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Lillian H. Smith

Jackson Pollock

May 22, 2013 | Tony | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

No5,1948Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) was an interesting figure in the art world and a major force in the Abstract Expressionist movement.  Most people would know him for his "drip painting" technique that made him famous in the late 1940's.  Hollywood even made a film about his life starring Ed Harris in 2000.  I haven't seen the Ed Harris portrayal of Pollock but I did see a documentary titled "Who The #$&% is Jackson Pollock."  It was an amusing tale of a retired trucker named Teri Horton who buys a painting in a thrift shop for $5 and who later believes it to be an original Pollock.  Its an interesting look into the art world as it focuses on her struggle to get it authenticated.  I'm not a huge fan of abstract expressionism, but there's no doubt he was an influential figure in art.  If you're feeling inspired to create some art on your own, we have a program coming up at our branch that may be of interest to you called Oil Pastels for Beginners.  The instructor Asha will be teaching it in the style of Jackson Pollock (he also worked with oil pastels).  Please call the branch to register at 416-393-7746.  Spaces are limited.  In the mean time, if you want to learn more about this famous artist, check out our catalogue here.      

Image above: Jackson Pollock No. 5, 1948




What are you doing this long weekend? Come check out these free events happening at Lillian Smith!

May 15, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Celebrate Asian Heritage Month

this May long weekend! 


We have two great programs ready to go this Saturday May 18th starting at 11 am!

From 11am - noon we are featuring A Taste of the Dragon Boat Festival: Food demonstration and tasting, a Cooking Demo & Tasting with Shirley Lum!  Culinary historian and tour guide, Shirley Lum of A Taste of the World Walks will share lore and legends behind the long paddle boats, a dead poet and the delicious sticky rice dumplings, a.k.a Zong Zi. During this session, she will also shed light on how you make the savoury and sweet dumplings, then participants get a chance to make one to take home as well as try a sampling of dumplings pre-made by Shirley. 

    Afterwards at noon there is the Henna Workshop for Teens  where teens between the ages 12 and 18 can learn the art of Henna from an expert and get a sample design!  We are lucky to have artist Henna by Fia lead a workshop on the history and science of Henna.  See you there!

Space is limited for both events so please call our branch at 416-393-7746 to register.


Playoff Fever

May 8, 2013 | Tony | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


We recently put out a Maple Leaf hockey display to celebrate the team's appearance in this year's playoffs.  The display was mounted in the front window in the College/Huron corner of the branch.  "We plan to keep the display up as our Maple Leafs push through the 2013 playoffs race," says Neil.  Let's hope it'll last beyond this week, if not there's always next year.

With thanks to Laurel and Neil.

Starting an Etsy business for the crafty

May 8, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Lately I've come across a few new e-commerce books we have in our collection here at Lillian helping crafters, artisans and designers sell their designs online.  Online e-commerce site is one of my favourite places to find both local and unique gifts, jewelery, clothing and other handmade gems.  If you're a crafter or designer and you're interested in selling your items online, check out these great books to help you develop a successful shop and online presence (we even have the e-book versions too!).  Whether you're just starting out and want to turn your hobby into a business or want to learn how to run a full-time business on Etsy, these books will help you imagine the global possibilities for marketing and selling your wares!

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What does Earth Day mean to you?

April 22, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

It's April 22nd and all around the world people are celebrating what is known as "Earth Day". But what if we treated everyday as Earth Day and didn't wait for that one day a year to think about our impact on the environment.  Major environmental issues like climate change, ozone layer depletion, waste disposal, pollution, addiction to fossil fuels, food and water crises, and so much more, all tell us that these issues are things we need to always be talking about.  Yes, it's days like today that provide us with opportunities to participate in a neighbourhood clean-up or tree planting activities, but what if we took that enthusiasm a little bit further? If you're like me and interested in knowing what's happening with our changing environment and how we can make things better and not worse, here are some great books to get that conversation started.

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Need some more inspiration? Check out this motivating article in NOW magazine by Adria Vasil.

Earth Day is also a great day to get the conversation started about the environment with your children, students and family members. Check out these books and more for children about Earth Day and the environment.

All New Crafts for Earth Day51XH399BSQL._SL500_AA300_ Index.aspx


Is it patio season yet!?

April 18, 2013 | Cat | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Every year when we get our first warm beautiful day in the city I start to get excited about "patio season"! This snowy winter has had me longing for those balmy summer nights spent sitting outdoors on patios with friends sipping on something cold. Whether your outdoors is the patio of your favourite local bar, a park picnic or a backyard/rooftop/condo balcony, you'll want to have a drink that reminds you of summer and helps you forget about snow shoveling. Now let's just hope this weather gets even better!

Check out these titles for ideas on your next favourite patio drink.

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Henna Workshop for Teens

April 11, 2013 | Tony | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Hennabyfia4May is Asian Heritage month and we always have various programs at our branch to commerate it.  If you're interested in what we'll have here at our branch you can check out the program section of our website to find out the latest and greatest.  One upcoming program that is new to our branch is the Henna Workshop for Teens.  Henna is a type of plant that is used to made dyes for skin, hair and various fabrics.  On May 18th at 12pm we are lucky to have artist Henna by Fia lead a workshop on the history and science of Henna.  She'll demonstrate different types of henna designs and everyone will leave will a sample applied.  It shaping up to be a great event so if you're between the ages 12-18 and interested in attending, please call our branch at 416-393-7746 because spaces are limited.  Can't make it? You can check out our catalogue for more information about this ancient art.   

Photo: Henna by Fia design.



*Update* Program was moved from 2pm to 12pm.

April Fools' Day and Consumerism?

April 2, 2013 | Cat | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

So we've made it through yet another April Fools! 

I must admit, growing up I was always a trickster, so nowadays I usually am overly suspicious of anyone and everything come every April 1st. It was no different logging online yesterday to see some of the jokes circulating on the web.  When checking my email, I received a few emails about fake online websites, as i'm sure anyone who was on Google yesterday saw their share of jokes.  One that really made me think was from Ethical Ocean(EO).  I received an email from them promoting a new e-commerce website called Unethical Ocean geared towards shoppers who like to "own what's cruel".  One fake "Unethical" seller claims “we’ve built a very profitable business on selling really cheap toys.  Sweat shops, lead poisoning, pandas in hand-cuffs – these are all part of a hard days work. We’ve realized there is a big market out there of people who ‘don’t give a crap’ and we’re serving that market”. I had a good laugh as this fake website was a great political satire of e-commerce and brings to light the negative environmental and social affects of capitalism.

If you're interested in these aspects of consumption, and wondering where or how your stuff has come to be, check out these great titles:

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Nic Labriola @ Lillian Smith

March 25, 2013 | Tony | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...




On March 18th we were happy to welcome author Nic Labriola to our branch for a reading of his recently published collection of short stories titled Francis and the Animals.  There were even baked goodies provided by Leaping Lion Books.  It was a great program and we'd like to thank author Nic Labriola, Leaping Lion Books and the fourth year students in the Professional Writing Program at York University for this event.

Streetstyle Photography: Something Old New Again

March 22, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The rise of street style photography has seen photographers, bloggers, stylists and average fashionistas shoot to fame with a single (or multiple) snaps.  It occurred to me while walking into the recent Toronto Fashion Week ("World MasterCard Fashion Week") there were so many fashion fans hanging outside David Pecaut Square, were they waiting around waiting to be snapped?  While the popularity of street style photography has created quite a few "peacocks", the medium is still the message as documenting street style around the world is a great way for budding fashion designers to get some exposure and to see how regular folks wear their clothes. Toronto even has a site dedicated to street fashion found on the streets of the City.

It's important to note that even before Scott Schuman snapped his first picture, there was Bill Cunningham, a fashion photographer for The New York Times who was a Harvard drop out.  I recently watched the Bill Cunningham New York documentary and was blown away by his talent! Definitely worth the watch for those interested in street photography from a delicate and intriguing artist.

Place holds on these titles for some street fashion history and inspiration!

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Lillian H. Smith library, in the heart of the Discovery District, Chinatown and Kensington Market, is a district branch of Toronto Public Library. Learn more about your local library & community, and while you're at it, drop us a comment. If you are visiting us in person, look for the bronze gryphons guarding our door.