Category: FEATURES

Kevin Schmidt : “Don’t Stop Believing”

by Matt Macintosh

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (Hart House), University of Toronto

What I found particularly admirable is Schmidt’s ability to effect a transformation in attention toward the mundane. What, thankfully, is not purged is, as the exhibition’s title may suggest, an invitation toward attentive light-heartedness—something equally worth bringing to the church or the arena.

Chris Shoust: Communicating With The Mentally Ill

Chris Shoust: Communicating with the Mentally Ill

by Phil Anderson

Many of the works are colourful and pleasing to look at, occasionally using layers and mixing up the media at while others are more graphically disturbing. Shoust displays his talent at putting together these graphic images and colour works.

The Square Foot Exhibit

by Phil Anderson

“A couple of things such as the number of artists that take part in the show and the number and variety of works that are exhibited in one room. Once all the artwork in hung it actually starts to look like one big art piece which is the installation itself.”, said Basin

DENNIS BURTON / Word Magic – Toronto 1970’s

by Ashley Johnson

A sign of cultural maturity in developed societies is the wholehearted support and celebration of its artists. Their contribution is recognized as ‘cultural capital’, to be nurtured and exported, whether as art objects or social ideas. Value is attached and upheld by institutions that generate knowledge and shows about that product.

Through The Lens. A Photographic Journey with Vincenzo Pietropaolo

by Phil Anderson

Upon meeting with documentary photographer , Vincenzo Pietropaolo at Toronto‘s De Luca Fine Art/Gallery, on Queen St. West, he explained of how he captured images of the Italian community as a young boy, an immigrant child. The camera allowed him access to another world. As a young man he played pool in a then local pool hall which is now part of a trendier world for visitors to the neighbourhood.

This is Paradise | Place as state of mind:The Cameron Public House and 1980s Toronto

By Rae Johnson

Upon opening its doors under the new ownership in October 1981, the Cameron became a magnet for the most talented and ambitious in the ‘hood. It came together as a kind of social experiment in the form of a hotel, similar to hotels like the Chelsea in New York, but fundamentally different in that it’s reason d’etre from the beginning wasn’t to sell beer and collect rent, but to provide a place for Culture.


By Gary Michael Dault

I came into the Drake Hotel coffee shop a couple of weeks ago and there was anarchist-wildman-artist Istvan Kantor at a window table in the sunlight and when he smiled a greeting—for we hadn’t seen one another for a couple of years—there was suddenly a visionary gleam in the coffee shop, an effluence of light that made looking at him feel like looking directly at the grille of a 1948 Buick.

Staged Photography

By Emese Krunak-Hajagos

Looking at the exhibitions of Contact always remind me of my childhood. My relationship with photography started at a very early age since my mother was a professional photographer. She had a portrait studio from the 1950th for 40 years in Budapest. Through her work staged photography filled my life and as a passionate reader I always connected stories to the photographs.

Illuminated Manuscript

By Matt Macintosh

Illuminated Manuscript“, a site-specific installation curated by Bonnie Rubenstein at The Coach House as part of this years CONTACT festival themed, “Figure + Ground” is part of Robert Bean’s ongoing research project on Marshall McLuhan, technology and obsolescence. With access to the back-rooms of the Canadian Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Bean has presented 2 videos and 18 mid-scale photographs in the house where McLuhan famously conducted his research and Monday evening seminars.


By Von Bark

The art of eating is the very substance which gives us life. The art of preparing food for consumption is an alchemical/transformative process which simmers our cultural influences in complex ways. ‘Best Before‘ is a group show of Aboriginal artists that bites into this feast. There is a light-handed but sharp sense of teasing our dominant culture. The artists all contributed recipes related to their conceptual pieces.

Sound Before Sight

By Amanda Pignotti

As visitors walk toward the blackened room of the E-Gallery located on the UTM (University of Toronto at Mississauga) campus, sound before sight entices the crowd. One by one, visitors unconsciously emerge as “listeners” of a work of art, prior to becoming the “viewer”. Intimidating and boisterous tones stampede out from the E-Gallery, drawing in curious yet skeptical listeners before the piece is even seen!