My past several blog posts have been about the free art hike I went on conducted by Museum London here in London, Ontario. I took advantage of being there already to go and have a look around the museum as well. By the way, if you’re in the area, you need to check this place out. Not only is it a delight but admission is by donation. Unfortunately, I can’t share any of the treasures I found on the inside with you as they don’t allow photographs due to copyright issues but I thought you might enjoy the pictures I was able to take.
Museum London (known as the London Regional Art and Historical Museum prior to 2001) is located 421 Ridout Street North, right at the intersection of Dundas and Ridout Streets in downtown London. The museum is in a beautiful location overlooking the forks of the Thames River. The exterior of the museum, however, has been a source of controversy as some residents were not happy with its design, claiming that it resembles a subway station rather than an art museum. The building was designed by renowned Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama and constructed in 1980,
Museum London is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00 pm and Thursdays until 9:00 pm. Tour guides are available on Sundays from 2:00 to 3:00 pm for free tours.
On Sundays from 1:00 to 3:45 pm, the Museum holds a free drop-in program called Imagination Station. Adults and children are encouraged to visit the museum exhibitiions and then go to the Station to create some art together. Materials are provided and staff is on hand to introduce visitors to painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking and much more.
Besides being the home to many beautiful pieces of art and artifacts as well as temporary art exhibitions, the museum offers films, lectures, art classes, yoga in the galleries, sales and rentals of art pieces, and many other special events.
One of the sculptures on the front lawn of the museum.
I think this is supposed to be a sculpture too? Looks kind of like a bike rack to me.
“Sculpture Heaven” created by Stacey Spiegel in 1986. Spiegel is a Canadian artist, born in Hespeler, Ontario. Spiegel has an extensive background (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stacey_Spiegel) and his works have been exhibited around the world in public and private collections. Permanent collections are held in more than 20 museums and galleries including the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
“White Rhino” created by Tom Benner in 1986/87. Benner is a local London artist who has gained notoriety throughout Canada with his art in 15 permanent public collections (including the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Ontario Arts Council, and of course, Museum London) and many private collections.
Part of Call of the Wild by Tom Benner on display until July 3, 2011
Benner has a new exhibition on display at Museum London entitled Call of the Wild. His work often displays themes of nature and frequently, anger towards human recklessness and disregard for nature. Benner describes himself as a storyteller and another common theme in his work is respect for Native Canadian stories and traditions. At 1 pm on May 29th, Benner himself will be leading a walkthrough of his exhibition. For more information on Benner check out: http://www.tombenner.ca/CV.html To learn more about his newest exhibition at Museum London: http://www.lfpress.com/entertainment/2011/04/14/17997896.html To see some of this other works: http://www.tombenner.ca/OtherWorks.html
Swimming Upstream in the Comfort of: Homage to Yves Klein by Ian Johnston, on display in the Centre Gallery of Museum London until September 18, 2011
Ian Johnston is a Canadian architect turned artist from British Columbia. This piece is part of his series called Refuse Culture: Archaeology of Consumption and uses vinyl car bumpers and ultramarine blue paint to cover the 960 square foot wall. The blue paint is to represent the ocean while the bumpers are meant to symbolize salmon swimming upstream and the piece is meant to speak to a culture of consumerism and imbalance between the natural and material worlds.
To learn more about the current exhibitions and permanent collections on display at Museum London: