Nine stellar highlights from Toronto’s art scene in 2020

Van GoghThese are the best moments, shows and accomplishments in a tough year for the arts.

It’s been a rough nine months for the Toronto art world.

For the romantics among us who crave the rush of an art opening or the wonder of leaning in to get closer to an artwork, 2020 has been difficult.

Artists had their shows put on indefinite hiatus, major festivals like Contact Photography Festival and Nuit Blanche had to pivot online and funding for emerging artists vanished.

But in terms of accessibility, virtual gallery tours, art talks on Zoom and online archives made 2020 the year where art was at our fingertips.

Without the barriers of ticket pricing or location, anyone could tune into a free virtual drawing lesson hosted by AGO (NOW Reader’s Choice for Best Museum) or a virtual walk-through of the Power Plant’s current exhibitions with an audio guide from the artists themselves.

Not to get sentimental, but it’s uplifting to think about all the great things that happened in a year that felt like a dud in so many other ways.

In that spirit, here are our our picks for the best 2020 Toronto art moments, shows, accomplishments and announcements.

Immersive Van Gogh

Every year there’s one show that everyone flocks to. In 2019 it was the unveiling of the AGO’s permanent Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror room. This Immersive Van Gogh exhibit was a digital projection show that took the paintings of the Dutch impressionist master and turned them into psychedelic animations. It opened in May and ran until the current lockdown. They plan on reopening at the end of January, if permitted. During the summer months, it was the only major socially distanced art event in the city. Located in the former Toronto Star printing plant at 1 Yonge, the exhibition was a much-needed 35-minute escape from pandemic anxiety into a dark, air-conditioned room of swirling brushstrokes, sunflowers and starry nights.

Source: NOW Toronto by Kelsey Adams