Welcome to Issue No.4 

of smART


Michael Zarathus-Cook
by Kalya Ramu

A word from
the editor

Welcome to Issue No.4 of smART Magazine. The excitement continues for Lighthouse Immersive with the launch of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in one of North America’s most artistic cities: San Francisco. With the March launch of the exhibit at the wholly immersive SVN West venue, the Van Gogh experience that began in Toronto gets a much anticipated West-Coast premiere. To celebrate this occasion, and the vibrant arts community which we are arriving in, Issue No.4 features some of San Francisco’s most inspiring leaders and thinkers in the arts. 

San Francisco is a city known for its artists and their championship of social progress in every aspect of city-life. In light of the pandemic and the social upheavals witnessed over the last year, our conversations with the city’s artistic leaders bring these social issues to the forefront. We spoke with the Culture Director of the historic San Francisco Arts Commission about how the art in public spaces should reflect all of its citizens. The Executive Director of the Museum of African Diaspora joined us to talk about how a city’s artists should simultaneously be activists. Likewise, the Executive Director of SOMArts—a pillar in one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods—sat down with us for a conversation on creating art that is a “form of political and social currency”. To highlight the diversity of perspectives of the famously heterogeneous city, we spoke with long-time “street artist” Pete Doolittle for some recommended stops on a tour of his favourite neighbourhoods. 

Back in Toronto, we launched a new interview series, titled IN FOCUS, that features long-form conversations with international creatives in the visual arts. Our first episode welcomes the prolific filmmaker, stage director, and writer, Atom Egoyan. He reflects on how the pandemic will shape the art we observe, what will remain the same, and what he makes of the recent political upheavals in his native Armenia. Our Proust Questionnaire series also continues this issue with a delightful submission from Executive Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, Joana Vicente. 

smART Magazine continues with the belief that artists, and leaders in the arts, should be presented in an artistically inspiring way. That is the spirit behind the work which our writers and illustrators have compiled for Issue No.4. So we hope you’ll accept our invitations to join in on these incredible conversations, and let us know how they inspired your search for artistic experiences now and in the future. 

Issue No.4 is also available as a downloadable PDF on the website; be sure to sign up for our weekly Newsletter for updates on our latest features and interviews.


From my desk to yours,
Michael Zarathus-Cook 
Chief Editor and Visual Designer
March 2021



National Arts Centre

Alexander Neef

FFDN Festival

Route 66

Pia Kleber, UofT

Hyde Park Center

The Joffrey Balley

Chicago Symphony

Art on theMART

Josh Grossman

Dennis Watkins

Guillaume Côté

Barre Flow

Starry Opera Night