Home 2020-12-02T15:14:59+00:00


The John B. Aird Gallery (the ‘Aird’) is pleased to invite you to its annual Mistletoe Magic fundraiser which will take place on-line from December 1 – 8, 2020. This highly anticipated event brings together over 100 works of art from contemporary artists across the country. We are also excited to feature renowned contemporary visual artists, Julius Manapul and Natalie Wood, at this year’s fundraiser.

Mistletoe Magic 2020 is the second online edition of this popular event. For 32 years, this important event has raised much-needed funds for the Aird Gallery’s year-round programming, which includes 12 exhibitions per year, helped increase the gallery’s visibility, provided exhibition opportunities for the participating artists and organizations and supported the Aird in continuing to be free to all. In 2019, the Aird Gallery relocated to Artscape 906 Queen West from its original location in the Macdonald Block (at Bay Wellesley) and will be returning in 2024-25. Impacting its capacity to program at the same caliber.

The Gallery would like to acknowledge the sustained support it has received from exhibiting artists over the past 35 years.

Visit the Mistletoe Magic 2020 Fundraiser/eAuction

Julius Poncelet Manapul

Decolonizing Antiquities 

On view November 5, 2020, to January 29, 2021
Online public engagement events TBA

Julius Poncelet ManapulDecolonizing Antiquities, organized by John B. Aird Gallery director/curator Carla Garnet, features multi-media installation and collage works that arise from the artist’s lived experience as a gay, diasporic, Filipinx.

This solo show reflects Manapul’s desire to disrupt static and globalized notions of queerness in favor of an emergent subjectivity that is remade through aesthetics. His artistic practice focuses on the hybrid nature of Filipinx culture after colonialism and the colour-gaze of queer identities, using a taxonomy to excavate the experience of immigration and assimilation in the face of cultural erasure.

Manapul’s exhibition with the Aird engages with geographies of resistance while addressing the experience of displacement through themes of colonialism, sexual identity, diasporic bodies, global identity construction, and Western hegemony.

With Decolonizing Antiquities Julius turns his attention towards the re-interpretation of colonial antiquities and their impact on ritual experiences. The project juxtaposes three bodies of work: Balikbayan Bakla, After Jose Honorato Lozano; Cup of Rice; and a table setting the installation titled Kamayan na (which translates as To eat with our hands).

For instance, Manapul’s A Cup of Rice series excavates colonial history to reveal how objects perpetuate imperial power using suppression, bigotry, homophobia, and racism. This series, presented in a performative installation titled Balikbayan Tea Party, interrogates the European appropriation of ‘tea-drinking’

ceremonies from ancient Asian practices. Exploring the colonial symbolism of ‘high tea culture’ and how diasporic culture(s) in turn learn to whitewash themselves through such tea-drinking rituals, the work asks, “How much cream does one need to whiten their tea?”

Presented as a coherent collection, Manapul’s new bodies of work operate as a provisional site for change-making discussion and other potentialities.

The John B. Aird Gallery is an independent not-for-profit public art gallery in founded 1985. The gallery relocated to Artscape 906 Queen West in 2019 and will remain at this swing-space until renovations are completed at its original location in the Macdonald Block (at Bay Wellesley) in 2024-25.

The exhibition will be open to the public Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 2 to 5 pm by appointment. Please email director@airdgallery.org to make arrangements. Public engagement events TBA.

The Aird gratefully acknowledges Charles Street Video generous technical support of this exhibit.

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Curated by emerging curator Erin Storus and Juried by Niki Dracos, the principal director of General Hardware ContemporaryPainting 2020 is John B. Aird’s annual showcase of paintings by contemporary Canadian artists. For this exhibition, a painting is defined as a work of art made from paint applied to canvas, wood, paper, or other platforms. This broad definition is intended to open the exhibition to entries reflecting a wide variety of contemporary and modern painting techniques and practices.

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The John B. Aird Gallery is now open to the public by appointment only, in order to maintain COVID-19 protocols. To make an appointment email the director/curator, Carla Garnet (see email below).

We encourage everyone to stay informed about COVID-19 via Public Health Ontario and Ontario.ca and to respect the protocols in place to prevent the spread. We also encourage you to stay connected on our Facebook, and Instagram.

Your contribution to the Aird provides direct and tangible benefits to communities. Our activities, exhibitions and learning events publicly benefit communities as a whole rather than specific individuals or groups.

The gallery relocated to Artscape 906 Queen West in 2019 and will remain at this swing-space until renovations are completed at its original location in the Macdonald Block (at Bay Wellesley) in 2024-25. Your support is greatly appreciated during this exciting transition!