January 27, 2015

I’ve been to the antique shop in Orono several times. On Sunday, I had a particular feeling of déjà vu. “Where have I just seen this picture?” I thought. It was Fredrick H. Varley’s “Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay” painted in a characteristically Group of Seven style back in 1920. Bold, vivid and breath-taking.

Stormy Weather in Orono Shoppe

Stormy Weather in Orono Shoppe

In Fred Varley’s “Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay” we see a windswept tree clinging to a steep island of rock. White capped waters echo the turbulence of the sky, as swirling patterns of blue and green paint create a feeling of restlessness. Varley’s energetic brushstrokes convey the force of the wind and ever-changing vitality of nature–as well, perhaps, something of the artist’s own spirited personality.

The night before, Kubrick’s 1980 horror masterpiece “The Shining” was screened at the Bell Lightbox. Much of the film was edited and marketed as the “International Version”. Some of the Canadian art references such as Colville’s “Horse & Train” and Morrisseau’s “Flock of Loons” unfortunately fell out of this version.

The “a-ha” moment clicked in. Finally, another Canadian art reference in “The Shining” to add to the list. A chance discovery! Varley’s picture can be seen next to the maze model in the Colorado Lounge. Jack Torrence (played by Nicholson) stands above a tabletop model of a topiary maze located on the grounds of the Overlook Hotel. Fred Varley’s tumultuous image overlooking Georgian Bay can be seen in the background…

Varley in "The Shining"!

Varley in “The Shining”!

“Get me the Chief, quick. I’ve been shot!” This was the desperate cry of a young telegraph operator on a frigid Friday night in 1914. This week we count down to the hundredth anniversary when Billy Stone uttered his final words. To this day, the case of Billy Stone remains Whitby’s most infamous cold case. The unsolved case of Billy Stone haunts Station Gallery wherever it goes. If only the heritage gallery walls could speak—they would reveal who murdered the 21-year-old telegraph operator that night.

This Thursday starting at 7:00 PM, we’ll retrace that fateful evening and recall Billy’s untimely death in an illustrated account. I’ll be joined by local ghost hunters from PROO(f), who will share some curious findings about paranormal activities they’ve observed locally. Join us on this thrilling evening, when we remember Billy a century later!

Station Gallery
Thursday, December 11, 2014 @ 7pm

21 year old Billy Stone

21 year old Billy Stone

November 1, 2014

Earlier this week, I had a chance to revisit Kubrick’s horror masterpiece “The Shining”. The film makes reference to several Canadian artworks including four Alex Colville paintings, two Norval Morrisseau works, Paul Peel’s “After the Bath”, Tom Thomson and J.E.H. MacDonald. I’m delighted to verify another Group of Seven artist to the list.

In one scene, Jack Torrence (played by Nicholson) walks down a corridor towards the Gold ballroom of the Overlook Hotel. Before entering the ballroom he stops. Behind him is a poster reproduction of a Canadian icon, “Red Maple” by A.Y. Jackson.

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 2.20.15 PM

The painting shows a supple red maple on the banks of churning rapids. Some art historians have pointed out the symbolic resonance of the young maple with the forging of Canada’s national identity. At the time Jackson painted this canvas, our young nation had been at battle for months overseas in the Great War. The artist painted it in his Toronto studio in November 1914. This great work marks its centennial this month!

AY Jackson - Red Maple (1914)

AY Jackson – Red Maple (1914)

October 17, 2014

“We Go Next!” proclaims one of the strident posters. Nothing could be truer for this batch of framed propaganda posters. Next in the yourSpace gallery will be vintage World War One posters. We’ll start hanging on Monday.


Station Gallery will mark the centennial of the Great War outbreak this year by featuring selected broadsheet posters from the Wildman Collection based here in Whitby. In addition to these eye-catching graphics, we’ll display wartime memorabilia, ephemera and militaria from the WWI era. Craig Wildman will give special insight into his collection and the posters on November 20 at 7PM. The show runs until November 23. Not to be missed!

September 23, 2014

Join me for an Art Talk tomorrow (Wednesday) at  7:00 PM at the Abbozzo Gallery in Toronto.


Never has the intersection of art and film been as pronounced as today. Join Station Gallery Curator, Olexander Wlasenko, in an exploration of visual art and cinema. Wlasenko addresses the influence of moving images on still imagery and vice versa…


I’m very excited to share some recent findings in movies…

Wednesday, September 24 @ 7pm


Abbozzo Gallery

401 Richmond Street West, Suite 128

Toronto, ON    416-260-2220


September 17, 2014

“There’s something I haven’t mentioned to anyone, yet…” confessed the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, to the large crowds gathered on Parliament Hill earlier today, “This is my first visit to Canada!” He was certainly made to feel at home by the warm welcome. Canadians of many ethnic backgrounds including Polish, Belorus, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Jewish, Hungarian and Crimean Tatars joined with Ukrainian-Canadians in support of a sovereign and independent Ukraine.

Rally for Ukraine

Rally for Ukraine

Following his official address in Parliament, Poroshenko gave a brief, but powerful speech outside on the Hill. The mood was celebratory. And for good reason. This was the day after Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) voted in favour of EU association. Ukraine’s newly elected President spoke optimistically of future Ukraine-Canadian relations. Following his informal, but well-crafted speech, security staff were caught off-guard as Poroshenko quickened down the steps to greet and shake hands with people. We shook hands as he passed. “Cool!” I thought, “that’s probably the closest I’ll get to a billionaire.”

Poroshenko in Passing

President Poroshenko in Passing

July 15, 2014

It’s official–the theme of this year’s annual members’ exhibition, as chosen by you–“Slice of Life”

2014 Annual Members' Exhibition Themes

This juried exhibition will run at Station Gallery from November 29, 2014 to January 11, 2015.

It’s a fine theme that’s open-ended and versatile. Artists will be invited to present works that sample everyday life and slice-of-life narratives. Words such as naturalism and realism also come to mind. Thanks to everyone for voting. Stay tuned to Station Gallery’s website for submission guidelines and details for the year-end Slice of Life exhibition….

July 7, 2014

It’s that time again… As things heat up, we request your say on the theme of the annual members’ show theme for when things will cool down later this year.

Between November 29, 2014 to January 11, 2015, Station Gallery will host its 22nd annual juried exhibition.

The choice is yours. Which title and theme do you think best suits this year’s show? Stay tuned for next week’s results on July 14.

June 18, 2014

There it is scribbled in my day planner for today’s date: “Morandi died 50 years ago.”

Giorgio Morandi‘s work had a profound impact on me back in 1995 visiting his studio/apartment in Bologna, Italy. His sustained, concentrated contributions to the still life genre remains inspiring. He’s fondly remembered in my mind and in the collective cinematic consciousness. One of his works appears in Fellini’s 1960 “La dolce vita“–admired by the character of Steiner and Marcello Mastroianni pictured below. Morandi embodied the ultimate in cool sophistication and sprezzatura–in all its infinite tones of grey… today we remember Giorgio Morandi!

Morandi in La dolce vita


June 7, 2014

Earlier this morning newly elected, Petro Poroshenko was sworn-in as the fifth President of Ukraine. International heads of state joined in the inauguration proceedings, including the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.

For full ceremonies watch here.