Monthly Archives: January 2017


Evans Contemporary is pleased to present Fluorescence, a multi-channel video-installation by the Toronto based collaborative Soft Turns, which includes ARAS instructor Sarah Jane Gorlitz.

Inspired by the way microscopes appear to intermingle touch and sight, Fluorescence is a multi-channel video-installation that explores an expanded conception of surface. Here, microscopic images of plant cells from biology textbooks become iridescent under a moving light source (a laptop). The startling but natural effect of offset printing and the dynamics of reflected light, make the images appear suddenly tangible, ready to pop off the page.

The video channels in Fluorescence present many versions of the same image, as it has appeared across eight editions of Biology of Plants (1970-). Each image in the installation is slightly different, and for many, the change is so slight, that it is noticeable only in the way creases catch reflected light. What is left for the viewer’s scrutiny are aspects usually perceivable by a more sensitive apparatus than the eye.

This installation draws attention to subtlety, and the barely visible – like the amount of light emitted from a monitor’s screen (coincidentally, enough for photosynthesis to occur). The natural world, along with all the complicated systems that humans design to help them understand it, is a focus of Soft Turns’ practice. Their work often appears complex, but emerges from approaches similar to those of a naturalist – the slow attentive study of easily observable yet often overlooked phenomena.

Soft Turns is the collaborative effort of Wojciech Olejnik and Sarah Jane Gorlitz. They consider the encounter with something ‘other’, as an ever-changing space between the accessible and inaccessible; interaction with these spaces – these brief moments that weave the background of everyday existence – drives their practice. They employ found objects, common materials, D.I.Y. methods, and experimentation to create videos, stop-motions and mixed media installations. Featured in the Fall 2011 issue of Canadian Art, and in Syphon 3.1 (2015), they have received support from the Swedish Edstrand Foundation, the Toronto, Ontario, and Canada Arts Councils; the latter awarding them the 2008 Joseph Stauffer Prize for Emerging Artists and a 2013 Paris Residency. Recent exhibitions include: Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Foundation 3.14 (Bergen), Greusslich Contemporary (Berlin), 18th Videobrasil (São Paulo), Skånes konstförening (Malmö), Oakville Galleries (Oakville), Trinity Square Video (Toronto) and Modern Fuel (Kingston). They are the 2016-18 artists in residence at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Canada.

Soft Turns would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph.

A Whimsical Woodland Integrated Arts Camp: March Break 2017!


This March Break, you will embark on a creative discovery and learn all about the critters, creatures, flora and magical mysteries of our forests and woodlands. Join the Avenue Road Arts School and explore through a fun, unique and whimsical approach. Children will drawpaint and sculpt, using a number of techniques and materials, including natural and recycled objects, all while creating a variety of inspirational art works that represent the camper’s very own style. To explore the theme further, drama and music activities will be utilized and campers will be encouraged to participate in interpreting their art through different forms and media.

Register today!

Hunter Games and Other Stories

ARAS instructor Sadko Hadzihasanovic presents a solo show, Hunter Games and Other Stories, at the Ulrich Museum of Art (Whichita , Kansas) January 14 – February 26, 2017:

Sadko Hadzihasanovic’s multimedia employs humor and irony to probe notions of history, ideology and consumption. His works in painting, drawing, photography, and printmaking explore the construction of identity and its cultural and social implications. His largely portraiture-based work makes an array of references to popular culture, his upbringing in Bosnia, and the dichotomous nature of Cuba’s national identity, and various elements of Canadian culture. The paintings from Hadzihasanovic’s recent body of work are drawn from sketches of hunters that he made while on vacation in Serbia in 2015. Titled Hunter Games, the large-scale works feature renderings of figures in classical Greek contrapposto poses and touch on the links between visual culture and violence, gun control, and consumerism.

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ARAS artist about to jump from canvas to fashion runway

Works by ARAS Student Niam Jain, 13, have been featured on CBC.


He only picked up a paintbrush one year ago as part of his therapy for autism, but a Toronto teenager has now sold dozens of paintings worldwide and will soon have his work featured by a Canadian fashion designer.

Niam Jain, 13, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder — a social communication disorder — at the age of two, and still has minimal speech and comprehension skills. But give him a brush and some paint, and he communicates expressively.

Read more below:

And check out our previous blog post about Niam!