Avenue Road Arts School

Oh, Yuck!

Acting and Musical Theatre teacher Allison Beula will appear in Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty.  “Oh Yuck!” and is based on a popular kids book of the same name, which is an encyclopaedia of “gross things” – the science of all things “yucky”. It is an Australian/Canadian co-production and involves live actors, puppets, and animation. Allison plays a young robot who wants to be human.

The show is set to air in Australia next year and North American release dates are to be announced in the coming months. Stay tuned!

Oh, Yuck!

Avenue Road Arts School


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.

Avenue Road Arts School

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.

Avenue Road Arts School

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.


Avenue Road Arts School

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!

Avenue Road Arts School

Out of the Bush Garden – Contemporary Artists from Central-Eastern Canada

Out of The Bush Garden

Instructor Pete Smith (Abstract Painting, Drawing for Beginners, Landscape Painting, and Painting from Photos) is a featured artist in Imago Mundi‘s Out of the Bush Garden collection.

Pete’s piece AOI-13022015, is featured, and an image found below.

The book is a new, broad and diverse collection that Imago Mundi is dedicating to Canada: 216 works that bring together the creativity and expressive cultures of artists from the central-eastern side of the country: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. From the complex and erratic mosaic of the canvases, the different cultural souls of this vast country emerge, as do the contamination and amalgamation of different languages, colours and forms. Like a long journey among works and inspirations that seem to say: look at us and in the light of the Great North you will discover something about us and about yourself. Something singular and, at the same time, universal.

Pete Smith Painting
AOI-13022015, Pete Smith
Avenue Road Arts School

Four Avenue Road Arts School students show work at Queen’s Park

Youth Arts Program banner

Young ARAS artists attended an opening reception for the Youth Arts Program hosted by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on November 30.  Their work was selected from hundreds of submissions to this program which “celebrates the incredible artistic talents of young Ontarians.” Their paintings will be on display at the Legislative building until March 2017. Congratulations to Maria Malakhova,Gayle Tiomico and Kate Moon pictured below with ARAS Founder, Lola Rasminsky, and to Caroline Wang whose work was also chosen to be showcased at Queen’s Park.

The Youth Arts Program was launched in 2012 by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, the Honourable Dave Levac, to celebrate the incredible artistic talents of young Ontarians aged 12-18.

Each year, youth from across the province are invited to display their works of art throughout the Legislative Building, from December through March, showcasing their creativity and diverse artistic abilities. 

Artwork submitted consists of a variety of media including: photography; sculptures; ceramics and pottery; drawings in ink, pencil and charcoal; acrylic, oil and watercolour paintings.


Avenue Road Arts School


Da-Da cannot be understood. It must be experienced. 

Richard Huelsenbeck, German poet, 1920

A piece by ARAS instructor will be featured in TARA DA-DA, International Digital Miniprint Exhibition 11, at Le Centre d’artistes Voix Visuelle in Ottawa from November 5 to December 6, with an opening reception on November 10.

Curated by Marie Hélène Giguère, the exhibition takes a fresh look at the Dada phenomenon, 100 years after its birth.

Baffling and absurd, the movement reinvents the pictorial composition. It allows the artists to give a new meaning to found objects, to bring manufactured commercial objects in a museum context.

Collage and photomontage have arrived, forerunners of digital art itself.

For this exhibition, artists who worked in the spirit of Dada are from Algeria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Japan, Poland, Romania, Serbia and United Kingdom.

The opening of the exhibition will take place on Thursday, November 10 at 5 p.m. at Centre d’artistes Voix Visuelle. Three cash prizes will be awarded at the opening. The gallery is located at 67 Beechwood Avenue (2nd floor), in Vanier, and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.

Centre d’artistes Voix Visuelle would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council, Canadian Heritage, the City of Ottawa and Marcil Lavallée for their support.

Read more on the website.