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The Ninth Annual Artist Project

On Thursday, February 18, 2016 Toronto Arts and Events had the pleasure of attending the Ninth Annual Artist Project opening night party at the Better Living Centre on the Exhibition grounds. Every year, this four-day contemporary art fair brings in over 250 established and emerging artists-exhibitors to showcase their art to gallery owners, curators, and hundreds of art lovers. This year’s Artist Project featured an Art Battle, the UNTAPPED Emerging Artists Competition, and the Road Trip Artist Competition.
Steamwhistle Brewery, Fat Bastard Wines, and Buffalo Trace provided beverages for the evening. There were lineups for carnitas provided by Quesada and cider from Strongbow. The Toronto-based Middle Eastern restaurant, Tabule, came back to this year’s Artist Project to serve their delicious mini falafel with house made hummus and harissa hot sauce. The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto’s trendiest boutique art hotel, served refreshing glasses of their vodka-berry-rose tea cocktail to guests.
With over 250 artists displaying their art and a huge variety of different mediums, meeting the different artists and learning about their work was the biggest highlight of the evening. The installation piece entitled, “Social Roots”, by Becky Lauzon is a series of vases that track the growth of an avocado tree. All of the four tear-shaped glasses contained an avocado pit in different stages of growth. The tear-shaped glass magnified the roots of each plant, allowing guests to closely observe each the nodules and delicate root hair. According to the artist’s statement, it was meant to be an observation of society’s fixation with sharing all of our personal lives through social media, which exposes our own roots. Dani Cooperman and Bev Hogue were featured in last year’s Artist Project and returned this year to display their new pieces. Bev Hogue is an accomplished painter from Niagara and her acrylic paintings artwork is reminiscent of artists and designers such as Miss Van and Camille Rose Garcia. In her exhibitor booth, she created a series of retro movie posters that starred her seductive and dark female subjects as the star of these movies. Jono Doiron’s booth felt like walking into a dark and surreal fantasy world filled with iconic cartoon characters removed their cheery masks and revealed their mischievous selves. One of his paintings, “The Whoville Massacre”, was designed as a horror film poster with The Grinch looking down at the sleepy town of Whoville with a menacing grin on his face. The painting raised the question of what would happen if The Grinch took his nefarious plot to destroy Christmas and ruin the lives of Whoville residents one step further. Gordon Shadrach’s acrylic on wood ‘fashion portraits’ reflected the artist’s background in fashion illustration, which shone through the great eye for detail and impeccable styling of the male subjects in these portraits. If there was a ‘Hometown Glory’ award at the fair, it would have gone to Alexis Fraser, the Toronto-based artist whose mixed media portraits of popular Torontonians sparked a #WhosMoreToronto Instagram contest that evening.  Guests took selfies with either a super fly portrait of Drake or a portrait of Mayor John Tory as their answer for which of the two figures are more ‘Toronto’. The evening concluded with great music from DJ Lissa Monet and more drinking and eating into the night.

The Artist Project

The Artist Project is Toronto’s most celebrated contemporary art fair features the artwork of over 250 artists from all over Canada and abroad. The artwork featured at this art fair range from commercial, Canadian landscapes to edgy digital art, sculpture, glass work, photography, print making, even conceptual and installation art. To learn more about The Artist Project, please visit their website at http://www.theartistproject.com
© 2016 Article by Aleka Allen,  layout by TorontoArtsandEvents.  Editors please contact us for use.

Category: Arts
Start Date: 2016-02-18
End Date: 2016-02-21
Venue: Better Living Centre 195 Princes’ Boulevard, Exhibition Place Toronto, ON

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