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Get to know Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart, 2020 Best of Photography & Digital Media Award Winner

May 7, 2021

About Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart

"Sage's work is whimsically strange. It makes you want to look closer. It asks the viewer to think about their responsibility and relationship with the natural world."
- Glodeane Brown, Arts Manager and Culture Blogger, Culture Fancier, Judge of Best of Photography & Digital Media

Image: Deroceras laeve (Garden slug), Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart, archival pigment print, 2020

Sage is a 25 year-old photographer based in Toronto. Sage has received numerous awards, including the Magenta Foundation 2019 (female-identifying), the Emerging Artist Grant recipient from the Toronto Arts Council in 2019, and TOAF's Emerging Artist by Emerging Curator Award and Honourable Mention - Student in 2018. She also had a featured solo exhibition at the Scotiabank CONTACT Festival in 2020. Sage has exhibited both within Canada and abroad.


The 'Animal Logic' series

Animal Logic is a series of photographs that celebrates the surprising, sometimes overlooked history of animal and human relationships within the Canadian historical context. Sage uses self-portraiture to reflect on her experience with animals and environments that surround her in day-to-day life. A newcomer to Toronto in 2018, Sage began learning about local history by researching the city’s flora and fauna. The Animal Logic series re-examines binaries like native/non-native, protected/pest from a new perspective, by exploring the historical relationships between humans and animals and how they're expressed today.

Image: Gymnocorymbus ternetzi GloFish®️ (GloFish®️ Tetra Fish), Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart, archival pigment print, 2020

On winning Best of Photography & Digital Media in 2020...

Winning Best of Photography was a huge morale boost for me as an artist! I didn't get to show my most recent photo series in person earlier in the year, but showing it through TOAF online and receiving the award made it feel like it really had been seen and understood for the first time.

On TOAF's virtual move in 2020...

TOAF did an excellent job with the time they had to pivot to online.  I was bracing myself for bugs or major issues with the platform and was really impressed when I encountered none of these things. It was fun to experience the jurors' curated selections of works, and the online format worked really well in terms of getting to know a broad range of artists showing at the fair in a short amount of time. 

Image: Lab Rats (COVID-19), Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart, archival pigment print, 2020

On what TOAF means to Sage...

TOAF is where I go to make and re-connect with friends. I really do feel like it's a community that cares about each other.  When you need help, a fellow artist at TOAF is inevitably there to assist you. It's a bit of a different atmosphere than other fairs. I miss the in-person fairs, and am looking forward to them coming back in the future.

View more of Sage's works on her website.
Follow on Instagram: @sageszk
 

CONTACT Photography Festival

Image: Esmaa Mohamoud, The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us, By Us), (detail), 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Georgia Scherman Projects.

Every year, CONTACT vitalizes greater Toronto with a vast number of photo-based exhibitions and outdoor installations by acclaimed and emerging artists, documentary photographers, and photojournalists from Canada and around the world.

For their 25th edition, CONTACT presents a wide range of programs including a book fair, lectures, talks, panels, workshops, and symposia during the Festival and hosts exhibitions and programs at its Gallery throughout the year. The Festival is free and open to the public, with some exceptions at major museums.

Learn more

 

Give to Gifts of Heart!

With your support, we continue to extend our heartfelt thanks to essential workers by bringing them the joy of art while supporting TOAF artists.

Image: Frontline worker, Katie M. holding artwork she selected through the Gifts of Heart campaign

Giving is simple!

  1. Donate ($50, $100, $250 or more) towards art gift cards, each valued at $250.*
  2. We send these Gifts of love and appreciation to frontline workers to buy a beautiful artwork directly from artists on the TOAF website between July 2–11, 2021.
  3. Our delighted artists will send out the artwork along with their heartfelt thanks and receive the full value of the Gift ($250) when redeemed.

*All donations are tax deductible.

Donate today

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