If you are time strapped this weekend but really want to take in some culture, support local talent and pick up a few trinkets for your house, here is my 30-minute guide to the Artist Project. Big time caveat- I think to really take it all in, chat with the artists, relax and have a coffee, etc. you need at least 2.5 hours, you could easily spend 4 hours plus (there are some cool interactive art battles and other features that I could not take advantage of but wish I could have). There's also a fun (unsupervised) kid area to let the littles blow off some creative steam.
Here are my essential stops at the Artist Project if you might be short on time- but not short on love for art!
SHANNON DICKIE booth 117
Stop here for: Large and small scale slightly abstract paintings.
Don't miss: Talking to her about her feelings on our relationship with digital media. Drawn to moments of people in motion, she uses blur to not only imply the motion of a figure, but also associate the digital image with a faded memory. Love that!
Cool fact: Her work as appeared in national publications like House and Home.
MARIE-JOSEE BERGERON booth 209
Stop here for: Beautiful abstracts.
Don't miss: She has several prints for sale starting at $350+. Gorgeous intricate abstracts, wish I had more budget to get a few large scale pieces.
Cool fact: In parrallel to her artistic practice, she has created a unique painting program that focuses on intuitive, abstract painting.
TONY KOUKOS booth 207
Stop here for: Beautiful photography from around the world
Don't miss: Looking at the custom carpet on the floor of his booth
Cool fact: Tony's work is regularly used by all the design superstars in Toronto: Brian Gluckstein, Sarah Richardson, and he makes some time for little old me too : )
KELLY GRACE booth 414
Stop here for: vintage pin up style, really nostalgic feeling paintings
Don't miss: Adorable small pieces- really cute series on the Wizard of Oz, find items at the $100 mark.
Cool fact: She's got gorgeous hair!
IAN BUSHER booth 422
Stop here for: Urban, edgy but playful abstract pieces featuring animal silhouettes on metal.
Don't miss: Pieces backed with reclaimed wood- I grabbed 2 for my son's room, love the mix of wood and metal. Priced at $100- fab value.
Cool fact: Ian and I filmed a pilot together for HGTV years ago when Ian was working full-time as a general contractor.
JAMES KENNEDY booth 713
Stop here for: Graphic cut outs of continents and other structures into unique pieces of steel
Don't miss: This bridge image above- so cool in person. The shadows become part of the piece as well. James is my favourite new find- I hope to commission something for a client in the future!
Cool fact: It starts with the steel- James finds unique pieces with particular pattern and texture to build his pieces from.
LAURIE FOOTE booth 902
Stop here for: Peaceful pastel super charming acrylic and oil paintings
Don't miss: Her sweet small canvases that depict figures on white backgrounds
Cool fact: Small canvases make for great little fillers in small wall areas or vignettes on a shelf.
Artist Project runs this weekend, closes Sunday at 6pm at the Better Living Centre at the Ex. Love to know what you brought home!