58th Toronto Outdoor Art Fair
Toronto Outdoor Art Fair celebrates 58 years with hundreds of contemporary artists and free art programming
From a knit installation sparking conversations about gender norms, a human glacier, to discussions on Doug Ford vs. the arts, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair tackles some hot topics.
This July 12–14, Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor art fair is back for its 58th year at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is a free public event showcasing works by over 360 juried contemporary visual artists and makers, ranging in medium from painting, photography, and mixed media to jewellery and ceramics. All of this, plus 115,000 art lovers from across the country and beyond, convene amongst the white tents in a space that is free of walls and admission fees; one that is radically welcoming.
“Art: Unwalled is our theme this year,” says Creative and Executive Director, anahita azrahimi, “It’s a nod to our core belief that art should be available and accessible to everyone: art for all, art for the heart and art for the mind – with no barriers.” This year’s programming brings just that, with tours, talks, and installations, that bring engaging art to the public.
Striking installations & performances
Photography Exhibit & Live Painting by StreetARToronto
Watch electrifying live painting by some of Toronto’s beloved graffiti artists including Elicser Elliott, Mes 3, Meaghan Claire Kehoe, Que Rock, Jenn Kitagawa, and Adrian Hayles. Works will be available for purchase!
Glaciology by Anandam Dance Theatre
Creating a human glacier in the urban landscape, Glaciology evokes the permanent effects of human and ecological conflicts through the past centuries in the wake of colonization, unstable government, wars and unsustainable economies through overlapping and contrasting images and ideas with the indelible power of glacial movements across landscapes.
Fun for the Entire Family
Budding Art Buyers, Designed by Tiffany Pratt
A magical space created by this year’s ArtLove Envoy, Tiffany Pratt, will give young art lovers 14 years-old and under the opportunity to purchase donated small artworks priced $20 and under, all of which goes back to TOAF’s family programming.
Making Magic by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
Offering one-hour Power Kids sessions that draw upon the work of last year’s Best of Student award winner, Kima Lenaghan, visitors will be invited to create mini-illustrations inspired by Lenaghan’s thoughtful narratives.
Chason Yeboah’s Home Birth
With a massive knit installation entitled ‘Home Birth’, Chason will deliver a passionate discussion on how she uses crochet in her installation and welcomes us to engage in challenging conversations about body-positivity, acceptance and social awareness around gender norms.
Canadaland presents, Wag The Doug: Doug Ford vs. The Arts
As the Ford Government cuts programs and services across the board, arts funding has not been spared. Music, visual arts and even libraries have had their funding slashed. Wag the Doug is a pop-up podcast about the premier of Ontario, the forces that drive him, and the consequences of his government’s actions. On July 13, they’ll be popping up at TOAF to explore and explain the impact of his policies on the arts and culture in Ontario.
Art Talks and Tours
Art: Unwalled Panel Discussion
Elaborating on the theme of this year’s fair, this panel will explore art in different mediums from street art to documentaries, and how they are able to act as a mouthpiece, peace-maker, or simply a communicator of ideas, experiences and social change.
Who, What, Wear-able Art
Lead by OCAD U professor and jewellery artist, Robert Mitchell, attendees will be able to take a 45-minute tour of some outstanding jewellery artists at the Fair and discover the complexity and design process of this art form.
The art even flows into the Cascading Beer Garden by Henderson Brewing Co. – a space that has become a gathering point for visitors to rest and enjoy contemporary performances. Carrying on with tradition, Henderson Brewing Co. has brewed a custom craft beer, Ides of July, with a collectible art label designed by Kima Lenaghan, winner of the 2018 Best of Student Award. A large sculpture will be installed in the Beer Garden by Jonathan Anderson Studio; the sculpture will present a conceptual metaphor for the unparalleled strength of unwalled humanity that is diverse yet inclusive.
Toronto Outdoor Art Fair was established in 1961 to put contemporary visual artists and makers in direct contact with the public, and to nurture artistic excellence and artists’ entrepreneurial spirit. More than just an art fair, TOAF encourages the prosperity of the arts community through the buying and selling of art and presenting artists with over $40,000 cash and in-kind awards.
Last summer, Honourable Mention winner Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart was discovered by Michael Gibson Gallery at the Fair and subsequently represented by the gallery at the 2018 edition of Art Toronto. “The organizers really made an effort to help teach new artists how to present their work in their booths and gave really helpful marketing tips,” says Szkabarnicki-Stuart, “The Fair also connected me with other artists and with supportive people who helped launch my career as a professional artist.”
This summer, with TOAF’s supporters, community partners and donors, over 22 awards ranging from “Best of Fair” to “Most Innovative Use of Material Award” will be awarded to artists at the Awards Ceremony on Friday, July 12.
The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is open to the public and free of charge. Artists will be available at their booth spaces for visitors to see, experience, and purchase original artworks all weekend.
Fair Dates and Hours
Nathan Phillips Square, Accessible
Free – Rain or Shine
Friday July 12, 10:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday July 13, 10:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday July 14, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Start planning your visit!