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6 Must-See Artists to Meet at this Weekend’s Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

Launching careers since 1961, the open-air art bonanza – open July 6 to 8th – will yet again connect the public with hundreds of rising art stars at Nathan Phillips Square. Read on for some of the jury’s 2018 favourites


Henry Moore’s massive bronze sculpture gets some company this weekend as more than 300 visual artists fill Nathan Phillips Square with their own creative masterpieces. With thousands of affordably priced, original artworks on hand from various disciplines, it’s a perfect opportunity for everyone to kick off their art collection. Hot tip: If you need a little liquid courage before committing to a purchase, consider hitting up Henderson Brewery Co.’s beer garden first.

And while you’re at the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, take a moment to get up close and personal with the artists, both established and emerging, and from here and afar, who will all be on site to talk process and technique. Whom to meet first? We asked the TOAF’s distinguished panel of judges, which includes Janet Macpherson, to identify the artists they’re most excited to see this year. Here are the six they unanimously recommend checking out:


1. The socially engaging 3D work of Shahrzad Amin, made from such materials as air-dry and wax clay, plaster, silicon, fiberglass and urethane resin. The character-rich sculptures by the Oakville native, who studied fine arts in Tehran, Iran, are definitely conversation-starters. Shown below: “Witnesses”.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair - Shahrzad Amin


2. The architectural cast glass tiles of Francis Muscat. A part-time professor at Durham College, the Maltese artisan’s astonishing mosaics and sculptures are regularly commissioned for gallery showings and custom home installations.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair - Francis Muscat


3. The designy craftwork of Marianna Chenard, highly regarded for her exploration of various technical treatments of clay surfaces. The Emily Carr Institute–trained ceramicist’s expertly rendered, functional objects reflects her interest in Canadian history, its landscapes, its status as a Nordic country, and the associated cliches that come with it.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair - Marianna Chenard


4. The textile-based sculpture of Helen Liene Dreifelds, an artist-in-residence at the Harbourfront Centre’s Craft & Design Studios. Her handwoven blanket installations – made from translucent nylon, cotton, wool, metal wire, flagging tape, reflective thread, and elastic cording – are motivated by the emotional and physical experience of change. Shown below: “Phase Change”.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair - Helen Liene Dreifelds


5. The quiet power of Eunshin Grace Kim modern figure paintings, prints and drawings. Born in Seoul City and schooled at the University of New Hampshire, Kim’s oil-on-canvas works precisely convey feelings and provoke nostalgia. Shown below: “Young Officer” and “Lady”.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair – Eunshin Grace Kim

6. The handwoven cloth tapestries of Elycia SFA which explore the preservation and reconstruction of memory. Incorporating woven inlay and embroidery in her imagery, the OCAD-grad’s textiles are material archives of changing landscapes, domestic dwellings and the objects that inhabit them.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair - Elycia SFA


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