12 Toronto Artists

For 12 years now the Artists Project has given art lovers the opportunity to buy art directly from the more than 300 artists who will gather to exhibit their work at a four-day contemporary art fair taking place at The Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place on Feb. 21 to 24.

From paintings and sculpture to photography and installations, the fair is a showcase of Canadian and international talent, including emerging artists who won the opportunity to exhibit for free in the Untapped Emerging Arts Competition.

These emerging artists were selected in a juried competition where applicants competed for one of the 20 coveted spots to exhibit their work in a dedicated space for emerging artists at the popular show.

Emily-Jean Alexander, director of The Artist Project, says that the competition provides a platform for self-taught or resent art school graduates who are beginning their careers as independent artists.

“Our goal is to help these artists to gain experience speaking with patrons about their artwork, to connect with arts professionals and, hopefully, to sell artwork or be engaged for commissions,” she says.

Whether you’re an artist, a collector or just want to see what’s new in the Canadian contemporary art scene, here are five of the emerging artists to check out at this year’s show.

Alexander Robinson

Alexander Robinson, a self-taught artist from Toronto, started painting six years ago. It’s his first time exhibiting his work at an art fair of this scale.

He describes his work as a form of Afro-surrealism and says his aim is to highlight the experiences that come with navigating the world as a person of colour. Robinson uses acrylic paint to create art that tackles subjects such as masculinity and toxic stereotyping.

“I aim to capture the idea of people getting reduced to a small fraction of who they really are. My work can evoke reactions like, ‘I get it, they’re potheads,’ which is akin to the assumption of, ‘You’re Black, so I know the type of person you are.’ Just like the people the potheads reference, these pieces all have their own complex stories that can be heard and felt if someone is willing to take the time to get to know them.” says Robinson.


Hannan Fayad

Hannan Fayad is a glass artist and graduate of Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program (2016) who works out of a studio in London, Ont. Fayad creates geometric blown glass sculptures that are carved with a sandblaster to create perforations in the piece, that she says create an organic structure.

“It’s really an honour to be picked out of all the talented emerging artists that had applied. I’m truly excited to be displaying my work alongside the other amazing Untapped artists. I have exhibited at Toronto Outdoor Art Fair for the last two years, but this will be my first larger-scale exhibit that is inside and with a display wall. I’m really looking forward to configuring my display,” says Fayad.


Elycia SFA

Elycia SFA is a textile artist based in Toronto who graduated with a degree in Material Art and Design: Textiles from OCAD University in 2015. She uses silk linen yarn to hand weave cloth and uses an inlay technique to create imagery within the structure of the cloth with sewing thread.

Her handwoven cloth, explores memory, nostalgia and loss by weaving and embroidering images of real life objects, ranging from old family photos to collected stamps.

“Before I studied textiles, the foundation of my art practice was deeply rooted in drawing. When I learned to weave, I gravitated to woven inlay as a specific technique, as it allows me to draw with thread and create representational compositions within the structure of the cloth,” says SFA.


Liang Wang

Liang Wang is a Toronto-based painter originally from Taiwan, who moved to Canada in 2009, as a high school student. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Alberta in 2015, and had his first solo show at Northern Contemporary Gallery in Toronto this past summer, then, in September, he was accepted into the newly opened Museum of Contemporary Art residency program in Toronto.

“I consider my paintings representational art. I like to find inspiration from daily life. I believe there are always moments and feelings in sometimes ordinary life worth capturing,” says Wang.

This is his first time exhibiting at an art fair.


Anne-Sophie Vallée

Anne-Sophie Vallée is a multi-disciplinary artist with a background as a jeweller and metalsmith, originally from Sherbrooke, Que. Vallée graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2016 from NSCAD University in Halifax, N.S., where she currently lives and works.

Vallée’s work includes sculptural pieces made of cement, plaster, pigments and resin with a variety of found materials such as polystyrene, insulating foam and packaging materials made of plastic and cardboard.

“I am looking forward to seeing people’s reaction to the work and for the opportunity to have a conversation,” says Vallée.


Debra Norton is a Toronto-based freelance writer.

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-ca/lifestyle/travel/tripideas/5-new-artists-to-check-out-at-the-artist-project/ar-BBTOzOs

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