The Abstructionists bring art to the residents of the Liberty Market Lofts

News Mar 28, 2016 by Hilary Caton Parkdale Villager

Condominium lobbies exist for three reasons: To get to your apartment, to leave your apartment building and to get your mail.

Lobbies essentially are thoroughfares most people rarely spend time in but at Liberty Market Lofts in Liberty Village, they’ve turned their lobby into a destination rather than a pit stop with a built-in art gallery.

“We live in a great city, it’s got lots of culture and art is a part of that and it’s a beautiful way to express and blend cultures,” said Allen Benjamin, the Liberty Market Lofts condo board president, who helps bring in artists for the lobby’s art gallery. “So why not bring that experience to where you spend most of your time – at home?”

“It’s one of the reasons why I actually bought into this building. It’s a key feature to have, it’s pretty unique.”

Positioned right in front of the building’s elevators are five walls covered in art from the Toronto-based collective The Abstructionists, the first of three exhibits to be featured in the Liberty Market Lofts. The group consists of four abstract artists who will have their work displayed until April 28.

So far the collective have shown their works in a handful of galleries including two other buildings in Liberty Village.

The collective consists of Emily Milla, Kael Racioppa, Robert Slivchak and Andrew Stelmack.

“I think it’s better than a lot of the galleries I’ve seen,” Stelmack said. “They’ve made a beautiful space, it's light, it brings in a lot of natural light, it’s airy and it’s built for artwork. When I saw it I was like, ‘Are you kidding me, this is great!’”

For Stelmack, having an art gallery in a condo lobby is great way to bring the art to the people. It’s also crucial, he said, for artists, since many galleries are closing due to high rent and condo developers buying the buildings they’re in.

“We’re losing the artist space, but we’re also losing the art because we have nowhere to show it. All the galleries downtown are closing. They’re hopping up to the Junction, but once the Junction gets trendy and they (galleries) can’t afford it, then where are they going to go?” Stelmack asked.

“So this developer has said, ‘We can do something for our building and also do something for what we’ve taken away.’ And it’s given us a place to show our art again.”

Each month new art will be added to the gallery to keep the content fresh. There’s also a meet-the-artist night on the first Tuesday of the month that’s open for residents and their guests to attend. The gallery is also open to anyone in the neighbourhood.

And the art could be set up beyond condo lobbies, Stelmack said.

“We can come for a day or for a weekend and have an event in the party room. We can set it up there, and we’d bring the art to you,” Stelmack said. “Why not make it easy for them (people) to see the art? Why not bring the art to these built-in audiences? It’s a great concept.”

It’s a model Stelmack said he believes should be adopted by established condos and soon-to-be built highrises in the city as a chance to keep the art community vibrant and alive in a city.

“The city needs these (art galleries) badly. We always go to these places that the artists have made hip and cool and interesting...And that’s awesome, but in the process of gentrifying it or 'making it better' (it) means they (the city) tear it (the gallery) down or rental prices go up and soon all the artists are gone,” Stelmack explained.

"...Where does someone go downtown to see art when the galleries are disappearing so fast?”

Artists, too, have to change, Stelmack said.

Artists will need to start thinking digital. Artists need to turn to social media including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, which are becoming the additional galleries of today’s 21st century artist.

“It used to be you needed to get into a gallery and the gallery sold your work. That was your exposure, that was the primary way. Now, if I am in a gallery, all they do is look at my name, Google it, go to my website and contact me,” Stelmack explained.

“More sales are happening through me. We’re lucky in some ways because artists are now empowered and have the control to sell their art.”

But art galleries in lobbies could also be the way of the future for art galleries in the city; at least Stelmack said he hopes so.

“If we can be smart enough to use all of this mundane, boring dead space that sits in almost every massive lobby in all of these condos around the city, with more to come, and turn it into an opportunity to show art, to express art and also use it as a place for the community to meet and bring people together, it’s absolutely a win-win-win,” Stelmack said.

The Abstructionists: And Art Exhibit runs until April 28 at 5 Hanna Ave in Liberty Village.

For more information, visit www.abstructionists.com

The Abstructionists bring art to the residents of the Liberty Market Lofts

Artist Andrew Stelmack says bringing art to Toronto’s condo lobbies is a win for everyone

News Mar 28, 2016 by Hilary Caton Parkdale Villager

Condominium lobbies exist for three reasons: To get to your apartment, to leave your apartment building and to get your mail.

Lobbies essentially are thoroughfares most people rarely spend time in but at Liberty Market Lofts in Liberty Village, they’ve turned their lobby into a destination rather than a pit stop with a built-in art gallery.

“We live in a great city, it’s got lots of culture and art is a part of that and it’s a beautiful way to express and blend cultures,” said Allen Benjamin, the Liberty Market Lofts condo board president, who helps bring in artists for the lobby’s art gallery. “So why not bring that experience to where you spend most of your time – at home?”

“It’s one of the reasons why I actually bought into this building. It’s a key feature to have, it’s pretty unique.”

Positioned right in front of the building’s elevators are five walls covered in art from the Toronto-based collective The Abstructionists, the first of three exhibits to be featured in the Liberty Market Lofts. The group consists of four abstract artists who will have their work displayed until April 28.

So far the collective have shown their works in a handful of galleries including two other buildings in Liberty Village.

The collective consists of Emily Milla, Kael Racioppa, Robert Slivchak and Andrew Stelmack.

“I think it’s better than a lot of the galleries I’ve seen,” Stelmack said. “They’ve made a beautiful space, it's light, it brings in a lot of natural light, it’s airy and it’s built for artwork. When I saw it I was like, ‘Are you kidding me, this is great!’”

For Stelmack, having an art gallery in a condo lobby is great way to bring the art to the people. It’s also crucial, he said, for artists, since many galleries are closing due to high rent and condo developers buying the buildings they’re in.

“We’re losing the artist space, but we’re also losing the art because we have nowhere to show it. All the galleries downtown are closing. They’re hopping up to the Junction, but once the Junction gets trendy and they (galleries) can’t afford it, then where are they going to go?” Stelmack asked.

“So this developer has said, ‘We can do something for our building and also do something for what we’ve taken away.’ And it’s given us a place to show our art again.”

Each month new art will be added to the gallery to keep the content fresh. There’s also a meet-the-artist night on the first Tuesday of the month that’s open for residents and their guests to attend. The gallery is also open to anyone in the neighbourhood.

And the art could be set up beyond condo lobbies, Stelmack said.

“We can come for a day or for a weekend and have an event in the party room. We can set it up there, and we’d bring the art to you,” Stelmack said. “Why not make it easy for them (people) to see the art? Why not bring the art to these built-in audiences? It’s a great concept.”

It’s a model Stelmack said he believes should be adopted by established condos and soon-to-be built highrises in the city as a chance to keep the art community vibrant and alive in a city.

“The city needs these (art galleries) badly. We always go to these places that the artists have made hip and cool and interesting...And that’s awesome, but in the process of gentrifying it or 'making it better' (it) means they (the city) tear it (the gallery) down or rental prices go up and soon all the artists are gone,” Stelmack explained.

"...Where does someone go downtown to see art when the galleries are disappearing so fast?”

Artists, too, have to change, Stelmack said.

Artists will need to start thinking digital. Artists need to turn to social media including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, which are becoming the additional galleries of today’s 21st century artist.

“It used to be you needed to get into a gallery and the gallery sold your work. That was your exposure, that was the primary way. Now, if I am in a gallery, all they do is look at my name, Google it, go to my website and contact me,” Stelmack explained.

“More sales are happening through me. We’re lucky in some ways because artists are now empowered and have the control to sell their art.”

But art galleries in lobbies could also be the way of the future for art galleries in the city; at least Stelmack said he hopes so.

“If we can be smart enough to use all of this mundane, boring dead space that sits in almost every massive lobby in all of these condos around the city, with more to come, and turn it into an opportunity to show art, to express art and also use it as a place for the community to meet and bring people together, it’s absolutely a win-win-win,” Stelmack said.

The Abstructionists: And Art Exhibit runs until April 28 at 5 Hanna Ave in Liberty Village.

For more information, visit www.abstructionists.com

The Abstructionists bring art to the residents of the Liberty Market Lofts

Artist Andrew Stelmack says bringing art to Toronto’s condo lobbies is a win for everyone

News Mar 28, 2016 by Hilary Caton Parkdale Villager

Condominium lobbies exist for three reasons: To get to your apartment, to leave your apartment building and to get your mail.

Lobbies essentially are thoroughfares most people rarely spend time in but at Liberty Market Lofts in Liberty Village, they’ve turned their lobby into a destination rather than a pit stop with a built-in art gallery.

“We live in a great city, it’s got lots of culture and art is a part of that and it’s a beautiful way to express and blend cultures,” said Allen Benjamin, the Liberty Market Lofts condo board president, who helps bring in artists for the lobby’s art gallery. “So why not bring that experience to where you spend most of your time – at home?”

“It’s one of the reasons why I actually bought into this building. It’s a key feature to have, it’s pretty unique.”

Positioned right in front of the building’s elevators are five walls covered in art from the Toronto-based collective The Abstructionists, the first of three exhibits to be featured in the Liberty Market Lofts. The group consists of four abstract artists who will have their work displayed until April 28.

So far the collective have shown their works in a handful of galleries including two other buildings in Liberty Village.

The collective consists of Emily Milla, Kael Racioppa, Robert Slivchak and Andrew Stelmack.

“I think it’s better than a lot of the galleries I’ve seen,” Stelmack said. “They’ve made a beautiful space, it's light, it brings in a lot of natural light, it’s airy and it’s built for artwork. When I saw it I was like, ‘Are you kidding me, this is great!’”

For Stelmack, having an art gallery in a condo lobby is great way to bring the art to the people. It’s also crucial, he said, for artists, since many galleries are closing due to high rent and condo developers buying the buildings they’re in.

“We’re losing the artist space, but we’re also losing the art because we have nowhere to show it. All the galleries downtown are closing. They’re hopping up to the Junction, but once the Junction gets trendy and they (galleries) can’t afford it, then where are they going to go?” Stelmack asked.

“So this developer has said, ‘We can do something for our building and also do something for what we’ve taken away.’ And it’s given us a place to show our art again.”

Each month new art will be added to the gallery to keep the content fresh. There’s also a meet-the-artist night on the first Tuesday of the month that’s open for residents and their guests to attend. The gallery is also open to anyone in the neighbourhood.

And the art could be set up beyond condo lobbies, Stelmack said.

“We can come for a day or for a weekend and have an event in the party room. We can set it up there, and we’d bring the art to you,” Stelmack said. “Why not make it easy for them (people) to see the art? Why not bring the art to these built-in audiences? It’s a great concept.”

It’s a model Stelmack said he believes should be adopted by established condos and soon-to-be built highrises in the city as a chance to keep the art community vibrant and alive in a city.

“The city needs these (art galleries) badly. We always go to these places that the artists have made hip and cool and interesting...And that’s awesome, but in the process of gentrifying it or 'making it better' (it) means they (the city) tear it (the gallery) down or rental prices go up and soon all the artists are gone,” Stelmack explained.

"...Where does someone go downtown to see art when the galleries are disappearing so fast?”

Artists, too, have to change, Stelmack said.

Artists will need to start thinking digital. Artists need to turn to social media including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, which are becoming the additional galleries of today’s 21st century artist.

“It used to be you needed to get into a gallery and the gallery sold your work. That was your exposure, that was the primary way. Now, if I am in a gallery, all they do is look at my name, Google it, go to my website and contact me,” Stelmack explained.

“More sales are happening through me. We’re lucky in some ways because artists are now empowered and have the control to sell their art.”

But art galleries in lobbies could also be the way of the future for art galleries in the city; at least Stelmack said he hopes so.

“If we can be smart enough to use all of this mundane, boring dead space that sits in almost every massive lobby in all of these condos around the city, with more to come, and turn it into an opportunity to show art, to express art and also use it as a place for the community to meet and bring people together, it’s absolutely a win-win-win,” Stelmack said.

The Abstructionists: And Art Exhibit runs until April 28 at 5 Hanna Ave in Liberty Village.

For more information, visit www.abstructionists.com