If there's one thing I get excited for more than anything nowadays, it's planning a trip to Toronto, especially when it involves bringing along friends that haven't visited Toronto with me before. This past Sunday, the 22nd of January, we had it all planned out to head to Toronto to visit this special exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, followed by our traditional stop at our favorite board game cafe, Snakes and Lattes.
The Crystal Castle at Sea by Wenzel Habilk
From left to right, this is Morgan and Tory. We've been to Toronto before, but it's been a while since we've traveled here together, and I've never gone with them for one of these one-day excursions before. They were good sports about posing for a picture as soon as we got out of the car in the Eaton Center parking lot (though originally I took 3 pictures, and when Morgan took my phone, insisting on taking a picture of me, she deleted one of them because she hates having her picture taken XDD Suppose that's fair).
And of course my friend Blair was there, as he had been for every Toronto trip. And here's the picture of me that Morgan insisted on taking. You guys get a not-overly-decent shot of my new haircut, all tousled from the wind and from my car nap, but you can still let me know what you think of the short hair :P
As I was about to start crossing the street - just to give you an example of how much of a weirdo I am - I quickly lifted up my phone and actually shouted out the words"Tourist shot!" before I took this picture and then quickly scampered back over to my group XDD One thing I wanted to mention that I felt bad about is that after we made it into Toronto proper (greeted by rain, of course) we met up with my cousin, who is in his 1st year at Ryerson, and it was my first year hanging with him in what is now is home domain, and it's the first time my friends met him as well. I totally flaked at taking his picture :( But you can see him in this shot, to the right of my friend Tory, in the leather jacket with the short brown hair that's sticking up a bit. My bad, Rob!
The title of the exhibit that we went to see at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO for short) was called Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more. It was an incredibly exhibit, filled with all sorts of landscape paintings from a large range of time periods. Unfortunately for me, the exhibit only included two paintings by Van Gogh, the artist I was the most excited to see, but the exhibit still contained so many other pieces that made the trip worthwhile. Technically this was an exhibit where we weren't supposed to take any photographs, but I did sneak a few in, just three, and I'll show you those. The one above is the first, from the very beginning of the exhibit.
Also, I couldn't stop myself from grabbing a photo of this quote that was displayed on one of the walls, in the corner of the first gallery room of the exhibit. Something about it spoke to me, and I knew I needed to collect a photograph for posterity, so that's exactly what I did.
This was the riskiest photo that I chose to take, but I was so compelled by this painting that I just couldn't help myself. This is a work by Van Gogh that I had never seen before, titled The Olive Trees, and it was painted in 1889. Me and my friends were all given these cool audio devices before we entered the exhibit so we could listen to interesting details about certain paintings or collections, and what I was able to learn about this painting that really caused me to fall in love with it was that before Van Gogh painted this, he was going through a really hard time in his life and he decided to admit himself to an insane asylum. It was during the time that he was allowed to take in what was outside the walls of the asylum that he painted this landscape, and as someone who has struggled with their own mental health issues, I feel like I really connect to what Van Gogh must have been going through when he was creating this piece.
There were many other pieces throughout the exhibit that caught my attention that I'd like to show you, but since I couldn't take pictures of them, I'll show you pictures of them from the internet, with their titles and the name of the artist below each of them.
I apologize for the length of this post, there were just so many great paintings I wanted to share with you guys that I wanted to show you that I got to see in person. Anyway, there's even more I want to tell you about, because we haven't even gotten to Snakes and Lattes yet! So for now I'll be making this part 1, and soon you'll get to read about the riveting second half of our first Toronto trip of the year! Stay tuned, and I'll keep you posted!