Get to know Keight MacLean, 2020 Best of Painting Award Winner
November 26, 2020
Keight’s captivating, oddly-familiar yet unknown historical faces captured the imagination of our visitors in 2016. That year, she went from having a handful of admirers to thirty loyal collectors in just three days. As Keight says, "that’s how it all began" and ever since, she just continues to rise.
Keight was awarded the Best of Painting this year—the cherry on the top of her incredible career growth. The Best of Painting award is one of TOAF’s most anticipated awards and an audience favourite. This year, it was judged by the one and only Danielle Krysa of The Jealous Curator and generously supported by Patrica Olasker and Brett Ledger who both acquired their first piece of their cherished art collection from TOAF many years ago. For us, the memory of handing over the award to Keight on Instagram Live this summer and seeing her sheer joy and radiance was one the most tangible, gratifying memories of the Online Fair.
On Monday, November 30th, we are opening our Call for Artists and Makers! This is your chance to take part in our 60th Anniversary in 2021 and share with us your story.
Before we sign off, we wanted to let you know that for the holiday season, we've added 2 new Curated Collections, hand-picked by our favourite local independent shops in Toronto.
Enjoy searching for soulful unique art for your special ones!
About Keight MacLean
Beautifully painted, a clever combination of techniques, the past colliding with the present, and a strong POV/consistency in her portfolio... these are just a few of the reasons I was immediately drawn to the work of Toronto-based painter Keight MacLean. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be a tie between "Aspire" and "Life"... because why pick only one!?
– Danielle Krysa of The Jealous Curator, Judge of Best of Painting
Keight MacLean is a Toronto-based painter, born and raised in Kingston, Ontario. MacLean is an OCAD University graduate and alumna of the school’s revered Florence Program, in Florence, Italy.
Inspired by her time studying the old masters firsthand, MacLean’s paintings combine the old with the new, reproducing historical portraits by hand before applying contemporary and experimental methods such as fluorescent spray paint, re-harvested artists’ mediums and destructive techniques.
With a love for European history, MacLean’s focus on women was born after years of reading male driven histories. Her work now seeks to celebrate the many women in historical portraits, either without name, known only in reference to their male relations or entirely unknown, giving a voice to the silenced.
On her experience with the online fair...
“This year was yet another challenge. With the pandemic, I think a lot of us were scared that TOAF wouldn’t happen, or it wouldn’t be as good as past years. Luckily, they managed to pull off a beautiful transition to digital, both through the online store and all of their great online events and content. Seeing it all come together and seeing all the familiar faces really brought a tear to my eye and when I received the ‘Best of Painting’ award... I was just overcome by the thought of how much this show has done for me.”
– Keight MacLean
On what TOAF means to Keight...
I’m not even sure I can sum up in words what TOAF means to me! First it launched my career, introducing me to the collectors that keep me afloat by supporting my work, year after year. My first time at TOAF, I sold my entire thesis collection to a single buyer and nearly sold out my whole booth. Years later when my studio burned down, TOAF not only gave me something to look forward to, but also helped me get a tent and walls so I could participate that year, just months after the fire. Then this year, having something to work towards during the pandemic really helped me, and then on top of that, I won the Best of Painting Award?! I honestly owe TOAF so much.
– Keight MacLean
On why you should apply to TOAF60...
No matter what form the fair takes next year, it will be a glorious show. Whether you’re looking for a chance to chat with people about your work, a boost in sales, networking with other artists or just something to work towards and look forward to, the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is sure to be another beacon of light in 2021!
– Keight MacLean
Artworks still available
You can still purchase a limited number of Keight's work along with thousands of other artworks on our website!
New Curated Collections
For this season of giving, we've invited 2 of our favourite local independent shops to curate collections from our TOAF59 artists. Brooke Manning of Likely General and Christie Pinese of Rose City Goods have hand-picked pieces from our TOAF59 roster to help you with your holiday planning. We urge you to support local artists and small businesses this season.
Plus, an added bonus to ease your gift-planning! You can now buy a TOAF Digital Gift Card to our online store and give the gift of art!
Call for Artists and Makers opens Nov. 30, 12 AM
Why Apply Early?
- Save on your application: Applications received before February 28 11:59 PM will avoid the late fee.
- First dibs on booth location: Booth locations are designated first-come, first-served based on the time your application was submitted. If your application is successful, you will be able to choose your top 3 preferred 'zones' on the Fair map during Booth Payments in May 2021.
- First dibs on social media spotlights: Early applicants will get first dibs on social media spotlight packages for the online Fair.