Getting acquainted with Leonard Cohen

December 12, 2022 Art Gallery of Ontario

I first heard of Leonard Cohen in my late twenties through a musician friend while we were on tour, but it wasn't until several years later that I started to understand his work. To really get it, you know?

It all happened during the wee hours of the morning at a then-friend's place. Our heads were spinning after a night out. He was laying on the carpet. I was melting into the couch.

Then, this magical guitar started playing in the background and a man's voice told the story of a woman who feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China and who is half-crazy but that's why you want to be with her. 

I knew basically nothing about Cohen yet the melody and the lyrics of Suzanne pierced my mind and that feeling has stayed with me ever since.

A lot has been told about Cohen's poetry, his music, his lovers. Yet, I was gladly surprised to visit the AGO and discover more about the person behind the artist through his objects, notes, drawings and photographs in the new show: Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows

About the show:

An enduring artistic force, Canadian novelist, poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) is renowned the world over for his meditations on beauty, death, loss and the human heart.

The first museum exhibition to present the holdings of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust, Everybody Knows immerses visitors in the many facets of Cohen’s creative life. Rare concert footage and archival materials, including musical instruments, notebooks, lyrics and letters are featured alongside photographs, drawing, and digital art created by Cohen across several decades.

Two large-scale multimedia installations, on loan from the Musée d’art contemporain in Montréal, highlight Cohen’s singular voice, music and stage presence.

Curated by Julian Cox, the AGO’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto with the exceptional support of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust and Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows
On view at the AGO - Art Gallery of Ontario
December 7, 2022 - April 10, 2023


Call for Artists: Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

December 02, 2022


Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF), Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor & online art fair is currently accepting applications for their 62nd Outdoor Art Fair in July 2023.

Curating an art collection for Partial

December 01, 2022

Nicole Krstin, Meditation Meds

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Partial to curate a guest collection for their site! 

I'm not gonna lie: after the initial excitement, this felt a bit daunting, too! Mostly because I wanted to create a collection that would tell a story and was more than just a group of works I liked. And so, after browsing through their impressive catalogue, I bookmarked some pieces and only then I started to notice a pattern: all of the works I had selected made me feel a particular sense of nostalgia. 

You know that feeling you have when you can't remember where you've seen something before? Was it only a dream? Did you actually see it somewhere?

Based on that feeling, the name of my collection is: Dreams are Memories and it features works by fifteen emerging Canadian artists: Pandora Owl / Evelyn Trista / Nicole Kristin / Tal Paz-Fridman / Caroline Ji / Sonya Katashonova / Devon Pryce / Helen Tran / Laura Key Keeling / Catherine Mills / Erin McGean / Lilian Sim / Diane Fine / Corynn Kokolakis / Esther Kim.

About the collection:

"I find it very interesting to think of why we dream what we dream. Why our minds decide to capture a specific moment in time: An object, a person, a place. Why sometimes the scenes are clear and why sometimes it's all out of whack? For this collection I chose works that evoked a feeling of nostalgia. Not about a memory of something lived, but for the memory of something I could have seen in my dreams." -Carla Rojas

"Dreams are Memories" is now live on Partial.

Thanks to Partial for letting me be part of this project!

Confluence by Striped Canary. An immersive installation at The Bentway

October 23, 2022 The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd

Photo: Courtesy of The Bentway

Striped Canary is the collaborative project of artists Stephen B. Nguyen and Wade Kavanaugh. Together, they are known for creating large immersive installations using everyday materials such as paper and wood and creating imaginative landscapes that investigate our memories and perceptions.

A private moment with a private collection

October 17, 2022 Cowley Abbott

Imagine one day you walk into a friend’s house and, no big deal, you are surrounded by works of some eminent Canadian artists like Tom Thomson, Paul Kane, Lawren Harris or Emily Carr. Works that you may have seen at the Art Gallery of Ontario, National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Well, this impressive collection exists and is, in fact, one of Canada’s most-leaned private collections that will now be part of three upcoming auctions at auction house Cowley Abbott.

Carefully curated and acquired over the course of 60 years, some of these pieces could change the current auction record, like a masterpiece by Emily Carr or an exceptionally rare Paul Kane (which would be the first canvas by the painter to debut at auction in almost 20 years!).

A free exhibition of the works will be open to the public from October 28 and until November 30 at Cowley Abbott (326 Dundas St W) before their auction debut on December 1st

The Definitive Canadian Private Collection
October 28 - November 30

Cowley Abbott Gallery
326 Dundas St W

Favourite artworks:

Interesting fact:
Emily Carr currently holds the auction record for the highest amount paid for a work by a Canadian female artist, set at $3.39 Million in 2013.

For more info visit:

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