April 13 -16, 2023
Better Living Centre
The Artist Project is back and bigger than ever with some 280+ booths and visitors came out in droves for the opening gala. The Project has returned to its original venue, The Better Living Centre after having to use the Queen Elizabeth building last year. As we are easing out of COVID people were more comfortable in crowds. Talking to many artists they felt that the quality of work in booths was even better and tighter. People liked the lay out of the project this year with installations spread throughout the project.
Installation by Kelly McCray
Installation by Ross Bonfanti
A new addition this year was the inclusion of artist run centers with about a dozen participating. At the far end of the Artist Project one could find Akin, Redhead Gallery, Gallery 44, The Artists Network, the Sculpture Society of Canada, the Al Green Sculpture Studio, Gallery 1313 and even an artist run centre from Quebec amongst others.
Sunmi Jung with her sculpture Whisper, Sculptors Society of Canada
Attendant at the artist run center Courants Centre d’artistes Saint – Hyacinthe, QC.
The Untapped Artist booths were set up and visitors could vote for their favourite. These young emerging artists came from across the country and were thrilled to be at the Artist Project.
Untapped artist, Eryn Lougheed
Untapped artist, Neeko Paluzzi
Organizers Director Mia Neilsen and Emma Fried, Exhibitor Relations were busy keeping things on track. There was a runway fashion show again on the gala evening with DJs adding some good vibes.
Mia Nielsen, Director of the Artist Project at Gallery 1313’s booth
Gallery owner Stephen Bulger advised me to wear comfortable running shoes for the duration of the fair as he had lots of experience on how to survive the 4 days. These was an exhibitor’s lounge and I inquired about how much free coffee they went through. Turns out water was more popular. Cold water was harder to get your hands on.
I chatted with artist Aline Setton, who goes from Brazil to Toronto and she was happy with the Project. Artist Benny Bing thought that the overall quality of the works in the Artist Project was improved.
Artist Aline Setton
Artist Benny Bing
Quebec artist Luc Tessier was pleased with the crowds of people coming to check the booths. Etobicoke artist Kezliegh was getting lots of attention at her booth.
Artist Luc Tessier
Kezliegh in front of her work
At the entrance to the Artist Project there was an installation by artist Gina D’Aloisio, titled Deep Breaths, with a silicone male figure lying face down on a bed. D’Aloisio talked about applying the hairs to the legs of the figure over many hours.
This years Artist Project was a fun return to celebrating art and artists and collectors both benefited. There was a renewed energy.
Text and photo: Phil Anderson
A Photo journal by Emese Krunak-Hajagos
Gillian Iles, All and nothing, 2013-2023, installation at the entrance
Paul Jackson, Brighton, UK
Christina Sideris, BALANCE / An Immersive Illuminated Art Exhibit, 2023
Phil Anderson, Executive Director of Gallery 1313 in Gallery 1313’s booth