press

More info and artist links here.

More on this year's City of Craft here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This Month at Harbourfront Centre

Last Thursday, I went to Harbourfront to check out some of the exhibitions at York Quay Centre.  This months exhibitions are really awesome, all seeming to follow themes surrounding play, make-believe, childhood and narrative.  Do yourself a favour and go and take a long look at some of these shows...such a treat!  Highlights include Play/Ground, curated by Patrick Macaulay, Keyframes by Rose Bianchini and Sarah Lazarovic and Talking to People Is Easy by Alex Kitsilevich.  My mind has been officially blown.

More info here.

Photos, from top:
Rose Bianchini, from Keyframes (2009)
Lyla Rye, Interplay (2007)
Nathalie Quagliotto, Maturity Correlation (2008)
Alex Kitsilevich, Talking to People Is Easy (2008-09)

All photos by me.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shadow Box Exhibition at the TMC

I am participating in the Textile Museum of Canada's annual Shadow Box Exhibition for the fourth year in a row this year.  Sadly, I missed the reception, but the show is open to the public until October 29th. The little glove above is featured in my shadow box this year!  Go see it!

From the TMC website:

The BMO Financial Group Shadow Box Event is back for its 14th year. The auction features original works by more than 150 Canadian and international artists. With pieces bought right off the wall, the evening is a great chance to get some amazing art at surprisingly sensible prices. 

Artists' Reception and Media Preview:
October 14, 6:30 pm
Open October 14 to October 29
Thursday October 29, 6:30 pm 

Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue (Dundas St. W & University Ave., St. Patrick subway)
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2H5
t. (416) 599-5321
f. (416) 599-2911

Monday, October 12, 2009

PLP at Roberts Street Social Centre

Here are some photos from the day of the Portable Library Project opening at Roberts Street Social Centre! Thanks again Sarah Evans of RSSC and Morag Schonken (and Suzy, pictured above!) for helping put on the show. Everything looks super!

The Portable Library Project is on display at Roberts Street (in the Anchor Archive Zine Library) until November 1st.  Their hours of operation are Tuesday from 6-9pm and Sunday from 2-5pm...if you're in Halifax, be sure to check out the show before the end of the month!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photos:  Morag Schonken

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Portable Library Project in Halifax

Well, it's that time again!  As if taking care of City of Craft installations, volunteering during Nuit Blanche, and schoolwork wasn't enough to deal with this week, The second Portable Library Project show opens next week, at Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax. Thanks so much to everyone who helped put this show together, specifically Sarah Evans and everyone at Roberts Street for their help and enthusiasm, and my good friend (and PLP artist) Morag Schonken for helping co-ordinate the exhibition.  Stay tuned to the PLP blog for photos of the show and press from Halifax!


The Portable Library Project is a multi-dimensional mail-art/book-making project involving the creation of small works exploring ideas surrounding archiving, journaling, libraries, ephemera, and incorporating an art practice into everyday life. The 18 participating artists span several artistic disciplines, from performance art to fibre-based art; from photo-based art to craft to sculpture and installation.  Artists involved in the project are based across Canada, the US and are from as far away as Seoul, Korea.

Invited artists were sent/delivered an empty cigar box, roughly the size of a hardcover book. Over the course of a week, participants were expected to create a 'book' a day reflective of each person's day-to-day activities and artistic process. Books were ideally made while on the go; boxes were intended to be carried with the participant, where books were to be added and collected each day for seven days.

How do working artists fit artistic production into everyday life?  Challenging oneself to make work outside of a studio setting is one way. One element of The Portable Library Project serves as a challenge to artists to adopt a portable art practice to fit the demands of the life of a working artist, which often entails a job or two in unrelated work environments. The portability of the book format is a natural basis for the project, which also encourages artists to explore and comment on the relationship between the book and the art object.

Participating artists:
Aimee Lee (Seoul, Korea)
Amber Landgraff (Toronto)
Cara Spooner (Toronto)
Daphne Gerou (Toronto)
Debbie Danelley (Winnipeg, MB)
Deborah Margo (Ottawa, ON)
Fiona Bailey (Toronto)
Jen Pilles (Oakville, ON)
Laura Calvi (Halifax, NS)
Laurie Kang (Toronto)
Margaret Flood (Guelph, ON)
Margaret Legue (Forest, ON)
Morag Schonken (Halifax, NS)
Sheila Jonah
Simon Rabyniuk (Toronto)
Stephanie Cormier (Toronto)
Stephanie Vegh (Hamilton, ON)
Sylvia Ziemann (Regina, SK)
October 11th-November 1st, 2009
Opens Sunday, October 11, 2-5pm
Anchor Archive Zine Library
at the Roberts Street Social Centre
5684 Roberts Street
Poster design: Tara Bursey

Friday, October 02, 2009

Bouncing Bride at Nuit Blanche

I will be jumping on a trampoline in my mother's wedding dress on top of an enormous wedding cake for this year's Nuit Blanche. Yup, you read that right.  I am a volunteer assisting with Cathy Gordon's performance project Bouncing Bride: What is Down Must Go Up which takes place tomorrow night at the Music Gallery.

Come and laugh at me from 11-1am!  Better yet, come up on the cake and jump with me!  Here is all the information:


7pm to 7am

The Music Gallery, 197 John Street

Concept & Performance – Cathy Gordon
Cake Design – Laird MacDonald
Wedding DJ – Ulysses Castellanos

BOUNCING BRIDE: What Is Down Must Go Up

Coproduced by The Theatre Centre

Be the bouncing groom to the bouncing bride on your own mini-trampoline atop a ten-foot high wedding cake. Cathy Gordon follows up her last endurance piece ON MY KNEES: a public divorce ceremonywith this light-hearted look at the “bright-side” of divorce.

Projected from within the cake-sculpture will be a series of a hundred positive divorce stories ranging from Canada’s own Maggie & Pierre to personal stories collected for this project. The aim of the work is to expose the untold “happy side” of divorce, which is still regarded negatively in our society.

Request your favourite wedding songs from our very own Wedding DJ, Ulysses Castellanos, and then dance the night away under the stars in the beautiful courtyard of St. George The Martyr’s Church.

Those who wish to venture to the top of the cake, can sign up for a number and then continue dancing while they wait for their turn. Audience members will be allowed one at a time to the top of the cake where they can bounce with the artist (if only for awhile) as her new groom.

Fatigued Nuit Blanchers can also lounge instead - sinking into the cozy “bottom layer” of the cake. Their imprints in the memory-foam with create “waves in the icing” which serves as a physical reminder of their metaphysical traces and the impermanence of all relationships.

Cathy Gordon is a multidisciplinary artist and programmer living and working in Toronto. She co-curates Free Fall, a national festival of contemporary performance produced by The Theatre Centre in partnership with World Stage. Her work deals with the themes of hope, resilience and joy.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pink Records

Yesterday I spent the majority of the night helping my boyfriend make some design decisions about his band's upcoming record. Part of our decision-making process involved establishing what colour of pink he wanted the record to be.  It is pretty hard to articulate subtly different shades of pink in words, so I started yanking out all the pink albums in my record collection...there were loads!  And to think he thought his idea was unconventional! Here's a selection of said records.  I'd bet my bottom dollar that someone has actually used the term "Fire of Love Pink," considering how distinctive a shade it is...

Does anyone have a favourite?  Musically or colour-wise?

Etsy Shop

So, I held off from starting my own Etsy shop in fear my time spent on the computer would reach ridiculous heights if I added yet another thing to my nightly internet routine.  Now I feel like this issue is a lost cause entirely, and I've given in.  Last month, I started work on an Etsy shop, which is for the pretty much ready for public consumption!  There are several things up for sale- mainly zines and small multiples, but a few larger works are up as well.  I feel like the time is right for this Etsy shop because I've recently started going to school part-time, and am as a result of this, working less.  I could use a bit of extra cash an a hell of a lot more room in my art-filled apartment.  

More work will be added within the next few weeks, so be sure to check back regularly!

Without further ado, here is the address.  Please take a look for yourself!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Artmap 2009

Here's a sample of my finished piece that will be a part of the Artmap project, which will be exhibited at City Hall as part of this year's Manifesto Festival.  Here's a snippet from my proposal to the project organizers:

I live in Ward 19, work in Ward 14, and was born in Ward 38.  I would be particularly interested in working with Ward 38: Scarborough Centre.  It is an amazing and unique area of Toronto in terms of it's diversity and the changes it's gone through since lived there as a child and young adult.  For my contribution, I would be particularly interested in depicting the children of Ward 38 by revisiting my elementary school and arranging to gain access to school photo archives in which I would use as source material to create a finished work which incorporates serial portraits of children (generated with paint and permanent marker) illustrating the wide range of ethnicities which call Ward 38 home. 

Making this piece was definitely a learning experience.  In reading about Ward 38, I learned that the year I was in fifth grade marked the first year of a period of nine years (1991-2000) in which the ward's immigrant population doubled.  I also found out that 50% of all the ward's private dwellings are in high rise apartments...which is funny considering the shape of the ward and the arrangement of portraits on my piece make it look a bit like an apartment building! 

More about Artmap 2009

Artmap is a collaborative art piece by artists from each of Toronto's 44 wards.  The work has been commissioned for Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture and will be unveiled on September 17th at 5:30 in the Rotunda at City Hall. City Councillors and participating artists will be in attendance.
Much like a giant puzzle, each artist or arts organization was given a ward shaped piece of an 8x17' wooden map of Toronto. Artists were then free to paint or rework the map piece to their desire. After being put back together and displayed, the work will be disassembled and given to each corresponding councillor's office as a reminder of the vibrancy and unity of artists across Toronto.

Ward 1 -  Angel Carrillo 
Ward 2 -  Shara Mohamed 
Ward 3 -  Nik Dudukovic 
Ward 4 -  Austin Clarkson / The Milkweed Collective 
Ward 5 -  Will Gaydos / Funktion Gallery
Ward 6 -  Jim Mckinley 
Ward 7 -  Network of Community Based Organizations 
Ward 8 -  Network of Community Based Organizations
Ward 9 -  Elle Alconcel, / Sketch, Womynation, Cue Collective 
Ward 10 - Angela Ming Yi Schneider 
Ward 11 - UrbanArts 
Ward 12 - Balu Kanagalingam / Arts for Children and Youth &  Rochelle Stephens / Boys' and Girls' Club of Weston-Mount Dennis
Ward 13 - Alexa Hatanaka 
Ward 14 - Che Kothari / Manifesto Festival 
Ward 15 - Katherine Earl, Liz Forsberg, Rosie Mohammed, Andrea Roberts / Artstarts 
Ward 16 - Carlos Weisz 
Ward 17 - Teresa Aversa 
Ward 18 - Javid Alibhai / LOFT Youth Program 
Ward 19 - Adam Hilborn 
Ward 20 - Marisol D'Andrea / The Martin Prosperity Institute
Ward 21 - Dan Chan 
Ward 22 - Maryam Siddiqi 
Ward 23 - Tom Decena
Ward 24 - Zanette Singh / Sketch & Womynation 
Ward 25 - Andres Musta 
Ward 26 - Evergreen Brickworks / Sketch 
Ward 27 - Judi Michelle, SunMi Jung, Gordon Becker / The Sculptors Society of Canada (SSC) / Canadian Sculpture Centre 
Ward 28 - Adrian Hayles 
Ward 29 - Gabrielle Lasporte 
Ward 30 - Billie Jo Tabobondung 
Ward 31 - Gordon Becker 
Ward 32 - Stephen Carroll 
Ward 33 - Art Starts Villaways / Yvette Martin
Ward 34 - Lisa Mansfield / Lease 
Ward 35 - Andrenne Finnikin / Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY) 
Ward 36 - Tim Whalley / Scarborough Arts Council
Ward 37 - Rob Matejka / Mural Routes
Ward 38 - Tara Bursey 
Ward 39 - Art Starts Glendower / Paulina O'Kieffe
Ward 40 - Tammy Yiu & Junichi Zacks 
Ward 41 - Catherine Hernandez
Ward 42 - Benedict Lopes / Scarbough Arts Council 
Ward 43 - Lindsay Bess / Elevated Grounds 
Ward 44 - Tharmila Rajasingam   

"Artmap is an opportunity for artists from across Toronto to connect with each other through the process and outcome. It has also been a political learning experience for many - lots of people did not know which ward they lived in or who their city councillor was before this project started" says Devon Ostrom, Visual Arts Director of Manifesto.
The work is supported by Live with Culture and the Toronto Arts Council and has been produced with assistance from the AGO, Polyteck, Scarborough Arts Council, Lakeshore Arts and UrbanArts.