ART...what's going down in the hood on a Friday night you ask?

My dog Koko has an alter-ego, it’s ARTDOG . ARTDOG loves to explore all things “art”, particularly the visual and she definitively has a bent for street art. While on one of our walks ARTDOG discovered there was going to be an opening just around the corner from Project 851. She was delighted and nosed her way into a private preview showing to sniff out what might be some favourites.

The exhibition was the photographic work of Louise Francis-Smith and like ARTDOG, Louise has an eye for what takes place in the streets. This exhibition is well defined in her artistic statement:


As you can see ARTDOG immersed herself into the show and contemplated her favourites:

People started showing up so ARTDOG exited through the gift shop so as not to steal any attention away from Louise’ ; such a thoughtful art critic. Plus this would give her time to finalize her thoughts on the work for her review. It was a full house and amazing how many creative souls showed up and as I looked around found myself very impressed by the fact that many of these people were my neighbours — just take a look:

Yes your eyes do not deceive you in the house we had Lam Wong, Quentin Spetifore, Lincoln Clarke, Jane Wolsak, Ewan McNeil, Goya Ngan, Chick Rice, Richard Tetrault, Esther Rausenberg, Connie Sabo, John David, Daphne Marlatt, Maureen Sugrue, Leonard Brett, Sally Buck and Kent Lins to name just a few of the talented and amazing creative souls pulsating through the space. Everywhere you turned there was an opportunity for delightful discussion and Louise’s work certainly didn’t fall short of getting that ball rolling.

Some of my dear friends continued our conversations into the night and brought it over to the Garden Suite; my present executive camping spot as the project rolls into it’s final phase. Jo, Carylann, Sandra, Mira, Michael and myself got deep into dream and lotto discussion. Sandra was the instigator of creating the lotto game that connected to the tarot cards I had laying around. Michael joined in by looking up the deck of Alejandro Jodorwosky and the fun began. Keep your eyes posted as the game involves us individually and collectively tossing out numbers for each other so we could each buy a lotto ticket to continue the spirit of Louise’s exhibition.. Should I win we’re going to Paris to find Alejandro Jodorowsky to have coffee and discuss tarot.

While we were channeling the lucky numbers ARTDOG was writing up her review of Louise’s exhibition. ARTDOG gives WE WILL BUY YOUR DREAMS a big 4 PAWS UP!! This is worth taking time out of your day to go see, but be warned you’ll want to bring someone with you as it’s going to stimulate thoughts leading to conversation. Go to the Louise link for details so you don’t miss out — Artist talk is April 20th and exhibition last day is April 27th.

ARTDOG highly recommends Louise’s work and feels she nailed it; see artist statement above.. Louise achieved capturing a real human quality to a difficult and often sad topic of transition to a place. Yet, L F-S has maintained a feeling of anonymity for the individuals in the photos at the same as exposing them. The balance in the composition runs throughout the images — the lovely red street lamp posts form a triangle around an asian man getting a newspaper in one; that image generated some lively conversations. ARTDOG overheard a viewer recall a childhood memory of chinatown and how the men used to walk arm in arm up and down Pender St. with their Chinese newspapers under an arm chatting away. Those were the days when the men were here in Canada and the women were left behind in the old country. ARTDOG enjoyed overhearing all these wonderful conversations L F-S’s work generated and ARTDOG never runs tired of pole of any kind but these red street lamp posts seemed to trigger a warm spot in her heart.

Well done Louise Francis-Smith!