CMYK9 is a solo visual art exhibition by fine art photographer Michelle Leone Huisman focusing on our social relationship with our pandemic pets. Hosted by Silvershack gallery in Toronto’s Brockton Village/Little Portugal neighbourhood, the exhibit is going on from June 1 to July 15, 2023, with an artist reception on June 7.
While we know that dogs have dichromatic vision (only able to see in two colours), Huisman has imagined their colour spectrum changing as dramatically as our lives over the last three years. Through her striking, one-of-a-kind portraits, Huisman asks:
Have emotional bonds with our pets helped us through some of our most challenging times?
CMYK9 is Huisman’s final instalment of her critically-acclaimed photography trilogy (An Unexpected Collection, Global Pandemic). As with Huisman’s previous work, the pandemic pet photographs of CMYK9 are hand-painted, unique limited editions using a 19th century technique called tri-colour gum bichromate. This technique is reputed to maintain its quality for more than 500 years. “CMYK” refers to the four colours used in this printing technique: cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black or palladium). And “K9”, of course, refers to the show’s canine friends turned models.
See CMYK9 until July 15 at Silvershack, a gallery & custom photo lab in Toronto’s Brockton Village/Little Portugal neighbourhood
“In CMYK9, inspired by pandemic pets, I see an opportunity to explore a very different perspective of the world over the last few years,” says Huisman. “In many respects, this is a hopeful and loving perspective amidst the adversity and sadness of the pandemic. How have our pets seen the world? Have our relationships with our pets helped colour our world differently? Have emotional bonds with our pets helped us through some of our most challenging times? I wanted to explore our social relationship with our pets and their changing view of the world during this time. While we know dogs have dichromatic vision, I’ve imagined their colour spectrum changing as dramatically as our lives over the last three years.”
Get a portrait of your own pet!
Inspired by the stars of the show, Huisman with Bob Carnie of Silvershack will host a free, pet cooling station outside of the gallery during Do West Fest, Toronto’s official start to summer in the heart of Little Portugal, on June 10 and 11. Huisman will also be on hand to answer questions about her detailed printing technique, and offer limited one-on-one, pet portrait services. These 30-minute sittings will be available at Silvershack during Do West Fest, to be delivered at a later date as a special edition Huisman portrait. For portrait pricing and to secure a session, please visit michellehuisman.com.
About the artist’s unique process
Huisman uses a 19th century technique called tri-colour gum bichromate over palladium to make her artworks. This printing process produces work that will stand the test of time: the technique is reputed to maintain its quality for more than 500 years. The paper is hand-brushed, and no two images are alike despite starting with the same negative. Each one-of-a-kind image can take up to five days or more to process. You can learn more about Michelle Leone Huisman’s printing process here.
About Michelle Leone Huisman
Michelle Leone Huisman is a fine art photographer and community advocate. A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University (Bachelor of Photo Arts) and Emily Carr University of Art & Designs Photographic Arts, she previously worked as a designer and decorator for commercial and residential clients. A freelance fine art photographer since 2009, she has a passion for alternative processes; and her fine art projects connect her art practice and advocacy work.
Silvershack (formerly Bob Carnie Gallery) is a custom photography lab, exhibition space and fine art framing studio opened by Bob Carnie in the 1990s. Specializing in various historical and contemporary photographic printing methods, they seek to produce the finest quality of photographic prints, while also keeping the history of photography alive now and into the future.
(Following its premiere at Silvershack, CMYK9 will head to Vancouver’s Janaki Larsen Studios from October 19 to November 29, 2023.)
(All photo & video credits: Michelle Leone Huisman)
Hosted by: Silvershack, a custom photography lab, exhibition space and fine art framing studio in Toronto
Type of event: solo art exhibition
Featured artist: Michelle Leone Huisman, a Vancouver-based fine art photographer whose work has been shown throughout North America and Europe. Michelle’s hand-painted, one-of-a-kind originals are printed using a 19th century technique called tri-colour gum bichromate over palladium.
- Thursday, June 1 – Saturday, July 15, 2023.
- Artist reception on Wednesday, June 7 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm EDT.
- A pet cooling station & (limited) pet portrait sittings will be available at Silvershack during Do West Fest, on Saturday, June 10 & Sunday, June 11. Book your spot below!
- The gallery is open Tuesday – Friday from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm EDT, Saturday & Sunday from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm EDT or by appointment.
- The artist reception will be held on Wednesday, June 7 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm EDT.
Cost: Admission to the exhibition is free, and part of the proceeds from CMYK9 in Toronto will be made to the Ontario SPCA.
Location: Silvershack, 1681 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, M6K 1V2, Canada.
Behind the scenes: See the artist at work
Dog photo sign-up for June 10 & 11: Book fast, spaces are limited.
Contact Details: Silvershack, 1681 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, M6K 1V2, Canada; (416) 677-3522 (no voicemail), firstname.lastname@example.org, www.silvershack.ca. You can also visit the artist’s CMYK9 exhibition page for details.
Accessibility: The gallery space is located on the first floor.