10 should-see artists at Toronto’s Artist Venture this weekend

Concluded your spring cleaning? Distinct that dust and make some wall place in advance of heading to Artist Project, the season’s have to-do for art enthusiasts and collectors. The weekend-extensive occasion is a opportunity to interact with and order operates from extra than 200 artists performing in a range of media, like painting, collage, images and sculpture.

In addition to unique artist booths, the good also attributes 10 substantial-scale installations by the likes of Ness Lee, whose legendary illustrations of curvaceous feminine figures have adorned an array of mediums, including murals, balloons and ceramics. I’m psyched to get up near to a new set up by textile artist Jen Arron, whose substantial textural wall hangings acquire the artform into remarkable new natural and organic instructions. New to me, but on my have to-see listing is artist and curator Kelly McCray’s sculptural “Tower of Banned Books,” which claims to physically illuminate the crucial repercussions of literary censorship.

The opening preview evening on April 13 goes further than the standard wine-and-cheese affair. A runway by Manner Artwork Toronto will aspect area designer performs accessible for order at the new F.A.T Boutique. For all those trying to find a additional emotive takeaway, Rose Aura will be supplying aura-electricity photos and readings. One of my favourite artists, Laura Dawe, will also be supplying tarot readings from custom made decks showcasing prints from her painting practice.

If laughter truly is the best medication and treatment is out of funds, the next finest factor might be Brooklyn-centered conceptual artist and comic Dr. Lisa Levy, who will be in session in the course of the fair’s operate, giving totally free just one-on-one (unlicensed) psychology sessions with customized artistic prescriptions.

As you are navigating by the honest, hold an eye out for these 10 artists who are on my most-expected list.

Benny Bing


Nigerian-born Benny Bing is a person of the show’s biggest star artists, for very good reason. Bing’s luminous, graphically structured portraits celebrating Black expertise and elegance have landed him major exhibitions and partnerships from the likes of Roots, Ikea and Old Navy.

Chris Harms


Chris Harms’ amazing celestial stained-glass artwork is influenced by a rocket start he witnessed in 2016 whilst in French Guiana. Every single of these self-taught artist’s planetary scenes features a variation on a little chair, a ideal entrance-row seat for star gazing.

Genie Kim

Genie Kim with some of her paintings.


Although illustrator, ceramicist and painter Genie Kim spreads her skills throughout a variety of media, her function is instantly recognizable. Sweet faces with inquisitive eyes surrounded by pure aspects, I am entirely drawn in by her “Mother Tree” portray series that encapsulate the interconnectedness of the universe, rooted by charming visuals of powerful women of all ages.

Ellee SY Lee

Ellee SY Lee, Innerscape #13, 2023


Korean-Canadian artist Ellee SY Lee can take an natural solution to her painted and digitally drawn landscapes. Lee’s richly textured topographies, that contains information of trees, vegetation and h2o, have a mythical high-quality in their play with standpoint, colors and designs, often doubling as dreamscapes.

Vanessa Michiels

Vanessa Michiels, Moss, 2022


Motivated by vintage pictures and outdated Hollywood, fine-arts painter Vanessa Michiels makes glamorous portraits of female stars from former “Euphoria” star and product Barbie Ferreira to Italian cinematic idol Sophia Loren. Michiels provides playful twists to her reasonable and generally melancholy portraits, including bubbles of colour, patterns and doodles to their faces, illuminating the veneer of movie star.

Lora Moore-Kakaletris

Lora Moore-Kakaletris, McDonald's swing skirt, 2022


Photographer Lora Moore-Kakaletris proves that just one person’s trash is a different artist’s inspiration. Her “Trash-ion” sequence tends to make a assertion on quick vogue and consumerism by cautiously shaping and then taking pictures detritus these as crumpled chip baggage to look as wearable artwork strutting on runway-completely ready legs.

Diana Rosa

Diana Rosa, Blooming machine, 2022


Slide in like like I did with Cuban-born artist Diana Rosa’s paintings with their colourful nods to masters these types of as Henri Matisse and Frida Kahlo, infused with folks- and pop-art sensibilities. Extremely stylized in how they depict human interactions with the natural entire world, Rosa has made a private iconography that feels the two contemporary and timeless.

Olivia Mae Sinclair

Olivia Mae Sinclair, I'm Still Here, 2022


A departure from perfection, recent OCAD College graduate Olivia Mae Sinclair embraces the self-discipline of the Sloppy Craft movement, building fabric books, patches, stickers and totes that are raw in the two message and execution, offering intimate, healing messages to those who have to have them most.

Kyle Sorensen

Kyle Sorensen, Granite Shoreline, 2022


Rugged Canadian landscapes may well be a well-trod subject matter for painters, but Kyle Sorensen finds new angles in his geometric Cubist-encouraged treatments of forests, lakes and rocks. His calming palette of blues, greens and greys are like a refreshing breath of northern air.

Jonah Strub

Jonah Strub, The Majesty of a Stallion, 2023


I have under no circumstances achieved emerging artist Jonah Strub, but his kitschy ceramics make him a kindred spirit in the giggle office. Blobby but expressive faces with pop-lifestyle winks, Strub’s figures — a combine of animals, drag queens, snacks and fancy Jewish bubbies — are both of those pleasant and delectable-seeking in their hilarious execution.

Artist Challenge runs at the Superior Dwelling Centre at Exhibition Put from April 13 by April 16. For additional info go to theartistproject.com


Sue Carter is deputy editor of Inuit Art Quarterly and a freelance contributor centered in Toronto. Comply with her on Twitter: @flinnflon

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