At the Gallery with Friends : First Thursdays

four of us in front of painting

Julie, Nyla, Pamela and I went to "First Thursdays" at the art gallery. This party takes place on the first Thursday evening of every month (except August this year), when the AGO does things a little differently, staying open late and offering drinks, food, music, DIY stations and performance art, alongside their collections of masterpieces.

Tickets are a hot item and it sells out quickly, but thanks to the advance planning by my friend Meghan, we got some. But then Meghan couldn't make it, so we quickly found a taker for her ticket. (But, of course, Meghan was missed.)


↑ Pamela, Julie, Nyla, me ↑

This particular one (on July 2, 2015) was guest curated by Ombaasin, an Indigenous artist collective and the headlining musical performer was Polaris Music Prize–winning Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

But to be honest, we didn't really get the benefit of this special feature because we just never seemed to be at the right place at the right time! This was on us, because we were taking our time, looking at art and talking. This was the first time that Pamela was meeting Julie and Nyla and they all seemed to get on well, which I loved seeing. We ended up enjoying each other's company more than keeping our eyes on the schedule though. So when we got to the DIY station where guests were invited to make a leather bracelet, the last of the supplies had been used up on the people ahead of us. Then when we went to see some a painting being done live, the artist was cleaning his brushes as we arrived. And so on. It ended up being a bit comical actually, how we kept missing things by mere minutes.

We did catch one performance artist who was drawing on his foot with a ballpoint pen. I can't claim to have understood it but it looked neat there amoungst the Henry Moore sculptures.

performance art

in henry moore sculpture hall ago

Here's the description of Francisco-Fernando Granados' piece ...


And we did enjoy some of the food and drinks that were being served at areas (away from the art) scattered around the main floor of the gallery. The idea is to sample different flavours with small servings costing $5 each. My three friends tried an eggplant dish, but not being a fan of that particular vegetable, I went for some spicy macaroni and cheese instead. I also tried the scallops.

eating at ago first thursday

nyla laughing

food at ago first thursdays july

scallops served at ago 1st thursday july 2015

We especially enjoyed seeing the solo exhibition of the work of Toronto artist, Stephen Andrews. It wasn't associated with the First Thursday event, but he is a friend of Nyla's so we made sure to see it. His show, POV (Point of View), described here, runs until August 30 if you'd like to check it out. It's really good and is included in the regular admission cost at the AGO, which is free on Wednesday evenings.

pov stephen andrews sign ago art gallery of ontario

looking at stephen andrews painting ago

stephen andrews painting ago

painting by stephen andrews at the ago toronto

stephen andrews painting at the ago

The exhibit had examples all his different styles, including art journals, pottery, and some abstract work like these ones and the one in the very top photo.

For that picture, as you can see, each of us stood in the very same place. Here's an action shot of Julie, pointing out where Nyla was to stand ...

julie action shot

And here's one taken by Nyla with her iphone while I posed for Julie who had my camera ...

me taken by nyla on iphone

That show was located on one of the upper floors of the gallery, where I took this picture of the skyline through the shade screens that covered the windows.

skyline shot through sun screen at ago

I really liked this very colourful painting by Canadian artist Christi Belcourt ...

painting by christi belcourt ago

details of painting by christi belcourt at ago art gallery of ontario

at 1st thursday ago july 2015

We were on time and eager to see the concert that wrapped up the evening, but the hall was so crowded that we couldn't find a spot with a good vantage point. So we listened for a while without being able to see the artist, but I think throat singing has a good portion of performance art to it and loses a bit of context when you can't see it happening. So we called it a night. Well, Pamela and I called it a night, and Julie and Nyla went in search of some dessert.

Regardless of not getting to see and do the extras associated with this curated evening, we still had a lot of fun and look forward to checking out another of the First Thursday events at the art gallery.

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you had a good weekend.
xo loulou

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4 Responses to At the Gallery with Friends : First Thursdays

  1. Julie says:

    this was such a fun night, and your photos captured it perfectly! I really adore your photo of the Toronto skyline through the screen- it has all the pointillist elements that kept repeating themselves through the different paintings we looked at that night!

  2. Vix says:

    That looks a fantastic night, a chance to try new food and to hang out with a bunch of gorgeous ladies! Love the work by Cristi, wouldn’t that be a fabulous fabric print? x

  3. Hollie says:

    Wow! So much art winnage! I wanna be a performance artist! If I could get paid to scribble on my foot then I’m SO there!

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