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Galleries

Twist Gallery

Posted by Leanne Milech / Posted on April 17, 2010

Twist Gallery TorontoTwist Gallery is now officially open after finishing up some recent renovations. Taking over the space formerly occupied by SPIN Gallery, just above the Social, new owner, Nadia Kakridonis, has made a point of trying to capitalize on her predecessor's good name on the gallery scene.

A graphic designer and graduate of Humber's advertising and graphic design programs, Nadia has always been drawn to visual art. When she was making the leap from graphic design to gallery owner, she couldn't resist Spin's huge, beautiful, wide open gallery space.

She's updated the place a tiny bit, aiming to maximize hanging space by adding a wall at the back of the gallery and increasing the drywall so it runs from floor to ceiling, while still maintaining the rustic, unfinished look established by Spin.

Twist Gallery TorontoTwist's mission is to become a neighbourhood spot that's less intimidating and more welcoming than some other galleries might be. To that end, she has future plans to create a café at the front of the gallery, overlooking West Queen West. Her goal is to get to know patrons on a first name basis, greeting them when they enter, inviting them to get comfortable, grab a coffee and browse through art in a homey atmosphere open to all.

This mandate is reflected in Nadia's plans for finding future works to display at Twist. Rather than limiting the work she shows to fitting a certain theme or style, Twist's doors will remain open to both emerging and established artists who work in a variety of mediums, from sculpture to painting to photography.

Twist Gallery TorontoAs a former graphic designer, she knows how difficult it can be for artists just starting out, so Nadia plans on sourcing work from both the known and unknown - and she is committed to providing feedback to anyone who contacts her with their portfolio.

Such an approach is exciting because it means anything can happen on Twist's walls, and the future of the gallery is anyone's guess, but it could also backfire, leaving the gallery with a hodge-podge of unsophisticated works.

Twist Gallery TorontoI attended the opening of two concurrent shows, Synergy by Laura Lofaro, and Passages by Carmelina Salerni. The artists are sisters that Nadia has known through a mutual friend for a few years, so it was only natural for Nadia to hang their work, once she checked it all out and enjoyed it.

Laura LofaroSynergy is billed as manipulated photography that visually interprets "energies released from within" and Passages features a series of chalk pastel drawings on stonehedge paper that tell "the story of a soul's journey from earth to eternity" - both of which sounded promising to me as a New Age-oriented, spiritually open arts lover.

Twist Gallery TorontoWhile both shows make a valiant effort to stay true to their descriptions, they fell a little bit short for me; I kept wishing for another layer to what I was seeing displayed on the walls. It might be my own short-sightedness, but I yearned for just a little bit more depth to work that showed a lot of promise, but left me feeling like it was one-dimensional.

Twist itself shows a lot of promise: it's a perfect art gallery space, and it has a warm vibe. As a social events and arts venue (indie power duo Crystal Castles just played a show there at the beginning of April, and The Trews shot a music video in the space the very next day), Twist provides a sunny yet still slightly rough-around the edges backdrop for all things art.

Right now, however, the gallery still needs to find its way, especially in terms of curation. But the good news is there's still lots of time for Twist to find its groove. Be sure to check it out and watch it come into its own along the way.

Twist Gallery Toronto

Discussion

8 Comments

Steve / April 18, 2010 at 01:14 pm
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Nice story... but again, why do I have to click through TWO pages to get to the story?

This approach is an embarrassingly obvious method to artificially inflate your page view stats.

Do you have any idea how frustrating it is? And do you care?

Ian / April 18, 2010 at 01:41 pm
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She should get the 2010 Award For Least Creative Naming.
James / April 18, 2010 at 03:42 pm
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I live in the neighborhood. I'm a gallery-goer myself. I found the name (Twist) suited the place quite well. I've actually passed by a few times. Beautiful gallery. Much more welcoming than others. It's refreshing to know a place like this is just a walk away.
Tim replying to a comment from Steve / April 18, 2010 at 07:10 pm
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We're not purposely trying to make you click more. Here's the reason why two clicks is necessary:

1. On the homepage the excerpted/condensed text strips out the hyperlinks so that you need to click on the title of the post or "more" in order to read the full post.

2. Since the post you clicked on was just the "announcement" post you then need to click to read the full review/profile.

So why did we design it this way?

The first issue is a shortcoming with our new design that we didn't anticipate. We plan on addressing this soon.

The second issue is a shortcoming of our content management system in that we need to "announce" our reviews/profiles in order to properly index and categorize them.

In an nutshell, I understand it's not ideal but we're not doing this in order to garner extra clicks or page views. We'd like to think we're smart enough to know that any attempt at page view manipulation of this nature pisses people off and will ultimately lead to less overall web traffic. So you'll need to take my word that this isn't our intention.

One trick though - on the homepage, just below the latest five posts, you'll see a section called "Latest Reviews". Just click on these instead and this will take you directly to the full review.
jennifer / April 19, 2010 at 02:54 pm
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I just discovered that if I make a right click on the "find out more" hyperlink on the main page post and open the link in a new tab, it goes right to the article! Time saver!
Anna / April 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm
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I had visited Twist with a friend recently and really liked how laid back it was. While I like to look at art, and appreciate all things creative, I find art pretty intimidating. Especially at galleries that only cater to the art community. Even going to the AGO stresses me out because I am worried about interpreting things the wrong way.
Anyway, the people that were working at the gallery were really friendly, and I didnt feel feeble-minded. I could tell there are still some kinks being ironed out, but I would definetly like to go back and see how things progress. The lady who I am assuming owns the space mentioned a cafe opening soon, which I would really love.

I'm with James, I like the name as it fits with the space, and how its a combination of things as opposed to a stuffy gallery where people like me are not welcome.
Blazenka Andrade / July 29, 2010 at 10:42 am
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Love the concept,will check it out with a friend! I am a self taught artist. I do acrylic abstract paintings and would love to have my work hanging in your gallery. I think we would be a perfect fit!
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