Tag Archives: photographic art


13999_32_44_J_7Last night, URBAN GALLERY (400 Queen St East, Toronto) hosted the artist’s reception for photographer/artist KAREN SILVER, whose work engaged and inspired a large crowd of friends, family and art fans.

20141106_185025Karen (above, centre) was thrilled to show her guests around the gallery, pointing out her techniques and subjects, and within the first hour, there were already red dots (indicating sold) beside two of her large format photos, including my personal favourite (below)

20141105_130709Her guests enjoyed a wonderful catered spread with wine and cheese, courtesy of URBAN SOURCE CATERING, and as you can see below, lots of networking and friendly art banter.


20141106_182932(0) 20141106_175126 20141106_180947Artist Erik Chong (below) also came out to support Karen – Erik will be showcasing his work next month at Urban Gallery.

20141106_183831I had a blast with gallery manager CALVIN HAMBROOK (below)

20141106_183143…and schmoozed with lots of friends and art aficionados like Sue & Teresa (below)


20141106_175157 20141106_182957 20141105_130719 20141106_181329Congratulations to Karen who was thrilled and a little overwhelmed by the support for her work (below)

20141106_180956Her exhibition entitled “Otherworld” continues throughout November until the 29th at Urban Gallery so if you would like to check out her work, gallery hours are:

Monday-Saturday 11am  to 5pm
Thursdays 11am to 8pm
Closed Sundays & Holidays

400 Queen St East in historic Corktown, Toronto  www.urbangallery.ca


Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,



One of my favourite annual events is the big outdoor art show at Nathan Philips Square in downtown Toronto each summer. This weekend, the artists gathered there this year will not disappoint – lots of new and emerging artists enjoying their first time at the rodeo, many of my favourite painters have returned and loads of stunningly beautiful, unique and provocative works of art with price tags to suit every budget. it runs until Sunday evening and it’s FREE! http://www.torontooutdoorart.org

Here are some of the featured artists, many of whom have become friends over the years – please drop by their tents and say hi if you visit.

20140704_120504Anna Clarey (above) was the first tent that caught my eye upon entering the Square – beautiful landscapes, vibrant colours and Anna’s big smile welcomed me in. http://www.AnnaClarey.com

Then just across the aisle was Becca Wallace (below), a long-time favourite of mine whose work is proudly displayed on my office wall. I LOVE her robots, toy trucks and now wee beasties doing crazy gymnastics! http://www.beccawallace.com

20140704_120848 20140704_120801 20140704_120829

Brock Irwin (below) was a new discovery for me. I was drawn to his large format red seating picture (actually inspired by seats in Union Station). Brock also has an art-for-home-staging biz, too, so all you interior decorators, home stagers and realtors – give this man a call! http://www.brockirwin.com

20140704_121154 20140704_121445

I was amazed by the beauty and delicacy of Charles Paul Savoie‘s glasswork. He’s up from the States (Happy 4th July, Charles) with his handblown art glass. http://www.savoieglass.com

20140704_121603 20140704_121618

Jessica Lin showcased some lovely whimsical pieces, many with horses and sheep – lots of great miniatures that would look great on my wall! http://www.jessicalin.ca

20140704_121743 20140704_121845Carnival_Horses

Beverley Hawksley is a mixed media artist who incorporates copper into many of her pieces. She’s also a wicked equine artist, too, and the 2 horse paintings below are large format drew quite a crowd. http://www.beverleyhawksley.com

20140704_122320 20140704_122309 20140704_122315

Laura Elliott featured some cool posters and painting, many of which she completed during her visit to Japan. I found a number of them very manga-inspired (which I love) and I hope to see more of her work at other Toronto shows. http://www.lauralikesart.com

20140704_122936 20140704_122943

Lovely to see Nancy Farrell (pictured below in blue, with her daughter Alana) one of my favourite regulars at the TOAE. Last year, I was lucky enough to snag one of her canvases and it’s now pride of place over my desk…where I write this blog! Nancy has developed an even bolder colour palette and I found two more pieces I would like to have (already on Santa’s list)  http://www.NancyFarrell.com

20140704_123251 20140704_123256 20140704_123303

Susi Walters is a new discovery this year. I love chickens and I’m always attracted to rustic farmyard subjects. Susi’s photos and paintings are multi-layered on metal and I hope to add one of her chick pics to my home gallery really soon…or maybe the gorgeous Lipizzaner (I also love horses). Susi’s adorable daughter helped out looking after the $$s for mum.  http://www.waltersphotography.ca.

20140704_123441 20140704_12351220140704_12363120140704_123938

Jewellery designer Pamela Lauz had a fabulous tent displaying gorgeous girly bling. Here she is helping a new customer try on one of her stunning necklaces….hope she bought it, she looked great in it.  http://www.pamelalauz.com

20140704_124034 20140704_124039

Rob Croxford (below) had tons of eye-catching mixed-media pieces, including some Scrabble tile paintings and fifties-inspired space boxes…I gotta go back and get me one!  http://www.robcroxford.com

20140704_124331 20140704_124339 20140704_124513 20140704_124606

Another new discovery for me was Gordon Stamper whose bold colourful canvases drew me into his tent. A very humble and charming artist whose work really stood out for me today. http://www.gordonstamper.com

20140704_125210 20140704_125215

Next to Gordon was the always cheery Emily Millar whose work I remembered from last year – so light &  airy – and I caught her mid set-up. This girl can handle a power drill as well as a paint brush!  www.emilymillar.com

20140704_125456 20140704_125556

And here’s my friend, Pamela Mingo, who has a loyal following and I’m happy she had lots of art to showcase…her pieces don’t last long so if you see something you like, buy it now!  http://www.pamelamingo.com

20140704_130734 20140704_130739

I LOOOOVE this lady’s work – Thelia Sanders Shelton featured work obviously inspired by Picasso but very much of her own imagination.  There were several big canvases I want…must have…NEED… so hopefully I can pull in a few new clients in the next month then I can afford one. http://www.theliashelton.com

20140704_131134 20140704_131141 20140704_131225

Tommy Cudmore creates some of the cutest glass robots ever! I’ve seen his work at Liss Gallery in Yorkville and have long wanted to add one of these to my robot art collection (from Becca Wallace). Hello, Santa, can you stick one of these in my stocking this year?!  http://www.tommycudmore.com

20140704_131503 20140704_131458

One of the best art photographers in town, Tanja-Tiziana showcased her B&W photos of unique architectural scenes – sadly, her Facebook notes that her dad got a massive parking ticket when dropping off her work early this morning so let’s all go buy something so Tanja’s weekend isn’t a complete write-off. Damn those parking vultures!  https://www.facebook.com/tanjatiziana

20140704_131918 20140704_131923

Jodi Shuster’s work was so full of joy and fun…great watercolours and oils of beach scenes populated with “real” people – hello, Cabana Lady!! Jodi was a blast to hang out with…great sense of humour which can be seen in her work. http://www.jodishuster.com

20140704_132034 20140704_132039

Now here’s a bold statement! I’d never met Robert Kamnatnik before but his work will bring me back for sure. I found the simplicity, his use of 2 or 3 colours and geometric shapes quite hypnotic. Another one to add to my wish list. http://www.robertkamnatnik.com

20140704_132621 20140704_132627 20140704_132631

LilyButterLand.com intrigued me with her provocative, edgy, eerie portraits, illustrations and designs.  Don’t be afraid…come on in. And I did and I loved her work. Again, another artist added to  my list for future collection. Will definitely go with my Playdead Cult pieces.

20140704_133034 20140704_133039

Kate Taylor (below) featured some of her unique botanicals – floating petals over stained birch panels – presented in unusual shapes and while I was standing in her booth several other ladies commented on exactly where they would hang her work. Lovely to hear how much her work is appreciated. The colours bounce off the surface making each piece come alive. http://www.KateTaylorStudio.com

20140704_133348(0) 20140704_133352

Stewart Jones Stewart Jones Stewart Jones (below). LOVE this guy’s work (can you tell?)  Since moving up to Wellington County (just the other side of Belleville), Stewart has been hard at work setting up his home studio and creating quite the name for himself in his new community (great article in the local arts magazine). Moody urban street and alley scapes with a bold palette, memorializing Toronto’s  great old buildings…before developers bulldoze ’em down.  http://www.stewartjones.ca

20140704_133812 20140704_133817 20140704_133823

Tori Smith is another brilliant local artist with a deft touch – I gotta get me one of her big grader/excavator paintings as they’re so powerful yet so simply executed on canvas. Had a nice chat with her about dogs in cars and why you shouldn’t bring your pooch to the art show – the concrete surface there is so bloody hot it will burn their paws. And yet we saw so many doggies being dragged around by their owners…sad. http://www.torismitherart.com

20140704_134331 20140704_134336 20140704_134345 20140704_134501

Peterborough-based Lisa Martin-Dunk uses the scratch technique to create her elaborate pieces. Lots of butterflies…who doesn’t love butterflies…and each piece will keep you intrigued with the intricacy of each tiny detail.  http://www.limmaginaria.com

20140704_135104 20140704_135118

Last year, I captured some cool photos of uber hipster artist Richard Ahnert’s humanized beasties, and this year, he’s brought lots more new works including regal portraits of foxes, dogs, goats…a veritable barnyard who’s who of critters, all turned out in their tailored finery. Very cool paintings. http://www.mycanvas.ca

20140704_135909 20140704_135917

Carol Nesbitt of the Glen Williams Glass Studios brought along the most beautiful art glass – colourful vases and these cute wee birdies on branches.  http://www.glenwilliamsglass.com/carol-nesbitt.html

20140704_141312 20140704_141320

And then there was Kelly Grace. Another long-time favourite of mine, and I was pleased to walk-in on a sale. A young girl was starting her art collection with a KG original, a cute pic of a girl getting ready for a date! Mother was helping with the finances and the young lady proudly handed over the $s as Kelly wrapped the art up. So nice to see youngsters getting into art  and bravo, Kelly, for treating her in such a grown-up way.   http://www.kellective.com

20140704_141406 20140704_141510 20140704_141520

Judi Meyers was an inspiration – she showcased a series called “Fragments” made up of …fragments of previous works, cut down and presented beautifully in gallery-quality frames. I broke down and purchased one in a gold frame and it’s now propped up on my desk to the right of my laptop. I love it, thank you Judi.  http://www.JMyersPaintings.ca

20140704_145426 20140704_145407

Here’s Catherine Mills, contemporary still life, old master copies and figurative paintings. We had quite a nice chat, especially about English 19th century master, JMW Turner and the fact we both watched a TVO show about Turner and 3 potential new art discoveries of his. Intrigue upon intrigue! http://www.catherinemillsartist.com

20140704_142200 20140704_142208

I found another fabulous young painter, Lorette C. Luzajic, I had not seen before. Her bold use of colour and large canvases were quite spectacular and my photos don’t do them justice. Fun, light and happy images that would fit into any trendy hipster loft. http://www.ideafountain.ca

20140704_142742 20140704_142747 20140704_142751

And finally, I ran into another old friend, W. Stephen Cooper, whose fine art photography of rusted out old cars and trucks are not only stunning but an incredible statement on our disposable attitude towards vehicles…even those which are works of art themselves. Stephen leads photographic tours across the south western US and has an upcoming Bio Photo Experience Tour of the SW deserts coming up in September. www.wstephencooper.com  and www.biophotoexperience.com

20140704_143224 20140704_143308 20140704_143230 20140704_143235

Overall, I must admit the heat was quite exhausting so by the time I met up with Coop, I was dragging my sorry ass around Nathan Philips Square but I refused to pay $5 for bottled water – I suggest you take your own supply.

What did disturb me even more, tho, was one young artist whose work I wanted to include here (and promote for FREE!) who was extremely rude when I approached to photograph her in her booth. She screamed at me “no photos, no photos..” which I found ridiculous as all the tourists were busy snapping away and here I am, in a position to get her name and her work out to my thousands of readers and she decides to insult and humiliate me in public. I always ask an artist if I may include them in my blog but as she was busy with a potential sale, I did not interrupt with my usual personal introduction. When I asked her to calm down as I wanted to add her to my media blog, she launched into a tirade about asking permission and how dare I approach her…huh? I guess even psycho bitches can rent a space there….LOL  What a pity as her work was quite different to most of the work on show and I would have liked to include her here. Perhaps this young lady will learn a little humility and understand that not everybody is there to exploit her or steal her images, but perhaps they are willing to promote and support her as an emerging Canadian artist.




Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



???????SATURDAY JUNE 21st. Toronto’s URBAN GALLERY, located at 400 Queen St East, rolled out the rainbow carpet for visitors and VIP guests from World Pride Toronto http://www.worldpridetoronto.com to come meet 18 LGBT artists being highlighted in their PRIDE OF PLACE exhibition running through the end of July.

20140621_150554 20140621_154210 20140621_154321 20140621_150709

World Pride Toronto Affiliate Program Committee member Chad A. Craig (below 2nd from left) joined gallery hostess Kaspara Albertsen (left) and Gallery Director  Calvin Hambrook (right, in hat).


And many of the artists were in attendance, posing proudly in front of their stunning artworks.  Please meet them now….




LUCY SNYDER standing beneath her split leg photograph





MARTEL Cube 13x13



The fabulous KHAT KARIM was thrilled to pose for the art paparazzi!

20140621_153610 20140621_151304

ALLEN SHUGAR (below left) is not only an accomplished artist himself but is also curator for the gallery and he was instrumental in putting Pride of Place together.

20140621_154810 20140621_151251

An exceptionally dapper DAVID BATEMAN posed in front of his aptly named “Pride of Poodles”


SAMANTHA BLANCHETTE  had one of the most animated photographic artworks (below)


BILL BISSETT (right, with Kent sharing a celebratory cheer)



LISA WALTER’s miniature teddy bear was artfully de-stuffed for art’s sake! (below)


And as the afternoon progressed, I chased down a few more of the artists including MAURICE VELLEKOOP (directly below) with his piece, “Dick of Death” (edited for online distribution!),  in between frosty cocktails and much kudos from the appreciative gallery guests….


\20140621_153459 20140621_15411320140621_150921 20140621_154251 20140621_154313

20140621_155531 20140621_160900


Congratulations to URBAN GALLERY and all the wonderfully talented artists participating in PRIDE OF PLACE.  Check out gallery hours here:  http://www.urbangallery.ca and come visit my two favourite pieces!












Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



A photographic exhibition by
 Opening Reception Thursday May 8th 6:00pm to 9:00pm
URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto
RSVP no later than May 5th to: urbangalleryart1@gmail.com

URBAN GALLERY  is proud to host I SEE, a collaborative exhibition throughout the month of May, between photographer Anna Keenan and animator Lucy Snyder as part of this year’s annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Through a series of black and white images, Anna captures Lucy’s exploration of how she expresses her emotions physically through movement. This is Lucy and Anna’s third collaboration.

“We relate to others through their physical and verbal expression. We hear them and we see them. However, we cannot see our own emotions expressed physically. How would we relate to ourselves if we could see what others see?” These are questions the artists pose and seek to address in their work. Snyder and Keenan work collaboratively to explore the physical changes in their emotions through a series of expressive nude and clothed poses.


Anna Keenan is a professional photographer who has a special affinity towards portraits. Her strength lies in her ability to make her clients feel comfortable in front of the lens. This allows her to focus on capturing their personality. Her subjects include: Pharell Williams, Jill Scott, R. Kelly, Maestro, Sean Paul, Ric Flair and Steve Nash and clients include: Sony/BMG, Virgin/EMI, Universal Music, Atlantic Records and Focus Features. http://www.annakeenanphotography.com

Lucy Snyder is an animation director whose work spans the gamut from claymation, stop-motion, flash 2D to Computer animation and graphics. She has worked on feature films, television series and commercials. Her clients include: Disney, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, ABC, Universal and Focus Features.

I spoke with Urban Gallery’s event coordinator, Kaspara Albertsen, asking her to share thoughts on photography as an artform and share gallery owner Calvin Hambrook’s and curator Allen Shugar’s feelings about photography and the month-long Contact Festival


Have you had any previous photographic exhibitions at Urban (and who)?
We’ve showcased some great photographers since we opened in November 2012, including: Robert Brodey, Patrick Lightheart, Brian Bantugan, Tasha Paulus, Kaspara Albertsen and Alex Taves.

How important do you think photography is as far as art collecting?
Throughout photography’s history, it’s taken time for photography to establish itself as an art form, and with an increasing population of smart phones and hobbyists, it can be hard for a photographer to establish themselves artistically. That being said, some of our favourite pieces are photographs, they serve as a window to a beautiful moment in time. Photography has become increasing popular over the past years, and photos are a smart addition to a collection and a smart investment going forward for serious collectors.

Who are your favourite photographic artists & do you have any of their photos on your own walls at home?
Nick Brandt, Edward Burtynsky, Ansel Adams, Monica Ellingsen, Annie Leibowitz, Johnnie Eisen and Guy Bourdin are just a few of our favourites – gallery owner, Calvin Hambrook, and curator, Allen Shugar, have Johnnie Eisen, Kaspara Albertsen and Alexis Duclos in their Lake Shore home. In the home of gallery event coordinator, Kaspara Albertsen, you will find Jessica Kehrli, Helena Krekling and Monica Ellingsen.

How important do you feel the CONTACT Festival is for promoting photography as an art form?
The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is an exciting time of the year to see what established and emerging photographic artists are up to, and to experience the vast array of expression and artistry coming through the lens. The experience is always beautiful ranging the human experience and beyond to the things we don’t see.

Photography is an amazing artform, it gives you a glimpse of the world around us through the artist’s eyes, reminding us of the beauty and unsettling aspects of our existence.KEENAN-SNYDER May 2014

Check out http://www.UrbanGallery.ca for information on this and all future exhibitions, gallery hours and directions.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,