Category Archives: art

124 Merton Street, a Boutique Office Building, Yields Bountiful Crops and Inspiration for Artist/Chef Vivian Reiss

Most office buildings are cloistered away from nature, let alone agriculture. One exception is the Toronto’s www.124merton.com  a boutique office building, whose bounteous crops reap benefits for the tenants both local and international. Owner, artist, designer and chef, Vivian Reiss has been … Continue reading

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New HD Video of Vivian Reiss, interviewed in her garden

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“It’s a Long Long Time From May to December”

         “Maypole” Columnar Apple Tree in Bloom on the Rooftop Garden 124 Merton Street in May 2011            The song , “It’s a long, long time from May to December”, chronicles the stages of love, womanhood and relationships. In retrospect the “Malus Maypole’s” journey … Continue reading

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“To V. or not to V.” The 3rd Act

The invitation to my birthday party read,               ”To v. or not to v.?” That is the question. Come to a birthday party to celebrate my birth, rebirth and the birth of William Shakespeare. I’ll supply the Elizabethan feast, please supply … Continue reading

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Getting to The Root of the Matter, How Deep Are Your Roots?

If you think; ” a new broom sweeps clean,” is a refreshing adage, you have no idea of how the concept of getting to the root of my garden’s suffocation and plague is rejuvenating. After all, a new broom is only sweeping away … Continue reading

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Tomato Panic or Red Alert [or yellow, purple, white, pink or maybe, striped alert]

Last week I had a tomato panic. I found out that Doris Giardino, who grew my beautiful heritage tomato seedlings for my www.124merton.com rooftop garden, was not growing them again this year. What would become of the annual tomato tasting? … Continue reading

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Sow to Sew

 Last year my boulevard garden yielded, as far as I know, 100% of Canada’s cotton crop. Continuing my quest to  live off the land in the city and grow “wearables” not just edibles, it was time to plant this year’s … Continue reading

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Vivian Ssier Painter

        If only I had a last name that sounded fabulous spelled backwards. Arnold Issacs had such luck. In 1954 he was commissioned to create 10 dresses for a General Motors magazine ad. He charged $1,000 per dress, a vast sum … Continue reading

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Toronto Star Article “Artist in Residence: Vivian Reiss”

New article on me in the Toronto Star.  http://www.thestar.com/article/932594–artist-in-residence-vivian-reiss Artist in Residence: Vivian Reiss – thestar.com Outside, it is your standard, upscale red brick Annex house. Inside, it could be the domicile of the love child of Scheherazade and Salvador … Continue reading

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Banana Bird

   I am on the furthest eastward point of St. John US VI in a beautiful rented villa open to the sea and air on all sides. The only discordant part of the gorgeous setting and decor are the fake indoor plants that … Continue reading

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The Birthday; A Delight At Any Age

Touring Hungary, several years ago, I had to laugh as we passed Lake Balaton. Even being used to flowery Hungarian exaggerations, the fact that Hungary is a landlocked nation, and that Lake Balaton is the largest lake in central Europe, Balaton, didn’t seem to be “the … Continue reading

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Happy Chanukah, the latke mobile menorah

 Years ago, I went to a garage sale and loaded a cardboard box with old kitchen gadgets, pots, pans and even an old oil tin from the basement of the sale.  When I arrived home, I noticed that the muffin tin … Continue reading

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Bull’s Blood Beets

I planted several varieties of beets in my garden including, “Golden, Early Wonder, Flat of Egypt and Chioggio.” They range from the lovely pale anemic beet, “Albino”, to the “Bull’s Blood” beet that bleeds a healthy iron red from the moment I cut the … Continue reading

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In a circular line, it all comes back

   It was announced that for the first time in years the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks were to displayed in the Hudson River. The last time I had seen them over the Hudson, was in the year of my sixth grade graduation. I … Continue reading

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Cotton is High!

The world price of cotton in October of 2009 was 66 cents per pound. By October of this year, the price of cotton had risen to $1.26 per pound.The price of cotton had risen dramatically in the past year and that was the … Continue reading

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Jason Berger

Today, I received the sad news that my mentor and teacher Jason Berger passed away. A master of  linguistict puns, he taught me that paintings contain visual puns and visual double entendres. His innate exuberance matched mine, even though, in the … Continue reading

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Summer Squash:Liquid Sunshine

Several years ago I put on an event at my gallery www.vreissgallery.com  called ” The Neuroscience of Molecular Gastronomy” http://video.google.ca/videosearch?q=%22neuroscience+of+Molecular%22&hl=en&sitesearch=# http://video.google.ca/videosearch?q=%22neuroscience+of+Molecular%22&hl=en&sitesearch=#   It was a collaboration with my daughter, Ariel Garten ,who lectured  about how we perceive taste and art through our senses and the history … Continue reading

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Sorghum: The Sweet Taste of Success

Sorghum; the sweet extracted juice This Summer’s boulevard garden was a great success. The broom corn reached a record height of 15′ 8″. Nestled among the amaranth, broom corn, cotton, beets, artichokes, buckwheat, zinnias, dill, Swiss  chard, upland rice, coriander, eggplants, … Continue reading

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On the Boulevard: My Front Chard

One of the most beautiful, healthy and delicious parts of my garden is my “front chard”. It grows  between the sidewalk and the road on a patch about  140 square feet ,which is about the size of a large Tokyo apartment or … Continue reading

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A New Series Beginning: Giant Garden Paintings!

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Summer Squash: Sunshine

In the third quarter of July, I noticed a little empty space in the garden leading to the house. It was a stubborn piece of earth. In that spot, I had tried several times to germinate watermelon seeds and seeds from particularly … Continue reading

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Too many tomatoes? Let’s play ketchup

The rays of the late afternoon sun are lengthening and what seemed impossible two months earlier is now a reality; there are too many tomatoes to eat and too little time to enjoy them. There has to be a way … Continue reading

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“Living in Full Color” in Today’s Toronto Star by Vanessa Lu

  Living in full colour On a tree-lined street in the Annex, passersby are struck by giant corn stalks, just part of a whimsical, colourful garden that’s the brainchild of artist Vivian Reiss. You can view this story at: http://www.thestar.com/yourcitymycity/article/856689–living-in-full-colour  … Continue reading

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When the Garden Was Just a Twinkle in the Elephant’s Eye

 In the post of August 29th, I was struggling to measure the broom corn with a ten foot pole. I needed a fifteen foot pole to touch the tops of the corn. In this photo if you look at the tiny … Continue reading

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In my garden:The corn is definately higher than an elephant’s eye

The front yard and boulevard have become a destination garden for many. Among the streams of admirer’s yesterday an elderly couple remarked, “Your corn is higher than an elephant’s eye.” Behold the scientific study in my garden.

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