Sunday, July 15, 2012

Outdoor Art in the GTA

Toronto Outdoor Art Show.
Photo from BlogTO.com.
There are lots of outdoor art shows in the summer in the Greater Toronto Area. I like to go wander around and see what other artists are up to, even though I don't generally do outdoor shows myself. I did a few many years back and while it could be fun, it could also be pretty awful. It totally depended on the weather. This year the weather has been hot and sunny. Perfect for both the vendors and the patrons. 

Last weekend was the big one, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. There is always some new, interesting stuff at this show, and a wide variety of artists. This year the thing that really caught my eye was an encaustic artist named Kevin Ghiglione. His work is really beautiful, and he is a really nice man who obviously loves what he does. He gave me lots of information on how he builds up his layers, what types of materials he uses, and even offered to let me come to his studio to watch if I wanted (I was likely the most enthusiastic person he'd talked to all day... I really do love his work. The photos do not do it justice). Totally made me want to break out the wax when I got home, but with the intense heat we've had here lately... well, not likely. My studio has inadequate ventilation for encaustic so I work outside, and combining high temperatures with molten wax and a heat gun/blow torch means almost certain heat stroke. No, thank you.

Port Credit Marina, with the outdoor art show in the distance.
This weekend was the Port Credit Outdoor Art Show. Not nearly as big, and it really seems to be more of a craft/artesian show than a Capital A Art show.  Lovely location right on the water. I did this show quite a few years ago... but the weather was not nearly so nice. There was a thunder storm with really intense wind, resulting in at least one tent being blown into the lake and quite a bit of broken glass. I remember spending a few hours desperately hanging on to the poles holding up my tent, after having bungee-corded all my hanging racks to concrete cinderblocks. It was so not fun. This year the weather was again hot and sunny, lots of people were out and it seemed that they were actually buying. Nice to see. One of the artists told me there was a big show at the Distillery District the August long weekend. I think I'll try to get out and see that one too.