Tag Archives: Toronto International Art Fair

Hello, 2011!

If you’re anything like me you were likely equally astounded and amazed by the events that defined 2010. We watched Vancouver host the Olympics, and not without some controversy; we saw Toronto host the G20 summit, and controversy? Understatement; we met the vuvuzuela with mixed results; we watched the explosion at Deepwater Horizon and the BP underwater webcam feed with disgusted rapture; natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions were a regular headline; we celebrated the Chilean miners who survived nearly 10 weeks underground; we mourned the passing of JD Salinger, Alexander McQueen, Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, and more. All told it was a year of 365 days, and a million and a half memories.

At the fair, we had a banner year! A record number of visitors came through the turnstiles at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to celebrate eleven years of the Toronto International Art Fair. We were joined by a roster of sponsors, as well as exhibiting galleries and featured artists that set the year apart as one of the Fair’s best!

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2010, we salute you!

But 2010 is last year’s news – 2011 is what’s all the rage! If you’ve been entertaining ideas about see Art Toronto up close and personal, this is the year to do it. We’re going to have more of everything you want — more programming, more artists, more galleries, more collectors!

Art Toronto is currently accepting applications — why not click here and take a read through what some of our past participants have said about the fair? Convinced? Click here to download our application package.

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Seeing the future through the past: An interview with Luke Painter

By Zoe

I once lived in a purple house in Montreal with some roommates including the Toronto artist and Professor, Luke Painter. They made sure I went to see Arcade Fire for $7, introduced me to Dim Sum and helped me to understand the beginnings of contemporary painting.

Photo: Rannie Turingan (BlogTO)

Luke has shown drawings and an installation-based works at a number of venues including Angell Gallery in Toronto, Bonneau Samames Art Contemporain in Marseille, France, the Pulse Art Fair in New York and Plus Gallery in Denver.  Luke has exhibited with Angell Gallery since 2002 and has been in Art Toonto four times. In 2008, Luke Painter was included in the Carte Blanche 2, a book of contemporary Canadian Painting.

Luke’s willingness to help everyone around him has made him a bit of a legend.  To those of us who are lucky enough to have known him over the years, we have seen great growth in his work and a variation and maturity in his art practice. He works really hard and makes things happen. 

The Harbour (Malting)

Zoe Pawlak: In recent works we see a merging of new and old, the antiquated and that which has the appearance of being futuristic. How does the convergence of past and future imagery play into your work?

Luke Painter: Over the past few years I have been working on large-scale paintings rendered with India ink and brush on paper that utilize disparate elements within figures and landscapes to create a sense of historical ambiguity. These works are intentionally mimetic of traditional printmaking techniques (woodcut, engraving) and composite methods used in digital media (Photoshop), but the end result is a singular work on paper.  I am interested in combining older forms of ornamentation and patterning with contemporary subject matter and/or modern looking individuals.

ZP: You have lived in both Montreal and Toronto. Having grown up in Toronto and now living there as an adult and an artist, what influences are you taking most from the city itself?

Carte Blanche

LP: I am deeply affected by the city I live in and I often incorporate aspects of my surroundings into my work. In one of my drawings titled, The Harbour (Malting), I have used an old grain silo as a reference for this particular work. This grain silo is located on Queens Quay near Bathurst St in Toronto and is one of two remaining silos originally built in 1928 that was used to store malt. Built from concrete, the stripped-down and unadorned functionalism of the building was a precursor to modernist trends in architecture. It has been unused since the 1980’s and there has been debate about how the site should be utilized, with talk of a museum or theme park. I grew up in this neighborhood, which has been quickly developed into a condo landscape. Canada Malting has now become an interesting anomaly in the midst of accelerated development. My own interest in the building comes from a desire to reformulate the material of the building back to wood, in which they were originally built (they were changed to concrete to avoid burning down). I decided to take the concept one step further by rendering the surrounding area in wood to amplify the once natural surroundings that populated this area around Lake Ontario. I imagine Canada Malting to be an eyesore for many of the new condo residents, but it continues to hold a personal resonance with me as I grew up nearby.

ZP: Toronto has really been gaining international attention for events like Nuit Blanche and Art Toronto.  What have these events meant to Toronto’s working artists like yourself?

LP:   Having just witnessed this years Nuit Blanche I have to say that I really like the event.  For many people I know it is art-lite or art that is for entertainment and not for contemplation.  I personally think it can be both.  Both Art Toronto and Nuit Blanche have been good for raising awareness about the Toronto scene in international circles.

Victorian Bust

ZP: In 2008, you received a Canadian Council Artist Grant. What did you make with this grant and what does it mean to be supported in this way?

LP:   In 2008 I received a Canada Council Artist Grant for a work titled From Victorian to Modernism to What?  This installation shown in May 2010 at 47 Space in Toronto reflected on the compulsion to personally connect with (and often transform) the architecture of our surroundings. Over the past couple of years I worked with my father to build a scale model of a specific Victorian house from a neighbourhood where we both used to live. 
Approximately 8’ tall and heavily ornamented, the structure is too small
to be a real house and too large to be a dollhouse.  On the rear wall
of the building, two eyes made from stained glass project animations
depicting architectural sites specific to Toronto that have personal
resonance with me and that nod to the transitioning nature of
neighbourhoods in the city. It was an important project for me. I started to think about larger works with bigger budgets and I am now starting to apply for some more ambitious projects. 

Woodlot Mansion

LP: I am deeply affected by the city I live in and I often incorporate aspects of my surroundings into my work. In one of my drawings titled, The Harbour (Malting), I have used an old grain silo as a reference for this particular work. This grain silo is located on Queens Quay near Bathurst St in Toronto and is one of two remaining silos originally built in 1928 that was used to store malt. Built from concrete, the stripped-down and unadorned functionalism of the building was a precursor to modernist trends in architecture. It has been unused since the 1980’s and there has been debate about how the site should be utilized, with talk of a museum or theme park. I grew up in this neighborhood, which has been quickly developed into a condo landscape. Canada Malting has now become an interesting anomaly in the midst of accelerated development. My own interest in the building comes from a desire to reformulate the material of the building back to wood, in which they were originally built (they were changed to concrete to avoid burning down). I decided to take the concept one step further by rendering the surrounding area in wood to amplify the once natural surroundings that populated this area around Lake Ontario. I imagine Canada Malting to be an eyesore for many of the new condo residents, but it continues to hold a personal resonance with me as I grew up nearby.

ZP: Toronto has really been gaining international attention for events like Nuit Blanche and Art Toronto.  What have these events meant to Toronto’s working artists like yourself?

LP:   Having just witnessed this years Nuit Blanche I have to say that I really like the event.  For many people I know it is art-lite or art that is for entertainment and not for contemplation.  I personally think it can be both.  Both Art Toronto and Nuit Blanche have been good for raising awareness about the Toronto scene in international circles.

Plume

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Lost, and Found, in Translation

My boss travels the world. Since I started with the fair in March he’s gone to Montreal, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Germany, Japan. Right now he’s in the Hamptons. I’m completely green with envy.

He combs the world for new art, new galleries, new movements to showcase at the fair. It says a few things. First off, it shows just how lucrative the art biz can be; it also illustrates how aggressive you have to be to stay just ahead of the curve. But the thing I love most about this is that it demonstrates one of the things that I love about the art world – art transcends language.  Go to any international art fair and you might meet a hundred people who all speak different languages, but who share a common ground in art.

That said, his travel serves our patrons too — this year he’s recruited some very fine galleries from the far reaches of the world who are coming to the fair for the first time. It’s so exciting to think that this fair is shaped by a million hands, a million perspectives. This is a world fair, and the world is coming to the fair.

And if you think about it, between the travel-time, the jet-lag, the hotel beds, the taxi cabs, and all the rest of it, a normal person can’t spend an entire year jetting around from one place to the next in search of art. But a normal person can definitely make it to the Toronto International Art Fair for four days of the finest contemporary art from Toronto and the rest of the world! And that’s one of the things that I love about my job — who don’t have to be an expert, you don’t have to spend half your life on airplanes and in hotels to see the world’s finest. All you have to do is go to Toronto this October.

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Times like these…

At a time when most everyone furrows their brow and digs their hands in their pockets at the mention of the state of the current economy (and let’s face it, it stinks) it’s the time that events like Art Toronto really flourish!

Impossible, you say? It’s true!

It’s times like these that the new kids on the block come out of the cracks to try new things. And it’s times like these that events like Art Toronto offer up free sneaky-peakies into the fair for newbies. And thus the circle of life.

Kind of an interesting paradigm. As a result of TIAF offering complimentary passes this year to galleries who have never shown at the fair, next year visitors to the fair can count on seeing even more new faces.

Anyone who’s ever been to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre knows what a colossus that building is. With a mix of our faithful patron galleries, who have already seen what showing at TIAF can do for business, and an ever-growing cross-section of international galleries going in new and unexpected directions in contemporary art, a question springs to mind:

What are we going to do when we outgrow our shell?

It’s the kind of question that really loosens the brow and invites a broad smile, you know?

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Will work for art

It’s happened — the planets have aligned, a blue moon is rising  and TIAF is looking for an intern!

I repeat, TIAF is looking for an intern! This is a totally plum job, a fantastic opportunity to work with one of North America’s most important and relevant contemporary art fairs.

You don’t need a background in arts either, although an interest will certainly help! It’s the perfect role for a recent grad from a marketing/communications program. You’ll be working at our downtown Vancouver office.

  • Duration: June 1st – October 31st 2009
  • Days: Monday – Thursday
  • Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Pay: $8.00 an hour

 JOB OUTLINE

Working directly with the Director of Marketing and Communications of TIAF the candidate will assist with a variety of administrative and organization opportunities that relate to creating and implementing an effective marketing campaign to promote the 10th anniversary edition of the Toronto International Art Fair happening October 22 – 26th 2009.

 

Duties include:

  • Support the creation and of a varied communication campaign, including emails, html eblasts and newsletters to the numerous audiences of TIAF
  • Database management assistance for ensuring current and effective communication campaigns
  • Assist with creation of VIP program tools and website
  • Assist with the creation and delivery of TIAF brochures, vouchers, passes and any other pre-show PR tools to sponsors, stakeholders and other audiences
  • Assist with the organization and administration of the TIAF professional speaker series program with Power Plant
  • Liaise with cultural stakeholders to ensure valuable partnerships are leveraged and cross promotional programs are implemented
  • Provide assistance with the AGO opening committee where TIAF support/information is needed
  • Support marketing director with administrative needs where required
  • Travel to Toronto not needed or expected at this time.

To apply send letter and resume to Victoria Miachika, Director of Marketing and Communications to info@tiafair.com Interviews for qualified candidates will begin almost immediately.

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The first step is admitting you have a problem

Hi, my name is Maggie and I am addicted to the arts.

The problem started years ago when, fresh out of university, I took a job in publicity at a book publisher. It satisfied that altruistic yearning in me to do something ‘good’. From there I moved to a book festival, which I later quit to take a program in creative book publishing.

I moved from Toronto to Vancouver hoping to put my new certificate to good use, but a weak economy and industry that’s near impossible to break into put the kibosh on that pretty quick.

My problem really manifested itself six months ago. I was working at tedious, mindless job in a windowless office when I decided it was time to get back into the arts. A ridiculous thought to be sure at a time when Vancouver was leading the country in unemployment, and lagging far behind Toronto in terms of it’s culture density. But after months of fighting, cajoling, sweating and intense visualizations (if I can dream it, I can do it! If I can smell it, I can be it…) I finally landed a plum job.

That’s right folks, say hello to the newest member of the Toronto International Art Fair team! Halfway into my second month on the job and it’s already clear to me just how far I’ve come. In my first week I had nightmares about being asked questions about contemporary art and the art market and was sure it would  be no time before I got canned for my repeated braying of “I don’t know art, but I know what I like!” Lucky for me that hasn’t happened yet, but I still have a lot of learning to do.

Entering the art world for the first time is like visiting any other planet — there’s a language, customs, places and people of interest that are all foreign to me but that I must learn if I am to survive. That’s what this blog is all about. You’re going to follow me along the road from earnest neophyte to assimilated worker-bee and finally (hopefully) to indoctrinated master. At the very least, I hope not to embarrass my boss at the fair in six months.

So come with me! What I read, you read. Where I go, you follow. And when I don’t know where to go or what to do, I’m going to ask you.

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