Volunteers at the Gallery Hop Gala and Auction wore white lab coats and black glasses, part of the “Smart Art” theme.

TORONTO - Canadian contemporary artists are alive and well in this booming city, thanks in part to the activities of the Canadian Art Foundation, whose 17th gala and art auction took place recently at the elegant, Art Deco Carlu Ballroom on Yonge Street. Over 300 guests were invited to experience “smart art” while enjoying delicious food and a grand array of drinks, including some mind-blowing artisanal sake, an experience that Lisa Dennison explored in full, as described in her blog post. Some 35 artworks were offered in the silent auction and a further six in the live. The crowd dressed in festive mood for the celebration, as the volume of the music and the roar of the crowd reached a high decibel level. For those wondering what smart art is, the organizers offered a definition of smart, while leaving the definition of art to the viewers:

Smart [smart] adj.
1.    astute, as in business; clever or bright
2.    quick, witty and often impertinent in speech; a smart talker
3.    fashionable, chic; a smart hotel
4.    well-kept, neat
5.    causing a sharp, stinging pain (the sake returns!)
6.    vigorous or brisk
7.    the new register of contemporary art

According to the designers of the show, smart is the new beautiful, at least in Canada, and the event managed to engage all seven of the above elements in an exuberant celebration of the Canadian Art Foundation.