Welcome to Our Online Exhibition

This online exhibition showcases the exceptional butterfly drawings and sculptures of dancers by award winning artists, Grazyna Tonkiel and Gordon Becker. Grazyna has been celebrating butterflies, or the “mystic creatures” as she refers to them, by creating vibrant art pencil and gold leaf drawings for more than two decades. Award winning sculptor Gordon Becker’s life in art began in earnest when at the age of 11 he was captivated by a film of an Inuit carver creating an image full of magic and power from a raw lump of stone. He decided right then to become a carver.

Both butterflies and dancers may seem delicate but their endurance skills are incredible and they find the strength to go beyond what might be expected. The exquisite artwork in flight² is the perfect example of artists testing their own limits of expression and striving for what seems impossible.  It is my hope that this exhibition will inspire you during these challenging times and make you aware of the beauty and joy all around us in both Nature and in our own abilities to go beyond the expected. – Clare Bolton, Curator

We invite you to enjoy our 360 virtual tour and accompanying Art Bytes activities and videos that are perfect for the whole family. Don’t forget to try our Butterfly quiz and our fun for all craft. Join us for fascinating conversations with the artists and a Behind the Scenes look at the process of installing the exhibit in the gorgeous gallery space on the 2nd floor of Aurora Town Hall.

Enjoy the gallery experience from the comfort of your own home.

Virtual Gallery 
Explore the exhibition in the gallery space at the Aurora Town Hall. View the exhibition complete with installation design choices and artworks as they speak to each other.

To use the Virtual Gallery:

  • Click or tap to explore and/or drag to look around
  • Click on the expand icon in the bottom right corner to switch to full screen viewing
  • Click the ESC key on your keyboard to exit full screen viewing
  • Click on the orange dots in “The Gallery” map to be sent directly to that artwork
  • Click on the square icon at the top right corner to close “The Gallery” map
  • For the best viewing experience, we recommend using a desktop computer and Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browser
  • Please visit the Photo Gallery to experience the full impact of the original artwork

Photo Gallery 
For a close-up, more detailed view of each individual art piece, as it was curated in the gallery space, we encourage you to view the photo gallery.

  • Click the thumbnail image to enlarge the image and to see the label information
  • Use the arrows on either side of the enlarged image to scroll through the gallery
  • To view as a slideshow, click the play button in the top right hand corner
  • For the best viewing experience, we recommend using a desktop computer and Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers
Full List of Available Artwork for Purchase

Art Bytes

Enhance your gallery experience with these activities and videos! We invite you to join us for an insider look into the creative process. Art Bytes is an online series that includes conversations with the exhibiting artists, behind-the-scene videos and family friendly art demos. Visit our Art Bytes page for current videos and activities.

Art Bytes

Artist’s Statement

Grazyna Tonkiel

Nature is my Master
On any day, in any weather condition, in every season, Nature can enchant you delivering a work of art, a demonstration of perfection.
To capture the essence of beauty, of something so fragile and at the same time immortal like the Butterfly, is my lifelong quest.
My Portraits of Butterflies are a blend of nature and art through my action.
I try to be their voice in figurative expression and also literally deliver presentations about their existence.
They have been on this planet for millions of years, however, due to the destruction of their habitat – will they remain to enchant the next generations of humans?
That is the question.

Currently living and working in King City, Ontario
905-833-6001
www.gtonkiel.com

Gordon Becker

Gordon Becker’s life-size sculptures in wood capture the effort, brevity, pain and exhilaration that is the spirit of dance; the most poignant expression of the dream of flying; of becoming the arrow of our longing. Dancers reach with their bodies and hands into a moment of flight and transformation.

Currently living and working in Toronto, Ontario
416-524-6143
www.gordonbecker.ca

About the Artists

Grazyna Tonkiel

Music and visual arts have shaped and dominated her life. She received her Master of Art degree in her native Poland. She was a soloist at the Polish National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Warsaw, won many operatic competitions including The International Operatic Competition Francisco J. Viñas in Barcelona Spain. Shortly after arriving in Canada, she won competition to join the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio.

Music was not the only way she tried to express herself, throughout the course of her Masters, she extensively studied the History of Art, drew and painted. After moving to King City, almost 23 years ago, she began drawing butterflies, and continued drawing them ever since. Her studies are in private collections in Australia, British Virgin Islands, Canada, England, Holland, Poland, Sweden and the U.S. In 2001 she become the curator of the private Gallery Solo in King City, and organized exhibitions of prominent Canadian Artists, some honored by the Order of Canada. Under her leadership the gallery organized exhibits of: tapestry, paintings, photography, and sculptures. In the last five years she had five solo exhibits in Canada, and one group show “Petals and Wings” with Helen Lucas in Georgina Art Center & Gallery.

Grazyna Tonkiel was on the board of Directors of the Arts Society King, as well as the Schomberg Street Gallery Committee, and was the President of the Arts Society King. She is dedicated to the butterfly conservation efforts, frequently writes articles about butterflies for the King Weekly Sentinel and is a sought-after lecturer and speaker about butterflies. For the last two years, her home garden is certified as Wildlife and Butterfly Habitat. Grazyna Tonkiel often donates her work to support conservation efforts.

Gordon Becker

Gordon Becker’s life in art began in earnest at the age of eleven in Wellesley, Ontario. Being utterly captivated by a film of an Inuit carver creating an image full of magic and power from a raw piece of stone, he determined then and there to become a carver. After leaving The Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto in 1969 he traveled and worked around the world for eight or so years. Upon his return to Canada in 1977 he undertook to complete an apprenticeship with a master woodcarver, which he accomplished in 1981. He began, at that point, to seriously apply his knowledge of the world and his skills to the production of sculptural works. He began exhibiting his work in 1976 in the National Art Gallery of New Zealand. He began exhibiting regularly in public and commercial galleries since then. In 2003 he exhibited, by invitation, at the Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea in Florence, Italy. There he was awarded a fourth place gold medallion in the sculpture category. Most recently his work has been profiled on the cover and as a six page colour feature in WoodCarving magazine, published in Great Britain, as well as a six page colour feature in Craft Arts International Magazine, published in Sydney, Australia. Becker now lives and works in Toronto and continues to exhibit in Toronto and internationally.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can purchase a specific artwork by clicking on the thumbnail of the image, and clicking the “Purchase this original artwork” link in the caption box, or you can browse all of the artworks for sale here:  All available work.

These links will take you to our e-commerce page where you can pay for the artwork using Visa or Mastercard. Clare Bolton, Gallery Manager Clare@auroraculturalcentre.ca will provide you with shipping details via the email you have provided.

Clare Bolton, Gallery Manager, is the main contact for all gallery related questions and will get back to you via email the same business day. You can email her at Clare@auroraculturalcentre.ca and can include your phone number if you prefer.

Delivery arrangements will be facilitated by Clare Bolton, Gallery Manager, Clare@auroraculturalcentre.ca, and you will be notified of all details.

The exhibition is installed at the Aurora Town Hall at 100 John West Way and exists as an online exhibition only until the Aurora Town Hall has re-opened to the public.

Our Gallery Artist Receptions have been a wonderful community celebration with every exhibition. They have been unique opportunities to meet the artists and hear the curator’s thoughts.  At this time we are unable to have our usual in-person opening and we will keep you updated when the Aurora Town Hall reopens to the public.

Art Bytes are an ongoing online video and activity series that accompanies our exhibitions and give viewers an opportunity to deepen their understanding about the art. We invite you to share in this insider look into the creative process as this series enhances the gallery experience with a behind-the-scenes look at the installation, hearing from the artists directly, family friendly art demos and more. You can view all the current Art Bytes Programing from flight² here: auroraculturalcentre.ca/flight2-art-bytes and check back soon for additional Art Bytes throughout the exhibition.

To receive up to date information and reminders about our digital art events, as well as get more insights and background information about the artist in this show we invite you to follow us on our social media accounts:

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