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It is great to see the proliferation of art fairs in Toronto in the past few years. Granted ours do not have the same cache as some of the larger and long established events, but nonetheless we continue to offer something for every taste. Therefore, it is with the latest offering, The Artist’s Project held this year at the Queen Elizabeth Building at the CNE grounds. It was a little bit of a schlep taking public transport to the site but the venue was bright and spacious with well-demarcated spacing and signage. 

On offering was a proliferation of artists with a range of mediums including drawing, painting, photography, encaustic, sculpture and installation. Although there was an over abundance of trees and landscapes represented in some of these mediums it was a great way for the un-initiated general public to acquaint themselves with the art and artists and possibly take home a piece to start a collection or add to an existing one. This fair being a representation of perceptual rather than conceptual art, it was an easy stroll from aisle to aisle. 

Special features such as Installation Alley, Video Artbox and the Queen Competition added a little depth to balance the monotony of the booths. Art Chats and Art Walks rounded out the fair by adding an educational component for those who could be a little mystified or intimidated by viewing art or by the artistic process in general. 

Most artists were only too willing to talk about their work and explain the technique and steps that went in to producing their pieces. With such a range of inspiration, it was not hard to pick up some advice for the budding artist or collector in each of us. 

Here are my top three picks, not in any particular order: 

1.   Faye Mullen   Mass: a Study  “ I am an artist and I weigh.” 

In this installation piece, the artist could be seen astride one end of a teeter-totter with the other end being held up by her weight in bricks. Mullen has resolved her work to capture in quantifiable terms an artist’s worth in physical terms. In today’s weak economy an artist is one of those who is caught in limbo relying on grants and sales to shore up their practice. By physically representing the weight of an artist with objects Mullen has succeeded in capturing and representing a sometimes invisible and forgotten entity. 

  1. Queen Competition

 In honour of the new venue, The Queen Elizabeth Building, the exhibitors were asked to create a piece based on the theme of “Queen.” On display were some creative representations of the Queen in some precarious depictions as well as an out-sized industrial looking metal crown and scepter. I think I even might have seen a roving installation piece attired in regal splendor!

 3.   Robert Malinowski

 Malinowski’s light and humorous graphite drawings of adults absorbed in a playful and fantastical world are engaging and superb in technique. These images to me evoke references to Jude Griebel who captures the same playful world, but in that of the young.

Other notable artists of mention:

 Warren Hoyano  

Elizabeth Forrest  

Dominique Prevost

Russell Brohier


One Comment

  1. The subject is fully clear but why does the text lack clarity? But in general your blog is great.

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