Building on a tradition of fostering artistic creation, this year’s edition of the Gladstone Hotel’s art and design show, Come Up to My Room, will be the longest yet. For 10 days, visitors will enjoy artwork of every kind displayed and performed throughout the charming 125-year-old building.
“The Gladstone is one of the longest-standing hotels in Toronto. There used to be a station here, which would be the last stop before Hamilton, so a lot of artists and burlesque dancers would come and stay,” exhibitions coordinator Lukus Toane says. “The Gladstone’s always been a kind of creative hub, and I think Come Up to My Room fits in with that history really well. In terms of it being a queer space, I think we really want to get the picture into people’s heads that it’s a safe place for risk taking,” he says.
Some of the must-see components of this year’s show are Design Pirates, a late-night, talk-show-style event hosted by Zahra Ebrahim and Fluffy Soufflé; Heretical Objects Cooperative’s evening of music and art; and multimedia artist Alexandra Mackenzie’s Love Design Party, a combination closing party and art installation that seeks to express Mackenzie’s concerns about the environment and indigenous rights.
This year’s installations include Lizz Aston’s Fibre Optic/Radiant Light, which “reflects transient patterns of lights, colour and shadow in her immersive installation.” Lindsay Montgomery’s Third Eye Experimental Figure Theater brings together installation, puppetry and performance, while Menalon and The New Beat collaborate on“a stunning and interactive laser harp where viewers become musicians with the simple stringing of a chord.”