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Three Outstanding Emerging Artists

November 17, 2022

We are shining the spotlight on three outstanding TOAF61 emerging artists and the wonderful opportunities that our partners have provided for them to expand and further their careers. 

Sofia Escobar’s textile sculptures have earned her The Artscape Emerging Artist Award, which has given her access to a great variety of fabrication studios at Daniels Artscape Launchpad. These studios provide the perfect opportunity for experimentation and production, and are well-suited to Sofia’s practice. 

You’ll remember Esther Kim as the 2021 Best of Painting recipient. This year Esther’s vivid and expressive paintings brought her The Power Plant Emerging Artist Award. This award grants Esther an Artist membership, TPP publications and the opportunity to propose a limited edition at their shop. 

The Student Purchase Award gives a closer look at Stephanie Singh’s sustainable creation process, rigorous material exploration and unique storytelling through new craft materials. 

We are grateful to our partners for joining us in creating new opportunities for our community of artists. This leads us to announce that, with support from TD Ready Commitment, we have launched an exciting new series of professional development workshops with some in-demand topics. If you are interested, read on for more information. 

And 💝… the gift-giving time of the year is almost here! To help celebrate the holidays we bring you an artful and exquisite Holiday Curated Collection by writer and art lover Meghan Yuri Young. There is something for everyone, pick out an artwork to delight your loved ones while bringing a smile to our artists. 

PS. Attention Artists! Today at 3 pm, join our team on Instagram live where we’ll be answering your questions about the application process for the Fair.

PPS. Attention Partners! If you wish to offer a career-forwarding opportunity award to the artists of TOAF we would like to hear from you


Sofia Escobar

Sofia Escobar is a Toronto-based artist born and raised in Peru and Ecuador. She completed her studies at OCAD U in Toronto in 2014, majoring in Material Art & Design and specializing in Fibre. Driven by an ongoing interest in material and space, Sofia uses textile construction techniques and processes to build intricate interwoven thread sculptures that explore themes of architecture and optical illusion. Her recent work explores new ways in which textiles could behave with their surroundings through material language, technology and participatory exchanges with the viewer. By using non-traditional materials and technologies such as acrylic and laser cutting, Sofia harnesses the broad versatility of textiles and takes the medium beyond the utilitarian perception that is commonly tied to it.

Weave 5, Sofia Escobar, 2021, Cotton thread and wood.

From the award judge

Sofia Escobar's sculptures simultaneously engage, complement and reflect upon our surrounding urban (and digital) architecture. Although the taut lines may evoke a sense of rigidness, this feeling is juxtaposed by the softness of the thread she uses to create these lines. On top of this delicate teetering between concept and material, the visual symmetry also refers to the notion of binaries that makes up the language within our technological world (0's and 1's). In a way, Sofia's sculptures can be interpreted as bodies existing in tangent with urban life.

- Jacqueline Kok, Nancy McCain & Bill Morneau Curatorial Fellow at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Macro Weave, 2020, Thread and acrylic, Sofia Escobar.

Weave 2, 2022, Cotton thread and acrylic, Sofia Escobar.

View more of Sofia Escobar's works


Esther Doyeon Kim

Esther Kim is a South Korean Canadian raised in Vancouver and currently a Toronto-based artist. She majored in a Bachelor of Fine Arts at OCAD U. Kim recently received The Power Plant Emerging Artist Award at TOAF in 2022 and The Best of Painting Award at the TOAF in 2021.

Kim's work delivers a sense of happiness in the form of appreciation for tedious moments in life. Kim's work begins with recognizing and recollecting ordinary yet precious pieces of life within her family. She is determined to celebrate her surrounding environments immersed in nature. Kim's subject matter explores the concept of Biophilia (which directly translates to "a love of life"), an innate human instinct to be connected with nature.

Kim's art practice is intuitive, schematic, and almost childlike—reminiscing naïve moments for viewers to escape reality complexity. She explores simple, flat forms to encompass expressive, whimsical, calm, and joyous moments. Her works are an outlet of comfort and an undemanding space of serenity.

The public can find Esther’s new paintings at the Artist Project in April 2023.

Sweet Dreams, Esther Doyeon Kim, 2022, Mixed media on canvas.

From the award judge

Esther Doyeon Kim's paintings are humourous and joyful. But beyond that, they also capture contemporaneity in an accessible way - by depicting popular figures in a relevant context, Esther brings a sense of levity to an otherwise "serious" discipline. Furthermore, her paintings speak to her skills as an artist. Her ability to blur the distinction between digital versus painterly aesthetics also lends itself to our understanding of the "now". In a world where images are being produced as well as digitized at an accelerated pace, Esther's works memorialize the moment, grounding us, to a certain extent, to the present.

- Jacqueline Kok, Nancy McCain & Bill Morneau Curatorial Fellow at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

New Normal, Esther Doyeon Kim, 2022, Mixed media on canvas. Still available at TOAF.ca.

Hithertoe, Esther Doyeon Kim, 2022, Mixed media on canvas. Still available at TOAF.ca.

View more of Esther Doyeon Kim's works


Stephanie Singh

Stephanie Singh is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary textile designer currently in her final year of graduate studies at OCAD U in the Masters of Interdisciplinary Arts, Media and Design. She achieved her undergrad in textiles from Sheridan College, focusing on sustainable one-use plant materials and transforming them into timeless forms. Currently, she focuses on materials of her Caribbean Culture, where storytelling experiences are captured. Stephanie has always had an urge to create and explore new crafts and materials and she completely fell in love with the raw material. Stephanie's works and research allow individuals to connect with botanicals and understand the relationship to the natural world through culture and experience. Through explorations of memory, preservation, love, care, loss, healing and plant consciousness. She is creating an experience with natural materials, such as botanicals, to create an emotional connection. 

Check out Stephanie Singh’s upcoming exhibition: December 3rd - July 30th, Canada Modern Exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Material Vases: MarijuanaStephanie Singh, 2022. Sugar cane, Marijuana, lignum vitae, sorrel and Coconut Husk.

Material Vases: Sugar Cane & Sorrel, Stephanie Singh, Sugar cane, Marijuana, lignum vitae, sorrel and coconut husk.

My Mothers’ Garden: PedestalStephanie Singh, Florals and resin, 2022.

View more of Stephanie Singh's works


Holiday Curated Collection

Holiday Gifts
Curated by Meghan Yuri Young

Eine Million Mark 12 August 1923 No. 597841.01, Heather J. A. Thomson, 2018

Photo-Lithograph; BOSSY Girl Earrings, Sue Muir, 2022, Brass and 14k gold-filled ear wires. Still available at TOAF.ca

View Holiday Gifts


Professional Development Workshops

Date: Tuesday, November 22nd, 7 - 8 PM
Location: Urbanspace Gallery, Ground Floor, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, M5V 3AB
RSVP: Register here
Visit Eventbrite for details & to reserve your ticket. RSVP is required to secure your spot. 

RSVP here

 

'Accessing the Collectors' Circle' Workshop

Date: Wednesday, December 7th, 7 - 8 PM
Location: Urbanspace Gallery, Ground Floor, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, M5V 3AB
RSVP: Register here
Visit Eventbrite for details & to reserve your ticket. RSVP is required to secure your spot.

RSVP here

 

Learn more here

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