Choosing museums and galleries to visit

Naturally one wouldn't drive all the way across the border and stay two weeks in another country and fail to visit a gallery or two. Or museum. So I've given some thought to what kind of place(s) I want to see while here. I have to admit I was pretty confident the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art would have reopened by now. It has been closed for renovations for some months. Not living "in the neighborhood" I didn't hear via word-of-mouth that it had reopened. Just kinda' hoped it would have. Not so. Enter a troublesome little tidbit about my trip. My hope had been something I'd rather counted on. I'll have to wait until next spring to make the opportunity to see it.

Now Toronto has no lack of other museums I could visit. No question. It's a culturally and artistically expansive, perhaps even complex, city with something to do on every corner...and in between. But the thing is, I don't just want to go to a museum just to go to a museum, see. I mean, what would be the meaning in that?

Lately, the draw to take my little jewelry designs to another level has offered me a frequent draw. If I'm to explore this, I'll be exploring the areas of traditional jewelry design, the Precious Metal Clay and Art Clay that so intrigues me, and others. As a writing student, we were taught that only when you understand the rules of the craft can you effectively allow your voice, your personal quirks as a writer, to emerge to its fullest. Then, so, I'm thinking the same rules apply in art. If I want to think of myself as an artisan jeweler, I need to be able to do more than make cool pendants of clay, curl and hammer some wire, and string interesting beads together in a compelling manner.

Yea, you think I've gotten off track. Not really. See, a part of my exploration takes me often to the Internet. What a great way to see what other artisan jewelers are doing. Designs around me are inspiring and lead me to try new things in my own way. Why, then, wouldn't I find "real-live" jewelry designs while I'm here in this magnificent city?

It's tricky, I have to admit. The more traditional mediums are everywhere: paintings, photography, sculpture. That's appealing to me, no doubt, but I'm looking for some great examples of fine art in the tiny, jewelry pieces that so draw me.

I've found at least one place I'm going to visit today. Or I'm hoping to. I'll tell you where it is, later on, once I've been there and if I like it. No need to tell you who it is, go there, find it's not to my liking after all, then bash them online. Not that my opinion carries that much weight. And not that I shouldn't offer a dissenting opinion about a place I've discovered. But my tastes are merely that. There are reasons to share a negative perspective of a business, certainly, but today doesn't provide me with any.

So I'll let you know how it goes. The rain is gone, although the skies are still a bit overcast. And the wind. Oh, baby, it sure does seem to have returned in abundance. Or maybe that's just how it seems up here on the fourth floor. We'll find out soon enough!