mu•zeem.com is a new and original social network for young, emerging artists and art lovers in Toronto. And it just so happens to be co-founded by a little red friend of ours, Linda Chep. We've convinced her to write a new columnish thing for us called "Artist To Watch", which will start appearing soon. First, we figured we'd get her to tell us a bit about the new site and the awesome night that kicked things off:
mu•zeem breaks down the gallery walls to provide Toronto artists a chance at inspiration and exposure. It also allows art lovers the opportunity to support the local art community by purchasing an original piece of work. This is exactly what Toronto needs. Good-bye Ikea Audrey Hepburn prints that hang in everyone’s livingroom.
mu•zeem kicked off the social by featuring three kickass artists from the site: Ricky Kruger, Cass Duggan and Emmett Phan. A video profile of each of these artists was aired – telling the story of how they became artists and what their art is about. They were the brainchild of Sonia Hong, a young, award-winning Toronto Director. We stood there watching in awe with our crayon-doodled name tags dangling from our shirt pocket sans protector.
The place was packed within what seemed like minutes. Maybe it was just the free drinks, but we were graced with the lovely presence of local artists, art lovers and members from the site. At the back of the bar, there was a Paint Theater where a huge communal canvas hung on the wall. Everyone was encouraged to make their “mark” by contributing to the canvas. At times, there was a line up. It caught on like wildfire, not unlike the leg wave at the 1993 World Series.
The communal canvas blossomed into an eclectic and awesome piece that was raffled off to an art lover at the end of the night. “Torontonians love art – but often times don’t know how to find great original pieces,” as my Co-Founder, Andrew MacLean, puts it. “Mu•zeem is making it more accessible for everybody in Toronto.” Don’t get me wrong, the piece was great – but it pales in comparison to the artwork that is currently on the site. That was clear to the rest of those in attendance, too: each piece was projected on the walls and on the digital screens. The online store will launch within a month.
You can sign up at www.muzeem.com.
“Like” mu•zeem on Facebook
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Photos by Joan Ho and Kevin Maclean.
Videos by Sonia Hong.
Videos by Sonia Hong.
Regular installments of "Artist To Watch" will soon appear on The Little Red Umbrella in partnership with mu•zeem. Because they are awesome.