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AGO 1st Thursdays parties like it's 1329 with exhibition-inspired bash

Monthly event series returns with performances and art installations by Zeus, Nicole Collins, Jason Evans and Life of a Craphead

TORONTO – The Art Gallery of Ontario’s popular 1st Thursdays series returns on May 2, 2013, with a lineup inspired by the Gallery’s current exhibition Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art. Party-goers will enjoy throwback Renaissance-themed performances, art-making experiences, live music and curator talks. Advance tickets are $10 for members/$12 general public and are on sale now at The 19+ event runs from 7 to 11:30 p.m.

Blending killer licks and divine harmonies, musical headliner ZEUS takes the stage in Walker Court at 9:45 p.m. As a 2010 Polaris Prize nominee, the Toronto foursome has garnered international attention with albums Say Us (2010) and Busting Visions (2012), both released on beloved Canadian indie label Arts & Crafts.

Dance to Toronto-based Iris Fraser-Gudrunas’s DJ set in Walker Court featuring her ongoing project DJ Gallery. The project has Fraser-Gudrunas spinning tracks in outlandish costumes designed by different artists. Her getup for the May edition of 1st Thursdays features Renaissance-themed garb created by local artist Adrienne Kammerer. DJ Mama Knows takes to the decks in Galleria Italia.

Create a one-of-a-kind artwork at 1st Thursdays’ popular DIY art-making stations. Local artist Ortansa Moraru will lead a printmaking demo in the Margaret & Jim Fleck Gallery all night long. A paint-by-numbers station will be available in Galleria Italia encouraging party-goers to create their own Renaissance masterpieces.

Join Toronto artist Nicole Collins as she leads a drawing performance entitled “will it go round in circles?” in the Irina Moore Gallery. Joined by two co-performers, Collins aims to draw a perfect circle using her arms as a compass and silverpoint as a marker. The installation explores notions of perfection, the inevitability of failure and human persistence.

Experience Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art alongside local artists and the exhibition’s dynamic young curator, Sasha Suda. From 7:30 to 9 p.m., this series of three talks will illuminate rare artworks of the Early Renaissance with open discussions on Early-Florentine culture. An additional $10 admission applies to see the special exhibition.

For photography lovers, the AGO’s Sophie Hackett, curator of Light My Fire: Some Propositions about Portraits and Photography, will lead an informal tour of the exhibition with Thierry Gervais, head of research at the Ryerson Image Centre, at 7:30 p.m. Light my Fire is a featured exhibition in the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Find two artist-in-residence performances throughout gallery spaces all night long. Former AGO artist-in-residence duo Life of a Craphead marks the closing of a 50-year retrospective with a performance of “all of the performances they have ever performed." The AGO’s current photographer-in-residence and 2012 Grange Prize finalist Jason Evans will rove through the European and Canadian galleries with a portable DJ installation playing records from his personal collection for specially chosen works in the AGO collection, in a performance entitled Music for Looking.

May’s 1st Thursdays menu features porchetta sandwiches and arancini stations on the main level, as well a parmesan sandwich station in Galleria Italia. Bars serving mixed drinks, wine and beer will be dotted around the Gallery. Visitors looking for more than a taste can enjoy FRANK’s Florentine prix fixe dinner menu for $45. Call (416) 979-6688 for reservations.

Guests can purchase $22 ticket packages online for Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art and May’s 1st Thursdays. This ticket package must be purchased to attend the Renaissance-themed pop-up talks featured in this month’s programming. The exhibition will be open until 9:30 p.m., with the last entry at 9 p.m. AGO members enter the exhibition for free.

Tickets for May’s 1st Thursdays are on sale now. Regular-priced tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Admission for AGO members is $10 in advance and $13 at the door. Book tickets online by visiting

For up-to-date details about 1st Thursdays, visit and follow #AGO1st on Twitter and Instagram.

Zeus appears courtesy of Arts & Craft Records. In celebration of the label’s 10th anniversary, the band brings its high-energy rock 'n' roll to the Field Trip Music & Arts Festival on June 8, 2013, at Fort York.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is pleased to acknowledge the Joe Fresh® brand as the Sponsor of 1st Thursdays at the AGO.

Contemporary programming at the AGO is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners: American Express, Signature Partner of the Conservation Program; and Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.
March 16, 2013 – June 16, 2013: Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art

Aug. 17, 2013 – Oct. 27, 2013: Ai Weiwei: According to What?

Nov. 30, 2013 – March 2, 2014: The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.


For media inquiries about 1st Thursdays, please contact:
Laura Banks; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 504,
Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 403,


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