THE JOY OF CREATIVITY LIVES AT THE GARDINER MUSEUM

It is rare that something as common place as the Christmas tree, can bring up such expletives as, sublime, stupendous, awe-inspiring and mysterious, but here we were at the Gardiner museum mouths agape with these thoughts streaming through our minds. Rare are the moments that we ( KA Magazine), are left surprised and utterly impressed; but at the recent launch of the Gardiner Museum’s 12 trees of Christmas we were blown away, and not by the Toronto winds. We were blown away by the more subtle wind of change driven by a force of nature personified in the thin frame of Ms. Dee Dee Eustace, curator of the 12 trees of Christmas, The Joy of Creativity 2015.

From November 12th to January 3rd, 2016 the Gardiner Museum is home to Toronto’s most artistically driven Holiday Exhibition.

The 12 Trees of Christmas is a tradition the Gardiner has had for the past 26 years, and now it is 27th year, the goal, as directed by Gardiner Museum’s CEO and Director Kelvin Browne, was to reshape the concept into a fresh, new, vibrant expression of modern and inventive art, bringing the event to a larger audience.

Dee Dee Eustace, a leading Canadian Architect, Interior Designer and author, was then invited to be the very first curator for this event, her first decision as curator was to immediately enlist the boutique creative agency ALLWOOD AGENCY to redirect and create a fresh look, not only for the exhibition, but as well the G party. Entitling this year’s exhibition “The Joy of Creativity”, her vision was to assemble 12 contemporary artists and designers together to re-imagine the traditional Christmas Tree. After months of reviewing submitted applications from artists across Canada, the 12 finalists were chosen and this was truly the start of a new vision for the Gardiner’s annual event.

On November 12th, the exhibition officially opened with the lighting of a 40 foot Ontario-grown Christmas Tree located on the Museum’s front plaza, designed by Dee Dee Eustace and her firm Taylor Hannah Architect. The tree itself was donated by Forest Ontario and named “Beacon of Joy” .Visitors to the Gardiner Museum are invited to purchase a handmade ceramic ornament, styled in the form of a luggage tag by Gardiner potter Ian Symons, then write a wish on the tag and hang it on the tree. Funds raised from the hanging donations are donated towards children’s pottery and creative programs at the Museum.

The results from months of work by these 12 artists were truly what we were anticipating; a whole new way of envisioning our beloved lit up evergreen.  The exhibition features works from Michael Adamson, Bruno Billio, Justin Broadbent, Sophie DeFrancesca, Jennifer Carter (Hermes), Trevor Godinho, Hunter Lewis Lake, Jane Waterous, Susanne Shaw,  Jenn E. Norton, Liza Giffen & Andrew Mestern (Stratford Festival) and the Ukrainian Museum of Canada. 

On Tuesday Dec. 1st, the Gardiner Museum will also be hosting the annual G Party, which will showcase the 12 Trees of Christmas exhibition, inventive cuisine, music by DJ Dennis Rojas and a special live performance by recording artist Ashley Allwood. The G Party Gala will also feature a silent auction with art photography of a curated selection of 12 pieces from the Gardiner’s collection, by artist and editor in chief of KA Magazine, Kevin Allwood.

The December 1st event (if the curated art/trees)  will definitely heat up the festivities, promising to be the must attend event of the season. If you are lucky enough to get a ticket before they are all sold out definitely remember to bring your cell phones. It’s time to take pictures of something other than your meal. The G party will definitely be a feast for the eyes and ears. Remember to party responsibly, and if you drink do not drive.

For Tickets to the GParty // http://www.gardiner12trees.com/home/g-party/

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Trevor Godinho

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Ukrainian Museum of Canada

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Susanne Shaw (Holt Renfrew)

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Curator Dee Dee Eustace

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Bruno Billio

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Michael Adamson

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Justin Broadbent

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Hunter Lewis Lake

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Jane Waterous

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Jane Waterous

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Lisa Giffen / Andrew Mestern

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Jennifer Carter (Hermes)

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Sophie Defrancesca


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Jenn E. Norton

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“Pure Joy” Art Photography by Kevin Allwood / Gardiner Silent Auction

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“Pure Joy” Art Photography by Kevin Allwood / Gardiner Silent Auction