After lunch with a friend last Monday, I enjoyed a windy walk on the shore of Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park. Much to my delight, I discovered a spontaneous outdoor gallery on top of a boulder.
Anonymous artists had created a gathering of small inuksuit sculptures, and I loved how the waves had become co-artists, knocking some sculptures over and leaving others intact. Before I left the boulder gallery, I contributed an inukshuk of my own to say thank you.
This photo of an autumnal scene inspired a collage that emerged in spring.
Recently I offered a collage session to enrich an ESL textbook’s chapter about trash and recycling. I loved how the eleven international students in the class called on their creativity to transform magazines, leaflets, cards, calendars, old books, music scores, and stickers into individual works of art.
Resonating with Reese’s work for the Myseum exhibit, the objective of the YEARBOOK collage workshop was to support the creation of personal collages that explored related themes, such as memory, history, identity, and loss.
All art materials were provided, but participants were also invited to bring personal photos or copies of them. Almost all of the eight attendees came prepared with an engaging assortment of photos, beautiful stationery, fabric, buttons, and even driftwood and a glue gun!
I loved the communal hum of work and conversation that continued throughout the two-hour event. Together we hunted for just the right images when somebody would call out that they needed a picture of a dog or bright colours for balloons.
By the end of the afternoon, it was uplifting to see the gorgeous variety of collages that surfaced.
Thank you Scarborough Arts and Myseum for creating the conceptual and literal space for the YEARBOOK Collage Workshop! Making art with the support of these two organizations felt both meaningful and fun.
I loved these collages created by eight international students in an intensive English program. In addition to photos of the artwork, I’m including descriptions that the artists wrote to explain their individual collages. (Sending a big thank you to their instructor, Barb, for assigning and collecting the written work).
Once upon a time, Professor Monster lived in the house. Although he looked like devil, he like to use magic to help people. He hoped to improve their life, so he gave some rice, bags, and clothes to them. Finally, they were very happy.
Don’t believe in money. Believe in yourself.
This collage’s topic is Empty. Recently in Korea some intelligent young people think emptiness is an important problem. We use many objects. We have many goods, but we are empty for nature, for earth, for simple human life. Now this is Korea social trend.
My collage is about lovely story. Everyone have a dream about your ideal and everyone goes to his dream.
The old man in the small picture is the monkey’s conscience. He says, “Don’t worry. She (the doll) is crazy about you. Repeat after me, I’m the Best.”
Man: Hey girl! Look at me! I’m soccer superstar.
Donkey: No! Look at me! I’m the super donkey. Ha! Ha!
Penguin: You are really funny. I’m the super penguin. See me fly!
It is free and dream. Many people are not free because of work and life. “The world is very big. I want to see anything!” This sentence is a catchword in China.
Response to the Tapir’s Night Journey Downstream
Transitions define my body.
Look how the current splashes my legs turquoise,
the moon silks my chest,
and wild solitude cools my nimbus to blue, white, and lavender.
Behold the purple eye that guides my canoe down the Amazon,
riding the night rapids in a dream of passages, openings, and
And see how curving shapes in the dark transport me to waterways
that empty into wider and wider rivers
until the open Atlantic receives my vessel at journey’s end.
Creating collages with peaceful images can help with stress reduction. Please enjoy these calming pieces created by six English Language Learners at Centennial College.
In this collage series inspired by sea and river voyages, shipwrecks tilt on the ice, abstract shapes go swimming, and an arctic hare chews on a twig. Meanwhile, a famous Norwegian explorer inhabits a turnip-shaped kayak, and a tapir chooses a canoe for his journey downstream.
(This collage has a poem to accompany it!)
Facilitating several collage workshops on the theme of “Picture Your Success” was a rewarding experience, especially when I saw how much the resulting artwork meant to the participants. I love the colours, stories, and messages contained in the collages featured below. They help me picture peace, fun, success, hope, freedom, love, and inspiration!
On my way to see a friend’s exhibit on Queen Street West one winter evening in 2008, a blue and white TPL sign stopped me in my tracks. Not wanting to waste a library-visit opportunity, I took a quick art detour to Parkdale Library, which was the 45th branch on my pilgrimage. (Four years after this evening visit, I returned to the site with my camera).
To walk into a warm library on a cold night is very comforting, like visiting a favourite aunt after a neighborhood snowball fight. She naturally offers you hot chocolate and fusses over how chilled you are.
Hot chocolate wasn’t available at Parkdale, but its main level had a vibrant mural that nourished the eyes with colourful shapes. Though the shapes were abstract, I could still identify a whale, a cow, a bird, and some eggs. (I liked how the clock seemed more egg-like than most clocks because of its proximity to the mural eggs).
On the west side of the library, I saw a homework room, two quiet study rooms, and a community outreach office. In this office, a staff member was talking to numerous clients in a friendly, respectful manner.
Along the south wall and part of the east wall were books in Vietnamese, Polish, Gujurati, French, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese. (On my 2012 visit, I saw Tibetan and Tamil books but not Russian ones).
I was impressed by the variety of activity at Parkdale Library. For example, I observed a computer class in progress, three men discussing social issues at a study table, and all of the children’s computers in use. The homework room hosted two families studying intently, and one student was camped out near a potted palm in an armchair, his books, notebooks, and backpack strewn about comfortably. With so much light and energy inside, the room was a haven in contrast to the cold and darkness outside I experienced on my initial visit to Parkdale.
As I exited the library after my second trip, I noticed an art-gate that had escaped my attention previously (even when I passed it on the way to a Gaga Dance program earlier in 2012). A companion piece to the globe sculpture outside, it was decorated with eight red book spines that bore an unfortunate resemblance to dynamite. The books represented eight countries: Sweden, Russia, France, Slovak, Spain (with the “s” scraped off by a vandal), Italy, Germany, and Poland.
Thinking I had finished my blog work, I started walking east along Queen Street West. I had tucked my camera away too soon, though, for a mural by Maureen Walton next to the library building immediately captivated me. It was the perfect visual to summarize a morning immersed in the dynamic urban creativity of Parkdale!