Friday, May 28, 2010

The Month of May

I'm sure I am not the only one experiencing seasonal confusion disorder with this unusual weather we have been having, but we are welcoming it at Engine Gallery and looking forward to a beautiful summer down at the Distillery. May was a busy month for us with three openings and several charity events - not to mention the wonderful things our artists have been doing.

Our CONTACT exhibit was a great success. Hundreds of people came to the opening and the exhibit was recognized by Blog T.O, the Executive Director of Contact and will soon be recognized by dart magazine as one of the top ten best picks for the festival. (Below - Brent and Steven during the installation of the show and the opening night crowd).

On the same night as Brent's opening we featured a photgraphy group show in our second space. It featured the work of Dana Bentley and his exploration of an epic Cambodian poem translated into a fresco in the Royal Palace. Beside that was his series "Only their Portraits Remain," a series of portraits taken of political prisinors before they were executed during the Cambodian genocide of the 1970's.
Also featured in the show was work by the infamous photographer Jim Allen ("The Fencer" - below), Scott Johnston, Karen Pearlmutter, Michael Davis, Kamelia Pezeshki, Arkan Zakharov, James Storie, Margaret Glew, Dave Shuken, and Kevin Kelly.

May was a busy month for charity events as well. I attended a luncheon with the Women's Art Association. A group who raises money for scholarships in the Arts at many of the major Universities in Canada. I am hoping to join the organization in the fall to help them with their fund-raising efforts.

I was also lucky enough to attend the Butterfly Ball (above - me with CTV newsman Paul Bliss), a charity Ball benefiting BOOST a child abuse prevention and intervention program. Engine Artist Deborah Holowka generously donated her work entitled "Caressed - Comforted" (below) to the silent auction. The event raised $300,000 for Boost's programs.

We also had several artists in the gallery as part of the distillery art walk. We filmed them discussing their work and I am in the process of editing the videos now. During the interviews I discoverd that one of William Lazos' paintings was run over by a car and still managed to survive! Great news for all of us who are terrified of handling art - he is sure it was the frame that saved it.

There is much to celebrate in June - Myriam Levy's show opens tomorrow evening (come by for a drink), and Diana Bennett will celebrate a mini-show of what many feel is her best sculptural work to date on the 12th of June from 2-5.

Also Costa Dvorezky's highly anticipated show Adam and Eve opens on the 24th of June.

On top of all of this Toronto excitement - Shaun Downey's "Blue Coco" will take her place on the hallowed walls of the National Portrait Gallery in London in June as part of the BP Portrait Award (yes, that BP, and yes, oil on canvas).

So that's enough bragging for now. Happy Spring!