We are pleased to present Soft Stories, a photographic series by Laura Jane Petelko in collaboration with Sara Wood, set to poetry by Holly Venable.
Calling to themes of desire, longing and the potential for ecstatic awakenings, this collaboration of words and images opens August 19th in The Lyceum Gallery from 7-9 pm. A signature cocktail inspired by the work will be served. Contact tracing and masking are required.
Recently exhibited in Times Square, this work was inspired by a conversation about the “Furry” subculture. Photographed by Laura Jane Petelko on Nova Scotia’s rugged, barren coast, they convey a collective longing to commune with the very nature we are ever losing touch with, while at the same time consuming. This work is about the world we tread upon with need and appetite, our growing isolation and the longing that invariably exists behind the artifice. The rugged Canadian landscape allows us to access a majesty that subsumes our human and sometimes awkward attempts at communion, enveloping us in quiet indifference.
When Soft Stories originally showed in the Lyceum Gallery in 2019, it had a profound effect. The work has since gained international exposure in Brussels and New York through public art installations. Its message, almost prognostic, spoke to a time of enforced isolation and the idea of creating a narrative capture of conversations between Laura Jane, Holly and other viewers of the work took hold. Deeply inspired by Wilding, a new piece making its gallery debut at The Lyceum on August 19th, an interpretation made as an offering of words will be drawn out on the walls in poetry by Holly Venable.
“In a flush of movement
A gesture of devotion, one final offering thrown down becomes an awakening
Moulting, transformed in a grounded gyre
The spirit decanted is possessed by renewed hope”
The Lyceum Gallery is pleased to present Melanie Gordon’s Gathering Stars from June 3-26, 2021. The work will be on view through the west and north facing windows until re-opening.
Gathering Stars is an autobiographical photography project. Created over six years, the work explores themes of mortality, fertility, longing, and love. Melanie Gordon was diagnosed with breast cancer when her first child was just two years old. Her story unfolds through photographs, words and short films that portray Gordon and her two daughters as both observers and subjects. The resulting narrative harvests themes of healing and wonder as they live side by side during times of uncertainty and abundance.
Melanie Gordon is a visual artist, photographer, and filmmaker whose work explores female identity, the connections between mothers and daughters, and the nature of belonging. Gordon is motivated by the absence of women’s voices in art, culture, and systems of power. She seeks to capture moments of wonder and unexpected beauty where art meets everyday life.
The Gathering Stars exhibit will open on June 3rd with a projection series of short films relating the story of Melanie Gordon’s journey of mothering through breast cancer. Viewers are encouraged to view them through the windows at 969 Queen St W at 9.30pm with consideration for provincial orders regarding gathering sizes.
Thirteen photographs from the Gathering Stars series will be exhibited. The whole collection of this work may also be viewed online.
A limited edition book of prints is also available for purchase for $120 online, and in the gallery.
Gathering Stars, the book, is a 50-page, 8×10 hardcover book by Melanie Gordon that features the full collection of photographs from her autobiographical Gathering Stars project, paired with writing, that together share her journey of mothering through breast cancer and beyond.
Johanna Reynolds / Joel Loblaw
Showing in the Lyceum Gallery November 5-18
We are very pleased to announce that next up in the gallery is S L O W G A R D E N, a joint show with Johanna Reynolds and Joel Loblaw. This pairing of abstract painters is just perfect. Their styles compliment each other so well.
Joel works as a landscape designer and painter in Meaford and Toronto. His evocative abstract expression of landscapes employ various methods including oil paint, encaustic and burnt plywood. Joel has shown in numerous galleries in Toronto.
This is Johanna’s second show in The Lyceum. Her dramatic non-representative interpretations are moody and gestural. They are layered in expansive colourfields that burst and flow, strirring emotional response in the viewer. Johanna’s work can be found in the Air Canada Executive Lounge and her exhibition with Kara McIntosh at Langdon Hall, which is on until the end of the year.
Quincy Raby’s show Thank You For Destroying My Life continues through October 31st. Last Saturday, she set up a studio in the gallery windows. Fuelled by caffeine and vintage punk, she completed a new 10″ x 10″ acrylic on board entitled A Tiny Perfect Mouth.
We also released a new painting called Soft Place to Land for the last week of her show. Suggestive and bold, this 36″ x 36″ panel is a white colourfield kissed by a pair of crimson lips. Both sold pretty much instantly.
So you want to see more?
We are pleased to welcome people in small groups of four into the gallery during artist hours which are Thursday and Friday 4-8 and Saturday 12-4. You also have the option to book a private view on the scheduler for another time in the week. We do understand that many people are limiting their exposure to public places right now so we’ve put together a teaser reel of this show. You can view it here:
All work in the show is listed in the Lyceum Gallery’s shop.
Thank You For Destroying My Life is closing next Saturday, which is Hallowe’en, so expect shenanigans. You can follow our story @theorchardlyceum.
A scarf can be many powerful things — an object of protection or ritual, a signalling device, an expression of beauty, a statement of purpose or that of resistance.
‘Sovereign/ties’ is a collection of Habotai silk scarves that serve as resonant tactile pieces of wisdom shared through the artful practice of each distinct maker. The title image by Sarah Foelske reminds us to just keep going, keep making, keep looking for the beautiful things that come of this time.
The Lyceum’s Artist in Residence, Marina Dempster, has curated a series of made-to-order silk scarves. This collective effort, which includes 21 female artists and makers, is a response to her intuition that the artistic impulse was advanced during lockdown. As the world paused, makers persisted and the resulting transformations serve as a reminder of the healing nature of artistic endeavour.
In addition to artwork from the shows, you can purchase Sovereign/ties silk scarves for a pre-order price of $220 until Thursday, October 22nd. They will be custom made and lovingly packaged in time for pickup at the group show in The Lyceum Gallery November 26- December 2nd. A limited series will also be available for purchase at that time for $250 each.
Jen Arron @jenarron.studio
Patricia Aziz @aziz.patricia
Marina Dempster @marinadempsterstudio
Julie Fader @juliefaderpaintings
Deborah Farquharson @debfarqart
Tanya Fenkell @tanyafenkellart
Sarah Foelske @makenicedesign
Christina Gapic @christinagapicphotography
Melanie Gordon @melaniegordonphotography
Danijela Gorley @danijelagorley
Jocelyn Hirtes @floriferous_office
Lindsi Hollend @lindsibeth
Nicole Kagan @nicolekagan_art
Kathy Kranias @kathykranias
Kara McIntosh @karamcintoshstudio
Christine Nnawuchi @nawuchi
Simone North @mostlymindfulmotherhood
Laura Jane Petelko @laurajanepetelko
Johanna Reynolds @johanna_reynolds
Holly Venable @intimationsoftime
Sara Wood @smockcafe
Laura Jane Petelko’s exhibition catalogue, a joint publication with The Lyceum Gallery, has just arrived! Designed by Leelee Macdonell, this artists’ catalogue tells the story behind the Endless Gone series in rich, full colour. Endless Gone, a joint show with Patty Zuver, opens next Thursday, September 10th. Use our scheduler to book your private view of the work. Follow us on instagram @theorchardlyceum for times you can visit with the artists. The exhibition catalogue is for sale in the gallery for $20.