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Toronto Outdoor Art Show 1977 copy 2.jpg

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TOAF Memories: Vera Fischer & David Johns

March 29, 2021

To celebrate our 60th Anniversary this year, we are collecting stories and memories from past and present TOAF participants.

Image courtesy of artist Vera Fischer, 1970s

Vera Fischer

I think this was 1974. I had been a part of TOAF (then called Toronto Outdoor Exhibition) about 3 times... This picture was my first year participating. What a great time I had! From there, I was invited to other shows and galleries and since then, I have never stopped creating. This year, I have submitted work to TOAF once again and would be delighted be part of this great art community. 

David Johns

In 1962 or 1963, I was in my 2nd or 3th year at the Ontario College of Art, taking the Advertising Design course when I was part of the TOAF. I do remember having my paintings hanging from a low fence by the Four Seasons Motor Hotel on Jarvis Street. The paintings were done in the “Fine Art” portion of the Design Course,it was the first time I had ever displayed my work outside of school. I was thrilled and nervous. It had a clumsy presentation – no theme, no frames – hastily applied wiring. There was some outstanding work on display, and I was certainly in awe and intimidated. However, someone thought my work was worthy so I was all in. I was nervous at first but quickly discovered I enjoyed talking to those who inquired about my work,  discussing motivation and technique. Some were painters themselves so I learned a lot about art and the business of art from that experience.

It was through this event I realized I enjoyed displaying my work and meeting a diverse audience. In 2004, I was accepted to participate in TOAF again. Over the years, I have participated in many outdoor shows, thanks to that sunny weekend on Jarvis Street.


Image: In the first few years of TOAF, the event was held at the parking lot of the Four Seasons Motor Hotel on Jarvis St.

Are you an artist, art collector, long time visitor with a connection to TOAF? Do you have any memories you'd like to share? Email us!

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