Art Toronto 2017 Highlights

Art Toronto, Canada’s international contemporary and modern art fair, located at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre took place over the weekend of October 27-30. This fair is one of the most important annual art events in Canada. Being an artist myself, this is an event I look forward to every year and aspire to be a part of one day. 

Artwork from leading Canadian and International galleries are presented. Therefore, most booths have many different artists represented by one gallery. 

I find this art fair to be overwhelming because of this. To have a successful booth I believe the gallery has to choose art pieces that work very well together, while taking risks in order to be noticed. 

I find it takes a lot to grab my attention at this exhibition, but some booths and individual artists definitely caught my eye.





Breakfast of Champions


Acrylic, Oil and Spray Paint on Canvas

48" x 60"

I was so excited to see an artist from OCAD University's 2017 graduate exhibition: Nicholas Zirk. OCAD University always has a great booth at Art Toronto exhibiting recent graduates and I was so glad to see his work! I love the connection his paintings make to identity and the surreal aspects and feelings they evoke. His paintings have almost everything I ever look for in an artwork: surrealism, a personal connection, a story and humour. 




 End Of The Chase 



Polyester Resin, Wood, Synthetic Hair, Paint

55 x 18 x 15 in

Edition of 6


This sculpture stopped me in my tracks. I had such a mixture of feelings when looking at it. It made me smile, yet evoked feelings of concern and worry. This work was so clever and strange because of the fact it was doing the complete opposite of what you would expect it to do - to be stationary and lifeless. My take away from it was a message communicating the death of childhood and the end of innocence. 

One thing I do not like about this show is that most of the time the artists are not present, so it is a downside that you cannot speak to them personally about their work. This sculpture was the first thing that really grabbed me and I am usually not too fond of sculptures, but this really encouraged me to engage and conceptualize the meaning behind it. 

Loved it!!!




Fossil Petri Series



Engraved plexiglass, aluminum

Multiples of these engraved plexiglass works by Laurent Lamarche were presented, which were illuminated by bright lights, making them very easy to be noticed. OUUUU BRIGHT LIGHTS! The details were so amazing and was easily the most beautiful artwork collection I saw there. He creates fictional living organisms, marrying art and science. He aims to question our relationship to nature and technology and this is exactly what I took away from it. It is refreshing when you do not have to make your brain hurt to understand what is going on in an artwork. Sometimes you just want art to be clear and straight forward. The concepts are simple, but the visual work sure is not!

You have to take a look at the different views to really appreciate the visuals, so please click this link:

My favourite booth was DOWNS & ROSS from New York. On the outside corner of the booth was a mannequin child about two and half feet high facing the wall. It looked like she was playing the classic game of hide and seek - her face up against the wall looking like she was counting down until she would embark on the search for her hiding friends. I thought it was a real child at first! It shocked me and made me laugh. This placement of the child was very smart, as it encouraged me to turn the corner and enter the booth. When turning the corner I saw there were others. They were all facing the wall, so I was unable to see their faces. I really enjoy art that tricks the mind and brings an element of surprise, so this caused me to choose this gallery as my number one choice. I also loved the paintings presented. I enjoyed the combination of realism with the graphic illustrations and lines. They were technically impressive and had a great colour scheme. The style of the hands reminded me of traditional Renaissance paintings or tarot cards. Overall, the choice of art pieces and presentation satisfied me emotionally and visually. 

Visit their website to learn more:


Comment below for feedback on my choices and let me know your favourite artist, artwork or booth from Art Toronto 2017!

Queen West Art Crawl 2017: Top 3 Artists

The weekend of September 23rd and 24th in Toronto was an unusual scorcher, considering this time of year we are usually getting into our fall jackets and drinking hot pumpkin spice lattes.

giphy (1).gif

With it being sunny and 30 degrees, the Queen West Art Crawl in Trinity-Bellwoods Park was packed with people. This annual juried outdoor art exhibition features live music, food vendors and best of all, artworks on display by 200 artists.

Being an artist myself who participates in art exhibitions like these, I never really get the chance to view other artists’ work while at my booth, so I took this opportunity to be on the viewers’ side for a change!


While walking around, I was very impressed by the quality of work and enthused to be introduced to many new artists. A strong community is built within these art exhibitions, a community I am so proud to be a part of. I am delighted to share with you my 3 favorite artists from the show. You will see why I chose these artists when you take a look at my art practice.

I know what type of art I love and what I am attracted to, which is thought-provoking, surreal, clever and narrative artwork. So without further ado, here are my top 3 picks from the 2017 Queen West Art Crawl.



These were the first artworks that immediately grabbed my attention. Hilferink creates his paintings with acrylic and oil paints on gold or silver metal leaf that contain visual narratives that command the viewers’ attention and patience. His series Humane Sacrifice presents colourful silhouettes of individuals in beautifully destroyed landscapes.

These surreal paintings encourage one to engage and think about his artistic choices. They are so technically exquisite and rendered so realistically, which enables the viewer to really enter the narrative and personify with the faceless colourful silhouettes. What I love most about his work is that it promotes one to think of the destructive realities in our world without actually painting an event seen in reality. Instead, much like me, he confronts these issues with a world that confronts our truest fears – the dream world.

Check out more:


Let’s face it…everyone loves animals and I can not help but love these work.

I have seen Ahnert’s work at The Artist Project previous to this show, so I instantly recognized it. It is a challenge to make recognizable work when painting animals since so many artists do it, so hats off to this creator! Much like Hilferink, he presents narratives, but narratives that are humorous, fun and playful. They touch on the human-animal connection and explore themes of emotion and reflection.

On occasion I create artwork presenting animals with humans, using them as metaphors to explain human behaviour, so this caused me to connect with his themes. I was especially attracted to the oil paintings of whales, where most are shown swimming or flying in the sky. The whales have an industrial feel with their graffiti, trademark logos and clues of humankind inventions and actions on their bodies, as if we as humans have claimed them as our property.

These paintings have a mystical feel and definitely transport me to another world. Overall I love the surrealism aspect, as I believe animals to be the perfect expression of our primitive and subconscious desires.

Check out more: 


This artist made my list because

1. Her work was different from anything I had seen at this exhibition.

2. Her work reminds me of one of my favourite artists: Wangechi Mutu

3. It incorporates aspects of collage.

On display was her Selfie Stick Series, which were mannequin heads covered with found materials (ex. beads, sequins, string). They are frightening, yet strikingly beautiful. Her work explores the idea of absurdity and beauty inhabiting the same space. Shrestha states, "The impetus for the heads was a desire to create identity through the use of found objects. The idea of hybrid, the weaving together of culture and society through using bits and pieces of pre-owned objects represents our way of recycling ideas, using the old to inform the new."

My take away from her work was an outlook on the social society we live in today and a reflection of how we view ourselves, especially through social media.

giphy (2).gif

I think her work perfectly captures the frightening aspect of our obsession with beauty and the fabricated self we present to the world, while providing the viewer with the opportunity to appreciate the intricacy and details of each object added to the face.

"These heads represent us all, we are all hybrids, the self is a shared identity."



Check out more:



Overall I really enjoyed this outdoor exhibition and will definitely be keeping tabs on new work these artists will be creating! I am done with outdoor art shows for the summer, but am in the process of creating new work for my 2018 shows. Check out my most recent collages to see the similarities between me and these fantastic artists I have chosen as my top 3. 

Thanks for reading and Happy October!

giphy (3).gif