Author Archives: Jonathan Hutchinson

Work in Progress by Pete Smith

Habitat, a wall painting project at the Oshawa Centre for The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

From Akimbo:

Pete Smith’s mural is a collaborative initiative between The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and the Oshawa Centre. This is the second of its kind, both having local artists paint temporary murals on hoarding on future retail locations. The RMG continuously looks for opportunities for public art to increase the community’s interaction with and awareness of contemporary art. Having an original work of art within a mall offers a different experience for the Oshawa Centre visitors. Local artist Pete Smith painting live during the mall’s opening hours allows for direct public engagement with both the artist and process.

Pete Smith is an artist and writer who lives in Bowmanville. His recent work explores the collective anxiety around environmental change. Smith has exhibited his work extensively since completing his BFA from York University in 1998 and his MFA from the University of Guelph in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include: Open Letter at Bowmanville Town Hall (2017), Southern Pastoral at No Foundation, Toronto (2017), Postscript at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa (2015), New Frontier at Kelowna Art Gallery (2015), Initial Public Offering at Station Gallery in Whitby (2013), New Drawings at Colorida Exposicoes in Lisbon, Portugal (2012) and Proverbs for Paranoids at Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver (2010). His work is included in numerous private and public collections in Canada and abroad including TD Bank, The Colart Collection, Imago Mundi (Italy) and The Art Gallery or Guelph. His writings on art have frequently appeared in Canadian Art and Border Crossings magazines. Smith has held teaching positions at OCAD University, Western University, the University of Guelph, and the University of Toronto. He teaches Fine Art in the School of Media Art and Design at Durham College.


Instagram @petersversion



Call to Artists – Toronto’s First Anonymous ART Show

ARAS students are involved with the Art for Cancer Foundation’s annual art show:

The ART for Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce “Toronto’s First Anonymous Art Show- Year Three”.  This group exhibition and fundraising event will feature work from established as well as emerging artists, including many of our workshop participants.  This event is an important fundraiser for the many free creative programs delivered by ART for Cancer Foundation, for people living with cancer.

Hundreds of original paintings created in a diverse style and subject matter will be available for sale all sized  8” x 8” x 1½” (gallery style) canvas or wood cradled panel. Each piece is priced at $100.

The artist remains a mystery, until after the purchase. Purchased paintings are immediately taken off the wall and given to the purchaser. In its place a sold tag will hang revealing the artist’s name and a photo of the art. Tax receipts are available to the artist once a piece is sold.

The opening reception and sale is Friday, December 1, 2017 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm, at AFC Place- 1884 Davenport Road and the sale continues until Sunday, December 3,2017, giving the community an opportunity to purchase original art in time for the holidays, while at the same time supporting a worthy cause.

Learn more at their website and SUBMIT!


Shadow Red

ArteMbassy presents Shadow Red, an exhibition of paintings by ARAS instructor Martha Johnson, opening Thursday, September 21th, 2017.


Shadow Red

Shadow Red pays homage to the legacy of Canadian icon Tom Thomson, on the 100th anniversary of his death.

The exhibition continues until Saturday, September 30th 11-4PM

ArteMbassy Gallery
28 Industrial St. #219
Toronto, ON

Open Book of Balkan

Instructor Sadko Hadzihasanovic is part of an international exhibition Open Book of Balkan which will open at the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Hercegovina in Sarajevo on Monday, June 19, 2017. This biennial show includes 62 artists from 20 countries and was organized by the Center for Visual Research (Krug, Serbia) and curated by Bozo Plazinic.

Otvorena knjiga Balkana” bit će predstavljena u ponedjeljak, 19. juna, u 20 sati u Umjetničkoj galeriji Bosne i Hercegovine u saradnji sa Centar za vizuelna istraživanja “Krug”.
“Biblioteka – otvorena knjiga Balkana” je likovna manifestacija umjetnika balkanskog regiona i gostujućih zemalja nastala 2006. godine i svake druge godine održava se u Čačku. Na petom Bijenalu sa tematskim okvirom „Čiju pesmu pevam“, po izboru i u organizaciji slikara Božidara Plazinića, svoje radove su izložila 62 umjetnika iz više od 20 zemalja.

So Lightly Here

Instructor Sadko Hadzihasanovic invites you to the opening of a group show at Paul Petro Contemporary Art. Six of his oils on copper are included in the show.

So Lightly Here

Stephen Andrews, Ross Bleckner, Jane Buyers, Estate of Wendy Coburn, Marlene Creates, Estate of Robert Flack, Sadko Hadzihasanovic, Alex Katz, Glenn Ligon, Zachari Logan, Estate of Will Munro, David Rasmus, Joyce Wieland

June 9 – July 15, 2017



Erika is set in 1940’s Nazi Occupied Bosnia, where an unlikely friendship forms between two young girls on opposite sides of the war.

Erika is directed by Hanna Jovin, a previous ARAS student and instructor.
PRODUCERS Marissa Bergougnou, Aldo Mauro
WRITER Jessie Posthumus
EDITOR Ryan Hookway
STARS Isla Parekh, Jordan Gorlick, Lauren Saarimaki, Milana Glumicic, Mladan Obradovic, Ralph MacLeod and Jane Miller
SCREENING: SATURDAY, MAY 6TH at the Ryerson University Film Festival (RUFF17).


Lessons to master business


Founder LOLA RASMINSKY writes that a pianist’s advice can apply to management practices

While attending a master class in piano performance by well-known Vancouver pianist Robert Silverman recently, I was struck by how transferable his advice was to non-musical settings. Had I not been sitting in the concert hall of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, I could have well imagined myself taking in a lecture on leadership or strategic management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

I have always been intrigued by how much business executives can learn from artists about how to conduct themselves within a corporate context. In the business world, there is a premium on the ability to” think differently.” Who could teach us better than the people who spend their time creating, namely successful artists of any kind?

Mr. Silverman’s master class could easily have been a lesson in how to make sure your business going forward productively. His first questions were: “Where are you going with this piece? Why are you interpreting the piece in this way?” Many management consultants insist that the first order of business for any organization is to clarify and distill exactly where the company is going. What is the vision? What are the important values driving senior management? What will move people to want to come to work in the morning?

Often, companies get into trouble because they oscillate between competing values. Let’s say, for example, they make a commitment to innovation. Developing new products and new ways of doing things becomes a stated priority. But the moment things stop going exactly as anticipated, senior management pulls the plug on the innovation priority and goes back to focusing on the bottom line. And then the cycle begins all over again, leaving everyone confused about what the company is really all about.

Tempo is another theme that crosses over. “Think about your tempo before you begin the piece,”Mr. Silverman insists. “Look at the most difficult passage in the work and assess how quickly you can manage that tempo.” He’s talking about sustainability. There’s no point bursting out of the starting gate at a breakneck speed if you can’t keep it up. How many businesses get into trouble because they cannot keep up with the pace they ambitiously set at the outset?

In this master class, Mr. Silverman often invoked the “Imagine” priority. “Imagine a dialogue within the piece,” he suggested. “Imagine a different instrument playing the melody and the inner voices.” When our imagination is engaged, the result will have more energy.

Engaging the imagination is probably the most empowering activity any of us can participate in.The imagination is the one place we have unlimited possibilities to choose from. When we brainstorm to come up with new ideas, we use our imagination. When we go out on a limb to consider new ways of doing things, we use our imagination. When a musician plays a pieceof music, it will be much more colourful if the imagination is involved. Many of us want to pursue excellence in business as well as art, but don’t really know how. Mr. Silverman’s piano master class gives us a good start.


Lola Rasminsky is director of the Avenue Road Arts School in Toronto. She is also director of Beyond the Box, a corporate training program that encourages executives to “think differently” by employing strategies used by artists.