The Toronto Star
August 1, 1998
Kids Create Fantasy Land
Imagination is the key to time travel —
to the past and to the future — for young arts school students
BY JANICE MAWHINNEY
A sparkling 2-metre turquoise dinosaur was the hit of the show.
The amazing creature, made of chicken wire covered by painted paper fabric, was surrounded by clay fossils, plaster dinosaur bones, painted dino footprints on the floor and paper-towel-roll prehistoric bugs on the ceiling, much bedecked with buttons, spools and film reels.
It was the creation of Avenue Road Arts School’s small students, who recently mounted an exhibit on the theme of time travel.
While the wildly colourful displays all over the three-storey building were imaginative and appealing, some kids could hardly tear themselves away from the basement dinosaur expedition.
The Toronto Sun
January 29, 1995
Choices, Choices: Fun 101
Art School Magical Place for Creativity
BY SANDY NAIMAN
Entering the Avenue Rd. Art School is like crossing the threshold of a child’s imagination: You’re choosing to learn “art” in its broadest sense, as a child learns art — for fun.
Framed primary-colored paintings hang on dark wood-panelled walls. Carefree wishes — “When I grow up I want to be everything, every day” — are taped around classrooms. Ribbons of twisted green crepe paper transform bathrooms into subterranean seascapes.
“It’s a place of creativity,” remarks retired business journalist Grace McKenzie, 71, now in her fourth drawing course. “The architecture, itself, encourages creativity.”
Vibrancy and fun bubble out of every nook and cranny. And, of course, there’s music in the air. That’s what founder and director Lola Rasminsky wants.
The Toronto Star
August 6, 1994
Adults Just Wanna Have Fun
It’s like being a kid again at the Avenue Road Arts School
where people can be as loud, messy and creative as they want
BY JANICE DINEEN
Radio personality Andy Barrie used to think it was his own private passion — belting out Broadway show tunes in the shower or wailing them out as he drives along the highway.
Then he came across the Avenue Road Arts School and discovered a whole class full of enthusiastic fellow belters and wailers.
“I found that singing ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’ at the top of your lungs is a secret vice for a lot of people,” he says. “And singing together is one of the great simple pleasures of life.”
Barrie has already taken the class in singing Broadway show tunes three times and be plans to take it again. “It’s amazingly therapeutic,” he observes, “and it’s a lot of fun.”