There is poetry in us. All of us. It waits, gently biding its time, woven deep throughout the lengthening tapestry of our days, fuelled by our subtle senses that guide us along our human struggle. Then, a connection is made; there is a realization, an understanding, and up it comes in a moment. The format; size and shape is boundless, big as human thought. Over the last few years, I've found this source in Charlotte Hale's Gallery in Mirvish Village in Toronto. The gallery closed November 1st, a casualty of the coming Mirvish Village Development. In this ending I pause, and consider the shape of what was.
Charlotte Hale's Gallery (Charlotte Hale & Associates), 588 Markham Street, opened in December of 2013. Charlotte welcomed both world renowned, and new, emerging artists to come and hang their work on her gallery walls. She was focused and stubborn in her belief that good art was important and that there had to be a way to get this message across. There had to be a way, even in these difficult times, to gently rouse the general public to the sensuality of art; its ability to access the human heart and soul if allowed; to rouse the public to art's emotional power; a catalyst for drawing out something remarkable inside the viewer as they take part in the process simply by looking. She wasn't selling widgets. Charlotte was, in a way, trying to match people up with a different paradigm through sculpture, photography, and painting. An Herculean task. It was difficult.
But magic did happened as people came, both visitors, and regulars from the neighbourhood, and found themselves forming solid bonds with each other. For me, it was the conversations around the art that opened me up. It was the delight in meeting a new face that turned into a good friend. It was the joy in seeing the joy in another as we ran into each other. It was having the chance to interview so many in the Village for Gerald Pisarzowski's, The Mirvish Village People, and through that, to realize just how special the entire neighbourhood was.
I don't think I took it for granted. Charlotte and I often spoke about how wonderful Mirvish Village was, powered as it was by the artists and business owners: some eccentric, many charming, all unique. I felt, for the time that I was involved with the gallery, that I belonged. I felt I had earned my place there on my own merits,
... and, baby, it had been a long time since I had felt that.
I am sad that Charlotte's gallery is closed. I am sad that Mirvish Village, a thriving, vibrant artistic neighbourhood is being dumped for another tedious condo. But if this is the way things must go, I am, at least, tremendously grateful to have been a part of it. I have Charlotte, and a cadre of the loveliest people as my dear friends. They have all added their poetry to my tapestry, and it is lovely.
In this pause, I think I am lucky, indeed.