A.G.O. Reopening Festivities Focus on Donors, Artists—and Public

By Erin Letson November 11, 2008, 9:58 AM EST

Frank Gehry designed the newly expanded Art Gallery of Ontario.

Photo: Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ontario

Several public and private events will take place this week to celebrate the anticipated—and prompt—reopening of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Transformed by Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry, the building will feature 110 galleries, as well as an event space and restaurant. (More details are here and here.)

On Wednesday night, the gallery will host a cocktail reception for donors who have contributed more than $500,000 to the $464 millon expansion. The guest list for the evening includes photographer Edward Burtynsky and MoMA director Glen Lowry. A decidedly less corporate gathering will take place Thursday as artists such as Frank Stella and Marion Goodman are honored with a cocktail reception followed by a party in Baillie Court.

The public will be able to get in on the opening-weekend excitement with free outdoor events scheduled for Friday through Sunday. Local artists will draw portraits of A.G.O. visitors, and a video booth will document the public's reaction to the expanded building. “We didn't plan a red carpet, glitzy V.I.P. event,” said A.G.O. communications manager Antonietta Mirabelli, adding that organizers wanted to focus on keeping the opening weekend as accessible as possible.

Next weekend will also see a grand-reopening installation called “All Together Now: Recent Toronto Art"—a nod to local artists. For the rest of 2008, the A.G.O. will focus on its permanent collection; special exhibits are coming to the gallery in January.

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