Wednesday 30 November 2011

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it is a Heroic art exhibition at a new Cabbagetown gallery

Introducing MJG GALLERY
Heroes: Real, Fictional, and Close To Home

Opens December 8th through January 1st

The city's newest neighbourhood art gallery, MJG Gallery officially secures its place among the city's hippest art studios on December 8th, with the launch of its first exhibition:  Heroes: Real, Fictional & Close to Home.  Opened only three months ago by artist Mark Gleberzon, the gallery is more than a new addition to Cabbagetown, it has the rare distinction of being owned and operated by a working artist. 
The Heroes exhibition showcases the work of 16 artists, including Gleberzon himself -- with portrayals ranging from the tame to the surreal.  From leather to weather, mythology to mothers, and Superman to Spiderman; artists such as Laura Culic, A1 Runt Currie, Stev'nn Hall, Bev Jenkins, Carol Westcott, G. Elliott Simpson, Marjolyn Van Der Hart and Carol Westcott are among those providing  their interpretation.  The exhibit will appeal to art lovers, new collectors and interior designers working within a limited budget.
Flight by Marjolyn Van Der Hart's portrays the cyclist as hero, withstanding the bullying vehicles and celebrating the connection to the urban environment. Her End of the Day symbolizes the energy and time it takes to nurture family connections.  Van Der Hart's artwork has been seen on CTV's Marilyn Dennis Show, the Bruce Willis movie RED; and HGTV's "Income Property" and "Pure Design". 
The environment plays hero in several of the exhibition's works. Laura Culic's encaustic Watershed is a tribute to Lake Ontario and the heroic efforts of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper organization. Her painting depicts a map-like representation of the lake, with abstracted areas of colour and texture. In Family Farm by Carol Westcott, she pays homage to the farm where she grew up, a place that has provided food, shelter and a livelihood for nearly a century.
Artist Bev Jenkins reflects on past and current heroes, as seen in her neo-impressionist painting Lest we forget”.  In 2007, her "Bluebell Forest" was selected for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in London, England.  
 Stev'nn Hall's portrait, Lee as Perseus attempts to capture the vitality found within heroism, beginning with self doubt and fear, and morphing into courage and action.  Hall has enjoyed one-person shows in a number of art galleries. His portrait of Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy won Bravo's "Star Portraits.
Not for the faint of heart, G. Elliott Simpson puts forth a dark, sexual, and Transformer/video game view of the hero archetype in his two studies:  Fahrenheit and  Jimmie V6 & The Ibis.  His photographs have appeared in "Fab" and "The Advocate", and were selected for the "10x10: 100 Portraits Exhibition" at The White House Studio Project (June 2011).
The bold and the beautiful collide throughout the exhibition.  Monument, an abstract by Lex Buchanan, defiantly explore heroism within the realms of art, sculpture and architecture.  Buchanan's images investigate dystopian visions of the city, where concrete reality collides with the heroism of creative worlds.   In contrast, Andrea Rinaldo presents: Totems inspired by the beautiful (Japanese) Chiyogami papers she incorporates into her work. For this show, these three 'totems' stand testament to the story of little Sadako Sisaki who survived the bombing of Hiroshima but succumbed years later to Leukemia.
MJG Gallery owner Mark Gleberzon anchors the heroes theme with powerful pop culture renditions of Superman and Batman, then softens his approach with understated canvases of his nephew Jared who successfully fought and survived brain cancer.  Comic-icons continue with Spiderman in action provided by Animation Connection, the only Toronto-based agent of authentic, studio animation art and limited edition signed comic cells.  Evin Collis' caricature-like watercolour NWMP celebrates the heroism of Sam Steele one of the North West Mounted Police's most valiant and celebrated officers.  His second work, entitled Modern Robin Hood is a contemporary urban re-contextualization of the popular folk hero.
MJG Gallery's Heroes Exhibition also includes works by: Blair Chivers, Bryan Levy-Young, Sandy Middleton, A1 Runt and James Stacey. Mediums range from oil on wood and oil on canvas; to acrylic and encaustic and mixed media.  
"Heroes: Real, Fictional & Close to Home" opens at MJG Gallery, 555 Parliament Street, Toronto on Thursday, December 8th, and continues until January 1st.  Hours are: Wednesday - Sunday 11am - 6pm. Monday and Tuesday: By appointment only. For more information call  416-923-4031 / /  Facebook: MJG Gallery


Issued by/Media contacts:

Stephen Weir   416-489-5868 cell: 416-801-3101
Linda Crane       905-257-6033  cell: 416-727-0112
Editors Note: images, gallery & artist interviews and personal  tours available to media via Stephen or Linda