Gareth Bate

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Do you find looking

at art intimidating?


Japanese Kimonos, Franz Hals, John Brown, Gareth Bate, Guillermo del Toro, Florine Stettheimer


Art World Untangled


This Fall I'll Be Your Guide

To The Toronto Art World.

  • Ever visited a museum and felt like you didn’t understand what you were looking at?

  • Is modern and contemporary art baffling to you?

  • Ever wished you could have people to discuss art with and ask questions?



I'll be back for Season 7 in Spring 2018. I hope you'll join me!


Seasons 1-6 had 960 bookings!

Join a great group of people as we explore the amazing artworks in Toronto's museums and galleries.

My name's Gareth Bate. I'm a full time artist, curator and teacher of art history, drawing and painting. I'm knowledgable and experienced and very familiar with the local scene. I also love visiting museums and galleries!

I want art to make sense to you. Art should be accessible, understandable and relevant to the broader world. This is a non-judgemental environment and a zero artspeak zone. I have no time for art world snobs, or pretension.

Experience the art world with all the inspiration and none of the bullshit.

Art is for everyone.


“Gareth is the most amazing teacher I've had to date. He really brings his knowledge and passion into each class. He is an engaging teacher and his passion for art is contagious. He shares his thoughts on art but encourages you to think for yourself. His classes are creative, informative, quirky and fun. He loves to teach and wants to share everything he can about art with you. He is a skilled teacher and strives to make every student feel comfortable and welcome. It changed the way I see art. He is an intelligent, sensitive teacher with a great sense of humour.”
- Frances Cumberland




Art World Untangled trips
are for people who want to…

  • Learn about art in an unintimidating and friendly environment where your perspective is valued.
  • Join a fun group of people where you can have interesting discussions about art.
  • Become confident looking at art and interpreting it.
  • Experience art with a knowledgable guide.

If you want to take full advantage of the most exciting Toronto art shows this spring and summer this is perfect for you. Ask me anything.


“Changes? ‘Big time’! As a result of Gareth's courses I not only enrolled as a member at the AGO but I took to the road and explored Art museums in Boston, Washington D.C., New York City, Montreal and Ottawa. I never would have explored these great museums had I not enrolled in Gareth's course.”

- John McGoff.


Or you could miss out…

What most people do when feeling intimidated by art is to disengage or not even try. Or they get angry when art is challenging to their world view.

That’s a real shame.

I believe that art is the greatest thing we do as human beings. Encounters with art can be powerful, inspiring and sometimes even life changing. By not engaging with art you're missing out on some of the most compelling things that humans have made throughout history. With so many terrible things going on in the world, for me museums are a place of refuge, a kind of sacred space.



Here's what I find really sad…

  • Missing once in a lifetime exhibitions that have come to Toronto.
  • Feeling intimidated walking into art galleries.
  • Thinking art is a scam or impossible to decipher.
  • Wandering around museums not knowing which artworks matter and which don’t.


No art background - No problem.

You don’t have to know anything in advance about art. Just bring your enthusiasm and your own life experience. The intimidation many people feel around art is a failure of the art world and something I want to change.

You're NOT arriving as a blank slate and are quite capable of understanding it on some level.


“I believe I look at art far more differently than I did when I began taking the art history course and the museum classes. I now look at art for a longer period of time and now can really understand the various styles of each artist. I appreciate art far more now for it’s uniqueness and variances than I ever had before.” - Rachelle Bronfman.


It's time to stop ignoring Toronto.

In Toronto we generally ignore our own artists because we're always focused on other cities. We don't appreciate the amazing things we have right here. Toronto is filled with great exhibitions. This is especially true since crossing south of the border is less desirable.

When I go to shows I feel engaged with with the city. This is our culture.

Galleries are an excellent way to learn about what the artists of our time are creating. They have dedicated themselves to expressing the spirit of our age. Isn’t it important that we listen to what they're saying?


“What a wonderful experience! I really appreciated how organized you were and how you were also able to create space for the spontaneity of personal expression. I was also impressed with how you invited and validated the personal perspectives of everyone in the group. That's a really special quality. I've been raving about the experience to anyone who will listen.” - Christopher Lawley (Founder, StaffRoom Wellness)



Here's how the class works...

Get together with a group of people who love to look at art.

Each trip is a vigorous look at a section of a museum or temporary show. The class is usually two hours long with a maximum of 12 participants. It's a vastly different experience to spend a few hours in a show. We tend to walk through museums as if we can't wait to get out of there. In the permanent collections often the work is arranged with little sense of order, story or timeline. It’s confusing and hard to actually learn about the art.

Until now.

These trips are not a typical museum tour. You'll never be standing in front of a painting with me talking at you. This isn't a passive class. It's interactive. I'm interested in what YOU have to say. I visit the show the week before and plan a handout with questions. I let you wonder around on your own a bit and then we get back together to discuss the questions. I also create a slideshow on my laptop giving you the context so often missing from the show. This is hugely valuable and adds so much to the experience. Exhibitions assume the audience knows art history in advance - I don't make that assumption.

We often talk about:
  • How to interpret the imagery.
  • The evolution of the work and how it was made.
  • The artists's life story and their influences.
  • The social and historical context.
  • The curatorial vision of the exhibition.


"Gareth values the ideas of his students. We were asked to look at paintings without reading descriptors until after we had explored the work on our own. Gareth always makes us feel as if we have something worthwhile to offer and just because we are not artists or art critics ourselves, what we think has value. I really liked the open ended questions Gareth provided to help us look more deeply at a painting. The questions also provided a jumping off point for group discussion. He clearly planned each visit before hand with care and insight." - Wendy Ryerson



About Me

My name is Gareth Bate and I’m a full time artist, curator and art teacher. I work in painting, installation and photography. I've been asked if everything I do revolves around art and the answer is pretty much yes! I've travelled extensively and visited all the major museums in London, Paris, New York, Washington DC, Boston, Montreal and Cape Town. I'm Festival Curator of the World of Threads Festival an international festival of contemporary fibre and textile art in Oakville. I graduated with a BFA from OCAD University and a diploma from Central Tech's adult art program. I've been teaching since 2008. I’ve been featured on CBC News and Radio Canada and in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Now Magazine and La Presse among others.

Here are the courses I teach:
Art World Untangled
Art History: The Masters: 1400-1850
Art History: The Moderns: 1850-1980
Abstract Painting
Outdoor Abstract City Drawing
The Colour Mixing Detective


“You always find the most interesting art, that I almost wish that I could pack you up and bring you on my trips.” - K.S.


Choose from 14 new
art tours this Fall!

Each trip is a separate event. So when you see multiple trips for one show that's the same trip offered twice.



AGO: New Modern Art

Art Gallery of Ontario: The newly opened Modern Art Galleries in the permanent collection.

Over the last few months the AGO has been rehanging their entire collection. The newly opened modern art galleries are stunning and really showcase the strength of their modernist collection. In this class we'll explore the collection and I'll give you the historic context of the work. We'll look at other works by those artists so you can get a broader sense of their careers. We'll select some of the more significant artworks to explore in depth. (Admission not included)

Trip #1: Tues. Sept. 26, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (COMPLETED!)

Trip #2: Sat. Sept. 30, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, (COMPLETED!)



Textile Museum: Japanese Textiles

The Textile Museum of Canada: Diligence and Elegance: The Nature of Japanese Textiles

This is a stunning show of Japanese textiles. It's especially interesting because it focuses on both the beautiful kimonos of the upper class produced in the weaving workshops of Kyoto as well as working class textiles for everyday use. You'll see over 50 items from the 19th and 20th century from their permanent collection. The show also features work by contemporary Japanese Canadian artists. (Admission not included)

Trip #3: Tues. Oct. 3, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (COMPLETED!)

Trip #4: Sat. Nov. 11, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, (COMPLETED!)



AGO: Guillermo del Toro

Art Gallery of Ontario: Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters

This is the major AGO show of the fall. Mexican film maker, collector and artist Guillermo del Toro brings his cabinet of curiosities to Toronto. Some of his famous films include Pan's Labyrinth, Blade II and Hellboy. This personal collection of art and objects comes from his Los Angeles home "Bleak House". The show’s themes include childhood, the Victorian era, horror, freaks, monsters, death and the occult. This show has turned out to be really interesting! When I did my tour early this month we had a ton to talk about and it generated very interesting discussions. I’ve had lots of requests to do it again because people regretted not going. So here is your second chance! I think this show is a lot of fun. It’s a huge hit already and I suspect it will just get more popular. To me the SHOW is the artwork. To me it’s not about whether you like the objects it’s about does it generate interesting discussions. If you're on the fence try listening to this podcast on CBC's q. It's about 20 minutes. Google it. See what you think. I've done one of these tours already and there was a ton to talk about. It generated a really interesting conversation. (Admission not included)

Trip #6: Sat. Oct. 14, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, (COMPLETED!)

NEW! Trip #13: Tues. Nov. 7, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (COMPLETED!)

NEW! Trip #14: Sat. Dec. 2, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, (COMPLETED!)



AGO: Dutch & Flemish Masters

Art Gallery of Ontario: The newly opened Dutch Masters Galleries in the Permanent Collection

The AGO has recently rehung their Old Masters galleries. For the first time we'll explore the Dutch Golden Age with major artists from the collection including the portraits of Hals and Rembrandt, Dutch landscapes and the most expensive painting in the AGO Massacre of the Innocents by Flemish artist Rubens. We'll look at the common themes of this era and focus in on the best paintings. I'll give you a broader sense of these artists work with a slideshow showing their more famous paintings. (Admission not included)

Trip #7: Tues. Oct. 17, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (COMPLETED!)

Trip #8: Sat. Oct. 21, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, (COMPLETED!)



AGO: Florine Stettheimer

Art Gallery of Ontario: Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry

Ever heard of Florine Stettheimer? She's a largely unknown early 20th century modern American painter, poet and designer. She's never had a show in Canada and this is her first major show in 20 years. We'll get to see over 50 paintings and drawings as well as theatre sets and costumes from the opera and ballet. Her whimsical paintings should be a real treat and fascinating to explore in depth. (Admission not included)

Trip #9: Tues. Nov. 14, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (COMPLETED!)

Trip #10: Sat. Nov. 18, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, (COMPLETED!)



Shows: John Brown & Gareth Bate

Mini Gallery Hop: Exhibitions at Olga Korper Gallery: John Brown and

Loop Gallery: Gareth Bate

John Brown and I have been good friends for the last 10 years since we were neighbours at 401 Richmond. I think he's one of the best painters in Canada hands down. We'll meet at Olga Korper Gallery on Morrow Ave near Dundas West Subway Station. This is one of the best and most beautiful galleries in the city. Here we'll see John Brown's exhibition of new work. John will be joining us for the tour. These are some very compelling paintings including ones where he deals with his partner's decline and death due to Alzheimer's.

Later we'll take the Dundas streetcar east to Dovercourt to loop Gallery. My exhibition is called In the Garden and features my new abstract paintings and drawings. These are the byproduct of my obsession with creating hundreds of colour charts. The result is very different work for me. Note that this tour is slightly longer to account for our travel time. (Admission FREE!)

Trip #11: Wed. Nov. 22, 2:00 - 4:30 pm, (COMPLETED!)

Trip #12: Sat. Nov. 25, 2:30 - 5:00 pm, (COMPLETED!)


Here's how to book...

Each trip is it’s own separate event. When you register you indicate which trips you want by using the numbers. There are a maximum of 12 people per trip. I require 5 people to run a trip.


Join Us This Spring!



Five-Pack Deal: $129

Individual Trips: $28



Plus Photocopy Fee: There is a 50 cent fee per trip.

I require a commitment at registration when you book your trips. You pay in advance for the season.



Gareth's Art Rocks!
100% Money Back Guarantee

I’m committed to offering you an inspiring and informative trip. If you aren’t happy I don’t want to take your money. If after any trip this spring or summer you're not satisfied or don’t think this is right for you, I offer a 100% money back guarantee for your bookings. No problem. Just let me know via email. I'll send you an e-transfer right away. No strings attached. The only thing I ask is for you to let me know what didn’t work for you. Refunds are offered all the way until Dec. 1, 2017.


Refunds Policy

If I cancel a trip you booked onto then I'll give you a credit for a future trip. If you're unable to attend a trip you booked onto and cancel within 48 hours I will offer you a credit towards another trip. I do not offer refunds for trips that you book onto but are unable to attend. Please let me know in advance if you are not coming.


How to Pay

When you book I'll send you an invoice with your amount calculated. You can send me an online e-transfer or you could also pay by cheque or cash during your first trip. I can also take credit cards for payments over $100. Payment is required on your first trip.


Here's how to Join...

Send me an email:

Subject Line: Booking: Art World Untangled Season 6

What to include in the email:

Your Full Name 

Your Email

Your Cell Phone (So we can communicate if lost or separated on the day)

Which trips above are you registering to attend? Use the numbers designating each trip. Just send me a list like this... 3, 4, 6, 17, 19, etc.

What Payment Method: e-transfer, cash or check on the first class. Or credit card if over $100.

Packages: Five-Pack or Individual Trips

Do you have a membership for any of the museums?

How did you hear about my tours?



  • Please check your personal calendar. This is an official booking.
  • If you're booking for multiple people please include their names and emails as well so I can communicate with them and send them the info for the trip.


What happens next?

I'll confirm your booking via email then send you an invoice with your individual amount calculated plus the photocopy fee.  I'll send you an email the week before your trip with the details about where to meet.


Do you have any questions?

Send me an email:



I'm looking forward to seeing you!


Please share these trips with anyone you know who might be interested. Thanks!