Report by Katia Ostapets
Last week, Toronto’s event spotlight landed on the Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Rental + Sales Gallery, located at 481 University Ave., where a small and exclusive group of guests gathered at the launch of the second annual Collector’s Series exhibition, curated by Jeanne Beker.
Most known for being the host of CTV’s FashionTelevision, Beker has also written five books, launched an exclusive clothing line titled Edit by Jeanne Beker, quenched our thirst for fashion by hosting regular fashion segments for CTV during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, and has been a regular a columnist for Metro and a contributing editor for The Toronto Star. She is one of the most iconic and influential women in the fashion industry, both in Canada and around the world, but what many people don’t know is that Beker is also an avid art collector.
The exhibition featured a glimpse into her private art collection, including her most treasured photographs, paintings and statues. It will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 16, 2011.
Beker’s personal art collection is a result of her love for contemporary art, fashion and photography. Showcasing pieces by David LaChapelle, Patrick O’Reilly, Paul Alexander, Andre Rau, Frederick Watson and Marion Perlet, the works often embody her philosophy of fashion as high art.
Held in the lobby of a business building, the reception included mingling opportunities for the artists, creative directors, stylists and fashionistas in attendance. They sipped wine, and swayed to the gentle music of Richard Underhill, a Juno Award-winning jazz artist, who played throughout the evening next to the 10-foot tall Christmas tree.
Caterers made sure guests were never without a delicious gourmet amuse bouche. A favourite of the evening was a miniature Russian pancake, topped with smoked salmon.
In the gallery space, attendees enjoyed the paintings, many of them depicting the hostess herself. Beker’s most recent book, Finding Myself in Fashion, was also available for sale.
Beker was gracious as always, chatting with everyone who attended, and posing for countless pictures with her adoring fans and peers.