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BLOOM: Friendship grows in the Gardens of Toronto

This collection is comprised of the works of two artists – Christa Galligan and Ling Hu. Christa & Ling met more than 20 years ago as students of the Ontario College of Art & Design. Both artists were late bloomers in the art world, applying and receiving admission to OCAD much later than most.  

The two artists meet every week in the public gardens of the City of Toronto to nurture their artistic practice, as well as their friendship. This collection is curated from their weekly meetings spanning the last 10 years. Among their favourite meeting spots are Allan Gardens, Edwards Gardens and Rosetta McClain Gardens.  Not only have their years together blossomed a friendship, but have created this body of work that shares a common subject matter, yet their unique styles create a delightful contrast. .

Accompanying the artists work for this show are three 24″ x 36″ information boards sharing some history, the locations, and the accessibility of these City of Toronto parks where this collection was created.  It is important to the artists to share with the public these wonderful resources made available by the City of Toronto. 

The Collection

Below are a selection from each of the artists collections.  The pieces include water colour, mixed media and acrylic. If you are interested in this show please contact galligan@sympatico.ca for further details on full collection.

Works of Christa Galligan

Water colour and Mixed Media pieces are all 9 x 12″.  Acrylic pieces vary in size.

Works of Ling Hu

Water colour and Mixed Media pieces are all 9 x 12″.  Acrylic pieces not displayed.

Information Boards accompanying the collection

The Artists

CHRISTA GALLIGAN

I was born in Germany and immigrated to Canada at 11 years old.  I raised a family of five girls before endeavouring into the art world.  I started my art training at Centennial College, and transferred to the Ontario College of Art where I graduated in 1999.

For me, art is an escape.  It is where I go to lose myself in the surroundings, and experience joy.  I love being in nature, so painting outdoors brings me great pleasure. 

My garden works are mixed media and act as a chance to refine my technique with the rich colours of the plants and trees.

LING HU

I’ve enjoy drawing and painting since my childhood. I did not have any formal art training until  I was middle aged. I enrolled at OCAD in 1994 and graduated in 1998. Most of my works are watercolor, although I also enjoy working in acrylic.  My favourite subject is natural plants and landscapes.

I don’t use art to pursue any social/political statements nor express my inner feelings. To me, drawing and painting is purely for enjoyment. 

It brings me a lot of joyful and peaceful moments which enrich my life.

The Gardens that inspired this collection

The three gardens are all publicly funded, and have been the weekly meeting places to create this collection of works.  All spaces are open to the public year round, and are sponsored by the City of Toronto.  

EDWARDS GARDENS
A former Estate garden featuring perennials and roses on the uplands and wildflowers, rhododendrons and an extensive rockery in the valley. Among the gardens and brilliant floral displays, there are also rock gardens, a greenhouse, wooden arch bridges, fountains, and many walking trails. 

ALLAN GARDENS Located in downtown Toronto this garden is open to the public 365 days a year. Rare tropical plants from all over the globe are nurtured inside five greenhouses covering 16,000 square feet. The Conservatory dates back to 1858 when local politician George Allan offered the Toronto Horticultural Society a five-acre parcel of land to develop a garden.  

ROSETTA McCLAIN GARDENS
The fully-accessible garden park features special braille signage, raised planters, rose gardens and a rock fountain surrounded by a pergola. It is a haven for flower connoisseurs, bird and butterfly watchers. The park has spectacular views of Lake Ontario from the top of Scarborough Bluffs.