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#1 — Welcome to the smARTcircle TORONTO | Visual Arts
Presented by smART Magazine, a visual and performing arts publication.
WELCOME TO The smARTcircle, TORONTO! This visual arts newsletter is presented by smART Magazine, an arts publication founded in partnership with Lighthouse Immersive. Every month, we’ll be bringing you a curated selection of events, conversations, and highlights in the visual arts communities across the GTA and beyond. We’ll also present exclusive interviews and a behind-the-scenes look at Lighthouse Immersive’s latest exhibits and events. This month, we take a deep dive into Disney Animation: Immersive Experience and the first look at Part 1 of a 10-part history of Disney, presented in partnership with Disney Animations. You’ll also find a pair of exclusive articles from the latest issue of smART Magazine: a glimpse into Detroit’s visual arts scene and an introduction to Calgary’s festival of murals. Thank you for giving us a read, we are excited to begin this journey in the visual arts with you.
Welcome to Disney Animation: Immersive Experience Toronto
by RICHARD OUZOUNIAN
Lighthouse Immersive's latest exhibit, Disney Animation: Immersive Experience, is an ambitious follow-up to the monumental Immersive Van Gogh and the ultimate synthesis of everything Disney. Ahead of the December 21st opening, writer Richard Ouzounian has penned a 10-part series highlighting the most significant benchmark in the company’s illustrious history. Find Part 1, plus a few details on the exhibit below.
“Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive.”
That inspiring quote from Walt Disney has been on the minds of all of us here in Toronto who have been working on the Disney Animation: Immersive Experience for many months now.
The challenge and the excitement of creating an exhibit like this is that the world of Disney has meant – and continues to mean – so many things to so many people.
As Walt Disney Animation Studios marks its 100th anniversary, generations of audiences around the world have deeply connected with the artistry and storytelling of this great studio.
When you visit Disney Animation: Immersive Experience, it doesn’t matter whether your first experience of Disney magic was with Peter Pan or Beauty and the Beast or Frozen, you will find your heart being thrilled once again.
Corey Ross is co-founder of Lighthouse Immersive, the company that has delighted North America with Immersive Van Gogh, selling over five million tickets.
His organisation is the force behind Disney Animation: Immersive Experience, and he has said that he likes to imagine: “Three generations of the same family arriving at our exhibit together, each one with their own special memories and dreams of what Disney means to them.
“The grandparents might have laughed through the spaghetti sequence of Lady and the Tramp, while their children can still sing all the lyrics to ‘Under the Sea’ and their grandchildren remember every last moment of the joyous journey that was Encanto.”
What he also hopes is that these happy memories become a two-way street, with Disney magic making the years disappear as everyone discovers new favorite moments to cherish for a lifetime.
But as all Disney fans know – and let’s admit it: who among us isn’t a Disney fan? – it takes a really big place for dreams to take place. Someplace as vast as Sleeping Beauty’s castle, as huge as the vistas that surround Pride Rock, or as all-encompassing as the sweeping ocean waves that transport us to the world of Moana.
It’s a big mission, but we’d like to feel we’re up to it.
Welcome to the AiR Tour | Detroit
In Issue 10 of smART Magazine, we embarked on a roadtrip across North America to meet a few of Lighthouse Immersive’s Artists in Residence (AiRs). These residencies are a part of Lighthouse’s mission to champion local artists alongside the historical artists in their immersive exhibits. Our first AiR stop was in Detroit, featuring Craig Blackmoore, a visual artist whose work intersects the growing portfolio of immersive arts and Detroit’s underground art scene.
sM | How has the arts scene in Detroit encouraged you to explore and take risks in your work?
CB ── Detroit’s gritty, rough, beautiful, and real. You see and meet literally all kinds of people here, and they’re able to indiscriminately be themselves here. That usually breeds a vibrant art and music scene, and that is definitely what Detroit has. While there are many of the “nose in the air” events and experiences with gatekeepers that only focus on art that they consider to be valuable, there are tons of events and opportunities for artists that may not be a part of some inner circle or a certain financial class. An artist can actually make ideas happen in Detroit. When I first got started showing my art in exhibitions around 2015, I had already been throwing events of my own for about a year with no money and no connections to popular venues. It was because Detroit is a place where you can throw a party somewhere obscure and weird, and people will show up to the experience. When I was ready to show my art elsewhere, there were already annual art events of all kinds that had growing attendance, and submission fees are affordable (usually under $20 USD). If you did dark or gothic art, there were exhibitions for you. If you did nude or erotic art, there were exhibitions for you. Digital art, performance art, glass art, light art all have exhibitions at some point in Metro Detroit. ──── Continue reading in Issue 10 of smART Magazine.
From Issue 10 | BUMP Festival 2022
The Beltline Urban Murals Project – better known as the BUMP Festival – is steadily rising as one of Calgary’s premier street art festivals. The month-long festival of urban art murals started in 2017 as a way to show that public artworks “enrich communities, create beautiful and captivating places, challenge our ideas, provoke discussion and add beauty to the everyday.” The festival is funded by heavy hitters such as TD Canada, the City of Calgary, Parks Canada, and more, and is set in the Beltline area of Treaty 7 territory in Moh’kins’tsis, the indigenous name for Calgary.
In just five years, BUMP has grown to be a cultural event of national significance, garnering international attention. Most notable this year is the completion of the world’s tallest mural. Painted by German graffiti artist Mirko Reisser (DAIM) and standing at 310 feet, 9 inches tall, this staggering mural was a two-year undertaking, and with its completion, puts Calgary on the map in the world of international urban artworks. Like the gargantuan size of this mural, the many artists, coordinators, and volunteers involved in the BUMP Festival are also quite staggering. ──── Continue reading in Issue 10 of smART Magazine.
smART Picks | Top Four Exhibits Near You
The first museum exhibition to present the holdings of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust, The Art Gallery of Toronto’s Everybody Knows immerses visitors in the many facets of Cohen’s creative life | December 7, 2022 - April 10, 2023.
Curated by Cree artist Kent Monkman, Being Legendary presents an installation of new original paintings by the artist alongside cultural belongings from collections at ROM. The exhibition depicts how deeply Indigenous knowledge is embedded in the lands of Turtle Island | October 8, 2022 - March 19, 2023.
Surveying thirty years of Henry Taylor’s work in painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation, Henry Taylor: B Side celebrates a Los Angeles artist widely appreciated for his unique aesthetic, social vision, and freewheeling experimentation | November 6, 2022 - April 30, 2023.
For a second year, Trinity Square Video and Near North Mobile Media Lab co-present Landlines, a collection of audio works by artists across Northern Ontario and Manitoba (Randy Dunsford, Carrie Lyon, Rachel Garrick, Moneca Sinclaire, Osani Balkaran, and Martin King). By dialling (705) 242-3463, you can navigate an interactive mix of soundscapes, narratives, and poetry. | Premieres February 10 2023
Four ongoing shows at Xpace provide a chance to see a variety of installation and video works by young artists and designers: Soba’s Corner: A Chinese-Canadian Cooking Show by Snack Witch (aka Joni Cheung); What Has Hardened Will Never Win by Evgenia Mikhaylova and Sasha Shevchenko; These Are My Reparations, episode 1: march 18th, 2465 by Kim Ninkuru; and a group show, Batteries Not Included, curated by Tristan Sauer. | January 13 – February 25 2023
Mercer Union's fourth Artist First commission, Tassili by Lydia Ourahmane, is a composite of first-person footage and digital reconstruction exploring Tassili n’Ajjer, a Sahara plateau in southeastern Algeria. Engaging with the long durée of ecological change and ongoing colonial realities. Scored by Nicolás Jaar, felicita, Yawning Portal, and Sega Bodega. | 28 January – 15 April 2023
Karine Giboulo's Housewarming at the Gardiner Museum darkly playful diorama situates occluded stories of the housing crisis, essential labour, and ecological catastrophe within her home. With over 500 figurines inhabiting everyday domestic spaces, Giboulo brings connection and culpability out of the woodwork. | Oct 20, 2022 – May 07, 2023
Curated by John G. Hampton and Lillian O'Brien, The Art Museum at the University of Toronto is exhibiting Conceptions of White. This survey show deconstructs the mythic origins of "whiteness" and show how the political deployment of the shade has changed from it's seventeenth-century settler classification to the current day. | January 11–March 25 2023
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