Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mistletoe Magic 2012


Annual Silent Art Auction in support of the John B. Aird Gallery

Where:             Main Floor, Macdonald Block
                        900 Bay Street, Toronto
When:              Preview: November 20 – Nov. 29, 10 am – 6 pm
                        AUCTION: Thursday, November 29, 6 – 8 pm

Mistletoe Magic, the John B. Aird Gallery’s annual silent art auction, raises funds to maintain the gallery and carry out its mandate to educate and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the visual arts. This event is a unique opportunity to acquire small works by prominent Canadian artists at extremely affordable prices. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the season, mingle with artists, and enjoy the excitement of an art auction.

Acclaimed Canadian writer, cartoonist, CBC broadcaster and all around arts lover, Kevin Sylvester, is co-host of this year’s event. More than 90 artists, working in a wide range of media, including drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture, have donated artworks to the auction. The artworks are hung on the walls with great care, in hopes that art buyers soon would be there.
Background to the Aird:
Established in 1975 under the auspices of the Ontario Government Services Branch as the Macdonald Gallery, it was renamed in 1985 in honour of the 23rd lieutenant governor of Ontario. At the same time, responsibility for selecting the exhibitions and for day-to-day operations was handed over to a volunteer management committee.
The Aird became a registered charity in 2008 and today’s volunteer board of directors are as dedicated as ever to fulfilling the aims of the gallery, notably creating awareness and enjoyment of art works by contemporary professional artists and encouraging excellence in a variety of disciplines and styles of visual art.

For further information, please contact:  
Dale Barrett, Director,
or visit the Aird Gallery website at:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

DRAWING 2013: Call For Entry

Call For Entry: DRAWING 2013

The John B. Aird Gallery invites artists to enter the 14th Annual Juried Drawing Exhibition, DRAWING 2013. The Entry deadline is Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm. A pdf entry form for is attached. The entry form can also be downloaded from the gallery's web site

Two jurors, Stuart Reid and Dale Barrett will select work for the exhibition. Stuart Reid is director/curator at Rodman Hall Art Centre. He has served as executive director of the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Sask., is a past president of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries board of directors, and served as director and curator of the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery in Owen Sound, Ont. Dale Barrett has served as Director of the John B. Aird Gallery since 1998.

The exhibition will be on view at the John B. Aird Gallery, 900 Bay Street, Toronto from January 8 to February 1, 2013.

For additional information contact:

Dale Barrett
John B. Aird Gallery

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The PRINT Show 2012

The PRINT Show 2012

The John B. Aird Gallery presents "The PRINT Show: 2012", a juried exhibition of contemporary prints. The exhibition showcases a wide range of printmaking techniques and practices by 22 printmakers, including artists from Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Participants include: Sally Ayre, Ginny Brett, Carlina Chen, Victoria Cowan, Robert Creighton, Martha de la Fuente, Nelrene Dunleavy, Susan Farquhar, Sarah Hawley, Rose Hirano, Ryan Laidman, Evlyne Laurin, Jenn Law, Susan Low-Beer, Shogo Okada, Liz Parkinson, Karen Powers, Marzi Rahmani, David Scott, Lucie Simons, Laura Widmer, and Laurie Zinkand-Selles.

Artists from across Canada submitted entries for review by the exhibition jurors, Penelope Stewart and Dale Barrett. Penelope Stewart received her BFA from York University, Toronto and her MFA from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. In 2009 she was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts (RCA). Her work has been included in touring solo and group exhibitions Nationally and Internationally with key exhibitions in Canada, Australia, France and the U.S.A. Dale Barrett is Director of the John B. Aird Gallery.

The jurors were also tasked with awarding the following prizes:
1st Prize: Susan Low-Beer
2nd Prize: Jenn Law
3rd Prize: Rose Hirano
Curry's Art Supplies Award: Nelrene Dunleavy
The Japanese Paper Place Award for Innovation: Sally Ayre

The exhibition will be on view from August 28 to September 21, 2012. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, September 6 from 6 to 8 pm.

The John B. Aird Gallery is located on the ground floor of the Macdonald Block, an Ontario government building at 900 Bay Street in
Toronto. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday, August 10, 2012

OPS Think Green

Tuesday, July 24 - Friday, August 17, 2012

8th Annual juried exhibition of artworks by Ontario Public Service (OPS) employees and
their family members on the theme of “Restoration and Renewal.”

Monday, July 23, 2012

OSA Partners: A Collaboration

John B. Aird Gallery "Partners: A Collaboration"
Organized by the Ontario Society of Artists

As part of the Ontario Society of Artists’ 140th Anniversary celebration in 2012, the OSA collaborated with the Woodstock Art Gallery to organize an exhibition of collaborative works by 11 pairs of emerging and experienced artists, called partners: a collaboration. This exhibition presents talented young artists in collaboration with experienced artists in the OSA. The exhibition was four years in planning and fundraising by the Woodstock Art Gallery and the Ontario Society of Artists. The exhibition is on view at the John B. Aird Gallery from June 26 to July 20, 2012.

Monday, July 9, 2012



The PRINT Show 2012
9th Annual Juried Print Exhibition
August 28 - September 21, 2012
Organized by John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto

Please find attached an entry form for The PRINT SHOW 2012. Artists are invited to submit entries to this 9th annual juried print exhibition. The jurors are: Penelope Stewart, Artist/Printmaker, and Dale Barrett, Director, John B. Aird Gallery. Cash prizes will be awarded. Entry forms can also be downloaded from (via "Open Calls and Submissions). To request an entry form by email contact: The John B. Aird Gallery is located 900 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M7A 1C2.

Dale Barrett
John B. Aird Gallery

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Photo Op 2012

Photo Op 2012

The John B. Aird Gallery presents PHOTO-OP 2012 from May 1 to May 25, 2012. An opening reception and award ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 3rd from 6-8 pm.

For this 4th annual juried exhibition, 128 photographs were submitted by 63 artists. Thirty works were selected for the exhibition. The jurors were Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Hamilton; Steven Beckly, a Toronto-based photographer whose work is exhibited nationally and internationally; and Dale Barrett, Director of the John B. Aird Gallery. First Prize was awarded to Amy Friend for a photo entitled, "What is done in the darkness will be brought to the light". Two Second Prizes were awarded. One to Taimaz Moslemian and Joan Lillian Wilson for a photo entitled, "Personal and Still Political 1"; the other to Darren Rigo for a work entitled "Peregrine". The Curry's Art Supplies Award was given to Tom Ridout for his image, "Deconstructing 631D".

Other artists selected to participate in the exhibition include Sylvia Adamcik, Sally Ayre, Ioana Bertrand, James Blake, April Braund, Marco Buonocore, Shirin Divanbeigui, Amy Friend, Joanna Katchutas & Christina Spina, Ladron, Lulu Ladron, Sandy Middleton, Natasha Milijasevic, Taimaz Moslemian and Joan Lillian Wilson, Oliver Pauk, Tom Ridout, Darren Rigo, Silva Mafalda, Anuta Skrypnychenko, Akas Tarmaji, Bill Wadman, Meryem Yildiz, Olga Zamora.

The John B. Aird Gallery is located at 900 Bay Street, Toronto. The gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 10 am - 6 pm.

The gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of this month's exhibition sponsor:



Friday, April 27, 2012

Panel Presentation/Discussion: On Being Japanese Canadian

On Being Japanese Canadian
Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese Canadian Dispersal
Tuesday, June 19, 7 p.m.

Panel presentation and discussion:
David Tsubouchi, Natalie Higashi, Bryce Kanbara, Lillian Michiko Blakey


David Tsubouchi
- a sansei (third generation Japanese Canadian), born in Toronto in 1951.
- during World War II his mother, Fumiko Takahashi was interned in Lemon Creek and his father, Kiyoshi Tsubouchi spent his time in P.O.W. Camp 101
- the first Japanese-Canadian to hold political office in Canada and has held numerous posts including Chair of Management Board of Cabinet, Solicitor General and Minister of Culture
- received several awards of recognition including the Bruce Bryden Leadership Award and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Award of Merit for Contribution to the Nikkei Community
- serves as a Member of the Board of Governors of York University, Seneca College, the Markham Stouffville Hospital and the Varley McKay Art Gallery
- chaired the Rising Sun Campaign for the people of Japan as a result of the earthquake and tsunami and is the Chair of the JCCC “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” $15M capital campaign

 Natalie Higashi
- a  sansei (third generation Japanese Canadian)  and a “Hapa”  mixed race Japanese/Chinese
- graduate of the London Film School as a Producer with several of her films winning recognition and awards at festivals around the world, including the Trailblazer Award for new, upcoming UK talent at the Edinburgh Film Festival (2008)
- In 2010, Natalie Higashi was attending City University in London, England, completing a Masters Degree in Journalism. For a graduation project she was required to do a professional project in either radio or television. As she already had a Masters in filmmaking it was an easy decision to make a film and she chose as her subject the changing face of the post-war Japanese Canadian community, a change brought about by the high intermarriage rate—95% according to Statistics Canada. The resulting film, The New Faces of the Japanese Canadian Community, was filmed partly at the 2010 Powell Street Festival and the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre in New Denver. Through discussions with scholars and community members, the film looks at reasons behind the high rate of intermarriage and the effect of it on how Japanese Canadians perceive themselves.
- after returning to Canada, Higashi had the opportunity to revisit the topic of intermarriage, this time for radio, creating “Marrying Outside”  for CBC Radio’s The Current in 2011. The program was aired as part of series, Shifting Demographics in Canada.

Bryce Kanbara
- a sansei (third generation Japanese Canadian) whose father was in POW camp at Angler         
- member of team who worked for Redress to compensate Japanese Canadians for suffering and loss of property and livelihoods
- artist, curator and writer
- owner of you me gallery in Hamilton
- founder and first Administrator of Hamilton Artists Inc.
- curatorial positions at Burlington Art Centre, Art Gallery of Hamilton/ Visual Arts, Crafts & Design Officer at the Ontario Arts Council
- Executive Director of the Toronto Chapter of the National Association of Japanese Canadians
- Co-Chair of the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre, Hamilton.
- recipient of the Hamilton Arts Award, the Carnegie Art Award
- many public exhibitions at the regional and national levels.

Lillian Michiko Blakey
- a sansei (third generation Japanese Canadian), born in Coaldale, Alberta in 1945
- graduate of Fine Art, U of T and Faculty of Education, U of T
- former Art Head, Consultant for Literacy and Equity in the Curriculum in the North York Board of Education  and the Toronto District School Board
- professional artist for over 35 years, currently exploring her family story through paintings, collages and bookmaking
- former Art Head and Consultant for Literacy and Equity in the Curriculum in the North York Board of Education  and the Toronto District School Board
- co-author of inclusive language series “What a Wonderful World”, Pearson Publishing Inc.
- writer for  “ Talking About Identity”, Behind the Lines Publishing
- past president of the Ontario Society of Artists
- Chair, Board of Directors for partners: a collaboration
- Member, Board of Directors, John B. Aird Gallery

On Being Michiko a sansei artist’s journey

On Being Michiko a sansei artist’s journey
Lillian Michiko Blakey
Tuesday, May 29 – Friday, June 22, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 31, 6-8 p.m.

On Being Michiko: A sansei artist's journey

    Who am I?  This is a question asked by all people whose roots are  two cultures. Even though I was not born until the end of World War II and my parents were both born in Canada,  I inherited the shame of all Japanese Canadians who were caught in the  dilemma of being both Japanese and Canadian.  Like many sansei, third generation Japanese Canadians, I grew up denying my cultural heritage, my first language and my people.

    It is only in recent years that I have tried to reconcile my dilemma by depicting my family's story in my art work.  I have attempted to bring past and present together  by including myself, as I am now, looking back at events which had taken place so long ago which have shaped my worldview.

    Alienation and persecution continue to be suffered by people all over the world.  As a result, many people have come to Canada, seeking a peaceful existence in a just society.  I hope that my work serves as a tribute to the courageous people who came before me and as a visual warning that the persecution suffered by my family can be repeated even in the most democratic of countries - even in Canada - if we do nothing to stop it.

                - Lillian Michiko Blakey

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


PRINTS TODAY: 2012 showcases art works by 22 printmakers from Ontario and Québec who are members of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. On view from April 3 – 27, the exhibition brings together artists from different cultural backgrounds and offers an overview of what is current in printmaking today. Participating artists from ONTARIO: Ed Bartram, Rudolf Bikkers, Jane Buyers, Tony Calzetta, Susan Collett, Pat Durr, Naoko Matsubara, Stu Oxley, Penelope Stewart, Otis Tamasaukas, George Walker; from QUEBEC: Paul Béliveau, Monique Charbonneau, Paul Cloutier, Catherine Farish, Carl J. Heywood, Harold Klunder, Ann McCall, Louis Pelletier, Marc Séguin, Francine Simonin, François Vincent.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ontario Society of Artists 139th Open Juried Exhibition

Ontario Society of Artists' 139th Open Juried Exhibition
March 6 - March 30, 2012