Now on in the Rotunda at Metro Hall, the second showing of ‘Focus on Our Elders’, a photo documentary project by The 6ix Clicks.

panels on exhibit at the rotunda at Toronto Metro Hall, Focus on Our Elders exhibit by the 6ix clicks photography group. Portraits and interviews of seniors in Toronto.

Portraits of, and interviews with, 24 Toronto seniors from diverse backgrounds.

panels on exhibit at the rotunda at Toronto Metro Hall, Focus on Our Elders exhibit by the 6ix clicks photography group. Portraits and interviews of seniors in Toronto.

The exhibit is only on this week, 13 to 17 August, inclusive.  The Rotunda is on the ground floor of Metro Hall and the building is open from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

For more information about these interviews: 6ix Clicks website

Graffiti Alley keeps drawing me back to see if there are any changes.    What is new and what has disappeared.   To see who is hanging out in the lane today and have a silent chuckle or two at the tourists.

below: Sunny days in Graffiti Alley

a woman carries an open blue umbrella on a sunny day as she walks down Graffiti Alley

below: Let’s Eat Sandwiches Together Forever, by elicser, seems to have been refreshed recently.

let's eat sandwiches together forever, a mural by elicser, with people and sandwiches, people in the middle are hugging

a mother and daughter walk down Graffiti Alley, past a lrge mural of a young man by Janus

below: He’s pointing to the sky because he’s giving us a detailed weather forecast.

a man in a yellow vest is talking in Graffiti Alley

below: The last time that I walked down Graffiti Alley, elicser was in the midst of painting this door.

a mural of a person in an old fashioned aviator's helmet and goggles, and wearing a blue dress, on a door in an lane
a mural of a person in a gas mask (spray paint mask) on a door in an lane with pink on either side

below: Hello!

a woman sits on a window sill on a building iin Graffiti Alley as a man takes her picture

below: Montreal and Toronto and the writing in between.

text street art with the words Montreal and Toronto written in the top corners

below: A lovebot of a different sort.  Almost unrecognizable except for that heart.  Only lovebot has a heart like that.

lovebot street art

below: A large carp painted by Nick Sweetman.  A fish out of water.

a large carp mural by Nick Sweetman in Graffiti Alley

below: Broken window

orange door and street art in Graffiti Alley

below: Pink roses and words of love and encouragement (and a little bit of flattery).  The future is bright and do more of what makes you happy.

pink roses and words about love on a mural

below: A new poser bunny at Portland Place

a poser bunny on a wall

below: Toronto Blue Jays vs. stencils are wack

street art painting of a street artist in grey hoody and mask, hoody has Toronto blue jays logo, but someone has used black marker to write words on hoody say Stencils are wack

below: Walking past the praying mantis which is memorial to Jesse.

people in graffiti alley with a large pink praying mantis mural

below: Rat and a spray paint can can’t keep the eyes in their heads.

below: Unfortunately, part of the uber5000 wintertime Toronto mural has been tagged over.

below: Honk! honk! An uber5000 yellow bunny offers a donut

A man avoids the puddles in the lane as he walks past an uber5000 mural of a yellow birdie with a donut, birdie is driving a little orange car

below: Starbursts (or flowers, or just interesting shapes) in pink and yellow

part of a painting on a metal garage door of two starburst shapes, one in pink and one in yellow

below: The elephant isn’t in the room, it hasn’t made it down the stairs yet.

graffiti above and below a diagonal metal staircase, an elephant above the stairs and a dog below. The dog is saying woof

below:  A collaboration between immortalwales and kyleghostkeeper.   Both are tattoo artists and they both have instagram accounts if you are interested in seeing their work.

woman wearing a white head scarf and large glasses, with red lips

The summer of the heat continues into August.  It’s still hot and humid.   But it was also the long August weekend, Simcoe Day or something like that,  so there was lots happening around the city.

I went searching for breezes and I walked on the shady side of the street as much as possible, often as the drops of sweat ran down my back.  A few stops in air conditioned stores (indoor window shopping) and a cold drink break or two made the days bearable.  It helped that, as usual, there was lots to see!

below: Be curious … and stay curious.

on a graffiti covered wall, a stikman picture with the words be curious written across it in white

below: Jumping skate boarders at Dundas and Bathurst

two young men skate boarding, both jumping at the same time, arm in air,

below: Casimir Street mural on Dundas (near Bathurst)

a man cycles past a pale yellow house on Dundas St that has has a bright coloured mural across the bottom of it, text, in blues and pinks

below: Sitting by the pool

a man site on a bench, in silhouette, with an outdoor pool in the background with people sitting around it

below: A shady spot for reading.

a woman sits outside a coffee shop reading a book. the window of the coffee shop is open and there are 4 people sitting inside

below: A front yard full of tall yellow flowers

many tall yellow flowering plants in the front yard of a white house

below: Not everyone has a green thumb.  A rose is still a rose even in death.

outside a window with white window frame, on beige house, a plant pot with dead roses

below: An even sadder window sits behind a metal fence.  Plywood.  Waiting for demolition.

behind a metal fence, an old house with a boarded up window

below:  Sitting in the painted window, Graffiti Alley. It looked like they were filming a music video.  I’m not too sure what they thought of me (I didn’t think that I was disturbing them, long lens used).

graffiti alley, a group is shooting a music video, black man in on window sill lip synching the words while a woman films

below: A quiet spot for a cigarette.

a man with a yellow t shirt sits on a back step in an alley and smokes a cigarette

below: Red hot.

a man leans against the wall in a doorway of a building, the building is all red including the doors

below: An old mattress and head board lean against the side of a house.  Great juxtaposition here as the mural is called ‘Lust’

an old mattress and white head board lean against the wall, outside, of a house that has a large mural painted on it of legs with feet in bright red high heeled shoes

below: Jelly window on Queen West – What is a modern doughnut? Especially one spelled the old fashioned way? The store was closed, so it’s still a mystery.  Beautiful painting on the door.

front window of Jelly, a modern doughnut store on Queen West, small tree in front of it

below: Cycling in the jungle.  I say ‘jungle’ because I see the lion and think “King of the jungle” but lions don’t live in the jungle so maybe I need to rethink that caption.  Cyclist as prey?  Bikes on safari?

a bike is parked beside a mural with a lion on it

below: Prince is now at Kensington Market. A purple Prince.

a poster with the picture of Prince on it, on a pole, up high beside sign saying Kensington Market

below: Graffiti in Kensington. Frowning while watching them fight. Little black figures with rifles. Are they angels that are shooting back or devils?

graffiti, black stencils of men with rifles and angles with rifles, shooting at each other, about 20 to 25 of them on a wall beside a brown frowning face drawn on yellow

below: More violence. What happens when you pull this pin?

small black stencil of a hand grenade on a fence, the top of the grenade is a girl's head in profile, with a ponytail

below: It’s wedding season which mean wedding photo season.  Picture perfect.

a bride adjusts the groom's collar, long white dress with lacey sleeves and veil tied back on the bride. groom is in a blue suit

below: Or maybe even wondering why?  (I hope not!)

a bed of flowers in a garden, red and white begonias. The red flowers make the shape of a question mark. In the background are a bride in a white dress and a groom having their wedding photos taken.

below: Honest graffiti

behind a green hedge is a wall with graffiti on it

below: Blue wall in rectangles of glass.

three two storey houses on a street with a tall building behind with blue windows, mostly glass

below: Missing a black glove anyone? Tucked behind the wire.

a black glove has been left on some wires by a wall with street art on it

below: Lots of wires.

a utility pole with a lot of wires coming out from the top of it in front of a pale grey wall with a window that is reflecting the blue sky

below: Reflections and lots of stuff including the painted lady in the House of Energy, Augusta Avenue.  Life.

window of a store in Kensington market area, mannequin sitting cross legged that has been painted

below:  Death. How many skulls in the window?

skulls and other things in a shop window, with a bike parked outside

below: Lots of smiles

two faces, black line painted on a white background, smiling faces,

I’ll be smiling more once the temperatures cool. I think that it’s been hot long enough that I can complain about it – perhaps even long for winter? How Canadian of me!  In the meantime, as long as there is shade I’ll keep walking (and sweating!).

below: Waiting for the green light.

a group of scantily clad black women wait to cross University Ave

woman in a bright pink dress, holding a bouquet of flowers poses beside a brain artwork at Nathan Phillips Square while a man in a blue suit takes her picture

The brains are back!  Close to 50 brains decorated by different artists can be seen in about a dozen locations around this city throughout the summer.

This year they are 2-dimensional, not three.  They are much flatter.  Above, making an interesting companion to the fabulous pink dress is “Enigmatic Glitter” by Donald and Elaine Rafelman Creative Arts Studio at Baycrest.  When we picture art together it lights a spark and evokes a glitter of hope.

 

below: At Nathan Phillips Square, from left to right:  “Pop Art” by Mary Ann Grainger,  “No Brainer #Repainthistory” by Andrea Bolley,  “Neon Future” by Steve Aoki, “Get Me Out! by Hate Copy (aka Maria Qamar), “Mental Vacation ” by Birdo, and “My Mind is Swimming” by Gina Godfrey.

two young woman are standing beside a row of artwork, brain shaped, each in a plexiglass container, standing in the water of the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, 7 brain sculptures, all decorated by different artists, part of the brain project in support of Baycrest

 

below:  “Power in Growth” by Amy Jeffreys in the Distillery District.  Persevere and grow.  Every human is capable of harnessing strength from their weaknesses.  In this piece, the tangled roots represent the inner struggles and complexity of one’s thoughts.

off-white artwork in the shape of a brain, covered with cords and leaves, or maybe leaves and stems

below: “Memory” by Colin Nun at Nathan Phillips Square.  “This type-based piece represents disconnect, dead ends, and memories lost to brain disease.  It is inspired by the loss of the artist’s grandfather to Alzheimer’s disease and was created as a tribute to his memory.  Take a close look to find a hidden word in the piece.  What do you see?”

2 dimensional brain, artwork, designed with orange and white lines, beside water at Nathan Phillips Square, 3D toronto sign behind it

below: “The Mind’s Eye” by Dave Bagley at Yonge and St. Clair.  Concentric rings of birds, fish, and diamonds radiate from the center.

a brain from the brain project at yonge and St. Clair, in a plexiglass display case, minds eye by David Bagley

below: Close up of the above, clearly showing the two seahorses in the center as well as the repeating yellow fish and blue birds.   According to the artist, “I believe all of humankind share an organic Wi-fi that connects everyone, all we need to do is turn on the switch… is yours on?”

close up of painting on brain shaped sculpture, called Mids Eye by David Bagley, circular pattern of fish and seahorses

below: “Puzzled” by Harm Huibers on Grist Mill Lane in the Distillery District.  The design of the brain is complex and intricate; when it’s complete, it’s a beautiful puzzle.  Diseases like Alzheimers take pieces out of the puzzle.

a plain brown puzzle in the shape of a brain, eight of the pieces are either missing or only partially in place

The project is sponsored by Yogen Fruz and Pinkberry and is in support of the Baycrest Foundation.  Baycrest, a leader in research into brain health and aging, is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.

You can find pictures of all of the 2018 brains online at the brainproject.ca as well as descriptions of the brains and the artists behind their creation.

What are words?   How do we use them?

below: “Excuses injurieuses” 2007, by June Clark.  One of her “Wine and Tea” pieces.  It consists of the words Invective and Apology written over and over again starting from the top left corner and moving inwards toward the center.  Instead of a spiral it is a pyramid shape.  Perhaps it rises upwards, or perhaps it sinks down.  It’s only 40cm x 40 cm so the words are tiny.  I’d love to know how many words there are but I think that I’d be screaming profanities before I finished counting.  What I can tell you is that the pair of words ‘invective apology’ is written 32 times on the outer square.  If  invective is a noun that means, expletive, or abusive language, what does ‘invective apology’ mean and is that the same as the french title, ‘Excuses injurieuses’?

close up artwork of words written over and over again, invective apology, in smaller and smaller circles.

June Clark was born in Harlem NY but moved to Toronto in 1968.   At the moment, the AGO is featuring some of her work.  For whatever reason, I was more attracted to the pieces with words.

below: More of Clark’s “Wine and Tea” series, 2007.  Each one is a 40cm x 40 cm square and they are made with wine, tea and paper except for the one on the top left.  It is “Poubelle Lune” and the circle is a rusted lid that fits in a circle that has been cut out of the canvas.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall

below: Close up of another of the eight squares, a collage of sorts, the silhouettes of two people (men?) in front of flags, one American and one ? Titled: “All Some Many”.  If you look closely, you can see small words cut out of newspapers or magazines, some, all.

close up of an artwork, ink and collage. Brown squares in checkerboard shapes, with one shape being a photo, 4 small words from a newspaper, all (twice) and some (twice).

below: The next two photos are panels from “Formative Triptych” 1989/1990.  The first one says “I always imagine that I never received anything as a child, but I do remember being disappointed that the chocolate Easter Bunny was hollow and then of course there was the red broom and dustpan set.”

old black and white photo of a black girl, smiling, in dress, with words beside that say "

below: The words say “I decided that I must become so famous and so recognizable so the they could never let me die in an emergency room.”

picture of the head and shoulders of a middle aged black woman, old black and white photo, with words beside that say "

below: More collage and more words, this time it’s “Homecominghome”, words on paper towel.   Words like proactive, dulled integrity, impotent, hostage, elation, victim, underwhelmed, illusion, and satisfied surface desires.   These are only some, there were many more, each in their own little black frame.  Paper towel, that stuff we use once and then throw away.  Can we throw away the words?  Or what is behind the words?  Do we want to?

Actually there was a story about why paper towels were used – “…was made during a residency in New York City.  I had been cleaning the space so it was empty aside from paper towels.  It was a way of dealing with my emotions around how I felt living back in Harlem.  Cutting out the words, I felt like I was captive but free – a sort of ransom situation, of calls for help and demands for responsibility. ”  Quote taken from the words on the wall at the exhibit.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall - black frames around pieces of paper towel with words on them formed from cut outs from newspapers,

Words are fascinating.

June Clark’s work is on exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario until December 2018.

 

And while we’re on the subject of words and the AGO, there is a whole room of panels like the one below.  This is “Jack and the Jack Paintings: Jack Goldstein and Ron Terada”

Goldstein was an artist who published his memoirs in 2003, just before he committed suicide.  Terada has taken words from the book and made them into 14 panels, sorry, I mean test-based paintings.  They are Goldstein’s words? Or are they now Terada’s words?  Whose story are they telling?

below: A large painting by Jack Goldstein (lightning) and four of the panels by Ron Terada.

The Jack exhibit continues until 16 September.

More words!

below: You’re awesome!

large white letter across a roof line that say you're awesome

below: Embrace peculiarity

side a garage plus wood fence beside it painted with abstractr shapes in reds and oranges, with the words embrace peculiarity written in blue cursive writing

below: Love will win 🙂

on the side of a grey metal box, written in black, with a smiley face under the words, love will win

below: I love you!

graffiti on a brick wall, red heart with words I love you, instead of the word love there is a white heart

below: A mural with a pink skate boarding raccoon with a hockey stick and a Blue Jays baseball cap.  Also words of encouragement (or at least that’s how I’m going to interpret them today), Keep Pushin.  It’s actually an ad for Kadence World, a store that is opening up on Ossington, a place where art, music, and skate boarding all converge.

large yellow letters that say keep Pushin, on a mural with a pink raccoon wearing a blue jays baseball cap, looking at a wrist watch with a dollar sign on the face,

below: And last, a final Buh Bye

yellow stencil on a sidewalk, in cursive writing, buh bye

People watching at Kensington Pedestrian Sunday

a woman in white sleeveless top and with very red dyed very curly hair, carrying a bottle of ginger beer,

a young black man in black wide brimmed hat sings in front of a microphone, part of a band performing ouside in front of a mural on a wall

below: The Spontaneous Poet, poet 4 hire

woman with green felt hat with floppy brim, smoking a cigarette, sitting at a small table and typing on an old Smith Corona typewriter.  She has a sign on the table that says, poet for hite, the spontaneous poet.

older man with white beard and mustache, wearing sunglasses and teal baseball cap, leans on a garbage can while smoking a cigarette

a young black woman with long dreadlocks has a large snake on her forearm, she's smiling. A man with grey grey beard and moustache watches her.

man standing in an alley with street art on one wall, holding a guitar, he has just finished playing and singing, a man is behind him on a bike

balding black man with the Queen of hearts playing card stuck on his head makes a muscle man stance with fists clenched, he's performing magic tricks while people watch him

below: #whatsvictorupto painting the word ‘together’ on the sidewalk.

victor painting on the sidewalk in Kensington.  He's wearing a shiny sparkly mask over the top of his head. people are walking past #whatsvictorupto

an older man in tweed jacket and cap with long white beard and mustache, black rim glasses, white plastic bag over one arm, walks down the street

young black man dancing on the street, part of a group, Pedestrian Sunday afternoon at Kensington, people in the background watching

young Asian womanin a straw coloured wide brimmed hat, smiling as she dances, she is holding the brim of her hat with both hands so it doesn't fall off

a male mime, black hamburg hat, lime green shirt, black suspenders and red carnation on the suspenders, beckoning to the crowd, outside, street festival, pedestrian sunday at kensington

a black man dances on the street, slow dance, with an older blond woman,

two women dancing, one with long hair on the top but shaved on the sides, wearing an intricate black necklace, double, one woman in focus in the front, the other slightly out of focus, purple and black sleeveless tops, close up of head and shoulders and one hand with grey fingernails

woman in short velvet close fitting top, large necklace, and holding a white parasol walks down a street in a crowd of people

young girl in Minnie Mouse tshirt and frilly pink skirt, pacifier in mouth, sits on the street beside a bike while she watched a performer, summer afternoon,

black woman with very short hair, round sunglasses and white top, wearing many strands of beads, sitting on a bench on her phone

a man wearing a purple vest and white hat, stands on stilts with long trousers covering, juggling 4 different coloured bats (or pins?) shaped a bit like bowling pins, two in his hands and two in the air.  outside on the street