The 56th edition of the city’s annual outdoor showcase of creatives kicks off Friday
From July 14-16, Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture gets some company as visual artists fill Nathan Phillips Square with their own creative masterpieces for the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. The designer of this year’s show layout, PLANT Architect Inc., nods to the festival’s location in the heart of the city by taking cues from Neoclassical urban planning. Artist booths are arranged in easy-to-navigate blocks set up around a central plaza, with additional artists clustered in surrounding “mews” areas on the site’s corners to encourage exploration. PLANT will also contribute “Hanging Garden”, a feature installation that turns traditional ideas about horticulture on their head.
With more 300 artists exhibiting, the show is the perfect opportunity to kickstart your collection of professional paintings. Or, opt for something by an up-and-comer. An expanded student zone is dedicated to work by budding talents from OCAD U and Sheridan College.
And if you need a little liquid courage before committing to a canvas, hit up the beer garden by Henderson Brewing. Radicle, a pale ale brewed specially for the event, will be served in cans decked with a label designed by the winner of last year’s Best of Student award, Kaley Flowers.
Below, we flag five artists whose work we’re looking forward to seeing in-person – and perhaps even buying to bring home:
1 Flat depictions of urban forms by Gordon Leaverton (booth NM-39)
2 Quirky sculptures resembling architectural components by Alice Yujing (booth SA-47)
3 Odes to cozy local watering holes by Amy Walsh-Harris (booth P-092)
4 Playful portrayals of densely-packed domestic environments by Andrew Watch (booth SM-20; displaying alongside Kendra Lee)
5 Abstracts inspired by Canadian landscapes by Anne Barkley (booth P-066)