art shows toronto

The top 10 art shows in Toronto for summer 2016

The top art shows in Toronto this summer are like a great, big, choose your own adventure book, showing off artists' works, neighbourhoods and city spaces in ways you haven't thought about them before. Or maybe you have, in which case, you're way ahead of the curve, bravo.

Here are my picks for the top art shows in Toronto this summer.

Tape condition: Degraded (June 16 - September 18, CLGA)
VHS, queer porn and digital histories are explored in this immersive exhibit at the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives. Hidden behind a false wall that references the archive's attempts to protect the porn collection from police raids in the 1980s, there will be a working Digital Transfer station. There are also talks, events and parties all summer around the show.

Party Room III (June 16 - 30, Milk Glass Co.)
The always colourful, adorable and alien Milk Glass Co. on Dundas West celebrates surviving four years with a group show. Painters, photographers, and installation artists will fill the space, keeping a positive party vibe all month.

Love Letter to the Great Lakes (June 20 - 25, various locations)
17 murals will be painted on donated wall spaces at Ossington, Queen/Spadina and the Lower Don. Work from the artists will be on display on the same dates at Rally Ossington. There are tons of other events centred around the Love Letter project worth checking out.

The Super Trash Show (June 24 - 26, Super Wonder Gallery)
This short-run show (so hurry out and see it while you can!) is inspired by "low-brow trash culture." In the spirit of my favourite filthy human being John Waters, works take cues from bike gangs, bingo loving people, tattoo culture and bad pop culture. There will be a life-size trailer park built in the middle of the gallery.

Nuit Rose (June 25, various locations)
A one-night-only queer art extravaganza with a theme called Night Shift featuring a light parade, a Bruce LaBruce party, photography exhibits and more. Events go down along West Queen West and the Village, with the hours described as 7 p.m. - late. Check out their official website for more details.

Frans Erhard Walther: Call to Action (June 25 - September 5, Power Plant)
The first Canadian solo exhibit from the German artist is a collection of his works dating back to the 1950's that examine the relationship between "space, object and the human body." There will be many large objects in large rooms, leaving large spaces for you to think about everything.

The Idea of North: Paintings Lauren Harris, curated by Steve Martin (July 1 - September 18, AGO)
Lawren Harris was one of the founding members of The Group of Seven. This show was curated (a collection of her best landscape work from the 1920's to the 1930's) by comedian, actor, musician and author Steve Martin (who is a mega-fan and art collector).

Angell Gallery group show (July 9 - August 20, Angell Gallery)
This is the gallery's summer group exhibition, which is a kind of celebration of their classic, current and new artists' works. It's a great way to see what Angell is all about and check out some fresh, and exciting works. Check out their list of artists to get a preview.

Art Blast (July 16 - 31, various locations)
Taking place over three weekends in July, Art Blast is a free, self-guided city-wide open studio tour. Visit artist studios and more traditional galleries and discover art worlds you had no idea even existed. The best way to navigate this one is to head to the website, or the opening night bash at the ArtScape Whychwood Barns to get a preview and meet many of the artists.

Making Connections (July 15 - September 3, Urban Space Gallery)
Curated by Toronto's Park People collective, this exhibit runs until September 3 and shows off proposed strategies for creating a networks of parks and shared spaces that connect our streets, laneways, schoolyards and more.

Did I miss an important show? Make it number 11, 12 or 13 and post your thoughts in the comments!

Photo of the Franx Erhard Walther exhibit from the Power Plant Facebook page.

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