Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Toronto Hyperbolic Crochet Reef at Gallery 1313

December's Window Box installation at Gallery 1313 is well-timed considering it was a topic of discussion during Shannon's artist talk at the inaugural Pulling Strings event in Hamilton.  The Toronto Hyperbolic Crochet Reef is an ongoing community project originally conceived by four Toronto artsy crafters closely connected to the amazing City of Craft fair (also happening in December just down the street from Gallery 1313!).  Read on for details about this inspiring, growing installation.  The exhibition reception is tomorrow night!  Also, check out the THCR blog for info on how you can contribute your own hyperbolic forms to the reef.

Also, a reminder: only 3 more days to check out the multimedia works of another Gallery 1313 project, Telling: An Audio Survey of Parkdale before the disappear on the 30th.


The Toronto Hyperbolic Crochet Reef
Gallery 1313 Window Box
December 2013

Reception: Thursday, November 28th, 7-10pm

The Toronto Hyperbolic Crochet Reef is a collective project of endless crochet for the city of Toronto. Inspired by the pioneering work in hyperbolic crochet of Dr. Daina Taimina and the artful modelling projects of the Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles, the Toronto Reef is just one in a great confluence of reefs worldwide that use craft and community art to address the problems of global warming and plastic oceanic trash. The reef is run and mostly built by Angelune Des Lauriers, Shannon Gerard, Kalpna Patel and Becky Johnson but it remains open to coral contributions from anyone in the city.  The Toronto Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef has been exhibited at City of Craft, Roadside Attractions, Fly Gallery, The Knit Cafe and at White Elephant as part of Hamilton Supercrawl.

1313 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON. M6K 1L8
Hours: Wed – Sun, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Phone: 416-536-6778

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Artscape Youngplace

 Heather Nicol

 Debbie Adams in Stairmasters

 Hanging tapestry in the SKETCH Admin Hub

 UnArchive exhibition title wall

 David Adam Brown at the Koffler Gallery

Vacant studio on the 2nd floor

Gorgeous visuals abound at the grand opening of Artscape Youngplace on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Introducing Pulling Strings!

In the middle of the whirlwind of exhibitions happening this month, this little golden nugget is launching and I am very excited-- it's a project that has been in the works for a while.  Pulling Strings is a collective and quarterly event series organized by Jen Anisef (who I worked with on Toronto Craft Alert), Thea Haines (who's art I've always admired) and I.  The aim of Pulling Strings is to "investigate contemporary cultural themes through textile-linked lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions, workshops, and fieldtrips.  Motivated by a belief that textiles tell us a lot about our culture, and inspired by Hamilton’s creative community’s contribution to downtown renewal and civic engagement, Pulling Strings aims to create an accessible and dynamic space for people of various stripes to come together and engage in the exchange of ideas."

I'm really proud and excited to continue my critical work with textiles through this project, and to situate it in Hamilton, my new home.  Our first event is a talk and workshop with artist, educator, publications maven and crochet fiend Shannon Gerard, and it's happening this Saturday.  Don't miss out-- details about the event and pre-registration below.

AND an additional side note for Torontonians-- the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project (Shannon is a contributor) will be showing in the Gallery 1313 window box for the month of December!


After months of coffee shop scheming and logo napkin doodles, we are pretty dang excited to be getting Pulling Strings off the ground with a talk and workshop led by Shannon Gerard! Shannon was a natural choice for a first speaker in the series – her playful approach to her practice is never stuffy or alienating but always makes you think about things not previously considered – exactly what we are trying to achieve with Pulling Strings.

Next Saturday (November 23) Shannon will give a talk and Q&A at the Hamilton Artists Inc, followed by a hands-on workshop at Needlework. We are super grateful to both spots for giving Pulling Strings, a roving series, its first home.

Recognized for her engaging teaching and speaking style, Shannon will share the evolution of her crochet practice from recognizable objects with a decorative or educational function to forms that graph concepts of hyperbolic space or chart biographical and emotional journeys.  Following the talk, anyone is invited to push the boundaries typically associated with crochet as a functional pastime in a conceptual crochet workshop - no crochet experience necessary! As spaces are limited, we'll need you to register beforehand by emailing us at

Here are the details:
Who: Shannon Gerard (
When: Saturday November 23, 2013; Talk and Q&A (2:00-3:30pm); Workshop (4:00-5:30pm)
Where: Talk and Q&A – Hamilton Artists Inc. 155 James N Hamilton, ON (@ Cannon); Workshop – Needlework, 174 James St N Hamilton, ON
Cost: Talk - FREE; Workshop - $10
Registration: Talk – all are welcome, no RSVP required; Workshop – contact to register.

A bit about Shannon: In addition to teaching courses in print media and nano-publishing at OCAD University in Toronto, Shannon Gerard makes artist's books about magic, hope, faith and human frailty and produces large-scale installations that incorporate stop-motion animations and digital print. Shannon spends at least 50% of her waking life crocheting soft sculptures, which include Boobs and Dinks, Plants You Can’t Kill, and contributions to the Toronto Hyperbolic Coral Reef.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Swarm at Hamilton Artists Inc.

As a newly-minted Hamiltonian, I thought I'd push myself to make a new little piece of work for this upcoming show at Hamilton Artists Inc.  Over 100 pieces will be included-- lots of great affordable art that will be suitable Christmas gifts, I imagine.  Support local artists and go to the opening this Thursday if you're in the 'hood.


Hamilton Artists Inc. Annual Members Exhibition
November 21- December 21, 2013
Opening Reception November 21, 7:00- 9:30pm
Closing Reception December 21, 1:00-3:00pm

This years Annual Members Show, SWARM implies the combined industrious strength of many persons or things; as a verb, to swarm is to move towards – to approach, though not necessarily resolve – a common purpose as a group that is constantly in motion rather than standing still.

With over 100 pieces from our membership, SWARM is a salon style exhibition of scultpure, video, painting, print, drawing, collage, and photography.

Hamilton Artists Inc would like to thank our generous SWARM exhibition sponsors La Cantina and Luscious D’s.

Hamilton Artists Inc.
155 James Street North,
Hamilton ON
(at the north west corner of James and Cannon Streets)

UnArchive and Stairmasters at Artscape Youngplace

I have nearly reached the end of two consecutive contracts with Artscape and these amazing exhibitions are the culmination of them!  UnArchive and Stairmasters, curated by the amazing Heather Nicol (with research and curatorial assistance from yours truly), are important parts of the official opening of Artscape Youngplace at 180 Shaw that happens tomorrow. Come and see the first phase of Unarchive (more work will be added to the exhibition until the official exhibition opening on Jan 7th), amazing artwork and artifacts, and an astounding update to a beautiful example of Toronto's built heritage. Register to attend tomorrow's public opening here. Lots more info about the Artscape Youngplace project can be found on their website.



Phase One: November 19, 2013

Exhibition opens January 7 - March 30, 2014
Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street

Featuring new works by: Ian Carr-Harris and Yvonne Lammerich, Dave Dyment, Lee Henderson, Nina Levitt and Jessica Vallentin with selected items from the Givins/Shaw Junior Public School historic archives, and artwork by students at Givins/Shaw Junior Public School.

Curated by Heather Nicol

Curator’s Talk & Tour: January 7, 2014, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Opening Vernissage: January 9, 2014, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Unarchive features new works by artists Ian Carr-Harris and Yvonne Lammerich, Dave Dyment, Lee Henderson, Nina Levitt and Jessica Vallentin, who have been granted access to the rich Givins/Shaw Junior Public School archival collection comprised of records and data, photographs of classes and teams, trophies and plaques, scrap books, press clippings, snapshots and more, packed into locked closets and an over-stuffed vitrine. This remarkable treasure trove has inspired and provoked creative responses in sculpture, installation, assemblage, text and photo based works. The exhibition also features historic and pedagogic displays, along with artworks by current Grade Four, Five and Six students from the Givins/Shaw J.P.S.

As this elegant school building’s transformation into the innovative Artscape Youngplace draws to a close and the dust finally settles, Unarchive will unfold in synch with the architectural completion. November 19 marks the first phase of the project; the fully realized exhibition will be on view from January 9 - March 30, 2014, with an opening vernissage taking place on January 9 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm and a curator’s talk and tour on January 7 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
Unarchive and Stairmasters inaugurate the Artscape Youngplace Hallway Galleries, an impressive new public exhibition space at Artscape Youngplace, soon to be the largest cultural institution in the West Queen West area. The galleries span more than 9,000 square feet of spectacular corridor and stairwell space across three floors and are open seven days a week with free admission.

Image: Lee Henderson


Debbie Adams, Melissa Fisher and Seth Scriver

Curated by Heather Nicol
November 19, 2013 – March 30, 2014

Artscape Youngplace,
180 Shaw Street

Announcing a new era of creative intervention at 180 Shaw Street, the North, South and West stairwells at Artscape Youngplace have been transformed into site-specific installations. Often-overlooked architectural zones, the liminal, in-between and connective qualities of these spaces are expanded upon by artists with wide-ranging practices spanning animation, design, sculpture, book and film making. Using vinyl as their medium, these “stairmasters” playfully explore the material’s associations with signage, temporality and mutability, inviting viewers on an experiential ascent or descent as they explore Artscape Youngplace in its inaugural season.

This project kicks off the new Artscape Youngplace Hallway Galleries, which span more than 9,000 square feet of spectacular corridor and stairwell space across three floors, and are open seven days a week with free admission.
Heather Nicol, a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist with a studio at Artscape Youngplace, is the curator of the two inaugural exhibitions, UnArchive and Stairmasters. Nicol previously curated and produced Art School (Dismissed) on this site in 2010, an intervention which responded to the decommissioned Toronto District School Board property prior to its renewal by Artscape.

Curator’s Talk & Tour: January 7, 2014, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Reception: January 9, 2014, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Image: Debbie Adams