Women supporting, championing and providing inspiration in the arts

The Toronto Heliconian Club, a non-profit organization, is the oldest association of its kind in Canada, founded in 1909 to give women in the arts and letters an opportunity to meet socially and intellectually. Members range from women who have earned great distinction to those in the early stages of their careers.

In addition the Club offers many activities for members and the public, including a Concert Series, a weekly Sketch Group and monthly Art Jams.  Heliconian Hall serves as an art gallery with Exhibits by Club members changing monthly. The Club also hosts a popular Literary Lecture Series featuring Canadian writers talking about their latest work.

Part of rural Toronto when it was built in 1875, Heliconian Hall–designated a National Historic Site in 2011–is situated among leading art galleries in today’s Yorkville. Original elements of the Carpenter’s Gothic board-and-batten church and its rose window have been restored to their former glory. The air-conditioned hall with vaulted ceiling provides stellar acoustics, making the club ideal for musical and dramatic presentations. For information on renting and availability, contact the General Manager.

Saturday, September 10, 1 – 4 pm: “Spectrum” – New Members’ Show reception

Don’t miss the new members’ show – “Spectrum” – where five of our newest Heliconian Art Section members present their work. Please welcome participating artists: Anja Karisik (this year’s Artist in Residence), Ruthia Pak Regis, Brenda Segall, Nelli Tkachenko and Alison Melville. Visual delights include paintings, pastels, prints and artistic craftwork. The opening reception takes place at 35 Hazelton Avenue in the heart of Yorkville on Saturday, September 10, from 1 – 4 pm. The show runs until October 5. Free admission.

Spectrum New Members Show

Saturday, June 4, 1 – 4 pm: “Manipulated Contemplations” Ruthia Pak Regis reception

Painting No. 1Please join us at the opening reception for our visual-artist-in-residence Ruthis Pak Regis whose solo show of new paintings takes place in June. The show opens on Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 1 – 4 pm at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue in Yorkville.

Born and raised in Toronto, Ruthia has always been creating. She attended York University graduating with a BFA, specializing in painting and drawing, and has since been painting and exhibiting work in Toronto.

Her recent works focus on abstracted landscapes composed with an interest in the sensations of colours, shapes, lines as found in nature. The interactions of these visual elements, she believes, mimic the internal workings of a person.

Painting No. 6“Manipulated Contemplations” is a visual exercise in working towards a clear sense of raw beauty unadulterated by sentimentality. She uses photo references as a focus in her contemplations, allowing her affections and satisfactions to attach to certain aspects of the image. During this process she examines her intentions with the image. This then develops into a dialogue between those intentions and the medium, playing out in the application and subtraction of colour. As the “conversation” ends with the medium, the painting becomes complete.

The show runs until June 30.

Images: Painting No. 1 and Painting No. 6, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36″
More at Ruthia’s website: http://www.ruthiapakregis.com/about.html

Saturday, May 7, 1 – 4 pm: “Elemental Light” photography reception

Shenfeld Salta 1A reminder to mark your calendars for Saturday, May 7 from 1 – 4 pm for the opening reception for ELEMENTAL LIGHT, a photography exhibit featuring eight Heliconian artists, and poetry, dance, and music. The reception takes place at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue in the heart of Yorkville.

Poets, dancers and musicians respond to the spirit of selected photographs, enhancing the artistic impact of the images, a delightful form of synergy called ‘ekphrasis’. Performances take place at 2 pm and 2:40 pm on May 7.

 

Blue-gray clouds bear down upon the mountains
causing them to tremble and slip, cascading into
rolling hills, sliding down to the shore where
a ribbon of water separates the land.

On this side a riot of color blooms
from within the earth, innards
spewn in orange yellow blue-
green forms of dimpled light.

The river shimmers with
dreams of transformation
yearning to be solid,
facetted, fixed

But nothing here is fixed, all is fluid,
even this solid earth of changing colors
and shapes dancing with light, wind,
kaleidoscopic cloud formations.

Poem: “Salta, Argentina” by Amanda Hale, in response to
Image: “Salta 1″ by Joanne Shenfeld

Thursday, May 12 at 7 pm: “Ellipsis” Gallery 44 photography show

Ellipsis photography showTwo Heliconian photographers, Linda Briskin and Kye Marshall, are taking part in the Gallery 44 Members Exhibition in parallel with their participation in our “Elemental Light” show at Heliconian Hall, and in conjunction with Toronto’s month-long Contact Photography Festival. Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography invites you to join them at their opening reception on Thursday, May 12 at 7 pm. Their work is on view until May 22. This free event, involving 28 Toronto photographers, takes place at Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen Street West. For further information, visit http://g1313.org/4916/ellipsis-gallery-44-members-exhibition/

“Often omissions are as telling as what is revealed. The challenge of photography is that it is a suspension of space and time. Frozen moments parse a steady stream of cascading events, real or imagined. Only the salient remains. What is in frame and what gets excluded allow a viewer to interpret a scene. In writing, three dots convey what is not said, but implied. Without words, photography encapsulates emotion and communicates a narrative.”

May 28 & 29: Doors Open at Heliconian Hall

Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 from 10 am to 5 pm
Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue in the heart of Yorkville

The Heliconian Club will be participating in this year’s Doors Open event. Last year, we were delighted that close to 600 visitors dropped by on the Saturday. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Visit the Doors Open website at http://bit.ly/1rxaV6q to find out more about historic Heliconian Hall.

ELEMENTAL LIGHT, a photography exhibit featuring eight women photographers will be on display. On the hour, starting at 11 am, musicians, poets, artists, dancers and writers will offer short performances and presentations, some of which will engage directly with the photographs on the walls. Last performance is at 4 pm.

Please encourage your friends and contacts to drop by.

About Doors Open Toronto:

Since its inception in 2000, Doors Open Toronto has attracted more than two million visits in nearly 700 unique locations across the city. It is Canada’s largest Doors Open event and one of the three largest Doors Open events in the world.

The 17th annual Doors Open Toronto is scheduled for May 28-29, 2016 and will offer residents and visitors an opportunity to take a peek behind the doors of more than 100 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city.

#DOT16

Elemental Light Photography Show

 

Monday, May 2 at 7 pm: ART JAM “Moleskins and Lenses” with Karen Shenfeld & Mary Perdue

Bring home meaningful memories from your next trip! Would you like to take inspired photographs that are more than just snap shots? Have you tried writing a poem to express your emotions when looking up at a starry starry night?

Karen ShenfeldOn May 2nd, the Visual Art and Literature Sections will be hosting a lively interdisciplinary Art Jam entitled “Moleskins and Lenses” featuring Karen Shenfeld and Mary Perdue. You will be inspired to try your hand at writing travel-related poems and receive tips on how to take great photographs the next time you venture out of town, near or far. All welcome! 6:30 social for 7 pm presentation at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue in the heart of Yorkville. Members $15, non-members $20.

From Clay to Bronze, Sculpture Secrets Revealed

We were privileged to have internationally-acclaimed painter and sculptor, Andrew Benyei, join us as our featured guest at our April 4 Art Jam.

In a delightful and informative talk about the joys and challenges of working in three dimensions, Andrew explained a number of sculptural approaches. An engineer by training, he became intrigued by subtractive (carved) forms in his twenties,but later started working in clay . Many of his works are three-dimensional portrait commissions, executed in clay and painted, or rendered in bronze. They range from small busts to large sculptures several feet across.

A major challenge is to get the sculpture to look like the person and bring out that personality. Andrew regaled us with the story of the executive who felt that his bust’s nose was too big. When he reduced the nose, the client complained that the bust no longer looked like him! Andrew also mentioned the challenge of working entirely from photographs provided by clients.

“My best tools are my hands and fingers”. Empathy and playfulness are also his strong suit, we would add.

We were amazed by his balletic bronze sculptures, such as “Leap of Faith” in which acrobatic figures seem to float in space, anchored by a single point at the base with a seemingly impossible centre of gravity. Andrew starts with an armature and builds the sculpture in clay. He then takes a mold of the clay sculpture. He pours hot wax into the mold to create the same sculpture but now in wax. The wax goes to a foundry where a ceramic shell is built around the wax. It is heated and the wax is melted out leaving a space (lost wax technique). Molten bronze is poured into this space, the ceramic shell is broken and out comes the bronze sculpture which is the sand blasted, welded together, patinated (coloured) and mounted on a base.

Andrew Benyei and Mary

The creation of a typical bust in clay might take 8 hours to complete. Mary Perdue kindly volunteered to be the subject of a 25 minute demonstration which left us speechless in its realistic portrayal in such a short time.

Many thanks go to Joan Dubros for convening this wonderful evening.

Andrew will be offering a six-week gesture sculpture workshop this fall at LucSculpture (Danforth and Greenwood). Details here: LucSculpture

Enjoy his works and thoughts including “Leap of Faith” at www.benyei.com/site

Saturday, May 7, 1 – 4 pm: “Elemental Light” photography reception

Please join us on Saturday, May 7 from 1 – 4 pm for the opening reception for ELEMENTAL LIGHT, a photography exhibit featuring eight Heliconian artists, and poetry, dance, and music. The reception takes place at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue in the heart of Yorkville.

Two poets (Dawn Promislow and Amanda Hale), four dancers (Aviva Fleising, Terrill Maguire, Kiera Shaw and Claudia Moore), and two musicians (Jana Skarecky and Kye Marshall) will engage with the spirit of selected photographs, and thereby enhance the artistic impact of the images, a delightful form of synergy. This cross-inspiration of art disciplines is called ‘ekphrasis’.

This year’s performance contains an unusual combination: a cello-dance duo reflecting on several photographs.

Performances are at 2 pm and 2:40 pm on May 7. Admission is free. The show runs until June 1.

Please check TTC service advisories for May 7 as subway access may be restricted for track repairs and you may need to plan an alternate route.

Elemental Light