For an emerging artist, the opportunity to participate in a professional-level art fair and showcase their work to gallery owners, collectors and art enthusiasts could help launch their young careers.
It’s an opportunity the 14 aspiring artists selected through an ‘untapped emerging artists’ competition will have this year at a four-day contemporary art fair which runs Feb. 21 to 24 at the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place.
Now in its sixth year, the Artist Project Juried Contemporary Art Fair gives patrons and art lovers a rare opportunity to meet and purchase work directly from more than 250 Canadian and international artists – and, of course, the 14 aspiring artists.
“It can be a sort of launching pad for their career,” explained Clair Taylor, one of the art fair’s organizers. “It teaches them about exhibiting, can lead to connections and it helps introduce them to the art world.
“We want to create an interesting dialogue between established artists, emerging artists and ultimately the people who visit the show.”
Through the untapped emerging artists’ initiative, she said organizers were looking for artists doing something new and cutting edge that made them stand out among the other applicants.
Taylor said the emerging artists are treated exactly like the other exhibitors, except they don’t have to pay the booth fee, which ranges from $1,700 to $4,700.
“A lot of them are starting their careers and aren’t making enough to have a booth at that cost,” Taylor said.
South Parkdale resident Jesse Bromm, 25, is one of this year’s ‘emerging’ artists.
“I am using glass and found objects and mixed media to create sculpture,” said Bromm, who is a graduate of Sheridan College’s craft and design program, specializing in glass.
“I have done a couple craft shows, but the good thing about the Artist Project is that people know that it is art,” Bromm said. “I spend a lot of time explaining that it is art... the Untapped (Emerging Artists) section is really nice because it is a way of getting your foot in the door without the cost.”
Elaine Chan-Dow, 35, from the Beach, will show her series Libraria, a dialogue concerning the evolution of Libraries. She deals mainly with photos but sometimes her work involves other mediums.
Being chosen as an emerging artist for this show is a great opportunity, she said, as it is one of the bigger art fairs in Toronto.
“For emerging artists, some of us don’t have those kinds of funds. For them to cut a section out for emerging artists is such a great thing.”
Kensington Market resident Katie Kehoe, 33, has a master of fine arts degree from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.
The subject matter of her work is most distilled in her drawing, which involves writing or applying the word ‘and’ repeatedly in various layers and processes.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” Kehoe said. “I am hoping to meet gallery directors and hoping another show in Toronto could come out of it.”
Admission to the art fair is $15 general adult admission and $25 Opening Night Preview and Party. For more info and online ticket specials, visit www.theartistprojecttoronto.com