Great Art, Music, Food and Friends = First Thursdays at the Art Gallery

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Last Thursday evening, being the first one in September, we had a great time at the art gallery for their First Thursdays event.

Since the theme is different for each one, no matter how many times you've been, these special parties are interesting and fun. This is proven by the fact that they always sell out well in advance! Clearly, this is something that people look forward to.

While we had planned to meet Meghan and her friend, due to confused instructions and my lack of cellphone, that didn't happen -- we were all there, but never found one another! However, we did happily run into our friends, Julie and Guy, who first introduced us to the First Thursdays (see our first time here).

This month the theme was Nostalgia Canadiana, and my numerous photos only capture a portion of what was being offered. There was so much to do and see that I can't imagine anyone was able to do everything.

Of course, there was fantastic art everywhere : in addition to the AGO's huge regular collection there was some art, including performance pieces, set up especially for the evening, and some exhibits on display for a limited time.

at first thursday ago art gallery of ontario


at ago toronto


checking out art at ago


looking at art at ago toronto first thursdays event


Something neat they do for these nights is take a selection of artworks out of the vaults. Apparently they have a collection of more than 20,000 works on paper kept in storage, which date back as far as the 13th century. We missed the introductory part of the talk on the pieces chosen by Associate Curator Georgiana Uhlyarik but I gathered the topic was female artists.

out of the vaults at ago during first thursdays event toronto


out of the vaults session at ago first thursdays september toronto


vanessa bell the school room lithograph in the vaults at ago toronto


↑ That's a lithograph by Vanessa Bell called The School Room. She was Virginia Wolf's older sister. They came from a wealthy family but she chose to live a very bohemian alternative lifestyle for herself -- for details check out the wiki page about her here.↑

We passed through another part of the gallery I'd never seen before, that being the Kids' Gallery, designed for the enjoyment of children but containing "real" artworks. The current exhibit there is "Pets and Me" ...

florence eakins by robert reginald whale painting at art gallery of ontario toronto ago


We lucked into catching something I loved -- an exhibit of pen and ink pieces by Walter Trier [1890-1951]. I say we were lucky because this display only runs until September 13th. See details here ...

painting by walter trier ago toronto


painting by walter trier lilliput magazine cover ago


This photo installation called "A line is not a line it is a violence", by Felix Kalmenson was set up especially for this First Thursdays event ...

felix kalmenson photo installation at ago toronto art


photo installation by felix kalmenson a line is not a line it is a violence ago toronto


We caught a special exhibit that runs until November 15th, called "Camera Atomica". It is "the first substantial exhibition of nuclear photography to encompass the entire postwar period from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011". See the details here.

It was certainly sad to look at but a very interesting exhibit.

camera atomica exhibit at ago


photos of atomic bomb ago exhibit camera atomica


Then there was the delicious and creatively prepared food, served at various stations. The portions are small and inexpensive, allowing you to try a few different things, which is a good thing because there's a lot you'll want to try. As I looked at my pictures after the fact, I couldn't help but wish that I'd also tried some of this and some of that, including those awesome looking candy apples.

There are bars set up around the place, and you're even allowed to have a drink in hand as you look at some of the art (although, with good reason, they try to keep the food and drink within designated areas and galleries).

the bar at first thursday ago


a food station at first thursday at the ago art gallery of ontario


beef pies with moroccan spices and peach chutney at ago first thursday toronto


↑ Nick got us some Moroccan Spiced Beef Hand Pies served with Peach Chutney ↑

j and g sampling heirloom carrot frites at ago first thursday


↑ Julie and Guy had the Heirloom Carrot Frites ↑

flower crown at the ago


in the main food and drink area at first thursdays at ago toronto art gallery of ontario


candy apples at ago first thursdays


Music also plays a large part in the First Thursdays events, with live DJs and musical performances by both bands and choirs. This month there was a concert featuring many Canadian musicians doing songs my the iconic Canadian band Rheostatics (which we missed seeing but were able to hear as we looked at stuff in areas adjacent to the stage). Personally, while I love live music, I've found that at these nights, I particularly enjoy the DJs. We had a great time listening to the choices of DJ Vanessa Dunn, who was in Galleria Italia.

stage area at ago for first thursdays event


dj vanessa dunn at ago first thursdays toronto art gallery


↑ DJ Vanessa Dunn ↑

They always offer the opportunity for people to create a bit of art themselves -- this month they had tables set up with water colour paints and paper printed with a paint-by-number outline of a Canadian landscape.

paint by numbers at ago first thursday


me and j painting at ago


paint by numbers first thursdays at ago september 2015


↑ If someone had told me I would one day have a painting hanging at the AGO I wouldn't have believed them, lol ↑

On top of all this, there was the opportunity for fantastic people watching -- people tend to dress up for this event and it's fun to see.

stud hearts on a kimono


at ago first thursday september 2015


Before heading out we popped into a room with some modern art (which I forgot to get the info. on) and snapped some quick shots of us and our friends ...

at ago1


j and g ago


Julie and Guy Sept 2015


↑ This pose came at my request. We're so happy for these dear people who will be welcoming their second child in December. ↑

Well, I have a number more photos that I could post, however, I'll leave off now before I crash anyone's computer due to image file overload!

If you too would like to check out next month's First Thursdays at the AGO, it will be on October 1st. Tickets are on sale now, so get one before they sell out! The theme will be a "Pre-Nuit Sneak Preview" and early look at what is to come on what is probably my favourite night of the year, Nuit Blanche (which is on October 3rd this year)!


Thank you kindly for checking out my post.
xo loulou
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4 Responses to Great Art, Music, Food and Friends = First Thursdays at the Art Gallery

  1. Norma says:

    This looks like a great event – maybe other galleries should think of doing it.

  2. Gaia says:

    Love your drawing !! and rest of the photos.

  3. Julie says:

    it was so fun running into you and Nick that night!! And I was so irrationally stoked to get to do a watercolour. Thanks for making it such a fun time!

  4. Vix says:

    Congratulations to Julie and Guy!
    Carrot frites sound right up my street as does an exhibition with art by Vanessa Bell. xxx

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