Sunday, July 13, 2014

Toronto Outdoor Art Show - 2014 Edition

The fountain at Nathan Phillips Square surrounded by artist booths. This gets turned into an outdoor skating rink in the winter.
I love the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit. As a visitor anyway... I'm not terribly fond of being in outdoor shows, as somehow if I'm participating there is bound to be some kind of extreme weather. I've had extreme heat, torrential rain, hurricane force winds... it's been many years since I've been brave enough to try again. But as a visitor? This show rocks.

First off, it's huge. I tend to be a bit chatty, so if the art strikes me I will stop to ask questions and talk to the artist for a bit. This year it took me the entire afternoon to get around and see everything. And the space was packed, which was wonderful to see. I'm hoping the market is starting to pick up a bit... this is the second show I've been to this year where I've seen people walking around with packages under their arms and artists telling me sales have been good. Makes me hopeful. 

The highlights for me this year were for the most part non-objective painters. There was one landscape painter that did these gorgeous pieces with metallic underpainting... they glowed. But taking a photo that showed their beauty was next to impossible for me, and she doesn't have a website, so I can't really share her work, as much as I loved it. Here are a few of the others I came across...


This is Lori Mirabelli. Her work felt very organic to me... very light and airy, and she uses a lot of my favourite colour combinations. Very friendly as well... we had a great chat about abstract art in general. And that huge piece on the right? Sold. How awesome for her.


This is Nancy Farrell (in the hat... she doesn't like to have her photo taken. I let her believe I was just shooting the painting). Lots of bold, bright colours here that really grabbed me. We had a long talk about process... she works much the same way I do, with very little planning in advance. She just goes with what is happening, and makes it work. Beautiful. I'd really like to own one of these one day. And I'd like my own abstract work to be even half that good.


This is Thelia Sanders Shelton. Thelia works at my neighbourhood art supply store, so we knew each other already. I'm in there about once a week, after all. But I had never seen her paintings before, so I was excited to come across her here. Her work is bright and bold, much like her personality. She had a good show too, with decent sales. We mostly talked about how hot is was in the spot she had... apparently when you apply you can ask to go in a specific spot (not guaranteed, but they will consider it). From my own observation the best places would be around the water, preferably on the south side where there is more shade. She was right smack in the middle.

So theres my short run-down. Once again, I'm considering applying for next year. I never do... first there is my weather issue, but also my husband is away this week every year to visit his family, so I'd be on my own. I'm not sure I can manage a tent on my own. I think I just have to bite the bullet and apply, and worry about the hows if I get in. I'm sure I could recruit a couple friends to help out. But applications are a long way off, and a lot can happen between now and then.....