Secrets of collecting and Toronto’s inaugural Biennial

February 25, 2019Member Education

Meredith groups vessels where the focus is on the form.

It is no surprise that private collections are one of the most popular forms of Partners in Art educations. With years of thought and curation behind them, collections bring together an amazing array of art and offer special insight into the personality of the owner.

In early February members viewed curator Pamela Meredith’s collection which has a focus on paper works and utilitarian items. Highlights of the collection include Geoffrey Farmer’s fountain drawings, featuring works that predate his 2017 exhibit (on the similar theme) at the Venice Biennale.

For those interested in expanding their collections, Meredith recommends seeking advice from gallerists about up-and-coming artists and also suggests visiting MFA graduate exhibitions, particularly graduates of the University of Guelph. Meredith personally recommends artist HaeAhn Kwon .

This summer a mask from Meredith’s collection – featuring Nike Air Jordan running shoes – will join other masks in Brian Jungen’s series at the AGO.

To continue February’s focus on collections, members were invited into the home of OCAD  University President Sara Diamond. Diamond began her collection by trading with artists. Her collection focuses on social history, the materiality of works and portraiture. The works are displayed salon-style, throughout her Toronto home and every corner is a delight for the eye.

OCAD University faculty member Alex McLeod’s Daylight Mystery framed in a lightbox.

Diamond has been fortunate to see the growth of many artists’ work. Her distinguished career can be seen chronologically on the walls of her home which feature many works by both colleagues and students.

The delightful brushwork of Kim Dorland can be seen in this detail of Somewhere in the Neighbourhood, based on the familiar sight of a Toronto back alley.

Towards the end of February, members were invited to MOCA for a briefing on the forthcoming Toronto Biennial which PIA is helping sponsor. The 75-day Biennial will occur from September 21 to December 1, 2019, along the city’s waterfront. With a growing creative partners list, the education of attendees is a strong focus for the curatorial team. “There will be lots to see and lots to think about and hopefully attendees will become ambassadors for Toronto,” says Ilana Shamoon, director of programming.

Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien, curators of Toronto Biennial, are interested in showing Toronto’s layered history.

Following the Biennial briefing, members were invited to tour the exhibit space of MOCA with artistic director November Paynter and curator David Liss. The current multi-sensory exhibits are spread over four floors and showcase the expanse of the new gallery space.

There’s also Light Therapy, a special room on level four of MOCA which features several dissertations on the subject of happiness.