Sunday, January 27, 2013

Do Design - Trinity Bellwoods on Dundas

Do Design is an annual celebration of design on Dundas St. West where visitors are invited to explore the neighbourhood as a "gallery" by visiting participating venues, all within walking distance and showcasing works of contemporary designers in sometimes unusual venues.

Tonight was the Public Opening Reception night, with 9 venues hosting a series of receptions in the afternoon and early evening. The event website indicated that the receptions would take place between 3:00-8:00 pm but was a little sparse on the details, so I couldn't actually tell which venues were hosting a reception when. As I was heading down over to the Gladstone Hotel for their Come Up To My Room exhibition around 7:00 pm, I figured I might as well line up my times and start on with Do Design receptions around 5:30 pm. A practical plan, one would think but not quite as foolproof as I had thought.

The good: the event is charming and I definitely came across some interesting and unique pieces that I absolutely loved. This is a great way to discover the neighbourhood and I had enjoyed myself quite a bit. Because the geographic area is very small, you end up bumping into the same people and can make a few friends over the course of the night (which I did). I also managed to wander into a very strange situation that included the host (with the help of some bubbly) recounting a very personal dating story (and seeking advice) and treating myself and another visitor to a rather lovely rendition of "Moon River". The more I end up in potentially uncomfortable situations, the more I find that keeping an open mind and just going with it saves a lot of headaches and makes all the ridiculousness quite enjoyable. Overall, it's a nice variety of venues and some great new finds (sprinkled with some drinks, nibbles, and music).

The bad: Some of the venues were actually closed, which I did not expect on a Public Opening Reception night. Of the nine venues that were hosting receptions, three were closed (Sweet Woodruff Flower Shop, Odile Chocolat, and The Press Club) and 1 was a bar (that was quite empty - Archive). Of the remaining five, two were quite packed (MADE and Comrags), one was a gallery in the process of setting up an installation (Creatures Collective), and two were pretty quiet (Fute and Hide). So this was a pretty hit-or-miss kinds of night with varying success rates.

WHAT: Do Design Public Opening Reception (multiple venues)

WHERE: Dundas St. West between Markham St. and Bellwoods Ave.

WHEN: January 26 - 3:00-8:00 pm

COST: Free

INSIDER DETAILS: To catch all the participating venues, go early! They don't stay open past their regular business hours for this event.

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