What Kenneth Montague, the city’s most stylish art lover, is coveting in home decor
Including an artisanal broom, a vintage tape deck and an expertly curated selection of works by Black Canadian artists
In 1997, Kenneth Montague was five years into his dentistry practice when he decided to open a mini art gallery in his Richmond West loft to showcase his personal collection. Montague had been fascinated by art since his childhood in Windsor, when his parents would take him across the border to visit the Detroit Institute of Art. His loft had a narrow wedge-shaped hallway that was perfect for displaying photographs and paintings. He called it the Wedge Gallery and hosted salons where he would exhibit the work of (at the time) lesser-known Black artists like Carrie Mae Weems and Kehinde Wiley. Now, Montague is a major player in the Toronto art scene: his non-profit, Wedge Curatorial Projects, champions emerging Black Canadian artists, and MOCA is hosting an exhibition of portraits from Montague’s 400-piece private archive until February 4. Here’s what he’s currently coveting in home decor.
Fancy fire tools
These sculptural implements—a poker, shovel and brush—were designed by Montreal creative director Thom Fougere for Toronto lifestyle shop Mjölk. “They’re high-quality, elegant and functional,” says Montague.
Kenyan-born Magdalene Odundo is an internationally celebrated ceramicist who is currently showcasing her work at the Gardiner Museum. “I love how animated these vessels are—they look like human forms. Odundo works on each piece for months, and the patina is so beautiful.”
Architect-founded company Casson sells beautiful hardware and accessories from around the world, like these steel planters from Danish design shop Ferm Living. “I like the pop of colour and how the legs make it look like the planter is floating. It’s a nice height for elevating plants by a window.”
Toronto artist Yaw Tony makes wildly colourful scarves inspired by his Ghanaian heritage, which can be draped around the head or hung on a wall. “As a collector, I love that Tony straddles art, craft and fashion. It’s geometric pop art that’s also reflective of the artist’s West African background. He’s an underappreciated gem in the city—no one knows colour theory like he does.”
Goodee sells socially conscious, beautifully designed items from all over the globe, like this broom made using traditional Appalachian techniques by students in Kentucky. “I love that it’s made from natural materials like hand-harvested broomcorn. It’s beautiful yet functional.”
Vintage tape deck
Ring Audio in Toronto carries vintage audio gear similar to this teak-panelled reel-to-reel tape machine. “This is how sound was recorded to make albums from the ’50s until the late ’80s. You can hear the authenticity of the sound. I like that it looks of its era.”
First-generation Canadian artist Kareem-Anthony Ferreira explores hybrid identities in his lifelike paintings—one of which hangs in LeBron James’s home. “You don’t typically see these scenes of Black family life in Canadian paintings.”