Friday, October 21, 2011


Oops! Drafter this blog 6 months ago and only publishing now. Hope there is something in there for the reader today.

Ottawa based artists are geographically well positioned to access both the Montreal  and Toronto larger and more varied markets and resources. Starting this weekend, I'm back to Toronto for a relatively short three-week sabbatical as compared to the 2010 three-month sabbatical which I've discussed in previous blog entries but will briefly summarize.

During the 2010 visit, I accomplished three important exhibitions. A solo exhibition, Ecology of Narrative Space, was installed at Reference Project space next to the Drake Hotel , and received exceptional public exposure thanks to Art Critic, Betty Ann Jordon including it on the Queen Street West Art & Design Walking Tour itinerary. The Toronto School of Art's Launch Project Gallery exhibited my work as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival. Gevik Gallery in Yorkville had represented my paintings in Toronto since 2006, and during my sabbatical there they featured my paintings along with my photomontage Arctic Crisis series which was covered in the popular Slate Art Gallery Guide. Further increasing awareness of my art in the Toronto area and internationally, the well respected art critic, Andrea Carson, featured my art in her excellent blog View on Canadian Art, a blog that receives a daily 2000 hits.

For this October/November 2011 Sabbatical, just as in 2010, I have some ideas but no fixed expectations prior to my visit. With only three weeks, perhaps it will be enough to just soak up what's going-on, attending some lectures at the Power Plant where I had presented my work to a curatorial clinic last years.

During the past year, while waiting for creativity to strike, its been nurturing to be engaged with the arts and culture community through volunteer civic commitments such as the Arts, Heritage and Culture Advisory Committee for the City of Ottawa,  supporting arts fundraising gala events, participation in a Research in Art Reading Group with other artists, and giving a presentation of my art practice to the Arts Salon (26) organized by Petra Halkes in her home (photo by V. Tytor). Especially nurturing is having fun with family and friends, and by myself, learning new skills such as Britannia Yacht Club sailing, snowshoeing and hiking with the  Rideau Trail Association, Yoga at the YWCA, home entertaining and going out more.

I return feeling no urgency to achieve anything. It may happen that I attend drop-in yoga classes to keep-up with something new I started this year in Ottawa. I've noted a few exhibitions and lectures I'd like to attend, including the Fogar Residency (Newfoundland) exhibition at Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) in which my friend Marian Wahik will be showing her work (we met at our Banff Residency in 2009).  My friend, Barbara Mitchell, a mover and shaker in the Toronto art community as professional art Appraiser, Curator of the Arts and Letters Club collection, President of the Women's Art Association, promises we'll get together for dinner. I'm hoping to do so with several more friends during the three weeks. Maybe I'll visit the Gibralter Point Art Centre on Toronto Islands where I did an artists residency in 2002. Some people from Ottawa have said they might be in town.  Whatever happens, when away from home in Ottawa,  I seem to approach life more as a delightful adventure, undistracted by "maintenance" issues.

I'll keep you posted.

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