The first long weekend to welcome our 2011 summer season has come and gone in Toronto. I unexpectedly spent the weekend bidding farewell to my Buba, whom at 90 years old has left this earthen world for one more spiritual. She is a pretty amazing lady and I can only hope to achieve a life as fulfilled as hers. She fled Ukraine during the Second World War seeking refuge in Canada where she and her second husband ran a restaurant on Lakeshore. She later retired to Tottenham where her green thumb tended acres of flowers, vegetable and fruit fields of her own creation.  Without a doubt long summer vacations spent in her care helped to shape the woman I have grown up to be.

Mourning a loss always reminds me of how unexpected life can be and how important it is to dream big. Sometimes the simplest task can offer up unpredictable joyful moments. I’m not sure if it’s just May but I seem to be bombarded by amazing art at every corner, sought out or accidental. This past Wednesday I was on a mission to retrieve my credit card from Czehoski’s, after leaving my tab open Saturday night…oops.

I happened into Kolkid for the first time, which is a pretty fun store for all things kid related. Picked up a couple of invisible ink pens, decipherable by a black light located in the cap for a certain special someone. If you have any baby showers or birthdays coming up, it’s a great pit stop for presents for little ones. My sister’s birthday is also this week and she tends to be a tricky one so I also popped into Narwhal. She is a lover of animals, especially feathered friends but I feel I might have exhausted the bird theme presents….the search continues.

However while in Narwhal, a white walled store whose shelves boast boxes of colourful trinkets, I spied a new show in the back gallery. It was hard to miss as beyond the doors black and white swirling shapes filled every inch of wall and floor space. The charming clerk whom commiserated over the sold-out status of the shoes I was wearing from Get-Outside chatted me the details. Apparently the Peruvian artist Alvaro Ilizarbe, whom resides in Miami, designed this fantastic exhibit, his first solo show to date. Apparently a giant crate arrived from south of the border filled with all his pieces and the wallpaper like covering for both the floor and walls.

Individual pieces were collages of repetitive line work in oversized circular, square and triangular shapes. It created these almost hypnotic works of art all executed exclusively in black and white. Then to take it a step further this same design was repeated on every inch of floor and wall. It was absolutely insane and apparently has affected crowds with either pure enjoyment or pure nausea. I mentioned Double Rainbow Rainbow at Show & Tell and the clerk mentioned that the owners of both galleries are good friends AND that Jen Stark is rumoured to be dating Ilizarbe. In the words of Rene Russo in Thomas Crown Affair, “Art’s a small world”.

It’s another goodie worth checking out and I hear the weekend is suppose to be quite lovely.

Happy Friday Readers!!