FLY enjoyed buzzing along the rows of artist tents at this weekend’s RIVERDALE ART WALK in Toronto. This is the first Art Walk since the Covid lock-down so it was wonderful to see so many art lovers strolling around, chatting with the artists and enjoying the lovely weather today. Nancy Bennett, whom FLY has known since the later 70s, appeared thrilled to be there and was already busy selling artworks….
Upon entering Jimmy Simpson Park, FLY found Mirek Bialy whose bold acrylics incorporate copper and FLY has a lovely piece purchased a few years ago. Learn more about Mirek here: https://www.mirekbialy.com/Christopher Masoure was busy securing his tent (below) as high winds threatened to blow his large canvases away. FLY caught some quick photos of his stunning blue paintings before being hit by flying monkeys! Yes, the wind was that high today. Learn more about Chrisopjer at www.studiomazur.comNext up, we found Celina Melo, an artist FLY had not met before. Her beautiful frosty paintings of the far north created a cool space to retreat from the sunshine, and FLY was very attracted to that smaller piece in the upper left. Check out her work at www.celinamelo.comWendy Cho of OnceUponaDesign.ca (below) offered some delightful illustrations and animal portraits – all the adults FLY saw going into her booth walked out with mini canvases or cards. Wendy was very popular!Then FLY found a friend from last week’s Rosedale art show – Andrew Stelmack. Again, a big blue painting caught FLY’s attention…wow! www.astelmack.comShaan Taseer was taking a quick break when FLY flew into his tent – his work simply drew FLY in as well as others who were intrigued by his unique & exotic abstract landscapes. Learn more about Shaan at https://www.shaantaseer.com/Kate Taylor (below) was busy chatting with potential art buyers. FLY is proud to own a small piece of KT art! www.katetaylorstudio.comMark Glebezon brought his Barbie series which should definitely prove popular considering movie star Ryan Gosling just released a sneak peek photo of him as Ken in the upcoming movie. What a doll! www.markgleberzon.comFLY fell madly in love with the adorable robots created by Jeff Walker, so much so that she had to buy a small painting of a wee robot eye (2nd photo – 2nd row down, 3rd from the right). Check our Jeff’s colourful cuties here: www.gowalkergo.comMorgan Jones (below) had a cute assistant in his tent who was certainly helping to draw in the visitors! www.morganjonesart.com
Further along the aisles, FLY came across Cat from www.CityBonez.com(below) whose photos of old decorative bricks stood out at The Artist Project a couple of months ago. Unique and quite beautiful, the bricks tell stories of our city’s past.Rea Kelly always has a lovely smile on her face – her beautiful floral paintings will ensure you, too, will have a smile on your face when you enter her tent! If you don’t have massive wall space, Rea has smaller canvases as well as beautiful greeting cards – something for everyone. Learn more about Rea at www.reakelly.comFLY discovered a fabulous new artist – Amanda Gonsalves (below) – whose abstract portraits of mythical and amusing figures are delightful. You can follow Amanda on her Instagram @nonconformist.art Ex-baker turned fine artist Andrea Bailey presented her Yummy Arty paintings (below). FLY met her last week at the Rosedale art show and loved the gold paint that glinted in the sunlight. www.yummyarty.comGail Williams showcased some cool paintings like these wild abstract portraits. FLY met Gail last week at the Rosedale art show. Visit: https://gailwilliams.partial.gallery/ to learn all about this fanciful abstract artist.So it was a very enjoyable afternoon and FLY encourages you to visit all the artists who have taken the 2yr Covid period to create wonderful artworks. Tomorrow promises to be another lovely day so pop down to Queen St East and support local artists, Check out details, directions and hours here:https://riverdaleartwalk.ca/
Thank goodness the weather cooperated today with more sunshine than raindrops, and FLY was able to buzz around the artists’ tents of this year’s ROSEDALE ART FAIR – the first time for nearly 3 years, thanks to Covid. Usually held further up Toronto’s Yonge Street at Summerhill, the park setting was lovely with lots of green grass and leaves.
FLY’s first port of call was the charming display by Michelle Hutchinson – her abstract florals were so colourful you’d expect to see bees hoping from flower to flower! www.MichelleHutchinsonArt.com…and next door to Michelle was Gail Williams whose paintings were fun and filled with wonder. www.gailwilliamsartist.com FLY particularly like one titled “Prince” so here’s a closer look…Sculptor Chaka Chikodzi always has a busy tent…FLY had to do some pretty fancy flying between his potential buyers just to get a couple of great close-ups! www.chakachikodzi.comMark J. Gleberzon has been a friend of FLY’s for many years, and his work is definitely a favourite of the winged-one! Mark recently had great success exhibiting in Chicago, selling multiple paintings and even before today’s Fair opened, he had already sold 2 of his Barbie & Ken pop portraits. Bravo, MJG! www.markgleberzon.comJibola Fagbamiye was too busy selling his fabulous portraits to stop and chat with FLY – bravo Jibola- but FLY grabbed a few shots of his booth in action! www.jibolastudios.comThe weather started to cloud over so to avoid getting wings wet, FLY flew over to another aisle sheltered under the trees and immediately stopped when spying FLY’s favourite colour…cobalt blue…at Andrew Stelmack‘s booth. www.astelmack.comNext door was another FLY favourite, Michael Toole, who greeted FLY with another gorgeous blue graphic artwork! www.michaeltooleart.comMeet the delightful Ghazaleh Naderian who showed FLY around her booth, filled with beautiful floral mini-paintings. Perfect for that little space you need to brighten up. www.ghazal-arts.com FLY’s bestie, Erena, ran into one of her favourite artists, Olaf Schneider – she has a number of his paintings herself. Those parrots were magnificent but scared FLY somewhat as they like eating little insects….oh dear! www.olaf.ca You still have another opportunity to visit the Rosedale Art Fair tomorrow, Sunday June 12 so please go visit and say hi to all the artist – they’re so pleased to get back to “normal” and show their work to art lovers and (hopefully) buyers.
Finally….galleries are open for business here in Toronto. From large public galleries to small indie showrooms and outdoor art exhibitions, painters, sculptors and photographers now have venues in which to exhibit their art and FLY will be visiting them throughout the coming months to bring you stories from the walls.Throughout the pandemic, artists of all genres have struggled to navigate the many online platforms that put their work in front of art-lovers, dealing with the challenges of spatial perception, true colours & textures and that all important one-on-one experience with potential buyers and collectors. Facebook, Instagram, event Tik-Tok have hosted “virtual galleries” but without targeted marketing and promotions just to get people to click on to artists’ sites, it’s been a battle esp. for those who are technically challenged.
FLY hopes to continue to support upcoming gallery re-openings, indie artist shows and special events in Toronto and surrounding cities.
Last night (Wed. Nov. 6) FLY was thrilled to be invited to the official opening of The Artists’ Network new digs in downtown Toronto. Located in the vibrant cultural community of Leslieville at 1158 Queen St East, the gallery hosts a juried exhibition of Artists’ Network members that includes original works inspired by a broad interpretation of the theme MOMENTUM, from the act of moving forward to the poetics of spiritual growth. FLY was invited to the celebratory soiree by the fabulous Connie Gorsline who posed in front of her wonderfully energetic seascape (below)The gallery filled quickly with members and fans of fine art ….….who discovered lots of stunning artworks on the walls…….and FLY was pleased to see a favourite photographic art piece by Lori Ryerson (below)And here’s Connie with fellow artist Nancy Bennett (below) enjoying a glass of cheer and the great company!Congratulations to Kate Taylor and the entire Board of The Artists’ Network in securing such an amazing new HQ, and FLY recommends a personal visit to see the talent contained within its walls. The current show runs until November 24 (see details below) and to learn more about the organization and upcoming events, visit their website: www.theartistsnetwork.ca
FLY braved the lower humidity yesterday and headed down to Art Square Gallery, 334 Dundas West (opp. the AGO) to visit super talented artist JOHNY DELUNA whose solo show “Still Life with Fruit” closes this Sunday, August 4th. The A/C is fabulous so no excuses…hurry hurry hurry to this unique showcase of extraordinary works.The main inspiration for my work is observing the human condition. I try to say things about happiness, sadness, confusion, hypocrisy, ignorance, cruelty, indifference and self delusion. I never put myself above these frailties but I laugh at my own weaknesses more than I laugh at others. I try to embed my stories deep enough in the paintings so that each viewer can experience them in their own way.I try to entice the viewer into the work through color, energy, humor and curious or bizarre imagery. Behind all that is the story – the viewer is free to go as deep as they want. I hope everyone see’s the works differently. I believe that humor is the best way to connect with others, because if we can laugh at ourselves there is still hope. As an artist, the only thing I can do is be honest, brave and stay true to my vision. ~ Johny Deluna
FLY strongly recommends you see these stunning large-format paintings to appreciate the intricacies of each – pointillism meets surrealism meets contemporary meets…OMG!Each of Deluna’s paintings portrays deeper, darker stories beneath the exterior of bright, joyful images. The textural quality of the “pointillism” inspired works creates a 3D effect for each canvas. Every masterwork has been thoroughly thought out, exploring abstract themes in his signature riotous palette of primary colours. See close-up details from 3 of his paintings – belowWhile FLY was in the gallery, several visitors came by and took several minutes in front of each painting – so much to discover on each canvas…So don’t forget…Still Life with Fruit closes end of day Sunday Aug. 4th so plan on including a visit over the next few days – you will be amazed, inspired and mind-blown by Johny Deluna’s paintings.For more info on the artist, visit his website www.johnydeluna.com or follow him on Facebook. Johny’s work is in several distinguished collections in Europe and the US, and he also works on corporate & private commissions.
FLY has long been an admirer of the fabulous and funny ROB CROXFORD whose humorous pop-art paintings are immediate smile-inducers! In late May last year, a studio fire all but destroyed his Toronto studio and his complete inventory of artworks. This new studio at 100 Sunrise Avenue in the east end, offers Rob a fresh start and, as with all new beginnings, Rob is focusing on new experiments and new artworks. This year marks Rob’s 15th year as a professional artist and the completion of some 1,500 works of art – CONGRATULATIONS, ROB! He’s shown in over 125 juried & solo exhibitions here and in the United States. His work is in the permanent City of Toronto’s Art Collection, and in the private collections of several Mayors, and celebrities such as Alex Lifeson, Stuart McLean & Ann Marie MacDonald. You will find his art and his commissions in many private collections all over the world from Istanbul to California. Here’s Rob to tell you himself about the new space and his new collection….
Media-darling Rob has been profiled in Argyle Magazine, Neighborhood Living Magazine, The Society for Commercial Archaeology, Spacing Magazine and many others. Rob’s acrylic paintings are intentionally upbeat and humorous. His vintage-inspired work is instantly identifiable and has a clever approach to pop culture that often merges political topics within whimsical compositions.
FLY recommends a personal visit to Rob’s studio so reach out via social media or check his website for upcoming shows: www.robcroxford.com Apart from his large-format original paintings, Rob also offers quality prints and giclees of his most popular pieces.