On Thursday, February 22, 2018 Toronto Arts and Events had the pleasure of attending the opening night party for Eleventh Annual Artist Project, held inside the Better Living Centre. As one of Canada’s premier arts and culture events, The Artist Project provides a platform for over 250 established and emerging artists from Canada and abroad to showcase their work to a large audience. Visitors also enjoyed the eclectic line up of art chats, the well-known Art Battle competition, and Artist Demonstrations during the fair.
Highlights of the evening included an eye-catching installation entitled ‘Shine On’ by visual artist/sculptor, Nathalie Sanche. The installation consisted of silver paper rolled and manipulated to resemble a chrysalis, whic
h stretched along the front entrance, greeting guests as they enter the building. There was also a live performance art piece called, “Under Construction”, created by James Knott, and presented by OCAD University’s Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers in partnership with The Artist Project. In the performance, a performer stacked and then tore down blocks in an attempt to explore the term, “constructed realities”, and how one can transmute negative experiences into new sets and environments. This year’s Artist Competition was sponsored by well-known watchmaker brand, SWATCH. This year’s artists were invited to create an original work based on their interpretation of the theme, “Time Flies”.
SWATCH, well-known watchmaker and sponsor of this year’s Artist Competition
With over 250 booths to explore, there were ample moments where visitors get to meet the artist directly and learn more about their styles, backgrounds, and work. Gordon Shadrach’s ‘fashion portraits’ reflected the artist’s background in Fashion Illustration. His fashion portraits used young black males as the subjects to demonstrate and directly challenge society’s close-minded view of young black males, giving each subject a dignified pose, regal attire, and sophisticated frames. Canadian photographer Keith Nash displayed a series of crystal clear photos of European cities such as Paris and Vienna, which inspired a deep feeling of wanderlust for the viewer. Toronto-based visual artist James Paterson showcased a range of whimsical and interactive ‘Prayer Machines’ that served as visual metaphors for prayers. These prayer machines invited viewers to reflect on their spirituality, as well as contemplate on how trust in a higher power is fragile, especially in moments of uncertainty and chaos. In the Installation Zone, Sangmin Lee’s piece entitled, ‘Undressing Bart’, addressed the notion of how bodies can be defined by the cultural significance of associated shapes, colours, and surrounding objects, such as clothing. By using iconic cartoon character Bart Simpson, Lee’s installation stripped down the elements of what makes Bart Simpson recognizable. In removing Bart’s iconic orange shirt and blue shorts, and putting him in a completely different environment, the viewer’s original interpretation of Bart Simpson also changes in relationship to its environment.
James Paterson, visual artist, standing besides one of his Prayer Machines
Undressing Bart by Sangmin Lee
Other highlights of the opening night party included music from DJ Your Girl Flav and DJ Matthew Romeo and an exhibit from Art Bound, a non-profit foundation that uses art and creativity to raise funds for arts-related programming in Canada and around the world. There was no shortage of food and beverage vendors as guests enjoyed falafel from Tabule, porchetta mini sliders from Terroni, gluten free double chocolate chunk cookies from Fit Organix, and a delectable array of Italian pastries from Gusto 54.
Entries in this year’s Artist Competition based on the theme, Time Flies.
About The Artist Project
The Artist Project is Toronto’s most celebrated contemporary art fair features the artwork of over 250 artists from all over Canada and abroad. The artwork featured at this art fair range from commercial, Canadian landscapes to edgy digital art, sculpture, glass work, photography, print making, even conceptual and installation art. To learn more about The Artist Project, please visit their website at www.theartistproject.com
© 2018 Article by Aleka Allen, Photos and layout TorontoArtsandEvents. All Rights Reserved. Editors please contact us for use.