Bloordale: A New Flourishing Arts Area

The Bloordale Area around Bloor West and Lansdowne is fast becoming a haven for new art galleries, several of which have just opened.

11 Dublin St., Unit E

Read All Over
December 9, 2011–May 1, 2012

Scrap Metal is a new art gallery opened by co-founders Samara Walbohm and Joe Shlesinger. They have a large collection of art works that they wish to make accessible for public viewing.

co-founders Samara Walbohm and Joe Shlesinger.

Read All Over is an exhibit , developed by Scrap Metal  cofounders Samara Walbohm and Joe Shlesinger, that considers the state of language in books and visual art . Though the world is bombarded by words – Flickering across LCD displays – they are barely there.Have they become mere ephemera without lasting impact ?  Read All Over poses the question : Is visual art a refuge for words, a place where text can achieve some permanence?

The exhibition is an impressive collection of works both local and international that address the subject of language in a thoughtful and delightful way. The first work to view would be Micah Lexier’s wonderful sign over the exterior entrance to the gallery. If the sign’s light is on, then the gallery is open and that is the text on the sign. There are a few clever variations on this text used by Lexier.

Micah Lexier’s sign

There are works from local artists, such as Lois Andison, Dave Dyment, Derek Sullivan, Laurel Woodcock, Ken Nicol and General Idea, just to name a few. There are several works by Graham Gillmore who has been a favourite artist of mine who uses text in his works.

The venue and exhibition are both excellent and the owners are warm and receptive.

188 St. Helens Avenue

Beside Myself, works by Chris Curreri
November 17, 2011–January 7, 2012

This is another great exhibition in another great industrial space. The gallery is in a former auto body shop, kitty corner to Scrap Metal. In fact, Daniel Faria, the owner, helped Scrap Metal owners Samara Walbohm and Joe Shlesinger find their space. Rumour has it other galleries are considering this area now that people are discovering it to provide large accessible spaces.

Daniel Faria, the owner

The exhibition Beside Myself by Chris Curreri is a series of male portraits with the figure naked from the waist up and the head draped in bread dough. The works are strong and command attention. The next exhibition at the gallery will feature works by Douglas Coupland.

Other Galleries in this area include the artist run centre, Mercer Union, the Toronto Free Gallery, the Robert Kananaj Gallery and, at 1226 Bloor West, another project gallery.

Mercer Union

Text and Photo by Phil Anderson

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