Toronto has a one-stop shop to explore various art pieces, shop and eat and drink to your heart’s content this weekend.
Artist Project returns to the city from Apr. 13 to 16 at the Better Living Centre in Exhibition Place. The art fair is hosting hundreds of independent artists and their latest creations.
The creatives set up shop in booth-style spaces where they can showcase their work, while allowing guests to easily explore everything that the event has to offer.
“Here, art is for everyone. We combine original yet affordable works from 250 independent artists with immersive installations, performances, fashion shows and DJs. We encourage all Torontonians to come to the show and participate in the fun!,” Emma Fried, exhibitor relations lead for Artist Project, said in a statement.
Thursday was the opening night of the market with a fashion art show, including designer pieces available for sale in the new F.A.T. Boutique at the show. Rose Aura was also at the fair performing her aura photography, using a specialized camera that shows aura energy levels, followed by a reading to determine one’s vibes.
Contemporary Canadian artist Benny Bing is displaying his work at the show this year. His art explores themes of identity, gender and Blackness and focuses on empowering portrayals of Black femininity.
Bing typically uses photos of women that inspire him for his art, but this year he embarked on a new method for his work.
“Basically, the references are all created with AI (technology), and then I painted them. So this is a different way you can take your creativity to a different level. You know, take a different approach with it, because at the end of the day technology is something that is here to stay, it’s always going to advance your output,” he told Now Toronto.
Indian Canadian artist Kulwant Singh has a more traditional approach, with detailed portrait oil paintings of real life figures, including one of former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
“In portraits, I try to capture the texture of skin, tone, (the) sitter’s mood, and light,” he said.
New to this year’s show is immersive creative experiences, including therapy sessions by Brooklyn-based performance artist Dr. Lisa Levy. Guests can sit down for individual “counseling” sessions and are given an artistic prescription for their grievances.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn-based artist Ryan Bock, is making his Canadian debut at the show with a playable chess game titled Ode to Duchamp: A Liar. The chess set is 12 by 12 ft. with chess sculptures made from furniture and piano parts. Guests can immerse themselves in the project by signing up to duke it out 1 on 1 on the larger-than-life chess board.
Besides the art, visitors can also explore 10 large-scale installations while walking the fair. Bruno Billio has a neon light installation up, while No Fun is displaying their Wavy sculpture and No Fun Boutique.
In addition, fans of the HBO series The Last of Us will definitely enjoy multidisciplinary artist and environmental activist Vladimir Kanic’s living algae sculptures. His four sculptures fill a 10 x 30 ft. exhibition space.
All this exploration will likely make guests hungry and luckily there are some local food trucks on hand. Delight Bite is offering Mexican and Persian cuisines with a Koobideh Kebab Taco, and Curb Side Dogs is cooking up dogs with a twist, with unique toppings including PB&J, garlic cheese mashed potatoes and chocolate dipped bacon.
The Artist Project is open Friday and Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m. A collector’s pass, which gives visitors re-entry any day of the show, is $35, while adult tickets are $20 and senior, student and youth tickets are $17. Children under 12 can attend free.
For more information, visit the Artist Project’s website.