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.

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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: http://www.takashi-hilferink.com/


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: http://mycanvas.ca/ 


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.

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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: https://www.erikashrestha.com/



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!

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Guide to Requesting a Commission

Do you want to commission a collage but don’t know where to start or how it works? Here is a guide to help you out! 

A lot of people enjoy my work, but do not see a collage they like enough to take home or the one they want is already sold, but not to worry! We can work on a collage together based on your ideas and visual preferences whether it is for your home or a gift for someone else.

Have this guide open while filling out your form to help you out with each step.


Commission Request Form


After your form is submitted we will discuss my availability, the time frame I will need to finish your collage and down payment.



There are lots of options for sizing to fit your needs whether it be for a specific wall space or simply needs to fit your budget.

Please email me through my contact page to request a price list based on sizing.

Available sizing for wooden panels (1.5" deep):

3” x 5” (diptych)

6” x 6”

8” x 6”

8” x 10”

10” x 10”

12” x 12”

11” x 14”

12” x 16”

16” x 20”

*If you would like larger than 16” x 20” I can reproduce your collage as a mounted print and frame it. Example sizes are 28” x 34”, 44” x 30”. With reproductions we can do any size you like.

These large reproductions are matte prints that are mounted on omega bond and finished off with a white floater frame. You will be given the original along with your reproduction.

They look absolutely beautiful. See examples below.



What themes, ideas, objects and aspects do you want to see in your collage?

Examples: love, relationships, family, animals, etc.

You can be very vague or specific with this part. Some people know exactly what they want to see and others let me take the reins and enjoy being surprised in the end. If you like a collage that is sold and want something similar provide me with the title. This will help me see what style you like and are looking for.

From this information I will look for base images that relate to your ideas and themes. I will provide you with at least 2-6 options for you to choose from. You can also provide me with your own images – send me the images and I can decide whether it is something I can work with.

What colours do you want in your collage?

Some like me to decide this, but if you have colour preferences let me know.



When do you need this collage completed by?

Here is a time frame guide showing approximately how much time I will need to complete your commission:


3” x 5” (diptych)

6" x 6"                                    ---->   1 WEEK

8" x 6" 


8” x 10”    

10” x 10”                                 ---->   1-2 WEEKS                        

12” x 12”                           

11” x 14”


12” x 16”                                  ---->   2-3 WEEKS       

16” x 20”


Large Scale Reproduction     ----> 1-1.5 MONTHS


4.  Down Payment

 Once you give me a thumbs up on the project I will send an invoice to your email for the down payment.


For any wooden panel collage the down payment is $100.00.


For a large reproduction the down payment is $800.00.




I hope this guide makes it easy for you to request your commission and I look forward to creating and collaborating with you!


Click here to see examples of my commissioned work.





Collage Care and Conservation

Congratulations on purchasing and now owning an original Nicole Moss artwork!

Here are some tips on how to care for your handmade collage made on wooden panel. 


  • The best way to protect your collage is to frame it properly behind a sheet of glass or plexiglass, leaving a space between the glass and the collage surface. This will act as a barrier to airborne dust and pollutants, as well as the hands of people. You will need to make sure the piece is well secured in the frame; if it is too loose dust can creep in.

                                      Toronto Image Works is great for framing. Click here to visit the website.

  • Proper glazing on your frame will help in the longevity of your collage. Higher grade glazing provides greater protection for your piece.

  • Framing your work protects the collaged image from light, as light and UV can make the artwork fade overtime.


  • You do not have to frame your collage or frame it behind glass, as you can take care of it by dusting it every now and then. I have coated your collage with a waterbase sealer/finish to insure it lasts and is protected. I would personally not frame it because I have put details on the sides of the collage that are beautiful to see!

  • Incandescent light has no UV component, so your artwork will be safe with this type of light without a frame.

  • Your collage should be kept in an environmentally controlled room at 18-23 Degrees Celsius, with low humidity.


Last but not least take care of it with love.