Toronto’s Roncesvalles area is home to some of the city’s most exciting and inspiring galleries and shops. There is a creative, artisan spirit to businesses like Blacksmith Cycle and restaurants like Branca which gives the neighbourhood its idiosycratic cool.

Two great exhibitions currently on view on Morrow Avenue should make for a nice afternoon stroll. Come on, the weather’s not so bad!

Olga Korper Gallery is showing stunning new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Susanna Heller. Described as abstract streetscapes of walks taken through New York City, these canvases positively hum with energy. Incorporating the sights and sounds of Manhattan and the outer boroughs, Heller’s works interpret visual elements—such as river barges and scaffolding—as well as abstract ones, like weather and music. As a former New Yorker, this was definitely one of the most energizing shows I’ve seen in some time.

Heller 2

 A 2018 Susanna Heller painting; many of the works in the show incorporate multimedia, including paper and textiles.

Just across the courtyard, Christopher Cutts Gallery is presenting Ed Zelenak‘s latest exhibition, titled Distant Realms. There is a naïve quality to the celestial wall works in Zelenak’s show, one that belies the universal ideas considered therein. Using the circle as a jumping-off point to explore ideas of eternity, “completeness” and connectivity, Zelenak’s sculptures, hand-formed from copper, gouache, acrylic sheets and wooden panels, are at once complex and calming.

Zelenak

 Ed Zelenak’s Musings on the In Between: Study 19, tin on hand-formed from copper, gouache on acrylic sheet, mounted to wooden panel

Zelenak2

 A gallery view of the Distant Realms exhibition