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Art Nest Call for Proposals

Deadline: January 16th, 2023 @ 5 PM EST

Event Date: July 7 - 9, 2023, Nathan Phillips Square

TOAF is seeking proposals for installation, sculpture, new media and performance art that are appropriate for an outdoor setting and related weather conditions.

Art Nest project provides emerging and equity-seeking artists with the opportunity to create their first public artworks in consultation with a curator and mentor during the Fair. The program provides artists with the experience, infrastructure, training and audience exposure needed to build confidence for future public art competitions and commissions.  Proposals should also account for visitor safety. All proposals are subject to approval by the City of Toronto. Show organizers will assign space at Nathan Phillips Square. 

An artist fee of $2,000 plus $2,000 for material costs will be paid to each selected artist.


Art Nest is open to emerging artists who want to take their practice to the next level by creating commissioned public art projects to be installed at Nathan Phillips Square during the 62nd edition of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, July 7 - 9, 2023.

TOAF has been celebrating art in public spaces and animating Toronto’s civic centre on a grand scale since 1961. The first iteration of Art Nest in 2022 was created in response to the City of Toronto’s ArtworxTO: Year of Public Art 2021-22 initiative. Championing career-launching platforms for the next generation of artists is central to TOAF’s programming values and key to the inspiration behind Art Nest.

At a time when so many ideas around monumentality and permanence in public art are being dismantled and questioned, Art Nest will look to contribute to that conversation in a thoughtful and creatively engaging way. Our hope is to help redefine the meaning and future possibilities of public art in a way that is accessible, impactful and reflects lived experiences with engaging temporary art projects.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions must be submitted via email by 5 PM EST on January 16th, 2023 to: [email protected]

The subject line of the email must read: ‘ Art Nest Submission 2023 ’


Submissions must include:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and email contact
  • Links to social media accounts if applicable
  • Statement describing the proposed work for exhibition, how it would be installed and how visitors might interact with it 
  • 10 jpg images*/sketches/reference images of the work to be exhibited (include examples of previous work, especially if it is relevant to the proposed project)
  • Description of images (title, year, medium)
  • A brief bio (150 words maximum) and CV (2 pages maximum)
  • Please compress your images into a zip file 

*Jpg images can be no larger than 1024 x 768 pixels and 300 dpi

Selected artists will be notified by the end of February 2023. 

Although some install support will be provided, selected artists should be prepared to install and tear down their own work. Artists must provide all materials for installation. Artists are also encouraged to be present during the 3-days of the Fair to greet the public and answer any questions about their work and for associated programming (Art Talks, public art tours).             

Only selected proposals will be contacted.

Questions? Contact us

416-408-2754 | [email protected]
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Hear from the Artists

"It was productive to be part of a curated exhibition of outdoor artworks. Art Nest pushed my boundaries as an artist, as I had to create robust large-scale outdoor public artwork."  

- Kal Mansur, TOAF61 Art Nest Artist

"Participating in the Art Nest was a fantastic experience and opportunity.  I had been wanting to shift my practice by incorporating more public art projects and this was the perfect platform. By bringing art to the public in a non-traditional setting it allowed me to witness a more diverse audience interacting with my piece."

- Erin Vincent, TOAF61 Art Nest Artist


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