Just Text Me Exhibition Review

“Just Text Me” is the current exhibition at Grab a Slice Gallery (inside Albany’s pizza), so not only can you see contemporary art, you can grab great pizza as well. The exhibition is curated by Alexis Venerus, an emerging curator on Toronto’s art scene. Through storytelling and collaboration, Alexis weaves together not only a cohesive show but one that balances the difficult affair between technology and textiles.

The show utilizes old textile techniques to make commentary on the ever-growing digital world. Highlighting the positivity an online community can have on one’s daily life and the endlessness of modern communication. Do you really text anyone bye anymore? Or is every message just a part of one massive conversation that you started years ago. 

Venerus’ curation of the show heightens your sense of touch. Every artwork urges you to touch it as you walk through the gallery. The work comforts you in their familiarity, inviting you into the conversation - asking you to think about the significant textiles in your daily life. 

When you look past the artwork and into the gallery space, you realize the feat that Venerus has accomplished at Grab A Slice Gallery. It would be easy to make artwork in a pizza shop feel outdated or cheesy (pun intended). However, through the thoughtful spacing, hanging and overall installation of the show - Venerus allows you to drift off with the work, erasing the sometimes chaotic retail atmosphere from the conversation.

It is a sensation that is hard to describe, so I recommend to go check out the show for yourself! The exhibition is open until November 25, 2019 at 222 Lansdowne Ave, and has amazing hours: 11am to 11pm most days. There are a total of five artists in the show: Ange Adair with Brother Jopa, Alesha Aquino, David Crinshaw, Jana Ghalayini, and Nora Wang. Their works highlight the great diversity within the textile community, and true mastery of their craft. 

“Just Text Me” is a must-see show for the everyday contemporary art lover. It is accessible, easy to digest, and adds commentary to a conversation that most of us are already part of. There is also a digital zine available to add more insight into the show, please contact Alexis Venerus to grab your own copy today! 

So go and check it out now! You only have a week left, and you definitely don’t want to miss it. Let me know what you think of the show, and fill out your own from (featured below) to join the conversation, just tag @alexus_projects when you post it to your own Instagram. My answers to the form will be featured tomorrow, November 17th, 2019 on the Alexus Projects Instagram as part of my artist takeover. So stay tuned to see how I join the conversation. 

- Sarah Zanchetta 

Top 3 Fabric Stores in Toronto

If you are a textile novice like me, Toronto’s fashion district can be a bit daunting. From Spadina Ave. to Ossington St., Queen St West is flooded with a variety of fabric stores. Rolls of fabric crowd the front of the shops, price tags nowhere to be seen. You climb through aisles of fabric which is piled high to the ceiling, and a million questions flood through your mind. How much is it? Do I just grab it myself from the bin or shelf? Is it purchased in feet or yards? So many questions - yet no real answers. Depending on the shops you go into the rules change at a whim. Some store attendants do not want to touch the fabric at all! Plus pricing can be a mystery until they cut it for you, which is a sign for you to run out that door. So from one novice to another, here are my 3 top fabric stores in Toronto. 

1. Affordable Textiles, 529-531 Queen St W, Toronto. 

This was the first fabric store that I made a large purchase in and the experience was amazing. The staff were patient, answered all my questions, and were knowledgeable about the materials at hand. Even though I was upfront about the large number of yards I needed, they did not upsell me. Instead, they assisted me in finding the perfect fabric for my project and budget. It is my go-to store now for every project. Plus they have an amazing clearance bin that I rifle through every visit.

2. Fabric Fabric, 530 Keele St #304, Toronto.

For a west end artist like me, Fabric Fabric stands out because it is so close to home. The store is located by the Stockyards mall and is hidden within a warehouse with limited signage out front. Now, this is not a store for the faint of heart. Upon entrance, you will be greeted with a vast chaotic space that is dimly lit. The fabrics are rolled and piled high out of reach, the aisles appear to go on forever and the in the back is mountains of poly-fil. You need to know what you are looking for when you plan to shop here. But if you can handle a bit of bargaining, chasing down some staff, and trying to locate where in the world velvet is stored - then you will love it. It is kinda like a Costco for fabric, you will get great deals if you put in the work. 

3. Leo’s Textiles, 473 Queen St W, Toronto.

This store is last on my list because of how expensive it is. The staff are great, the store is amazingly organized, and the fabric is stunning. However, Leo’s Textiles focuses on shiny, heavily ornate and detailed fabric. If you want a show stopper, you come here - but expect to pay the full price for it and more. I have only gone to Leo’s a few times when I was on an adventure for lace, and they do not disappoint. There is nowhere else in Toronto (that I have found) where there is such a large selection of different lace patterns, thickness, and colours. So even if Leo’s is out of your price point, I recommend just going in to look around - because when you need that special piece you will know where to get it!

So those are my top three fabric stores for 2019. I have only scratched the surface of the textile district in Toronto, so I want to know where is your go-to fabric stores? I am still finding my way through the hundreds of textile shops just in my neighbourhood. If your favourite was not on the list, let me know! 

- Sarah Zanchetta

Using Format