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Posts tagged ‘gallery’

Mirvish-Gehry Envision Massive Redevelopment at the Heart of Theatre District

October 12 2012

By: Noah van der Laan

It’s curtain call for the Princess of Wales Theatre. On September 29, 2012 it was announced that the 2000-seat theatre, barely twenty years old, would likely be demolished in favour of a multi-purpose complex conceived by David Mirvish and designed by architect Frank Gehry. The project envisions an extensive re-development of the King Street West ‘Theatre District,’ stretching from John Street to the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

The ambitious project is centered on three 80+ storey condo towers, which Mirvish refers to as “sculptures for people to live in.” A primary feature of the development is the inclusion of a free public gallery for David Mirvish’s extensive contemporary art collection, gallery and classroom space for the Ontario College of Art and Design, retail facilities, and over 2,600 condominium units.

The project is the first major proposal for the re-development of Toronto’s evolving entertainment district, and despite the scale, is destined to create a new vibrant cultural corridor at street level. The new design proposes a series of large sculptures, a green-roofed podium, and the creation of a new public space to compliment David Pecault Square located across the street. Bordered by the TIFF Lightbox to the west and the Royal Alex to the east, and with Roy Thompson Hall located across the street, the King Street West strip will become an awe-inspiring entertainment hub.

Further, the project will provide an opportunity to redesign the drab streetscape and improve the public realm. With an influx of so many residents, infrastructure development is a must. In the process of upgrading sewers, gas, and electrics, the city will have the chance to reorient King Street and, based on the vision of the Entertainment District’s Business Improvement Association (BIA) Master Plan, should widen sidewalks, add separated bike lanes, restrict vehicular traffic and prioritize public transportation.

Frank Gehry is a major contributor to this vision. As a native Torontonian, it’s about time that we provide him with a canvas to showcase his work. His extension of the AGO located at the top of John Street was subdued during that project’s community consultations by neighbours who desired to maintain the particular architectural vibe of the streetscape.  King West, on the other hand, provides a perfect niche for transformative architecture, neighbouring fellow skyscrapers and cultural institutions.

The loss of the Princess of Wales is unfortunate. At the time of its construction, it was the first privately owned and financed theatre built in Canada since the Royal Alexandra was built in 1907, and the first such to be built in North America in over thirty years.  David Mirvish commissioned a series of murals by American abstract–expressionist painter Frank Stella. The paintings — 10,000 square feet — cover the entire interior and are believed to comprise one of the largest mural installations of modern times.

Yet the Princess of Wales no longer attracts the row of queued tourbuses it once did. Productions tend to run shorter lengths as seat vacancy has increased. Toronto’s big box musicals have been ravaged due to the post 9/11 increase in border security, in addition to the string of millennial recessions.

Don’t mourn quite yet however, The Princess of Wales marquee will remain lit for some time. The Mirvish/Gehry project has yet to submit an application to the city of Toronto for zoning approval, at which point the plans go through a community consultation.

Nostalgia for the Present: A Collection of Snapshot Media


Nostalgia for the Present is a multimedia exhibition about the compulsion to record the everyday. In an age where social media is a daily occurrence, we become aware of the present as a potential document to be consumed by others. We begin to live life with a constant awareness of how it will be perceived as having already happen, seeing each moment as a potential photograph.

Using point-and-shoot, Polaroid and cellphone cameras, the 54 participating artists create impulsive, intuitive and often gritty impressions of the world around them. Creating fragmented, broken narratives, each of the works reflect a fleeting moment of the artist’s life. Each artist has confidence and arrogance in the lucky accident, grasping at singular frames from the infinite cinema of their existence. Some landscape, still life, and mostly portraiture, the snapshot genre blurs the line between artistic creation and personal archive.

Through an open submission process, over 150 snapshot works were selected from around the globe. Ranging from professional, gallery-represented artists to hobbyist who have never exhibited before, Nostalgia for the Present catalogues a movement in contemporary photography and image-based art.

Curated by Laid Bare: Curations and Other Concerns and held at Forgetus Collective, Nostalgia for the Presence is a joint venture between two young, Toronto-based fine art upstarts. Laid Bare is Andrea Leigh Pelletier and Kelsey Stasiak, artists and art-lovers committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive art community. Similar to a gallery but without the physical space, Laid Bare keeps busy by organizing site-specific exhibitions, publishing zines, and planning other artistic events. As the first undergoing by Laid Bare, Nostalgia for the Present fulfills our mandate to promote emerging and under-represented artists, while making art affordable and accessible to the public.

February 2nd – 11th , 2012

Opening: February 2nd, 7-11pm                                                      

Closing discussion: February 11th, 3pm

Curated by Laid Bare: Curations and Other Concerns

Showing at Forgetus Collective, 163 Sterling Rd. Unit 29, Toronto

Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12pm – 5pm


List of artists:

Alexander Alekseenko, Pauline Beaudemont, Kyle Brohman, Timothy Burkhart, Michael Raymond Clarke, Kira Crugnale, Nathan Cyprys, Erich Deleeuw, Lisa Folkerson, Ben Freedman, Aaron Friend Lettner, Amy George, Hudson Hayden, Eriver Hijano, Abby Hutchison, Vid Ingelevics, Chelsee Ivan, Andrew Jarman, Joachim Johnson, Michael Juneau, Dimitri Karakostas, Santa Katkute, Gavin Keen, Nicole Kim, Brendan George Ko, Sasha Kurmaz, Lindsay Lauckner, Drew Lint, Elena Malkova, Fraser Mccallum , Joshua Macdonald, Andrew McGill, Ania Mokrzycka, Andrew B. Myers, Ryan Nangreaves, Katie Newman, Mark Peckmezian, Andrea Leigh Pelletier, Deanna Pizzitelli, Claudia Puchiele, Marishka Radwanski, Anne Rawn,  Van Robinson,  Andy Schmidt, Kelsey Stasiak,  Kyle Tait, Matthew Tammaro, Michelle Louise Wilson, Kavin Wong,  Aaron Wynia, Aabid Youssef and Carina Yu.


Our friends are superstars!

I wanted to write a small congratulatory blurb to my dear friends Andrea Leigh Pelletier and Barry Chong.

Barry has just written his first article for the Walrus. His response to  Toronto’s newest title as “Canada’s least-liked city” is well written, insightful and wise. Click here to read Barry’s piece. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from him soon. Congrats, Barry. Well done!

Our own darling Andrea Leigh Pelletier has just been notified that her artwork will be shown at New York’s Milk Gallery next week. What an amazing opportunity! I’m not very surprised, Andrea’s work has always been beautiful and unique. Congratulations, girl! Click here to check out Andrea’s art.

What an amazing, talented group of friends I have! A girl can’t ask for much more.

– Erin

Call for Submissions: Untitled Snapshot show

In the Greenroom’s own Andrea Leigh Pelletier and the darling Kelsey Stasiak are looking for submissions for their new and brilliant snapshot show. The two beautiful ladies have formed the curation team Laid Bare: Curations and Other Concerns. Look out for their names in Toronto, these Ryerson grads are making a big splash in the art community.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – Untitled Snapshot Show

– Original work of any medium is eligible but submitted work should be congruent with the theme of the exhibition
– Only digital submissions will be accepted, please email final zipped files to
– Be sure to include a .rtf of your list of works: image title, year, medium, size of image (framed), and price for each piece
– All docs should be named: lastname_firstname_title.jpeg/.rtf
– Include your name, contact info, bio, and website (if applicable)

optional but encouraged:
– Include a separate .rtf of your artist statement

– Submit up to 10 images
– Images should be 100dpi, sized at 1024 pixels on the longest side
– All images should be RGB, jpeg files

– Link to your video submission (password protected if need-be)
– Please submit the entire film when possible
– Cellphone video clips or other everyday raw video clips will be accepted unedited, as one component of the will be a looped series of vignettes.

– Notification of accepted artists will be sent out on or before Dec 15 2011
– Accepted artist will be responsible for delivery of their work to Forgetus Collective in January 2012 (date to be specified)

Laid Bare may reproduce and photograph selected works for purposes related to promotion and education. By submitting to this call, artists guarantee they have copyright to submitted work.



Laid Bare: Curations and Other Concerns