Elizabeth Greisman: Last Year in Buenos Aires to This Year in Toronto

A year ago today, I was preparing for my departure to go fly off to the month-long BROTA Artist Residency in Buenos Aires, Argentina with my dear friend, Director Patricia Miani.

Thinking about the Residency, and anticipating travelling again as an artist, have stayed positive during this time.

Since March, during COVID-19, I have had a lot of time to relive these experiences and savour them.

It was a life-changing experience. I can’t stop thinking about all of the wonderful people that I met. The kindness of Patricia Miani and Patricia Gonzalez, Beatriz Ventura from the Canadian Embassy, Claudia Del Rio from Rosario, Argentina, Gachi Prieto of the PAC Residency, Buenos Aires Argentina, Guillermo Mena, Didier Rousseau – Navarre, France. I am looking forward to returning.

Here are some photos of December 2019 in Argentina to commemorate the transition from last year to this year.

This year, in December 2020, I took a trip southward to the Parkdale area in Toronto, Canada. I wanted to see the Gallery 1313 Parkdale Window Recovery project, which I was participating in – I found much more. A struggling, but vibrant community, autonomous and full of interesting individuals, independent stores, and artists. A world apart from anywhere else that I had visited during COVID-19. I find the forage and creativity inspirational.

 Here is my walk, starting from Queen Street West, Toronto.

1. Propeller Art Gallery

2. Curry’s Art Supplies

  • 1153 Queen St. W. and Abell St. ,Toronto

3. Gallery 1313

Shows that I have participated in:

  • a) Art Parkdale Fair International
  • b) Parkdale Window Recovery Project (show map, listing, press), painting in windows, Michael Mori, Tapestry Opera, and  Studio Model
  • c) Holiday Show (online) Dec. 9-20, 2020 @ Gallery 1313 Queen Street West Toronto at Brock St.

This banner was created as a tribute to the ongoing influence of my Dance Education in the late 1970s in London England, which shaped the trajectory of my passion for drawing and painting the performance artist in Dance, Music, or Theatre. At the time, I also was enrolled in the Visual Arts programme at York University and had taken some time off to attend this programme at Laban.
The school is called now the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, but at the time, was called the Laban Art of Movement Centre, and was housed at Goldsmith’s College, London. As well, I saw huge developments in Visual Arts at the College.
In 2002, I participated in a VA course entitled” Draw the Dancer” at Central St. Martin’s College in London,  which introduced me to drawing in the dance and musical performance studio.
This work is created with oil paint on mylar and is meant to be part of a series of free-hanging dance pieces used as a prototype for scenography, and could be used in Opera or Dance theatre.

Learn more Here!

4. Sam James coffee place

  • 6 Brock Avenue Toronto

5. Parkdale Activity

  • Recreation Centre PARC
  • 1499 Queen Street W Toronto, ON M6R 1A3
  • info@parc.on.ca

7. Tibetan Momos

  • SongTSen Cafe
  • 1504 Queen Street West, Toronto
  • 416 533 9778

Toronto Star Article: ‘This painting captures the isolation of COVID-19 — but it was created in the midst of a collective’

Music, conversation, weather, travels. They synthesize into our perception of the world, reminding us that we are part of a larger community, even when our world seems to have shrunk to the size of a window pane.

Before COVID-19, Toronto artist Elizabeth Greisman began a series of paintings she created in response to music. While painting a sketch for an opera, she says, she noticed the musical score “was beautifully rhythmic and I responded to the melody by making a dot for every beat.” It was a new way of painting; she used it again while doing a residency in Buenos Aires. It’s a technique that also influenced the painting “Rain,” above, part of a series of works created during COVID “that involve isolation or, in this case, a concentration on the image of rain on the window pane, with the viewer looking outside … Imagine sitting in a window seat, so close to the window that you can see the droplets on the pane.”

She was reminded, during the pandemic, of the importance of collaboration. She spent much of her time working out of her studio at the Wychwood Barns artists’ complex; although secluded in her studio, she was surrounded by the collective, sharing ideas, even with social distance. “We dreamed together of better days ahead, and this positive energy fuelled the day-to-day struggle with imagery, colour, continuity and the meaning of each image. It was the first time I had opened myself up to dialogue about the work I was creating at the Barns and it is so valuable.” New work, too, will change to incorporate new techniques and experiences. “My colours have changed. I want happier, brighter, more illuminating colours and images,” she said. Creation is, after all, organic.

When we create something, it contains multitudes — people we’ve met, ideas we’ve had, places we’ve seen, music and art we’ve experienced. We continue to grow — even when we’re home, grounded.

By Deborah Dundas, Books Editor at Toronto Star