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September 23, 2015

Last week was a tough one. The news of two people passing came unexpectedly.

Mike Star (1951-2015), was an independent purveyor of vinyl records in Oshawa since 1974. He’ll be greatly missed. See 2011 post on Star Records follow: https://curatorbyday.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/for-the-record/

Mike and Me (2011). Photo: Allan Frank

Mike and Me (2011). Photo: Allan Frank

Wallace “Wally” Brighton (1940-2015) served as Head of Art at Oshawa’s O’Neill CVI and local artist represented in the Station Gallery permanent collection. His work “Flying Figure Pines” (1980) continues to be an inspiration for younger artists in gallery programming. See obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ottawacitizen/obituary.aspx?pid=175849736

Wallace Brighton FLYING FIGURE-PINES, 1980 5/10 linoleumcut on paper 26 x 20 in., 66 x 50.8 cm.

Wallace Brighton
FLYING FIGURE-PINES, 1980
5/10
linoleumcut on paper
26 x 20 in., 66 x 50.8 cm.

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September 21, 2013

Oshawa’s downtown core is invaded by artists. The inaugural Oshawa Space Invaders (OSI) saw huge crowds for yesterday’s ARTCRAWL. Hundreds of visitors came through selected spaces replete with visual art and home-grown studio production cultivated in Durham Region. Well over a hundred artists are featured in vacant commercial spaces and storefronts in downtown. OSI covers the full range of artistic involvement as only a community event can. The event embraces established artists, professional designers, arts enthusiasts, collectives, college and high school students.

Professor McQuay with  Silver Elvis

Professor McQuay with Silver Elvis

Hats off to Steven Frank, Gary Greenwood and Will McGuirk for their visionary leadership. The trio was supported by a committed team of enthusiastic volunteers and like-minded community players and artists.

The Schembris and I

The Schembris and I

Yesterday was a real homecoming. Lives converged, trails crossed. Juno Award winning bluesman, Jack de Keyzer rocked the stage and Silver Elvis mingled around his scintilating space craft. What a terrific verve–the Invasion lasts for another week. Share your experiences and comments below…

Garfield Ferguson and Me

Garfield Ferguson and Me

Check out: http://www.oshawaspaceinvaders.com

February 23, 2013

When I worked with the Thomas Bouckley Collection of Historical Photographs, I was fascinated with the pictures of stores from a by-gone era. Much changed in Oshawa’s downtown core over the decades. The concentration of shops and boutiques shifted to the Oshawa Centre (OC).

Growing up in Oshawa during the eighties and early nineties meant you had a special place to hang out. Not only was the Centre a great place to shop, it was a social and recreational hub. It had many things that are no longer: bowling alleys, cinemas, a video arcade, concession stands, independent restaurants, department store cafeterias and (best of all) a pet store where you could cuddle kittens. Some other stores that came to mind:

Consumer’s Distributing, Bi-Way, L’il Bo Peep Restaurant, The Sabre Tavern, Marks & Spencer, Kmart Canada, Shops on Top, The Malt Shop, Classic Books…

Across town and now in our memories are:

Mother’s Pizza, Bargain Harold’s, Spanky’s Arcade, Circle in the Square Records, Knob Hill Farms Terminal

Does anyone else recall any of the above? I’d love to hear your recollections… along the way to the comments section–a few vintage logos…

Bargain Harold's

Bargain Harold’s

BiWay Bag

BiWay Bag

Fill out a Form

Fill out a Form

K-Mart logo

K-Mart logo

September 11, 2009

Unparalleled terrorist attack on New York City - September 11, 2001

Unparalleled terrorist attack on New York City - September 11, 2001

Mornings are inherently unmemorable, even fugitive.  We can all remember where we were and what we were doing in the morning on this day in 2001. Over the past eight years, I’ve shared my story verbally dozens of times and this is the first time I’m writing about that beautiful autumn dawn, a day before my 29th birthday.

I had marked my first year working at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in my hometown. The day began like any other with checking e-mail, maybe a coffee was at my side, I can’t recall. The daily routine was shattered with a cell call from my older brother at a quarter after nine that morning. Gasping for air he said, “There’s going to be a war!” He had just witnessed, with his own eyes, the second plane crash into the South Tower. At the time, my brother was working in 1 Liberty Plaza, one of the seven buildings in the WTC complex. He had just narrowly escaped death. My brother knew that the horrific news would shave years off our mother’s life not knowing if her eldest was alive. Shortly thereafter, there was no way of dialling out of Manhattan—all communication lines were jammed. His directions to me were simple: I had to tell my mother that he was safe and out of harm’s way. I asked my boss to drive me to St. George’s church where my mother was teaching kindergarten kids in the basement. I interrupted the class, took my mom aside and let her know that our family was intact.