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August 1, 2012

Curator by day–artist at night. I’m often asked if my visual art practice influences my curatorial work. This overlap plays out in the current exhibition at Station Gallery. The show is titled Fictionary. The idea behind the exhibition came out of a personal interest in drawing and narrative. These two modes of expression and how they intersect with lens-based media, like film or photography, are explored in my own work.

Fictionary features four artists who are similarly interested in storytelling as expressed through the drawn medium. Dani Crosby (Oshawa), Jay Dart (Port Perry), Larry Eisenstein (Toronto) and Christophe Jordache (Montréal) are phenomenal storytellers with a deep devotion to the drawn medium. This is why I’m keenly interested in this quartet. My respect and admiration for these four artists comes out of how their individual studio practices differ from my own. Their reference points are not overtly influenced by films and photos. Rather, Fictionary is a site where creativity, free-range narrative and imagination align. Crosby, Dart, Eisenstein and Jordache celebrate the inherent exuberance in visual art. It’s a spirit that pre-dates film and photography. It’s as ancient as drawing itself.

Let’s continue this conversation on the third Thursday of this month. Join me on August 16th at 7pm at Station Gallery for a free curator’s walk & talk. Fictionary continues until September 2.

Dani Crosby prepares the Fictionary signature wall

January 28, 2011

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is hearing the stories artists have to share. How did they come to be artists? What kind of twists and turns have their life paths taken and how have they intersected with other people’s journeys. Narrative is alive and well in contemporary visual culture. One artist’s story has captivated the country. Last Friday, Bowmanville-based artist Jane Eccles was featured on the front page of the Toronto Star. This was a first. You’d be hard pressed to find another instance of a living Canadian artist featured so prominently in the Canadian press. The article is immersive, even granular, detailing Jane’s “Dresses Project” in the Living Section (click here to read).

Toronto Star front page, January 21, 2011

Eccles’s series of portraits will premiere at Station Gallery in less than a month. I just love the spirit of her project; she refers to this body of work as emerging from the “closet of souls.”