Application Tips & FAQs
Applications for the July 2023 Fair will open December 1st.
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.
|December 1||Applications Open at 12:00 AM|
|January 10||Application Information Session + Mock Jury (on Zoom)|
|January 19||Online only Fair Application Information Session (on Zoom)|
|February 28||Last day to apply without late fee (by 11:59 PM)|
|March 7||Final application deadline at 11:59 PM|
|March 7||Community booth application deadline at 11:59 PM|
|March TBC||Jury results emailed to artists|
|April TBC||Virtual Booth Camp|
|May TBC||Artist Meet & Greet|
|May TBC||Final day to cancel in-person participation with refund|
|July 2023||TOAF62 in-person at Nathan Phillips Square (TBC)|
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.
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 artworks, created using one or more physical materials, including Drawing, Printmaking, Illustration, Collage, 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.
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 file 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, with 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 tabletop 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
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 work into Canada. International artists are encouraged to apply to the online portion of the Fair. Please do not contact us for letters of invitation.
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 attend our Application Information Session with Mock Jury (January 10, 2023, Detail TBC).
How can I find out the results?
Your jury results will be emailed to you in March 2023. 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.
Call for Artists FAQ Instagram Live
Join the TOAF team on Instagram live to answer your questions about the application process or the Fair.
Virtual Application Information Session (January 10th, 2023)
Learn how to prepare a winning application, from great photos, and booth/installation image, to curating your portfolio for success. Submit a draft of your application for the chance to get feedback from our mock jury and get a first-hand peek at what our jurors are looking for. This session will focus on answering questions about the in-person Fair at Nathan Phillips Square. Click here to RSVP.
Virtual Online-only Fair Application Information Session (January 19th, 2023)
Can’t make it to Nathan Phillips Square? Artists from across Canada and beyond are welcome to consider applying Online Only. This short information session will give you insight on why you should apply to the Online Fair and how to prepare a winning application. Registration coming soon. Click here to RSVP.
Book an appointment with us for a one-on-one phone consultation to get direct feedback on your previous year’s application if it was unsuccessful and receive advice on how to build a stronger submission. Spaces every Friday are limited, so book early!