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Application Tips & FAQs

The TOAF team has created this page to address the most common questions about applying to the Fair. Review this page carefully before reaching out to us, and consider attending one of our Application Information Sessions for more details.

Key Dates
Application Tips & FAQs
What category do I apply in?
Uploading Artwork Images
International Artists
How are applications selected?
Get Application Support

Key Dates

December 1  Applications Open at 12:00 AM
January 18 Application Information Session + Mock Jury
February 28 Last day to apply without late fee (by 11:59 PM)
March 8 Final application deadline at 11:59 PM
March 8 Community booth application deadline at 11:59 PM
April TBC Jury results emailed to artists
May TBC Virtual Booth Camp
May TBC Artist Meet & Greet
May 25  Final day to cancel in-person participation with refund 
July 2022 Online Fair Launches
July 2022 TOAF61 in-person at Nathan Phillips Square (TBC)

Application Tips & FAQs

Help! I forgot my password.

If you forgot your password, you can reset it via the login page, using the 'RESET PASSWORD' button. Use the email associated with your account, and a temporary password will be emailed to you. Check your spam/junk mail folders. Once you log in, you can change your password to something more memorable and secure under 'Your Profile'.

Can I submit an application with another Artist?

No, unless applying as an artist-run gallery or collective. Though we respect and appreciate collaborative artistic practices, we are committed to the support of individual artists as part of our mandate. This ensures artists' eligibility for our awards program and fairness to other artists with individual practices paying for booth fees from a single income.

Can I only sell the work I submitted in my application?

They do not have to be the exact same artworks, but your application should be consistent with the artworks you intend to show at the Fair to respect the jury process

Am I allowed to sell reproductions or prints at the Fair?

No. Artists are only allowed to sell original works at Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. Please refer to our Reproduction Policy for full details.

How do I write a strong Artist Statement? How is the ‘Description of Works’ different?

Use the Artist Statement to provide context about the body of work you are showing to the jury. Describe who you are as an artist, what you are inspired by and how it informs your artwork. You can also write about your education and accolades if there’s room, but making sure the jury has enough information about the portfolio they’re looking at is more important.

For the Descriptions of Works, expand on your techniques and how the work is created. If there is something unique about your process, expand on it here.

What category do I apply in?

Each artwork medium belongs to one of the categories below. You can submit up to 3 applications in different Fair categories with separate bodies of work (fees apply).

  • 3D Works: Three-dimensional artworks, using additive or reductive techniques, including freestanding sculptures, reliefs, assemblages etc. created using either traditional or experimental materials.

  • 2D Works: Two-dimensional, created using one or more physical material, including Drawing, Printmaking, Illustration, Collage, and Mixed Media works, etc.

  • Craft & Design: Hand-crafted objects (functional or decorative) created using fine craft and/or industrial design practices including, Ceramics, Glass, Jewellery, Textile, Wood/Furniture, etc. Exclude machine-screen patterns or other forms of mass production, and factory-produced wearable items regardless of additional modification.

  • Painting: Oil, acrylic, encaustic, watercolour, inks, etc.

  • Photography & Digital Media: Photographic prints made from the artist's original image, and/or digitally manipulated images created from original artist images, and/or other sourced material.

Uploading Artwork Images

How do I format my images?

Images must be high-resolution, in-focus and well-lit so that your work can be properly assessed. Consider hiring a professional photographer to document your work, if you don’t have experience making digital images. If that is not an option, check out this video from Saatchi Online about how to photograph your art.

Image Formatting Instructions:

  • Valid files types: .jpeg or .png.
  • Maximum size: images should be no larger than 1024 x 1024 pixels and 4MB (max) in size. Images that exceed this size will be automatically resized to fit and may be distorted.  
  • Minimum size: no less than 500 x 500 pixels (height & width)

What is a booth image?

Booth images provide jurors with a look at the artworks in context, a better sense of the scale/size of the artworks and give an idea of how your body of work will be experienced in person at the Fair. Missing booth images will have points deducted, The booth image may not be digitally created or drawn.

The ideal booth image looks professional:

  • free of clutter and debris, no artwork on the ground
  • Free of distractions -  no people (including yourself), or distracting signage
  • Curated, shows only your best work (not filled top to bottom)

Image courtesy of Lizz Aston

Image courtesy of Matt Beasant

Image courtesy of Mary McKenzie

What if I don’t have a picture of my artwork in a booth?

Booth Shot Alternatives

Instead, you can install your pieces in your studio or home in a ‘mock set-up’ (you do not need a tent for the photo), nor do you need to show all 3 walls. Works should be installed against a neutral backdrop, without furniture or other objects in the way. Two-dimensional work should be installed directly on a wall as a grouping. For three-dimensional work, you can use a table top with a neutral tablecloth. You do not have to include all 6 images in your installation image, a sampling of 3-4 is okay, depending on the size of your artwork.

Image courtesy of Leigh Nelson

Image courtesy of Aysegul Birol

Image courtesy of Elycia SFA

International Artists

We welcome artists from all over the world. If you are applying from outside of Canada, it is your responsibility to get the appropriate paperwork and understand the COVID restrictions to enter Canada to sell your works. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair does not provide invitations to artists for Visa applications. All travel, accommodations, shipping and customs expenses are your responsibility. We recommend working with a licensed customs broker to import your works into Canada. International artists are encouraged to apply to the online portion of the Fair. Please do not contact us for letters of invitation.

How are applications selected?

Who is on the Jury?

All applications are reviewed by an external multidisciplinary panel of jurors made up of established artists, industry professionals and leaders in the visual arts community. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair team does not participate in the selection panel. Each year we enlist a new group of jurors in order to keep the Fair fresh and exciting. Jurors are announced in the Spring after results are sent to artists.

How are the applications selected?

Jurors select the strongest work based on artistic excellence, originality, consistency of ideas and design. Decisions are based on the material in your application, paying particular attention to the 6 images you submit. If you are interested in learning more about our jury process, we recommend you rewatch our Application Information Session Recording.

How can I find out the results?

Your jury results will be emailed to you in April 2022. No phone calls please – notifications will not be given over the phone. To make sure that your results letter does not accidentally end up in your spam folder, make sure that you add “[email protected]” to your address book as a safe sender. All jury decisions are final and cannot be appealed. Emails regarding jury decisions will not receive a response.

Get Application Support

Application Information Session

This information session will give you insight on how to prepare a winning application, from great photos, a booth/installation image, to curating your portfolio for success. Witness a Mock Jury Session, where you will get a first-hand peek at what our jurors are looking for.

Instagram Application Q&A Live on February 15th, 3 pm

Feedback Friday

Book an appointment for a one-on-one phone consultation. Get direct feedback on last year’s application for returning artists, or a draft of your application, if you are a first-time applicant.

Questions? Contact us

416-408-2754 | [email protected]
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