It’s Spring time in the city, which in Toronto means pints on the patio, pale legs protruding from shorts and a deluge of rain. This year Spring has also welcomed Bixi to our city, a kiosk bike rental system which seemed to pop up like tulips all over the city. Bit tricky as helmets are not included and Toronto is still much more about cars than cyclists and pedestrians. But fingers crossed for them on a successful first season.

Warm evenings have also opened the door to long strolls down Queen West with good company. Our route last night took us west to Ossington where we headed north to Dundas, hung a left over to Gladstone, finally making our way back south to Queen. We pit stopped at BYOB, an all cocktail merchandise storefront with kitschy drink paraphernalia and glassware. Ossington was a bit quieter but all the bars and restaurants had their doors open, welcoming air into stuffy winter interiors. Dundas was a wash in the warmth of the setting evening sun and neighbours stooping lazily after a long day’s work.

We were on the hunt for some interesting gallery shows and we found just what we were looking for on Dundas West at Show & Tell Gallery. A step up from street level the starck white walls were brimming with colour as “Double Rainbow Rainbow” a new exhibit was enjoying its opening night. Maya Hayuk and Jen Stark teamed up together producing a whimsical collection of drawings, paintings, sculptural pieces and a video installation.

As a colour-aholic, it was love at first sight.

Jen’s marker doodles were mazes of curling paths shared by bursts of geometric shapes. While her sculptural pieces used colour in repetitive elements and shapes to create 3d forms. Maya uses wide brush strokes and layers to develop patterns, given playful names like “Kite Flights” and “Friendship Bracelet”. The room was a hub of excitement as guests explored each piece, captivated by their colourful creations. It was pure joy all around and perfectly appropriate for spring time in the city. 

“I am really into looking at color gradients and I feel like color makes people happy. I also feel like it grabs your attention a lot more. Maybe if I want a piece to be subtle or hidden I wont use color, or use more muted colors but I really like how it’s so vibrant. I like color.” – Jen Stark

Both artists ventured up from south of the border, where Maya resides in Brooklyn while Jen is a little further in Miami.  There is a ton of fantastic articles to explore about these two young artists and if you’re up at Oss and Dundas within the next month, I definitely recommend making a pit stop!

Stark’s video installtion: Believer

Hayuk’s guest appearance in Rye Rye – Sunshine ft. M.I.A.

The past week was an pretty artastic as this is part 1 of 3 shows I got to enjoy, more to come soon!