Come Up to My Room 2017
It feels like not that long ago that I was writing about my time at the 13th annual Come Up to My Room at The Gladstone Hotel. You can read my post about the 2016 event here. Come Up to My Room (CUTMR) is The Gladstone Hotel's annual 4-day alternative design exhibition. Each year CUTMR provides artists and designers the opportunity to take risks, to push their ideas, to evoke meaning not just function. I attended the 14th annual event on January 22, 2017. The 2017 event featured over 20 projects with over 65 participants. Once again, the second, third and fourth floors of the hotel (rooms and hallways) were turned into art installations.
This year, participants were challenged to consider the notion of Transplant. As described on the Facebook event page: Our relationship with the world and those around us, from local to global and our exchanges in-between have been affected by global issues, media, and digital social interaction. Ideas, knowledge, and culture expressed in the exchanges between individuals are constantly evolving; transferred from one place to another. The act of transplantation is a phenomenon to be explored. Everything converges and diverges to re-emerge as a collective entity, translated into experiences and things that we have yet to foresee. If so, are we going to be immersed in disruptive or disciplined environments? Through our dealings with the fast evolving environment surrounding us – designers and artists in a global context – we are left working to define our place in the chaos.
This year, in addition to the installations, some of the hotel's artist designed rooms were open for viewing. I overheard a lot of people making plans to book a certain room for their next Gladstone visit. There was also the Art Hut across the street that housed ‘Outside the Box’, a project created by the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. Art Hut is a six-month pop-up project that transforms a temporarily empty property across the street into an art gallery and incubator for up-and-coming Toronto artists. After the six months, the empty storefront property will become a condo sales centre, and eventually, a multi-story condominium will be erected. Until then, it will act as an extension of the Gladstone Hotel’s many experimental art-activated social spaces, facilitating new ideas, creative expression, collaboration, and new ways of experiencing art, culture, and community.
The 'Outside the Box" project was a collection of thoughtfully designed objects that fit into a standard Bankers box. Each box included original works from local designers, reflecting the particular resources and makers of each area. This year, ‘Outside the Box’ presented showcases from 6 Canadian and 6 U.S. cities: Asheville (North Carolina), Detroit, Edmonton, Halifax, Los Angeles, Medicine Hat (Alberta), Montreal, New York, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Some of my favourites from the event:
Did you attend Come up to My Room 2017? What were your favourites? The call for submissions for the 2018 show is already up. Looking forward to next year.
Story and photos by Glodeane Brown
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