Meet Kate Domina – a Parkdalian visual artist whose greatest indulgence is her bathtub and who wants to build a studio in the woods because to her, a full escape is to wake up surrounded by trees.

Sassy, smart and stylish, Domina is a subscriber to the way that Marlene Dietrich wore her clothes like she lived her life (you can pull anything off as long as you look like you own it), and thinks that personal style should be fun and non-committal.

Her series of paintings “The Garden of Good and Domina” are being featured at The Tinshop (790 Ossington Ave.) on June 21st alongside fellow Torontonian artists Greg Smith (painter, bassist for The Weakerthans) and Sean Lewis (award-winning illustrator and painter). The event, which is catered by Donkey Kong Kitchen (pop-up chef Alexandra Albert) has Domina also launching a hand-bound, vintage hard covered book called “Bear Naked” – an erotic poem illustrated with collaged bear lovers.

The paintings themselves are a whimsical exploration of youth as unapologetic animals with dark minds living in strange environments of fear, naivety and paranoia. Domina elaborates that “The Garden of Good and Domina” are visual metaphors for how she sees people: “the more I study the human condition, the simpler it seems [as] we are all the same – strange, but pretending not to be.”

Domina firmly believes that the façade of normalcy that people maintain starts early in adolescence where humans become “so generic and unhappy in suits that don’t quite fit”, and encourages youth to step out as individuals. “There never has been, and never will be another you, not in experiences or genetic make-up,” muses Domina – “I believe our individuality is the most valuable part of us.”

Like her work may none too gently suggest, Domina marches to the beat of her own drum, and urges all of us to do so through her art: “My message is to let your freak flag fly – that goes for everyone.”

Opening reception: Thursday, June 21st from 7-10pm 
Location: The Tinshop – 790 Ossington Ave. rear entrance  
Twitter: @viedekatedomina

~ Iris Leung,,  @irismtleung