Tag Archives: Artists’ Network

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.  

SPECIAL EDITION – June Extra!

Before we publish the full June edition of FLY, here’s an “extra, extra” post highlighting the 20th annual RIVERDALE ART WALK taking place this weekend (June 2&3/18) in Toronto at Jimmie Simpson Park, Queen East near Degrassi. It’s FREE and you still have one more day to check it all out.Each year in June, dozens of artists gather under the white tents to share their work with Toronto art lovers, thanks to hosts, the Artists’ Network organization. This year marks the 20th anniversary so FLY was eager to stroll the grassy aisles, browsing the displays, meeting old friends, seeing new art. Come join FLY on this virtual tour of the artists’ mini-galleries….

First up is Sharon Kirsh who works in the cold wax medium (natural beeswax, solvent & resin mixture), creating her vibrant, colourful abstracts.

And here’s Kari Serrao whose humorous portraits of proud wee beasties in Elizabethan costumes have become easily recognizable at art shows as well as keenly collected. Kari’s making friends here with this potential future furry subject!

Alex Pyro (below) offers lots of mini-masterpieces of Toronto scenes and his pieces are very affordable for the young budding art collector.

Next, FLY runs into an old friend, Nancy Bennett, whose booth seemed always full of people admiring her work.  Nancy was proud to show off her latest powerful and brooding painting titled: Courage (at bottom). She bases many of her works on photos she taken from her downtown balcony, catching all manner of skyscapes and sunsets.

Another frequent exhibitor is Ian Busher (below) whose bold colour blocks command attention. FLY is happy to boast she has an early Busher in her collection

And here’s Morgan Jones‘ booth, complete with mini art critic! Morgan recently took a trip to Ireland which inspired much of his current work, especially these little gems featuring gnome tourists…LOL

I met the husband & wife team of Claustro.ca at the One of a Kind Show earlier this year, and fell in love with their cheery little tryptiches. Lots to choose from here….

Flew by Lori Ryerson‘s booth – she was always busy with potential buyers so FLY did not interrupt!! Good luck, Lori.

FLY then met the lovely and talented Yolanda Fernandes Ly whose cool, calm booth filled with abstract seascapes attracted lots of visitors. Here’s an artist new to FLY but hopefully we’ll see more of her work soon.

Another new artist for FLY to meet is Joseph Sampson (below). Oh those gorgeous waves…you could almost hear them crashing on the shore! A smaller canvas caught FLY’s eye – see centre in the 2nd pic – what do you think, is this fab or what?

www.SampsonStudio.com

Below, Michael Toole‘s work always makes FLY stop and stare. Here, the Gravenhurst artist poses with two of his latest works featuring windows, reflections, architecture….so much to take in, as well as stunning!

Talk about joyful art! Another new artist for the FLY is Corynn Kokolakis whose exuberant paintings of people enjoying themselves in the water (below) is enough to get you diving into the canvases!

Gotta love these farmyard critters (below). Julia McNeely rocks the rooster! Her wee beasties always put a smile on the faces of show visitors and FLY was no exception.

Kate Taylor is a much-traveled artist who showcases around the world. Here she is (below, far right) taking a quick breather from schmoozing with booth visitors. Lookin’ good, Kate!

FLY is a huge fan of Neerja Trehan – her work is so fluid and calming…a meditation in art. Neerja makes her work available in small affordable pieces, too, including sets of coasters featuring her art (FLY is a proud owner of one such set).

Napanee artist Gary Barnett (below) is a big fan of nature, chemistry and energy – he creates exciting textures on the canvas, with lots of movement. FLY is proud to own one of his pieces from a previous solo show at Urban Gallery in Toronto.

FLY was intrigued by Mirek Bialy‘s work @ the Artist Project earlier this year, buying a small work with his signature copper thread running across the surface. At this year’s Riverdale Art Walk, Mirek has brought some unique pieces showcasing horses as well as his sea and landscapes. Just look at the details….

Josee Savaria introduced a shot of whimsy and colour into her booth (below). FLY was happy to enter her make-believe land and enjoy the visual roller-coaster ride.

Layne Verbeek was brought to FLY’s attention when he exhibited his stunning art glass at the Stockyards Gallery group show late last year. The sculpted glass twinkled in today’s sunlight…

FLY then followed the signs to the indoor exhibition where a number of other artists had set up booth..…and it was here that I ran into Rob Croxford (below right) Poor Rob and numerous other artists who shared a space at the Walnut Studios, recently suffered major losses of artwork and supplies when the studios went up in flames. Rob decided to have a “fire sale” this weekend so the surviving pieces were wiped down and put on sale for a discount. FLY did her best to inject a little moolah into Rob’s sagging personal economy…scroll down to see which piece is now hanging in FLY’s office!

Now in FLY’s collection – Rob’s “Bad Ass”!

As FLY was leaving the indoor exhibition, she ran into photographic artist Michael Sachter who was showcasing his “A Conversation with Myself” experiential display offering a serene environment for personal reflection and interaction with his photos. Definitely something new for the art walk audience and FLY encourages readers to visit his website to learn more about the therapeutic benefits to embracing his art.

So may wonderful sights as well as the beautiful flowers surrounding the park..you have one more day to visit this year’s Riverdale Art Walk so please don’t miss out on meeting all these incredibly talented and dedicated artists. More details at: www.RiverdaleArtWalk.ca