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Artist Project 2017

On Thursday, February 23, 2017 Toronto Arts and Events had the pleasure of attending the Tenth Annual Artist Project opening night party at the Better Living Centre. As one of Canada’s premier art fests, The Artist Project provides a platform for over 250 established and emerging artists from Canada and abroad to showcase their work to a large audience. Visitors also enjoyed the eclectic line up of art chats, the well-known Art Battle competition, and Artist Demonstrations during the fair. Attendees were able to purchase pieces directly from the artist through the Star Collectors program—a fantastic program where attendees support the career of these independent artists through their purchase and receive a multitude of perks in exchange for their generosity. Some of these Star Collectors perks include gift certificates to spend on the artwork of their choice, tickets to The Artist Project’s Early Access preview, and free delivery of their chosen pieces.

Highlights of the evening included captivating one-hundred-foot long watercolour mural (“The Tenth Tide” by Tracy Hiner) that greeted guests upon entry and a performance art piece from OCADU student Kevin Holliday where he embodied the symbol of the laughing buddha, performed a durational meditation, and invited visitors to interact with him as though he was an actual lucky statue. In light of The Artist Project’s tenth annual show, the theme for this year’s annual artist competition was Birthday Party. This year’s artists were invited to create an original work based on the birthday theme. While there were some great works on display, it was Toronto-based painter Yasemin Oncu who won the first place in the competition. Her Basquiat-inspired painting entitled, “The Birthday”, featured a happy-looking monster with its cake surrounded by sinister looking black monsters that were about to ruin the birthday monster’s special moment. It was clever commentary on how quick people are to demonize one another and how important it is to hang onto the positive moments in life in spite of the harsh, cruel state of the world. Oncu was also part of the Untapped Emerging Artist Competition, a juried competition dedicated to showcasing the artwork of students, self-taught artists, and new graduates.

With over 250 booths to explore, there were ample moments where visitors get to meet the artist directly and learn more about their styles, backgrounds, and work. Gordon Shadrach’s acrylic on wood ‘fashion portraits’ reflected the artist’s background in fashion illustration, which shone through his subjects’ super fly and stylish attire. Canadian photographer Keith Nash displayed a series of crystal clear photos of European cities such as Paris and Vienna, which inspired a deep feeling of wanderlust for the viewer. Toronto-based painter Alexis (aka Lipstick Lex) Fraser produced a series of paintings using an innovative technique called Kiss Print Pointillism, using only lipstick and her own lip imprints. Her portraits of classic and modern day celebrities were vibrant, exciting, and conversational.

Other highlights of the opening night party included music from DJ Lissa Monet and DEEJAY_LING, “The Girl with Paper Boats”, a beautifully haunting moving sculpture created by noted sculptor W.W. Hung, and a musical performance from Alexandria, a vocalist associated with Art Bound, a foundation that uses art and creativity to raise funds for arts-related programming in Canada and around the world.

About 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

© 2017 Article by Aleka Allen, Photos and layout TorontoArtsandEvents.  All Rights Reserved.  Editors please contact us for use.

Category: Arts
Start Date: 2017-02-23
End Date: 2017-02-26
Venue: Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, 195 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto.

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