Tag Archives: art shows

RIVERDALE ART WALK INVITES ART LOVERS TO STROLL THEIR “VIRTUAL” AISLES THIS YEAR.

Yes, Covid-19 sucks! And Toronto’s artists have been hit hard by the cancellation of so many art fests and closures of all the galleries. So how to reach art fans and potential buyers? The organizers of the annual Artwalk series have taken the show online and created a digital showcase for the artists to upload pictures and details of their works plus online sales opportunities, too. Brilliant! Check out the website here: https://www.eventeny.com/events/riverdale-artwalk-online-show-and-sale-601/ 

FLY recently spoke with Kate Taylor, professional abstract artist and Chair of the Artists’ Network, who shared her thoughts about the show and the impact of Covid-19 social isolating on the participating artists:

Kate, the annual Riverdale ArtWalk is taking art out of the park and into art lovers’ homes via the internet due to the Covid-19 need for social distancing. First, how was the decision made to create an online presence and then, how challenging has it actually been for the organizers?  It was an incredibly difficult decision. The Riverdale ArtWalk is the first major outdoor show of the season in Toronto so we were at the head of the curve in terms of deciding to go forward with the show or cancel it – it was not so easy to make the decision to cancel knowing our artists depended on this show for their livelihood.When the call was made to present the event online, how did the artists react, and have they generally been supportive of this exciting opportunity to reach even more viewers for their work?  We made it VERY affordable to participate in Riverdale ONLINE and although many were “digitally challenged”, most artists took advantage of the offer. To help them see the potential, we hosted a Mother’s Day ONLINE show where we sold a number of pieces. Ultimately, we have been trying to encourage artists to be more active online for a number of years – we encourage our members to use this opportunity to increase their digital profile.

We have hosted a number of Zoom education sessions abut how to choose the right website, how to create a digital store, organic social media and paid Facebook ads. To address the isolation that many artists were feeling, we organized ongoing online networking sessions where 5-7 artists are put into pods with a board member and we discuss the challenges of working in isolation. We are now seeing more and more artists embrace the ONLINE store option which I think is a great thing.  I would absolutely like to give a HUGE shout-out to everyone on the board but especially Marjolyn van der Hart who put together the 4 weekly digital education sessions.How can the artists interact with their fans and potential buyers?  Each artist will have a link to the Riverdale ONLINE ArtWalk and to their personal store. We have provided the with promotional materials and also member artists will be promoted through all of our social media platforms plus an email blast to collectors. The show will run for the month of June.

With nearly 200 artists participating, the uploading of pictures & descriptions to the Art Walk website must have been a herculean task – who do we thank for all this online curating and uploading?  We decided to work with Eventeny – an event management company based in the US. We worked with them to Canadianize the site, enabling local shipping, taxes etc. We are VERY excited to launch this new venture which will go live June 6th and run to June 30th.

As an artist yourself (pictured below) what specific challenges does an online art fest present for sales? Do you also see this as a great opportunity to reach even more potential collectors/buyers?  I have now launched my own online store [www.katetaylorstudio.com/collections/136243] and it’s pretty exciting to see sales come in from the UK, the US and locally. I’m also embracing social media more actively (trying to be a bit of a role model for our members and the artists community. I have also launched a new webinar/podcast series called “Talking to Artists” – I do a live Instagram interview with artists who are doing interesting things either with their art or their business (or that I’m just interested in getting to know better). I see a number of artists who are doing consistent regular postings so that people start to look for them (Jessica Lin and Zoey Zoric are two that come to mind).   I’m also an optimistic pragmatist…would prefer to meet people in person but that is just not the way it is right now so we adapt. I do think that many people are stressed about their loved ones, their finances, their social life; but many are also now working from home looking at blank walls that need art. The money they would spend on vacations or dinners out can be redirected…I hope! Any comments you’d like to add?  I really appreciate FLY’s commitment to the community and giving us a voice to share what we are doing. If any artist is feeling adrift without a community (newly graduated artists, emerging artists) I encourage them to check out the Artists’ Network for resources, virtual exhibitions and networking.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS NETWORK:
The Artists’ Network is The Artists’ Network is a Canadian, member-led, non-profit organization
dedicated to supporting visual artists in their business practice. We promote professional development and entrepreneurship by providing educational seminars, juried exhibitions and networking opportunities. For more information, please visit www.ArtistsNetwork.ca

And here are the options for following the Riverdale Art Walk:
Website: https://riverdaleartwalk.ca/ 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/riverdaleartwalk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RiverdaleArtWalk/
Online Store: https://www.eventeny.com/events/riverdale-artwalk-online-show-and-sale-601/

Good luck to all the artists involved with this year’s unique presentation of the Riverdale Art Walk – you can check out their work throughout the entire month of June – FLY thanks you for supporting Canadian artists.  

A QUICK FLY-BY OF THIS YEAR’S TORONTO OUTDOOR ART FAIR

What started off as a rather overcast morning turned into a hot and humid exercise in aisle surfing at this year’s Toronto Outdoor Art Fair in downtown Toronto. FLY managed to make it through most of the exhibits, stopping in to say hi to old friends and discovering exciting new artist. FLY also found a few exquisite & affordable “smalls” to decorate what little wall space there is left in her apartment!  So join FLY now for a quick visit to meet the artists and check out their art……

First stop, Nancy Bennett who was there bright and early for set up today.. Nancy was busy showcasing her work when FLY dropped in..good luck with sales this weekend, Nancy.  www.nancybennett.ca

Next, handsome and talented Ian Busher welcomed FLY to his booth. Loving the new style he has been exploring – FLY is a proud owner of one of Ian’s early wildlife artworks.  http://www.studiobusher.comThen further along the aisles, FLY found fab photographic artist Lori Ryerson who was keeping cool in the shade, surrounded by soothing blues…. http://www.focalocity.ca

FLY was happy to see Lori Klassen’s happy smiling face beaming out from among all those bold beautiful florals. http://www.loriklassen.com   

One of FLY’s longtime faves is Stewart Jones (pictured below) who made the move to Pr. Edward Country several years ago. Stewart’s urban landscapes were exciting and edgy but now he’s developing even more beautiful studies from the countryside surrounding his new digs out in Wellington.  http://www.stewartjones.ca

Next up, FLY would like to introduce you to Sara Purves (below) whose colourful graphic artwork not only brightened up the gloomy morning, but a number of her smaller pieces came home with FLY!  http://www.sarapurves.com    Grace Dam, who has exhibited at Toronto’s Urban Gallery, was also there with her large format portraits. Her big bold paintings intrigue and engage the viewer.  http://www.gracedam.com    And here’s cutie-patootie Zoey Zoric who makes visitors so welcome in her booth.  Zoey’s work has multiple layers of interpretation and she enjoys hearing viewers’ comments on the meanings of each image. http://www.zzfineart.com    Mixed media artist Linda DeLuca (below) is surrounded by her colourful joy-filled work and, like FLY, she’s big on cowboys! Check out more of Linda’s work at http://www.lindadeluca77.com       Mary Derrick was pleased to share her super cool seascapes and FLY was particularly attracted to that powerful B&W cloudscape (centre, lower pic). http://www.maryderrickart.com      Here’s Brian Harvey, another of FLY’s fave artists whose downtown Toronto streetscapes are immediately recognizable. You gotta check out his booth or visit his website for more views: http://www.brianharvey.ca  Another exciting new discovery was Anu Kalra whose paintings are inspired by her Indian heritage and the centuries old Mogul, Rajput and Madhubani Deccan styles. The tiny 4″x4″ painting of a reluctant shy bride (bottom pic) was a “must have” and she now resides on a bedroom wall in FLY’s home! http://kalra.wix.com/anu-kalra      So there you go…it was so hot and sticky, poor FLY had to flee after this. There are many more booths to visit so spend a few hours this weekend down at Nathan Phillips Sq, supporting Canadian artists……and it’s all FREE!
More details at: www.torontooutdoor.art

MAY/18 ISSUE – FLY VISITS ARTIST STUDIOS, ATTENDS OPENING OF NEW GALLERY & ATTENDS BLACK-LIGHT SHOW BY ICONIC TORONTO STREET ARTIST

For our third issue, we’ve had to migrate to a new blog-style platform in order to add more photos and content and let’s face it, that’s what magazines are all about, right? Anyway, thanks to Purvin Wai of EZ-Link Solutions, we’ve been able to add more visual options and although FLY is now live via Firefox, Explorer, etc., Google Chrome is giving us a few problems but hopefully these will soon be sorted out. Aaah, technology…grrr!

As always, FLY continues to shine a spotlight on galleries, curators and other arts professionals who have supported the fine arts community in Toronto and Canada as a whole. With our multi-platform social media network, we hope to offer artists promotional exposure not found in traditional media, plus affordable advertising opportunities to galleries, art suppliers and individual artists in order to reach their targeted audience.

Thank you for joining us, enjoy this month’s read!

VIVA RUNT VEGAS! SHOW FEATURES LIFE-SIZED 3D IMAGES BY TORONTO’S ICONIC STREET ARTIST, AL “RUNT” CURRIE.

FLY dropped in to #Hashtag Gallery last month to catch the unique exhibition showcasing giant blacklight figures by Al Currie, a.k.a. “Runt”.  What a riot of colour and energy Viva Runt Vegas was…so much detail in the humourous characters set up for gallery visitors to see and walk thru. Even the black carpeting had luminous spots of colour.

Al was there in the dark to greet visitors and fans of which there were many! To learn more about Runt, visit his website:  http://alrunt.com/

FLY VISITS THE ARTISTS OF LABATT STUDIOS in TORONTOFLY was invited by long-time friend and artist NANCY BENNETT to the April 22nd open house hosted by the artists of the Labatt Studios located near Queen E. & River Streets. The energy in the space was palpable – individual studios were set up to welcome visitors into each artist’s creative domain with completed canvases as well as in-progress works on show.  Here’s Nancy who showcased her land and sky-scapes painted on board as well as a few floral miniatures in frames: So many beautiful works of art by Nancy’s studio mates Connie Gorsline, Najma Velshi, Beverly Allen, Penny Griffin, Leo Baduria, Tonya Corkey, Nicholas Crombach, Mary Kennard, Gail Williams and Gerry Withey.

CHRISTINE MARIN’s PAINTING CHOSEN FOR JURIED ART SHOW IN COLLINGWOOD

A longtime favourite of the FLY, Chris Marin is proud to report that her acrylic painting, “Mountain to Shore” (above) is part of the 38th Annual Juried Art Show at The BMFA Arts Centre at 163 Hurontario St., Collingwood that runs until Saturday, May 26.  www.bmfa.on.ca   If you’re visiting cottage country over the next few weeks, be sure to drop in and see the gorgeous works on show…thanks for supporting Ontario artists.

YOUNG DUTCH-BORN ARTIST PRISCILLA KOOPMAN’s SOLO SHOW – A GREAT SEND-OFF BEFORE SHE RETURNS TO THE NETHERLANDS. FLY discovered this exciting young artist last year when she participated in a Centennial College student group show at Urban Gallery. It was obvious this young lady had a unique talent and FLY was thrilled to visit her recent solo show at The Storys Centre on the Centennial College campus in Toronto. Her work was indeed as provocative and detailed as before but there was a distinct lightness to her palette.

Bravo, Priscilla, you’ve shown amazing growth as an artist and FLY cannot wait to see where this goes…even if we have to see you online from back in Holland! Follow Priscilla via her Instagram account: @allicsirpart

CELEBRATING THE GRAND OPENING OF ILLE GALLERY FEATURING TORONTO’S TOP STREET ARTISTS

With a mandate of showcasing the many talented “street artists” from across the city, brand new art space Ille Gallery opened in late April with a provocative solo show by the talented Elicser Elliott. Located in The Junction neighbourhood, Ille Gallery is a beautifully renovated storefront space, well-lit with high ceilings to accommodate large format paintings. Below, Elicser hangs with fellow artist Melissa Del Pinto in front of her fave painting titled “Funny Meeting You Here”.Gallery owner, Mitch, himself an artist, talks about the gallery and its focus in Toronto’s art scene.

Congratulations on this great new space – you can follow them on Facebook until the website launches:  www.facebook.com/thebestgalleryever/

URBAN GALLERY PRESENTS ANDRE VITTORIO’s STUNNING PHOTOGRAPHIC ART IN APRIL “ABSTRACTIONS ON METAL” SOLO SHOWIt was a full house at URBAN GALLERY for the opening reception of ANDRE VITTORIO‘s “Abstractions on Metal” solo show of photographic art. The month-long (April) show featured stunning B&W architectural portraits from around the world (the Eiffel Tower looks magnificent)…….as well as a series of brightly coloured shots of the waters surrounding the Venetian island of Murano (below). In fact, the photos reminded me of the fine Murano glass work for which the artisans of the island became famous.Andre was thrilled with the turnout of family, friends and fans of his work… Snap’d newspaper photographer Kate McGartland dropped by to cover the show – here’s Andre showing her his Murano series which certainly captured her attention!And KJ Mullins, publisher of NEWZ4U.ca also came by to cover the event, seen here below 2nd from left chatting with Wayne Abell (at left) of Urban Catering (who supplied the yummy refreshments).Gallery director Calvin Hambrook (below left) was on hand to welcome other artists, including Tunde Omotoye (far right) who may be participating in an upcoming group show at the gallery.Congratulation, Andre, on a fantastic show. 

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So there you go…the FLY  worked hard to bring you news and photos from the galleries over the month of April. There were so many openings across Toronto but not enough hours in the day to attend them all. The month of May sees the annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival take over all the galleries so FLY encourages you to visit as many shows as you can to support our photographic artists. https://www.scotiabankcontactphoto.com/

Our listings for May will be published within the next 48hrs – we’re still waiting for galleries to submit their shows – so check back with us by the weekend.