Artists from a variety of disciplines will come together February 22nd to 25th, 2018 to showcase their work at the 11th installment of The Artist Project – a contemporary art fair hosted in Toronto at the Better Living Centre. This year’s event will take collectors and curators, gallerists and designers #BehindTheArt for an intimate shoppable experience, connecting them with over 250 curated Canadian and International artists. In addition, visitors will enjoy interactive installations, live performances, artist competitions and engaging talks on the industry’s hot topics.

The four-day show commences with a ticketed, Opening Night Party celebrating the diverse world of art, and will feature music by Matthew Romeo and Flavia Abadia. As guests enter, they will be welcomed by an illuminative installation from Nathalie Sanche. SHINE ON will feature carefully manipulated paper shapes that resemble a chrysalis or a shell or a trumpet, arranged in large, eye-catching sculptures. The reflective aluminum sculptures are pure form – light, white and ephemeral – but at the same time, possess a density and a fluidity that will catch the viewer by surprise.

Installation Zone
A main attraction for visitors, the Installation Zone highlights work from a variety of artists working in different mediums. A must see participant this year is Take A Picture; Toronto by Max Hart Barrnwell – a 10-foot mural that will bring to life a collection of images captured by Torontonians via disposable cameras found around the city’s streets as part of an interactive art experiment.

Art Chats
The Artist Project’s Art Chats engages guests and offers an insider’s look into the art industry through the lens of experts in the field. A curated selection of special guests will share their knowledge from a variety of sectors in the creative community, imparting fresh perspectives and invaluable advice. This popular seminar series of interactive discussions will be hosted by some of the industries brightest minds and explore today’s prevalent subject matter. Topics and speakers are listed below.

Art Battle
Back by popular demand, Art Battle #638 returns to the exhibition floor on the evening of Friday February 23rd from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This interactive, live painting competition will showcase 14 artists selected from the fair to create the best work they can in 20 minutes. As they paint, visitors can move around the easels, closely watching the creative process #BehindTheArt, and are encouraged to vote for their favourite painting and bid in a silent art auction.

UNTAPPED Emerging Artists Competition
Dedicated to supporting the development and success of students, new graduates and self-taught artists, the UNTAPPED Emerging Artist Competition, presented by DeSerres, is a juried competition that awards 20 emerging artists from all mediums the opportunity to exhibit at a professional-level art fair at no charge in a dedicated feature space. This program aims to provide a platform for young artists to launch their artwork to a public audience, make connections within the arts industry and gain experience in the contemporary art world.

Presented by Swatch, this year artists are invited to submit an original work based on their interpretation of the theme “TIME FLIES”. All competition entries will be presented in a feature exhibit at the show for guests to enjoy. Winners will be selected by a panel of jurors to receive a cash prize. Show-goers can also vote for their favourite entry in the competition to receive the People’s Choice Award and be automatically entered to win $250 towards a work of art and a pair of tickets to the Opening Night Party at Artist Project 2019.

Performance Art
OCAD University’s Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers partners with Artist Project to present Under Construction by James Knott. This installation explores the notion of “constructed realities”, particularly from a queer perspective, with the use of absurdity and camp theatrics as a coping mechanism. Drawing inspiration from the paintings of Mike Smalley (a 10-year veteran of Artist Project), Ariel Adkins, Art & Social Media Maven and Founder of @ArtfullyAwear, will paint garments on live models creating a juxtaposition between art and life, fashion and function. Sponsored by Art Collectif, 10 per cent of sales raised through the auction of completed garments will be donated to Red Door Shelter – an organization providing safe shelter for women and families in need

Be Sure to stop by and visit the booths of these LGBT ARTISTS

Using bold and conflicting colours, shapes and textures, Andrew Stelmack explores an obsession of finding “the calm within chaos”. He will often use strong colours to assault and yet calm the senses at the same time. He will also combine the opposing effects of texture with smooth luminosity — within the same space — until they find a shared and harmonious balance. There is an influence of cubism in Andrew’s work as he is fascinated in how such perfect shapes as a square or rectangle can so quickly become imperfect. “It is amazing how all you have to do is create the simplest rupture or distortion to these defined shapes and instantly you create an energy and an emotion that wasn’t there.”

Keight MacLean is a Toronto-based painter, born and raised in Kingston, Ontario. MacLean is an OCAD University graduate and alumna of the school’s revered Florence Program, in Florence, Italy. Inspired by her time studying the old masters first hand, MacLean’s paintings combine the old with the new, reproducing historical portraits by hand before applying contemporary and experimental methods such as fluorescent spray paint, re-harvested artists’ mediums and destructive techniques. With a love for European history, MacLean’s focus on women was born after years of reading male driven. Her work now seeks to celebrate the many women in historical portraits, either without name, known only in reference to their male relations or entirely unknown, giving a voice to the silenced.

Anand Jaggernauth is an Emerging Toronto Artist, and Resident Artist for Canada’s Stock Exchange – NEO Exchange. Educated as a Geophysicist with a successful career, in 2014 Anand decided to follow his passion for art full time. He creates both Vibrant and Serene Oil Abstracts. His process starts with the Scientist in him, using tools to play with various degrees of friction – but never brushes. Seeing the canvas as the first layer in the subsurface, he creates new layers and integrates texture – bringing harmony into all his work. With an impressive client list he continues to have sold out shows. His work is owned by the Royal Bank Of Canada and the Bank Of Montreal. 

Matt Beasant is a self-taught artist who grew up on a lake in Northwestern Ontario. There he countered the loneliness and confusion of his sexuality by spending time alone in the forest. Raised almost completely without religion or spiritual doctrine, Matt was able to freely form his own perspective on spirituality. This exploration allowed the landscapes to speak to him; their lines and hidden geometric systems acting as expressions of human emotions. Underlying this narrative is a fascination with elements of geology, biology, and theoretical physics. The crisp and almost digital aesthetic of Matt’s work is achieved by brushing onto canvas many thin layers of paint completely by freehand. 

Art Chats:

10 Art Buying Tips for New Collectors – Saturday February 24th 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
You’ll never forget the first piece of original art that you buy. Ask any art collector and they’ll be able to share their first art buying experience in detail and with great passion. Many new collectors aren’t sure where to start. This talk will give you 10 tips for buying art under $2,500. This talk will discuss the elements that make art valuable, how the art market works and end with the answers to 10 questions that each new collector has but is afraid to ask. Join art appraisers from the International Society of Appraisers for an informative and engaging talk lead by Kelly Juhasz, President of the Canadian Chapter.

THE PASSION PROJECT: Exploring Art, Fashion and Identity – Saturday Feb 24th 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Join Erika Floysvik, Founder of Art Collectif, an online destination for contemporary art, in conversation with Ariel Adkins, Art & Social Media Maven and Founder of @ArtfullyAwear, as they explore the thread between art, fashion and identity. Curator Confidential – Saturday February 24th 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
The art world can be an intimidating place but, Mia Nielsen, long time curator and Director of Art + Culture at The Drake, is here to shed some light. In this animated talk she’ll let you in on what the art world won’t tell you about starting a collection, becoming a curator or developing a career as an artist.

Brilliant! Brilliant! – Sunday February 25th 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
How do artists take the dynamism of life and illuminate it in art? With digital tools at their fingertips, why are painters still invested in the materiality of paint and the handmade gesture? Anda Kubis, Artist and Associate Professor at OCAD University, will engage these questions and more with Artist Project exhibitors Sherry Czekus and Joanna Gresik in a free-range conversation about contemporary painting, creativity and the path to realizing artistic achievement in a busy and distracting world.

How to Protect Your Art Physically + Digitally – Sunday February 25th 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Protecting art requires careful planning and it starts from the moment art is created. Learn how to protect your art physically and digitally from the experts at ArtMoi, Emily Glover and Sarah Gurevich. Olivia Cinqmars from AXA ART will be joining the discussion offering a unique perspective within the fine art insurance industry. This will be a Q&A style discussion moderated by arts marketing specialist Michelle Bouchard.

Kelly Juhasz, President of the International Society of Appraisers Canadian Chapter
Erika Floysvik, Founder of Art Collectif
Ariel Adkins, Art & Social Media Maven and Founder of @ArtfullyAwear
Anda Kubis, Artist and Associate Professor at OCAD University
Sherry Czekus and Joanna Gresik, Artist Project exhibitors
Emily Glover and Sarah Gurevich, ArtMoi
Mia Nielsen, curator and Director of Art + Culture at The Drake

Ticket Information

Tickets are now on sale for the Early Access Preview and the Opening Night Party held on Thursday February 22, 2018. Early Access visitors will be among the first to preview and collect works of art, while indulging in specialty cocktails, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, music and art performances.
Early Access Preview (19+) $50
Opening Night Party (19+) $30
Regular Admission (Free re-admission)
Valid any day between Friday February 23rd to Sunday February 25th
Adult admission $15

Thursday February 22 – Early Access Preview 5-10 PM – Opening Night Party 7-10 PM

Friday February 23 11 AM-10 PM

Saturday February 24 11 AM-8 PM

Sunday February 25 11 AM-6 PM

Better Living Center -Exhibition Place, Toronto

More info and tickets here.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment, and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors, and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats. Reach out -