Gareth Bate

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Do you find looking

at art intimidating?


Tim Pitsiulak, Jane Kidd, Kenojuak Ashevak, Itchiky Kuboto, Joan Mitchell, Jean-Paul Riopelle


Art World Untangled: Season 7

Spring & Summer 2018


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'm back with 18 new tours!

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
The Colour Match Maker


“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 18 new art tours
this Spring & Summer!

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




Textile Museum: Kubota & Kidd

The Textile Museum of Canada: Artistry in Silk: The Kimono of Itchiky Kubota & Curious: Jane Kidd

Itchiky Kubota: We’ll visit the two current exhibitions at the Textile Museum. The first is the spectacular contemporary Kimono of Japanese artist Itchiky Kubota. He’s known as an innovative artist who brought a 16th century decorative technique back to life. The show features 41 Kimono created over three decades.

Jane Kidd: Next we’ll visit BC artist Jane Kidd’s hand woven tapestries that evoke seeds, deforestation and genetic modification. The show pairs her work with historic art from around the world in the Textile Museum permanent collection. (Admission not included)

Trip #1: Tues. Apr. 10, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (9 Spots Available)

Trip #2: Sat. Apr. 14, 2:45 - 4:45 pm, (8 Spots Available)




AGO: Mitchell & Riopelle

Art Gallery of Ontario: Nothing in Moderation:
Joan Mitchell & Jean-Paul Riopelle

Forget Kusama, the best show on right now in Toronto is Joan Mitchell & Jean-Paul Riopelle! This is a huge and spectacular show features 50 works so we’ll be doing it in two parts. This travelling exhibition from Quebec City brings together this artistic couple for the first time. They had a fiery and creative relationship that lasted from 1955 to 1979. The show aims to present them together so we can clearly see how they influenced each other. Montreal artist Riopelle was part of the group called Les Automatistes and brought large scale abstraction to Paris. Joan Mitchell was a New York Abstract Expressionist painter. (Admission not included)

Part 1: We’ll start by getting a big picture general view of the overall effect of the show. We’ll compare how the artists relate to each other.

Part 2: We’ll focus intensely on the most dramatic individual works by each artist.

Part 1: Big Picture

Trip #3: Tues. Apr. 24, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (4 Spots Left - Confirmed Running!)

Trip #4: Sat. Apr. 28, 2:45 - 4:45 pm, (7 Spots Available)

Part 2: Zooming In

Trip #5: Tues. May. 1, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (7 Spots Available)

Trip #6: Sat. May. 5, 2:45 - 4:45 pm, (7 Spots Available)



Gallery Hop: 401 Richmond
CONTACT Photography Festival

Visiting contemporary galleries at 401 Richmond Street West

This early 20th century industrial tin lithography factory has been transformed into one of Toronto's central arts hubs with galleries, studios and offices for creative industries. It's beautifully restored and filled with amazing garden spaces. 401 Richmond is now the only place in Toronto where you can see a whole bunch of galleries together in the same space. It's now officially saved from the insane taxation!

CONTACT Photography Festival is one of Toronto's largest art events that takes place every May. Galleries across the city feature major photography exhibitions. 401 Richmond features several models of art gallery including commercial, themed, artist-run centre and co-op. We'll start with a trip to my studio and take you on a tour of the building. I'll select the most interesting shows to take you to. We'll explore some of the current contemporary shows at Abbozzo, A-Space, YYZ, Prefix Photo, Gallery 44, Red Head, Yumart, Open Studio, Tangled Art + Disability, Trinity Square Video and Urbanspace Gallery. (Admission is FREE!)

Trip #7: Tues. May. 8, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (8 Spots Available)

Trip #8: Sat. May. 12, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, (10 Spots Available)



AGO: New Canadian Art

Art Gallery of Ontario: New Canadian Art in the Permanent Collection

The AGO is currently rehanging their entire permanent collection with the goal of rotating it every few months. We’ll get to see tons of art that’s been stored away for years or never been exhibited. Their Canadian section is the next one on the list. As you can see from the photos things are being packaged up and moved out. I currently have no idea what the new exhibition will be but we’ll explore it together when it opens. They’ve done a beautiful job rehanging the modern and old masters sections so I expect this will be really exciting. (Admission not included)

Trip #9: Tues. May. 22, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (9 Spots Available)

Trip #10: Sat. Oct. May 26, 2:45 - 4:45 pm, (9 Spots Available)




AGO: The Life of Jesus

Art Gallery of Ontario: The Life of Jesus in the Permanent Collection

We'll explore the old masters sections of the AGO’s permanent collection as we piece together the life of Jesus through paintings and sculptures. The AGO has recently rehung their European galleries. We’ll talk about the way the same stories are depicted in vastly different ways depending on the time period. It’s fascinating to watch their values change over time. We’ll begin with scenes of the annunciation and birth of Jesus, and then move into the crucifixion and resurrection. We’ll also look at the way the people in Jesus’ life are depicted such as the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, John The Baptist, Judas and The Apostles. (Admission not included)

Trip #11: Tues. May. 29, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (9 Spots Available)

Trip #12: Sat. June 2, 2:45 - 4:45 pm, (9 Spots Available)




Textile Museum:
Contemporary Quilts

Textile Museum of Canada: Colour Improvisations 2: An International Exhibition of Contemporary Quilts

This show of 25 large quilts by 25 international artists is curated by renowned American quilter Nancy Crow. The quilts use large abstract designs and vibrant colour. The show has travelled to Germany, Spain, Switzerland and France. The Textile Museum is the first North American stop and only Canadian venue. (Admission not included)

Images above: Nancy Crow, Robin Bunshaft Fan, Heide Stoll-Weber, Brigitte Ammann

Trip #13: Tues. June. 5, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (7 Spots Available)

Trip #14: Sat. June. 9, 2:45 - 4:45 pm, (10 Spots Available)




MoCA Opening: Contemporary Art

Grand Opening of The Museum of Contemporary Art - Toronto

Closed for 2.5 years The Museum of Contemporary Art - Toronto will finally reopen in the newly transformed former Tower Automotive building at 158 Sterling Road near the Junction. This formerly derelict building will be Toronto’s newest museum. Shortly after it opens we’ll attend the inaugural exhibition of contemporary art. MoCA has long been one of the most interesting museums and one that gives Toronto artists their due while also exhibiting international artists. (Admission is free I think)

Trip #15: Tues. June. 19, 1:00 - 3:00 pm, (6 Spots Available)

Trip #16: Sat. June 23, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, (8 Spots Available)



AGO: Ashevak & Pitsiulak

Art Gallery of Ontario:
Tunirrusiangit: Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak

This is the major AGO show of the summer. For the first time contemporary Inuit art will be featured in the main exhibition space. Kenojuak Ashevak was one of the most famous Inuit artists and recipient of the Order of Canada. Tim Pitsiulak was her nephew. This is Ashevak’s first retrospective show. Both artists, now deceased came from Kinngait (Cape Dorset). This show is co-curated by a team of all Inuit artists and curators. (Admission not included)

Trip #17: Tues. June 26, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, (10 Spots Available)

Trip #18: Sat. June 30, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, (9 Spots Available)


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 10 people per trip. I require 5 people to run a trip.


Join Us This Spring!



Ends April 1, 2018


Five-Pack Deal: $129 (Save $10)

Individual Trips: $28



Plus Photocopy Fee: There is a 60 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 Aug. 1, 2018.


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. Payment is required on your first trip.


Here's how to Join...

Send me an email:

Subject Line: Booking: Art World Untangled Season 7

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 in advance, cash or check on the first class.

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!