For its First Thursdays art party on March 5, 2015, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) has collaborated with OCAD U MFA Criticism and Curatorial Practice students to present Image Stories: Comix Otherwise, a fierce programme of artist projects, live music and pop-up talks, all inspired by the work of groundbreaking comics artist Art Spiegelman. This evening features a performance by Alexandra Mackenzie aka Petra Glynt, a guest artist from our Moon Room Group Exhibition (Oct-Nov 2014) and performer at our Goodnight Moon Room closing party.

Party-goers at this 19+ event will see the AGO transform into an after-hours artistic and cultural hub from 7 to 11:30 p.m. This special edition of AGO First Thursdays promises an exciting lineup of young and emerging talent, including a performance by Toronto’s own electro-pop lioness Lowell. Praised by the CBC for releasing one of the top 20 albums of 2014, her first album, We Loved Her Dearly, debuted in September to rave reviews on and off the dance floor. Lowell takes the stage in the AGO’s Walker Court at 10 p.m.

19+ Cash Bar

The March First Thursday lineup also includes:

Explore the work of Pulitzer Prize–winning New York artist Art Spiegelman in Art Spiegleman’s CO-MIX: A Retrospective, on view on the second floor of the AGO. Representing the breadth of Spiegelman’s career, the exhibition features 300 works on paper ranging from trading cards to magazine covers, including rarely seen works from Spiegelman’s teens and 20s and original drawings.

Join AGO curator of Canadian Art Andrew Hunter, curator and critic Dr. Matthew Ryan Smith and Toronto artist Nina Bunjevac for a trio of pop-up talks: Hunter will discuss Speigelman’s influences, while Dr. Smith will explore autobiography in art and literature and Bunjevac will speak about her installation Out of the Fatherland, currently on view.

Toronto artists Fiona Smyth and Alexandra Mackenzie (a.k.a Petra Glynt) will bring the AGO’s Fleck Gallery to life with a series of large-scale projections celebrating Toronto female artists.


In the Edmond G. Odette Family Gallery on the first floor illustrator Ness Lee surprises with a series of life-sized figures and scenes, entitled Head in the Hole, and En Masse, a live drawing collective with members from Toronto and Montreal, will gather to create art.

Brooklyn-based Canadian artist Jason McLean invites visitors to pull up a chair and explore Soapbox Pillow, an installation of more than 20 zines, culled from his own extensive collection. As part of the project, McLean invites visitors to submit a title for his new book.

Merging performance, comedy and improvisation, Derrick Guerin, Scott Leeming and Paul Tjepkema are Fake Injury Party, a three-man artist collective.

Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in three different art-making projects during First Thursday. Button-making stations will be set up in Galleria Italia, and on the fifth floor of the contemporary tower, visitors can take inspiration from Spiegelman’s Garbage Pail Kids trading cards and make their own. In the shadow of the Group of Seven, visitors are also invited to participate in illustrated story time, as they draw to the sounds of live storytellers.

DJ Donna Lovejoy will be spinning tunes in Galleria Italia and DJ Barbi will get the crowd going in Walker Court.

The evening will also feature an Out of the Vaults exhibition of rarely seen works from the AGO collection, as well as delicious food and drinks (cash bar; ID required).