MONTHLY LATE-NIGHT ART EVENTS FEATURES GALLERY TOURS, LECTURES, MUSIC & MORE
Story by Kate Fane
Whether you’re an art fanatic, a culture junkie, or someone who simply enjoys a few drinks, DJ’s, and dancing, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s new 1st Thursdays series is guaranteed to have something to make your night a memorable one. Running from 6:30-11pm, visitors to the venerable art institution will be able to eat, drink, and mingle while viewing the best of Canadian and international art.
Starting this Thursday, October 4th, and continuing on into posterity, the 1st Thursdays series sounds like an excellent way to experience the AGO in a more casual and social atmosphere (read: with a glass of wine in hand, and without a school group of fifty preteens running around). Visitors will be able to visit the main galleries throughout the night, as well as learn more about the AGO’s newest exhibition, Evan Penny: Re Figured.
Penny’s acclaimed body of work consists of uncannily realistic human sculptures, which are created using meticulous applications of pigmented silicone, hair, fabric and resin. Penny will be present during the evening, offering visitors the unique opportunity to speak with a true artistic visionary.
Also on the lineup is a new lecture series entitled DesignTALKS, which will be conducted by leading local designers who focus on small spaces. Tonight’s lecture will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and features Trevor Kruse, an award-winning designer and principal of Hudson Kruse Design.
The night won’t just be about schmoozing and art talk. Free nude life drawing classes will be offered, as well as a special performance from local act Bahamas. Chances are you’ve heard the buzz surrounding Bahamas, the recording name of singer-songwriter Afie Jurvanen. A Juno and Polaris Prize nominee, Jurvanen, has toured with Canadian indie darlings like Feist, Jason Collett and Great Lake Swimmers, and was named one of BlogTO’s “5 breakout bands from Toronto 2012.” For the inaugural 1st Thursdays, Jurvanen will be performing a solo set in the gallery’s beautiful Walker Court.
This past summer, the Royal Ontario Museum organized a similar party series, called ROM Friday Night Live, which also sought to make the museum more accessible and fun for a younger crowd. Judging by its stellar line-up, the AGO’s 1st Thursdays should have no problem replicating the ROM’s success and establishing itself as a major event on the Toronto arts community’s social calendar.