August 2, 2012
On the first Thursday of every month, the W. Queen West Business Improvement Area organizes an art + design + food walk through the area. I repeat: Art. Design. Food. My own idea of heaven, really; particularly given a string quartet was playing at St James on the same day as the August walk, and so music could be thrown into the mix too.
The walk took a group of about 30 people into three warehouse style galleries along Tecumseth Street - Birch Libralto, Georgia Scherman, and Susan Hobbs. The art work ranged in style from beaded ideograms to wood sculptures, from abstract paintings to digitally generated colour-field paintings (where the colours are determined by algorithms rather than the artist - imagine the science fiction possibilities!).
Like I said, I'd been super excited about the walk, and think it's a great idea in theory - but I actually didn't enjoy it very much. I tend to think of art as a personal experience absorbed by different people at different speeds and in different ways. The guide's style of asking leading questions to elicit responses from the crowd didn't sit well with me, and, in fact, took away from the artwork for me personally.
At one point, three people in the group decided to just break away and explore the galleries on our own. We even managed to fit in a walk down the graffiti-filled alleys, all the way up to Bathurst. Street art always puts me in a great mood, it reminds me of San Francisco and the Mission area in the best possible way. So the purpose of the evening was definitely achieved!
We rounded off the evening with organic handmade fair-trade ice-cream from Delight (805 QSW if you're interested in checking it out), sponsored for those on the walk by Royal LePage realtor Suzanne Manvell. Classic case of all's well that ends deliciously :)