Event review: First Thursdays

In the John & Elizabeth Tory Gallery, Laura Simon and Miles Stemp, members of the artist collective VSVSVS. (Bryan Sparrow/Ryersonian staff)

In the John & Elizabeth Tory Gallery, Laura Simon and Miles Stemp, members of the artist collective VSVSVS.
(Bryan Sparrow/Ryersonian staff)

First Thursdays happens on the first Thursday of each month, transforming the Art Gallery of Ontario into a nightspot.

Combining artist talks with live music, crafts, drinks and appetizers, this event attracts university students, Iris Apfel doppelgangers and everyone in between.

“It’s given a lot of my friends who make art or play in bands a chance to reach a bigger audience,” says Alicia Owen, 23-year old Ontario College of Art and Design student and First Thursdays attendee. “It’s a good indicator you’re doing something unique in the city if you’re approached for First Thursdays.”

In the February instalment, the seven-member artist collective called VSVSVS (pronounced versus versus versus) discussed the importance of collaboration. They also showcased their interactive art installation called device of destruction for How Hard is Your Art? – which allowed guests to create a sculpture then smash it between wheeled cinder blocks rolling down a ramp.

Throughout the night, Sarah Febbraro hosted her talk show performance piece, Let’s Figure This Out Fast So We Can Just Be Together! Inviting audience members into her hot seat, Febbraro took the place of sites like OkCupid and PlentyofFish, probing their love and sex lives through a questionnaire in hopes of matching people up for future hang outs (or hook ups) at the AGO.

Downstairs, DJ duo Tape Deck Bros spun club favourites by Drake and A$AP Rocky with DJ Kiki Leaks. After several other musical guests, the night concluded with electro-pop sounds from Toronto-based band, Pick a Piper.

Whether you’re looking to discover local creative talent, or grab a drink and dance to rap music with someone old enough to be your grandmother, First Thursdays at the AGO is an event not to be missed.

Next month’s event, on March 6, will feature the art gallery’s new exhibit, Elevated: Contemporary Art in the AGO Tower.

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