The Artist Project is a contemporary art fair that brings together artists from a variety of disciplines for a creative showcase in Toronto. This year’s event invited collectors and curators, gallerists and designers behind the art for an intimate shopping and viewing experience. The event featured over 250 Canadian and international artists which meant everything from mixed media works to sculptures were on display. The fair was a fantastic celebration of creativity and I loved getting to know so many new talented creators. With so many exhibitors it is impossible to pick just one favourite. I’ve rounded up a list of some standout artists who took part in The Artist Project. Keep reading to take a look and get inspired.
Frances is best known for her figurative work of contentious women blowing bubblegum in amplified colours. Her subjects are articulated by loose brushstrokes and paint drips to create a contradictory feel of both levity and gravity. Her pretty pastel colour tones make her art a treat for the eyes.
Julie’s bold and playful canvases burst with a cheerful energy. For Julie, art and music have an important connection and this is something she aims to reflect in her work. On her website Julie explains “all of my paintings are named after songs or lyrics as a tribute. To me, music is energizing, almost my creative fuel.” You can definitely sense rhythm in Julie’s work which is what makes it so easy to look at.
According to Claire Desjardins, “all of my work is an attempt to decipher the chatter in my head, to put forward a less awkward side of myself, to navigate through my everyday chaos towards calm.” Her canvases reflects a buzzing, energetic and enthusiastic mindset that welcome bold colours and splashy lines. Claire’s work makes you say “wow” due it its impressive scale and disruptively bold beauty.
Courtney Downman’s glasswork is subtle and elegant. Courtney’s series “Carved” begins with a blown glass form made by gathering and shaping the molten material. Once cooled the glass is delicately saw carved using a diamond blade to create the linear texture and raw edges.
If you think Marijke Bouchier’s art has a uniquely tropical aesthetic that’s probably because she is originally from New Zealand. Now based in Toronto and working as an illustrator and interdisciplinary artist, Marijke’s work is quite cute and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Her specialities include wallpaper, portraits, paper and a series on sexual fruit.
Marina’s work is inspired largely by fashion. Her girly illustrations focus on subjects such as fruit, animals and models. There is a chic and light hearted flair to Marina’s style which is what makes it stand out.
Isabella Boisvert is inspired by icons from the past and present. Her artwork combines flowery symbols and bold patterns to create contrast. Each of her canvases has a sense of fun, liveliness and energy.
Michelle Vella is a contemporary portrait artist known for her unique Big Eyes with a POP culture feel. Her work has been embraced by New York fashion industry icons such as Diane von Furstenberg who requested a custom portraiture for her DVF collection. Vella’s work has a distinctly high fashion feel and has been featured in Elle Canada and W Magazine.
Amey Lai is a contemporary artist born and raised in Toronto. Her work is bold and all about grandeur, colour and luxury funk. Amey’s work is inspired by diversity and cultures from all around the world. Integrating bold gold brushstrokes into her work is essential as she believes it illuminates her designs and gives them their own sunlight.
Isabella Di Sclafani
Isabella di Sclafani’s tiny sculptures were a highlight of the Artist Project. With their unique quirkiness they had a bold effect on audiences due to the way they were displayed. Each of these tiny sculptures has its own characteristics. So cute and fun!
Overall, the Artist Project was a wonderful event that I loved attending. It so exciting to be introduced to so many talented contemporary artists. I am already looking forward to next year!