Now you can’t take pictures in most art galleries. Yes, the AGO-Art Gallery of Ontario allows the public to take pictures in the Henry Moore room – and what a fabulous bounty that is. But in general Art Galleries and pictures taking don’t mix too well. And of course, CVD-Cameras Verboten Disease is spreading to more and more events, venues and festivals throughout Ontario and Canada. For that matter it seems the win-win of great pictures taken of your event increasingly loses out to “only we shall profit from any images, sounds and even memories of our place or event.”
Just take a look at Luminato in Toronto – supposedly fostering creativity in the GTA and taking place on public lands. Instead for one step forward there seems to be a giant step backward. The Luminato website should be sponsoring before, during and after creativity among its participants. The “before” could be a contest sponsored by Sony or CTV or the Toronto Star of the best pictures or drawings of the Harborfront area done in the last month or so. The “during” could be video or picture taking scavenger hunt each evening down on the site. Or the neatest audio tracks of the sounds of Luminato. Or the best from the Behr Kids Paint Booth from each day. And the “after” might be a variation of CTV’s On the Lot where videophiles submit their 3 video minutes take of what caught their eye at Luminato. And like You-Tube there could be a posting/viewing site with the public voting and maybe a jury selection of the best of show. In short, it would be easy for Luminato to be uniquely and intensively public and creative – instead we the public are served up audio, video, photos and camera phones as all VERBOTEN – don’t your dare take any media imprints of our events. Literally what a wasted opportunity!
And with that as my guide I just did not want to intrude at the Galleries along Highway 2 in Eastern Ontario.
All I could offer viewers of PixofCanada.com would be my paltry words to convey the energy or elegance of what I saw on display. So instead I took my cue from the SAW photo show at the Lawless Gallery in Grafton Ontario. The show was about the “I Saw That” nature of photography. And in that spirit here is the “I Saw That” from around, nearby and in the neighbourhood of some of the many Galleries of Eastern Ontario.
The Colborne Art Gallery – 51 King Street East, Colborne, Ontario • 905-355-1798
The Colborne Art Gallery is a co-operative with participation by artists in and around Brighton, Colborne, Grafton, and TrentHills on the north shore of Lake Ontario in the heart of apple growing country. It is located in the historical building of the old Colborne Land Registry Office depicted in the mural (see above)just across the park from the gallery.
The early summer 2007 shows at the gallery have featured Irene Osborne’s “I See Music” exhibition. The Lotus (shot in the garden just in front of the gallery) gives a feel for the the textures of Ms Osborne’s works while the colors are vivid but just not close to the crescendo and symphony of hues to be had from the originals. This viewer felt the pieces to be immersive and would welcome an even grander canvas scale.
Prior to Irene Osborne, just before the Apple Blossom Tyme Festival in Colborne, there was Dianne White’s Vanishing Landscapes . In this show I saw paintings and works with bold stroke and lines again suggested by the picture above taken obliquely of the Colborne Land Office Registry mural. Colors are only indicative. As well the backroom galleries had sculptures, glass works, and engravings with a similar bold style. If you want to see more of what has been and is coming up at the Colborne Gallery, visit their website here.
Just 10 kilometers to the West on highway 2, is the
Lawless Gallery at 10831 Hw #2 Grafton, Ontario – 905-349-3715
The gallery is just across highway 2 from the Grafton Village Inn – a splendid respite along the way. The gallery was featuring the SAW Photography from a Calgary photographer. The show provoked this story – big 36 x 24 inch color prints of idiosyncratic “I Saw That” moments in time. The point of view was laconic and with subdued and sometimes desaturated colors one definitely had the suggestions of memories and recalled events.
The Floor of the Lawless Gallery
It is the only show I have seen at the gallery – but certainly will not be the last. If the director keeps up the striking and eclectic mix which have marked the place, this is a spot worth revisiting.
Art Gallery of Northumberland, Victoria Hall 55 King Street West, Cobourg, ON
The Art Gallery of Northumberland is on the third floor of historic Victoria Hall in the heart of downtown Cobourg. In early June, the gallery features the Student art work from the schools of Northumberland County. Let me say that the county is producing some very fine artists.
Three caught my eye but will require a return trip to the show.
First there was a painter whose color sensibilities are echoed above.
Next, there was a draughtperson whose exuberance is implied just sufficiently above.
Finally there was a sculptor who seemed to be Putting on the Ritz.
See what is upcoming – its only 3 floors up at Victoria Hall, Cobourg.
In general, getting out along highway 2 in Northumberland county can be more than beach side fun – try the restaurants, antique shops and especially the art galleries of Eastern Ontario.