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12 Trees 2015

7 years ago

Gardiner Museum Reinvents the Contemporary Christmas Tree

Curator Dee Dee Eustace brings fresh vitality to 12 Trees exhibition on display from
November 12, 2015 to January 3, 2016

Toronto, ON October 20, 2015—The Gardiner Museum’s 12 Trees of Christmas exhibition presented by Cumberland Private Wealth Management—a Toronto holiday tradition now in its twenty-seventh year—has been boldly reinvented by this year’s exhibition curator, architect and designer, Dee Dee Eustace.

Contemporary artists, designers, and cultural institutions were invited to submit proposals that reinterpreted the Christmas tree, taking the theme of The Joy of Creativity as their inspiration. The twelve designs that were selected include a Christmas tree formed by the negative space between two giant lightning bolts; a modern interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, combining photography, geometric sculpture, and mechanics; and an installation made from recycled air conditioner coils embossed with Christmas trees.

The originality of the designs reflects the diversity of the designers themselves, who range from abstract painter and “king of pop-ups” Michael Adamson to Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew; and from Gladstone Hotel artist-in-residence Bruno Billio to celebrity fashion photographer Trevor Godinho.

“This year’s reimagined 12 Trees exhibition infuses the Gardiner Museum’s much-loved holiday tradition with fresh vitality,” says Eustace. “The ingenuity and audaciousness of the designs signals a new direction for 12 Trees that puts art and design at the forefront.”

In addition to the twelve artist installations, the Gardiner is erecting a 40-foot tree on the Museum’s front plaza designed by Dee Dee Eustace of Taylor Hannah Architect Inc., in partnership with Forests Ontario and Ontario Wood. Drawing from her background as an architect, Eustace has based her design on the form of an ionic column. Visitors will be invited to decorate the lower portion of the tree by purchasing hand-made ceramic ornaments made by potter Ian Symons on which they can write a wish before placing the ornament on the tree. Funds raised will support clay workshops at the Museum for children and at-risk youth.

“Dee Dee’s vision for 12 Trees reflects the spirit of the season while at the same time offering a contemporary, art-focused holiday experience that’s unique in the city,” says Kelvin Browne, Executive Director and CEO of the Gardiner Museum. “It’s a fitting embodiment both of the Museum’s rich history and its new direction.”

Media are invited to attend the exhibition’s opening reception on Thursday, November 12 from 5 to 8 pm. Curator Dee Dee Eustace will take media on a tour at 5 pm. To attend, RSVP to Rachel Weiner, Communications and Volunteer Coordinator at 416.408.5062 or rachelw@gardinermuseum.com.

The 12 Trees of Christmas will be celebrated at the Museum’s signature gala fundraiser—The G Party—on December 1, 2015. Guests will enjoy inventive cuisine, live performances, and other surprises embodying the spirit of creativity. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Gardiner Museum’s education programs and community outreach. For tickets, visit gardinermuseum.com/gparty.

For more information about the 12 Trees exhibition, visit gardiner12trees.com.

Michael Adamson, Bruno Billio, Justin Broadbent, Sophie DeFrancesca, Trevor Godinho, Hermès, Hunter Lewis Lake, Jenn E. Norton, The Stratford Festival, Susanne Shaw for Holt Renfrew, The Ukrainian Museum of Canada Ontario Branch, and Jane Waterous.

Dee Dee Eustace is an architect and interior designer practicing both in Canada and the United States. She graduated with honours from the University of Toronto, School of Architecture, and is a member of the Ontario Association of Architects and the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada. Her work can be seen in cities across North America including Toronto, New York, and Miami.

Dee Dee has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Steven and Chris, The Global Morning Show, The Marilyn Dennis Show, Game of Homes, and The Real Designer Women. She was also the host of HGTV’s Love by Design. Dee Dee’s writing credits include regular columns for the National Post and The Globe and Mail, and her work has been published in Style at Home, Beautiful Kitchens, Better Homes and Gardens, Canadian Design and Architecture, and Canadian House and Home.

Located in the heart of Toronto at 111 Queen’s Park Crescent, the Gardiner Museum is Canada’s only ceramics museum, and one of the world’s great specialty museums. The Gardiner is committed to making a contribution to the medium of ceramics, as well as the community it serves, and is an inviting destination that inspires and connects people, art and ideas through clay. The Gardiner’s permanent collection comprises several extraordinary collections from sophisticated, dedicated collectors, making it one of the most significant centres of ceramics in North America. The breadth of the Museum’s holdings include pottery from the Ancient Americas, rare examples of Meissen, Du Paquier and Chelsea porcelain, Chinese blue and white porcelain, Japanese and Japanese-inspired porcelain, to contemporary ceramics—including an exceptional donation from contemporary ceramics collector, Raphael Yu. For more information, details on exhibitions, events, workshops, clay classes, and more, please visit: www.gardinermuseum.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Rachel Weiner
Communications and Volunteer Coordinator
Gardiner Museum


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