July 25th 2013
This month our tour began at MacGregor Park - with thanks to Ana Galati - with the usual tune-ups from our friends over at Bike Pirates. A youth art group from the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office hung their own artwork in the park, as well as provided an 'art-up-your-bike' station where people could get flags for their bikes made from recycled materials. We had snoballs on site by Trevor Burnett of Tipicular Fixin's to cool people down, and music from The Complete Streets Band to get people moving. We also caught our first sighting of Faye Mullen's nomadic Studio Crate that she will be towing around the city by hand - keep your eyes peeled for her over this month.
This month we tried out our first ever Rickshaw Residency curated by Casey Hinton. This is the first of a series of writers in residence who will join us on an Art Spin tour in a rickshaw and write about their experience. Many thanks to our first Writer in Rickshaw Resident, Gabrielle Moser. Also thanks to Christ Litt from Hop On In for driving his beautiful rickshaw around with us all night.
After the park we set out on the tour led by our emcee Shamez Amlani of Pedestrian Sundays while The Complete Streets Band continued their performance atop Navid Taslimi's massive bicycle-towed trailer. As per usual John Cairnes provided beats for the tail end of the ride with his bicycle sound system. Programmable lights were worn on the backs of Art Spin team members that at times read 'follow me' to help lead the group. These flexible LED matrixes called MeU were made by Robert Tu.
The first stop on the tour was at Daniel Faria Gallery where we saw a new exhibition The 21st Century Continues... by Canadian artist and writer Douglas Coupland. Thanks to Dory Smith who spoke with the group about Coupland's work.
Our second stop saw us at St. Anne's Anglican Church for an eerie avant-garde musical performance by Somewhere There Collective members Dominique Banoun (vocals), Guy LeBlanc (trombone/percussion), Aiden Closs (drums) Alan Bloor (bass) Arnd Jurgensson (guitar). Thanks to Max Streicher and the volunteers from St. Anne's for their assistance with this stop
We then made our way down to a grassy lot by the imposing parking structure of the West Lodge Apartments for a moving musical and theatrical performance by bluemouth inc. This performance, presented in collaboration with The Theatre Centre, was produced by Nathalie Roth and performed by Stephen O'Connell, Lucy Simic, Ciara Adams and Richard Windeyer. They serenaded us on our way out with a New Orlean's style procession as we left for the next stop.
Our fourth stop took us to 422 Dufferin St. to an immersive video installation by artist collective VSVSVS and curated by guest curator Rafi Ghanagounian of Keep6. The video depicted chilly scenes with ice and snow, as participants were handed freezies - a stark contrast to the beautiful warm weather we felt throughout the evening.
We finally ended up at our last stop, at 1093 Queen St. West for a show curated by Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta of Art Spin called The Fernanda Faria Collection. The exhibition was a personal collection from local framer and collector Fernanda Faria, and featured works by Shelly Adler, Stephen Andrew, Daniel Barrow, Shary Boyle, Chris Curreri, Max Dean, Catherine Heard, Susana Heller, Karen Henderson, Hanna Hur, Jay Isaac, Kris Knight, Wanda Koop, Micah Lexier, Jed Lind, Howard Lonn, Noel Middleton, Julie Moon, Ken Nicol, John Nobrega, Finn O'Hara, Sandy Plotnikoff, Ben Reeves, Gretchen Sankey, Derek Sullivan, Russell Tyler, Jim Verburg and Jacob Whibley.
The exhibition also included a back room/project space where we featured Philippe Blanchard's work New Troglodytes, an immersive RBG light and sound installation.
At the show we were entertained by the dreamy vocals and drum machine beats of Toronto band LCON, and fed delicious pie à la mode by Dundas Park Kitchen, and savoury snacks Lilly's Lunches. Thanks to Will Pimenta for bartending the night.
More thanks to Franco Boni from The Theatre Centre for his help in so many areas, and to Pemberton Group and Ten93 Queen West for a stunning venue. Thanks go out to Martin Neale from Hoopdriver for his sponsorship, Steve Reble from Kronenbourg for their support and Rafi Ghanaghounian from Keep6 for his generous sponsorship for our printed material. We would also like to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council for another year of support from them.
Finally we'd like to thank our invaluable volunteer bike marshalls who joined us to help usher the ride and keep our participants safe.