Museums and art galleries are slowly opening back up to the public after long closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is such exciting news for Torontonians with an appreciation for the arts. November, being a slower month, is a great time to head indoors, warm up, and get your arts and culture fix! From textiles to multi-sensory experiences, we’ve put together a list of some of the most fun, educational, and unforgettable exhibits happening in Toronto right now.
Picasso: Painting the Blue Period (Art Gallery of Ontario, a.k.a. the AGO)
Now until January 16, 2022
Image: The Blue Room, Pablo Picasso, 1901 (AGO)
A groundbreaking celebration, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period is the first exhibition in Canada to focus on the early works of the modernist master Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973).
Focusing on the years 1901-1904, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period tells the story of how Picasso, in his late teens and early twenties, created his signature Blue Period style as he moved back and forth between Paris and Barcelona. The exhibition shows how a young Picasso borrowed and transformed the subject matter of his contemporaries and predecessors during these critical years. The exhibition also shows how Picasso’s responses to the social and political events around him resulted in mesmerizing works that to this day force audiences to grapple with uncomfortable issues such as poverty, labour unrest, gender inequality, and war.
Picasso: Painting the Blue Period features more than 100 objects from 15 countries, including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Picasso as well as works by artists he’s known to have studied before and during the Blue Period.
Immersive Nutcracker (1 Yonge Street)
November 20, 2021 until December 24, 2021
Image: The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle
From the producers of the critically-acclaimed Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit comes the ultimate holiday experience for the entire family – The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle!
For nearly 130 years, The Nutcracker has enchanted families around the world – from ballet productions to movies and more. Step inside as 1,296,674 frames of video bring the joy of the holidays to life around you – on a jaw-dropping scale!
Featuring scenes from the beloved ballet, the exhibit encompasses a 500,000 cubic-foot warehouse, with projections spanning across all five floors. Lights, sounds, and immersive digital art come together while you’re enchanted by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sweeping music, including iconic songs “The March of the Toys” and “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”
“The Nutcracker” is the first project of Storywall, and this is a world premiere.
GTA 21 (Museum of Contemporary Art, a.k.a. MOCA)
Now until January 9, 2022
Image: Untitled, 2021, Kareem Anthony-Ferreira (MOCA)
Greater Toronto Art 2021 (GTA21) brings together 21 of the most incredible artists and art collectives working in Toronto. The title, which plays on the name of the city’s broad metropolitan area, “addresses our ever-expanding notion of what Toronto might be, where it extends, and what practices and attitudes exist here.”
This large-scale exhibition takes place once every three years, as a pledge to Toronto artists and the commissioning of new projects. Each contributor was asked to consider the following question: “What feels most urgent to you today?” Together the artists’ responses offer different imaginations of the city, society, and the world. Seeing them as a collective conveys a profound belief in remembering, storytelling, questioning, resisting, celebrating, making, and speculating.
ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios (Textile Museum of Canada)
Now until January 29, 2022
Image: Kinngait Studios, Textile Museum of Canada
ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios presents the little-known story of a group of Inuit artists and printmakers who produced a collection of graphic textiles in Kinngait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut) in the 1950s and 1960s – a period of social change that disrupted traditional language and relationships to the land.
Made for interior décor during a period when artist-designed textiles were popular in North America and Europe, these mid-century designs depict legends, stories, and traditional ways of life. They provide vital points of connection between contemporary Inuit community members and the creativity and resourcefulness of previous generations.
Great Whales Up Close and Personal (Royal Ontario Museum, a.k.a. the ROM)
Now until March 20, 2022
Image: Sleeping Sperm Whales, Stephane Granzotto (ROM)
In 2017, the ROM shared the incredible journey of Blue, ROM’s beloved blue whale, in Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story. The original exhibition told the tragic story of nine blue whales that died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2014, and the opportunity it presented for research and conservation.
Showcasing the ROM’s commitment to Canada’s North Atlantic whales, the current exhibition Great Whales Up Close and Personal takes the story further and features Blue along with two new skeletons: the deep diving sperm whale and the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. With multi-sensory interactive and immersive experiences, Great Whales compares these three unique giants, including their size, diet, intelligence, and evolution, while bringing to attention the extensive ongoing research and conservation efforts being undertaken to save these mammals from extinction.