Try a different perspective.
For my birthday this year, the Mister treated us to a trip toToronto to see the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibit at the AGO.
We started out dropping by the Ontario Science Centre. The place is huge! I am sure we barely scratched the surface in the three-plus hours we spent there, but we saw all kinds of neat stuff.
The Mister and I really dug the display of Rowland Emett’s fanciful contraptions. This British artist may be best known around here for making the inventions in the “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang” movie. Each piece in the scienc center’s collection is full of whimsical detail and animation. I wish I lived closer because I would love to spend more time taking in these crazy contraptions!
The kiddo tore into just about everything we saw. The staff here is so engaging and fun – one fellow took our boy around to each of Emett’s pieces to try to figure out what each one was intended to do. Another gal worked with him to learn how to operate the Diabolo. And we all enjoyed the incredibly explosive science magic show.
Travel tip: The icing in the cake for this stop was that we got in “free” with our Rochester Museum & Science Center membership. That is one membership that has really paid off. We have science museums within an easy drive in Buffalo, Syracuse, and Ithaca that all do the reciprocal thing, so we’ve gotten a lot of use out of our membership. We stayed at the Westin Harbour Castle where the Mister had stayed as a youngster with his parents. They had a deal where you could get two tickets to the Kahlo/Rivera show with your stay, so that worked out nicely. They also had a pool and a sauna where we all relaxed a bit on the off hours. And the especially personable Patrick, a waiter in the bar/restaurant, kept us all supplied with craft brews and those cute little ketchup bottles.
Good deal: We splurged on lunch at the CN Tower’s 360 restaurant. The kiddo had been itching to experience a revolving reataurant, so this seemed like a good oportunity. The Prix Fixe menu was $55 per person at lunch, but you also get access to a couple of tower attractions, and the food alone is worth the price. The menu includes plenty of interesting choices prepared with local ingredients and vegetarian options, too. There is a kid’s menu, which doesn’t include the three courses of the Prix Fixe, but did give our boy a hearty entrée.
The AGO was amazing, of course, and we definitely only scratched the surface here. The Kahlo/Diego show was far larger than I expected. It was almost hard to really take in everything. I was most surprised by a portrait of her friend Alicia Galant that Kahlo did in a Botticelli style – so different from the work I had seen previously and alive with a tangible mood.
The kiddo, being a bit shorter in stature, had a great vantage point for really checking out brush strokes so I kneeled down and observed a few paintings with him – nice to get another view ofthings. It’s always fascinating to see pieces in person after looking at them in art books for years. So many details are lost in translation.
We checked out some other exhibits at the AGO, but I think the most surprising focused on Canadian sculptor Evan Penny’s work. He makes incredibly life-like sculptures as well photographs of the portraits. Some of the sculptures he stretches one way or another, while others he manipulates to mimic color printing processes gone awry. It’s pretty much impossible to get the impact of his stuff from photos alone – looking at some of the pieces, I felt like I was hallucinating. Crazy stuff!
Special thanks to the Mister for taking most of the pictures in this post. And extra special thanks for the awesome birthday present!