If you’re looking to dive deeper into Toronto’s art scene, add Gallery Arcturus to your list of must-sees.
Located at 80 Gerrard Street East, a ten minute walk from the Pantages Hotel, and supported by the Foundation for the Study of Objective Art, this not-for-profit art gallery and museum is a hidden gem… and it’s free to visit!
The 18th-century heritage building the gallery is housed in is a work of art in itself: it appears in a 1912 painting by famed Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris that is permanently displayed at the McMichael Collection in Kleinburg, another must-see while you’re here. Inside, Gallery Arcturus’s collection of contemporary drawing, painting, collage, sculpture and photography by notable North American artists makes it an important stop on any Toronto art tour.
Artists can find inspiration in the thoughtful and carefully curated daily art blog and participate in regular workshops. You can watch participating artists working onsite in one of the gallery’s five exhibition spaces:
Exhibits displayed in this gallery are themed, often beginning from installations and including works created in the space itself. The current exhibition, Irrefutably Altered, “began as a primal journey with a solitary boat figure in a tumultuous sea. The figure descended and turned, meeting WHALE.” To find out what happens next, you’ll need to visit.
Up North Gallery
The Up North Gallery displays landscape paintings and sculptures reflecting northern Canada. Right now, you can see a stunning carved and painted northern landscape by collective Claustro plus work by Eric McConnachie, Lenka Holubec, Susan Valyi, Sae Kimura and the gallery’s artist-in-residence and curator, Deborah Harris.
For a quiet moment or a break from a busy day, visit the Gallery Arcturus Library. It’s a great place for reading and contemplation, and art lovers will appreciate the extensive collection of art books. The library is currently displaying works by Floyd Kuptana, an Inuit artist whose sculptures and paintings explore indigenous worldviews and ways of life.
The art of collage has a special place at this gallery —and you can exercise your artistic side at Arcturus’s collage workshops for just $10.00 with materials included. This gallery displays collage work by Deborah Harris and workshop participants.
Ascending Gallery features work from artists including Floyd Kuptana, Vivian Felsen, Sae Kimura and Deborah Harris. Through sculpture, painting and collage, the artists demonstrate how their various art forms communicate with one another to create a unique experience for the viewer and leave a mark on the space they inhabit.
Gallery Arcturus has new exhibitions every six to eight weeks, so you’ll see something new every time. If you’re inspired to see more of the best of Toronto, walk bit north to Allan Gardens and its heated greenhouses, another one of the city’s favourite free activities, and the perfect place to get an early taste of spring.
Toronto is a world capital of art. See for yourself at Gallery Arcturus.