If you missed the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition held on the weekend of July 6, 7 & 8, 2012 at the Nathan Phillips Square, you may like to read this article.
The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition [TOAE]—in its 51st year—is a juried showcase featuring contemporary fine art and craft that mainly focuses on introducing emerging artists. Every year, hundreds of artists participate and thousands of visitors attend the rendezvous. The prominent, ARTBOMB—the daily art auction site that focuses on up-and-coming Canadian artists—has joined forces with the TOAE to help out artists succeed in the market.
I have attended the TOAE in the past five years, and every year I meet new upcoming artists. This year, in the couple hours that I spent perusing around, I observed a lesser crowd of visitors. However, arts sales were happening. At the same time, some other activities were taking place nearby that were loud such as the Syrian demonstration in front of the City Hall which is a block away from Nathan Phillips Square. At the same Square, there was an interesting group of people holding signs that read “Hug Me,” as you can see in the picture below. I’m still wondering if their intention was merely to obtain hugs from strangers or if there was a cause behind it. I could have asked but the group settled on the second level of the exhibition grounds, and most people, including myself were reluctant to climb up the stairs to ask questions or “hug” them. I did not see any visitors going upstairs for hugs anyway; however, the lemonade stand had a long line up.
The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition showcased an array of talented artists. But only a few captivated my interest. So much so, that I chatted with them and decided to share a brief of them here.
Let me start with one of my favourite artists, Mike Walchuk. He studied Fine Arts at York University in 2009. What I found the most striking about his work is the perfection of his oil painted landscapes. He tells me he has been painting for three years and finds inspiration from Canadian landscapes, and that it takes him on average about six months or more to complete a painting.
Then, I met Yaeyul Kim. She graduated from the University of Waterloo in Fine Arts in 2008. She paints places; not any place but her “fantasy place,” places that when we see her canvases we wished we were/are there. Her colourful cities or places are reminiscent of a ‘fantasy candy land’ where many of us could dream of running around her painted streets like a kid and eating candies simultaneously.
My next favourite artist with a unique style is Katrina Schaman, who obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours from Queen’s University in 2005. Katrina paints using acrylic on wood. What is interesting about her is that she never plans her work; instead she lets her creativity emerge organically from her abstract shapes, by laying the paint and finding the balance. Here is Katrina in action:
Also, Christopher Banfalvi, who does sculptures with metals. His sculptures speak out loud of his talents. His guitar sculpture below was the audience’s favourite. That would be great public art!
Last but not least was the gifted Annie Veitch, who completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in 2007. Her figurative skills using oils speak for themselves!
If you would like to read more, see Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2012 via ArtToronto.ca.
I would love to hear from you about your favourite artist(s).