The strip of Queen West from Bathurst to Dufferin has long held a reputation as the mecca for art in the city of Toronto, but the street has definitely been through a number of changes over the past few years. Condos, cafes and frou-frou boutiques have multiplied and many of the independent galleries who used to populate the street have moved elsewhere due to sky-rocketing rents, but there is still great art to be found in this part of the city. Some of Toronto’s best contemporary art galleries, including the Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, The Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA) and The Edward Day Gallery, are still holding strong, and this weekend the art scene will be in full force for the 9th annual Queen West Art Crawl. It’s a weekend packed with shows, talks, parties and more. We’ve rounded up just a sample of what there is to do this weekend.
Queen West Outdoor Art Show
One of the main events of the crawl is the outdoor art show that takes place in Trinity Bellwoods Park. I’ve been going to this show for years and it’s always a great mix of local and not-so-local artists and crafters. The weather this weekend is supposed to be beautiful, so if you’re in the city this show is a great way to spend an afternoon. It runs Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 6pm. For a complete list of participants and show details head here.
Parkdale Night Crawl
On Saturday night there will be a number of venues hosting special art crawl events, including an exhibition by Toronto origami artist Andrew Ooi at Poor John’s Cafe, and Paintlounge, which invites participants up to the 2nd floor of the Rhino restaurant to pick up brushes of their own to participate in some collaborative painting while listening to live music.
Artist and Museum Talks
This year the art crawl will also include a roster of talks about art and community, as well as gallery and studio tours led by local curators. There’s a special talk at the Gladstone about the role food and art play in shaping the community that sounds fascinating. If you’d like more information, or a complete schedule of events go here.
Usually creating art isn’t considered a spectator sport, but that’s just what Art Battle is all about. Painters wield their brushes to make a masterpiece in an evening while the audience can have a few drinks and watch them work. One artist is declared the winner at the end of the night and completed paintings are auctioned off. During the Night Crawl they will be having a special edition cage match, which sounds intriguing.
Hope to see you at one or more of these events over the weekend, and until then, happy Friday everyone!