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10 things to do at the Ontario Scene : May 6

10 things to do at the Ontario Scene : May 6

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

01. Patricia Cano and Luanda Jones
Info: With a voice that is smooth, intense, and a little bit sweet, Sudbury’s PATRICIA CANO delivers the goods with the expression and presence of a Broadway star, serving up her luscious sound in English, French, and Spanish. Drawing on her background in theatre, Spanish literature, Korean singing, and Brazil’s Carioca music scene, Patricia has a dazzling wealth and diversity of experience, effortlessly blending jazz, blues, South American folk, samba, Afro-Peruvian rhythms, and more.

Originally from Rio de Janeiro, LUANDA JONES captivates audiences with her unique take on Brazilian classics and her own finely crafted original songs. Her suave, jazz-inflected vocals and stylized guitar harmonies are delivered with an unforgettable voice and magnetic onstage personality.

02. Tchaikovsky’s Fourth with the Gryphon Trio
Info: Maestra Xian Zhang leads this Ontario Scene celebration, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, which he called “an echo of my most intimate spiritual life.” Jordan Pal composed his Triple Concerto for fellow Torontonians the Gryphon Trio (“three exceptional musicians who think, breathe and act as one. Theirs is a powerful and majestic sound…”~ Canada Council for the Arts), describing it as “reminiscent of flocking starlings, performing breathtaking, whirling displays [with] evocative and startling colours.”

03. Graceful Rebellions
Info: In this brilliant and engaging one-woman show, playwright and performer SHAISTA LATIF transitions seamlessly between distinctly complex characters in a deeply personal work. Moving across cultures and generations, Graceful Rebellions tells the stories of three Afghan women, each bartering for small joys and challenging the cultural norms that exist under Afghanistan’s patriarchal rule. Shaista lovingly portrays characters, by turns funny and heartbreaking, who struggle in a world where women commonly have no power, in a culture that has long been dominated by war.

Often identifying more with the hyphen than with the identities in “Afghan-Canadian,” Shaista is a captivating performer who has important things to say about cultural pressure and “the graceful rebellion that lives in the heart of every Afghan girl.”

04. Human Nature
Info: Human Nature presents the work of 14 contemporary Ontario artists who look at the state of the natural world and our impact on it as innovators and exploiters, creators and destroyers. Exploring a range of such critical issues as food production, habitat loss, post-industrialization, and natural disaster, Human Nature is by turns humorous and hopeful, utopian and dystopian. The works investigate the history and consequences of colonization, consider decaying infrastructure, find new uses for industrial waste, propose sci-fi alternatives to everyday life, and even encourage the sharing of food and stories. Taken together, the works of these artists reflect on the complex interconnection of nature, culture, and technology.

Occupying CARLETON UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY’s entire space, Human Nature is an ambitious project that includes installations, video, sculpture, painting, and outdoor sculpture and performance by some of Ontario’s most provocative artists.

05. Jon Sasaki : Two Roads Diverged in a Wood
Info: Three little-known works from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art by the painter George Thomson (1868–1965) provide the foundation for a new body of work by JON SASAKI. The three paintings have been reinterpreted in ways that pay homage to an artist who was too often discussed only in connection with his more famous younger brother, Tom. Sasaki’s pieces in Two Roads Diverged in a Wood examine George Thomson’s ties to family, his community, and to the astoundingly eventful times in which he lived.

06. Michael DeForge: All Dogs Are Dogs
Info: SAW GALLERY presents Michael DeForge: All Dogs Are Dogs, an expansive presentation of MICHAEL DEFORGE’s work that marks the artist’s first major survey exhibition. Originally from Ottawa, DeForge has produced an idiosyncratic body of work that has established him as a generation-defining voice in alternative comics.

07. Works from the National Gallery of Canada’s National Collection
Info: The NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA is a must-see destination, housing, as it does, the world’s most comprehensive collection of Canadian art and rich collections of European, Contemporary, Aboriginal, and Inuit art. The National Gallery highlights several of its most significant recent acquisitions, featuring some of the best and most innovative work being made in Canada today.

During Ontario Scene, the Gallery will feature the work of AN TE LIU, SHARY BOYLE, and other artists living in Ontario whose works engage with current trends and resonate with the historical works in the Gallery’s collection, building relationships across time, media, and culture.

08. North of the 45th
Location: GALLERY 101
Info: North of the 45th looks at the diversity of artistic practices and voices from Northern Ontario. From drawing to ceramics to video to performance, these works dismantle stereotypical notions of regional identity by offering complex and thoughtful expressions of the relationships that connect land, memory, and history.

09. Ontario in Âjagemô
Info: Ontario boasts a rich history of visual and media arts – due in large part to its size, diversity, and vibrant urban centres. But is Ontario art distinct? Do Ontario artists have a single, discernible viewpoint? A unique cultural psychology? Judge for yourself at this exhibition in the Canada Council’s Âjagemô exhibition hall*. Ontario in Âjagemô draws on a selection of five decades of works from the Canada Council Art Bank to reveal that the most interesting conversations emerge from viewpoints that are both unique and personal.

Since 1972, the CANADA COUNCIL ART BANK has been collecting works by the best Canadian artists of our times, amassing the world’s largest collection of contemporary Canadian art. Almost 4,000 of these works are by Ontario artists.

*Âjagemô is the Algonquin word for “crossroads.”

10. BioART: Collaborating with Life
Info: A lawn that mows itself, human cells co-cultured with apple cores, a feminist re-interpretation of military camouflage, and the ultimate locavore culinary experience: what do they have in common? They’re all artworks in BioART: Collaborating with Life.

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