Friday, March 12, 2010

Blog: Perspective Preview

As a preview of next Thursday March 18th's PERSPECTIVE opening, Edward Lin & Kira Varvanina's A Piece of the Pi [2010] is now installed in the front window of the gallery.  While the gallery is closed this weekend you can get a good look from outside.  Still can't believe how many tubes are involved.  

Here are some shots from the install:


Friday, March 12, 2010

Press Release: PERSPECTIVE



– featuring mixed media installations by Lubo Brezina with Scott Eunson, Shlomi Greenspan, Edward Lin & Kira Varvanina, and James Swain opens at Snowball Gallery & Workshop Thursday, March 18, 2010 with a reception from 6-10 PM.  The exhibition will run through Sunday, April 4 2010.

derives its theme from the concept of perspective as a physical and mathematical construction, and/or a conceptual or perceptual experience.  Perspective organizes space using geometric principles, it projects three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface, and acts as a lens in which to view the world.  Perspective is usually gained through vision, as a view point, but it can also be engaged by subtle shifts in movement and deliberate actions that have the potential to render new perspectives. 

Constructed out of maple salvaged from a barn demolition and meticulously crafted using mortise and tenon joinery, Shrine Dedicated to the Memory of Demolished Barns and Fallen Trees [2010] sees Lubo Brezina in collaboration with Scott Eunson, address PERSPECTIVE in both physical and metaphysical space.  Shrine is a structural system, an example of the flexibility and scalability of this traditional building technique.  It draws the viewer into its space and focuses perspective on an invisible vanishing point.

James Swain’s Untitled (Triptych)
[2010] draws perspective from history.  Portraits of Charles Baudelaire, R. Buckminster Fuller, and Austin Osman Spare are layered with alchemical symbols meant to shed light on the magical nature of their contributions to, poetry, architecture and art, respectively.  The collages are inspired by the sigils of Spare who developed idiosyncratic magical techniques based on his theories of the relationship between the conscious and unconscious self.

Installed at street level, in the front window of the gallery, Edward Lin & Kira Varvanina’s A Piece of the Pi
[2010] acts as a filter for deconstructing perception.  Paper tubes varying in diameter are stacked horizontally and at varying depths to interrupt and distort the peripheral view of the observer. The resulting pixelation creates a broken perspective and invites viewers to interact with the piece to see images beyond.

Shlomi Greenspan’s 561 Ephemeral Moments
[2010] merges cinematic convention and the painted object to explore the perpetual cycle of destruction and recovery in financial markets.   Employing a car race as an equivalent representation for the movement of stock indices, Greenspan's installation animates painting by tracing the additions and subtractions of marks made in the creation process.  The work as a totality is thereby able to contrast ephemeral and corporeal perspectives.

Snowball Gallery & Workshop is located in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood at 1690 Queen Street West.  The gallery is open Thursday & Friday from 1-7PM and Saturday & Sunday from 12-6PM.  More information about gallery programming and events can be found at or by calling 416.456.4966.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Blog: White Paint Blind

It was sometime late this past Sunday afternoon - most sane Torontonians were in full sidewalk force, enjoying 14 degree weekend weather and a warmth in the sun not felt since last fall.  Three steps up a ladder, staring straight ahead at white walls, rolling the gallery with a third coat of latex - I couldn't see anymore.  I thought of a plane crash and a stranded rugby team in the Andes, reflective glaciers threatening vision.  Couldn't be snow blind though.  Then it dawned, this was plain white paint blind.

Now two days and five [in some places six] coats of paint later - the sight is back.  Temporary blindness in the aftermath of Metamorphosis - worthwhile.  The closing of the show last Friday was inspired by Sectr's recent trips to Brazil and featured a style of graffiti script and technique, known in its native country's Portuguese as Pixacao.  Guest artists Worth, Motel6, and Globe came in to add to the walls.

Before we get to what happened at the closing, here's a peek at the gallery as it stood for the rest of the installation.


Then the canvases came down and paint, rollers, and artists came in.



And this is what they made.



By the end of the night, the starkness of black and white on soft colour and the style of the writing itself, gave the gallery a graveyard feel.  Giant tombstones of letters.  Ghosts of exhibits past.  Fitting for a close, if slightly haunting.

By light of Saturday, it was one more look before going white once more.


Going home yesterday.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Blog: Plans and Projects

The gallery is sun filled today.  People walking by and through have shed at least one layer and it occurs to me that we may just have survived another Canadian winter.  With the 'official' date of Spring mere days [ok just over two weeks] away I am reminded of a Tolstoy quote I came across reading Anna Karenina at this same time last year:

"Spring is the time of plans and projects.  And, like a tree in Spring which does not yet know how and where its young shoots and twigs, still imprisoned in swelling buds, will spread out, Levin, as he walked into the yard, had no clear idea what work he would begin on his beloved estate; but he felt that he was full of the most wonderful plans and projects."  

It seems an a propos metaphor for many creative processes.  Knowing and not knowing at the same time.   Buoyed by the effervescence of Spring, bogged by what to do first.  Personally, I am confronted with three new 3'x4' blank
canvases and innumerable details with regards to the Metamorphosis closing tomorrow night and the Perspective opening
on March 18.  Ah, just shy of Spring on March 20th - seasonal notes.  Seeing the forest through the trees.  By the way, if a painting falls in a forest and no one sees it, is it art?

I took the following shot outside the Hotel de Ville in Paris in late spring 2009 - not too long after I'd finished Anna Karenina

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Press: Alison Snowball in the Financial Post

Women earn the freedom to opt out

Karen Mazurkewich, Financial Post Published: Friday, February 19, 2010
Read the full story here.

Photo: Colin O'Connor/National Post

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Press & Photos: Parkdale Fireside Week Opening Night

Torontoist featured the opening in its Urban Planner guide:

Thanks to Tsar Kasim for these vibrant photos:
Featuring the night's performers: Lady Luck Productions and Najjah's World.
Set against the backdrop of: Metamorphosis by Sectr as Christian Toth.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Postcard: Metamorphosis

Monday, February 08, 2010

Press Release: Metamorphosis


TORONTO [February 8, 2010]  Metamorphosis - a graffiti painting installation by SECTR 

as Christian Toth - opens at Snowball Gallery & Workshop Thursday, February 11, 2010 

with a reception from 6-11 PM.  The exhibition will run through Friday, March 5, 2010.  

In general, Metamorphosis is a process of transformation and change.  In this case, it is 

a reflexive evolution whereby street art shifts not only how we experience a specific 

place, but also how we individually and collectively view and determine what is art.  

Christian Toth is SECTR’s given name, but one that he has only recently begun using as 

an artist signature and up until now, only for his growing body of photographic work.  

This show then, represents his cycling back to roots yet at the same time an 

experimentation with a new identity and, in turn, technique.   

With regard to the art form, Metamorphosis sees SECTR abstracting from graffiti’s roots 

in symbology and tags, to more prominently feature futuristic industrial and architectural 

elements.  The piece wraps the walls and ceilings of the gallery in keeping with the site 

specific demands of graffiti.  At the same time, the show is controlled and temporary, 

arguably contradicting some of its very essence.  The integration of canvases into the 

mural as a whole, seeks to examine attitudes as to where people do and don’t want 

their graffiti. 

Having been at the graffiti game for the better part of his life, SECTR’s public pieces can 

be found around the globe, after getting started painting in his twin hometowns of 

Halifax and Manhattan in the mid 1990s.    

Snowball Gallery & Workshop is located in Toronto’s Parkdale Village neighbourhood at 

1690 Queen St. W.  The gallery is open Thursday & Friday from 1-7PM and Saturday & 

Sunday from 12-6PM.  More information about gallery programming and events can be 

found at or by calling 416.456.4966. 

Monday, February 01, 2010

Call for Submissions: PERSPECTIVE

PERSPECTIVE is a call for submissions that is open to all artists and makers.  PERSPECTIVE derives its theme from the concept of perspective as both a physical/mathematical construction and/or a conceptual/perceptual experience. Perspective organizes space using geometric principles, it projects three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface, and acts as a lens in which to view the world.  Perspective is usually gained through vision, as a view point, but it can also be engaged by subtle shifts in movement and deliberate actions that have the potential to render new perspectives.

We are looking for existing sculptures, installations, models and/or drawings that respond to this theme.

Exhibition details:
March 18 to April 4, 2010
Opening reception: Thursday March 18, 6-9 PM
Installation: March 15 to 17
Curated by: Alison Snowball and Deborah Wang

Submission requirements:
+ Contact info: name, email address and phone number
+ CV and or bio
+ Project description [i.e. what you are proposing for the show], including dimensions, medium, any installation/technical requirements [if required]
+ A photo of the work[s] you are proposing for the show [max 2MB]

Please send your digital submissions to

All submissions are due by February 21, 2010.

All applicants will be contacted by email regarding their submission by February 28, 2010.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Call for Submissions: Ongoing Gallery Programming

Snowball Gallery & Workshop is always interested in seeing new work.  If you have your own ideas about a solo or group show we are happy to look at proposals - which should include:

+ contact info: name, email address, and phone number
+ CV and/or bio
+ proposed project description
+ 3-5 samples of current or past work, in web-based or PDF [max 2MB] formats.

Gallery rentals are available.

Please send your digital submissions and rental queries to