I've been criminally lax about attending the Queen West Art Crawl. So yesterday for the first time I headed down to Parkdale and the Gladstone Hotel because I was intrigued by Being Scene 2010, an exhibition by artists who have suffered mental illness and addictions. The juried exhibition, curated by the Gladstone's Britt Welter-Nolan and produced by Workman Arts for CAMH, was tucked away on the hotel's upper floors, so perhaps that was the reason I saw so few people there mid-afternoon. What a shame.
Two pieces stood out for me, John Molnar's The End, and Lisa Walter's Red Child No. 2. The former, an oil of an old house that in its day could have been used as an asylum, was eerie and unsettling with its lack of life and its walls and fences. The latter, a small ink on paper drawing, was remarkable for its simplicity yet implicit complexity. Further pieces that caught my eye were a fine portrait of writer Austin Clarke (a much younger Austin Clarke) by Danae Chamber and Treese Flenniken's erotically charged etching Horse Chesnut, among others.
Being Scene 2010 is holding a Last Call Show and Sale at CAMH December 2. I'm going and you should too.