TOAF60 Curated Collections
Browse special collections of artworks curated by guest artists, curators & collectors for inspiration and new entries into your art discovery journey.
A dynamic group of seasoned and emerging artists, collectors and curators have put together a collection of their inspirations to bring new perspectives to art lovers. Enjoy browsing these collections and hope they inspire you to find works of art for your surroundings.
Lauren Wilson is a Toronto based floral designer and plant installation artist under her company's name Timberlost. Her work is focused on exploring and preserving the authenticity of nature in the constructed medium. With a background in literature, she loves telling stories with florals, whether they be surrealist, classic or romantic narratives. She is drawn to contemporary and emotive designs.
Curated by the TOAF Team
To celebrate the season of Fall, the TOAF team selected artworks from this year's roster of artists to create this special edition of Curated Collections. Fall is the time when nature shows its brilliant colours to signal transition, preparing us for the long, cold winter ahead. With these scenic changes serving as inspiration, we have put together the following poetic and cozy assembly of art.
Principal of Art and Objects Inc.
Teresa Aversa is a Contemporary Artist and Art Consultant based in Toronto. She received her BA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice (2009) from the Ontario College of Art and Design, graduating with honours. As a classically trained artist she has an in-depth knowledge of fabrication techniques and materials, coupled with a keen (and almost obsessive) interest in contemporary art and design. Having cut her teeth in artist studios, galleries and art consulting firms she brings a diverse range of experience to Art and Objects Inc - Envisioning and executing projects of varying sizes, scopes and budgets over her 10+ year career. Teresa founded Art and Objects Inc. in 2012 offering the Interior Design and Hospitality Industry a bespoke art experience and unique insight into the world of art and design.
Adam has operated as an independent Artist and Disability Advocate since 2003, where his work has included blogging, photography, filmmaking, and public speaking. He has presented his film work at the Opening of the Toronto Free Gallery, Camera Bar, and the University of Toronto Disability Art Show. He first gained wide recognition with the Disability and Media community through his selection to the National Film Board Momentum Program. work has appeared on the blog “Enables Me” and my work has also appeared on “CBC Toronto”. I have also had my work appear in the “Metro” newspaper and “Toronto Star Online”. To his credit, and unique development process, Adam had developed a manner in which he himself, through recent technological advances, leading to the GoPro camera affixed to his powered wheelchair, and accessible computer and laptop, he independently developed a manner of producing films. Mounting the GoPro on a wheelchair has allowed me to take video and photos from first person perspective, using a custom camera mount.
Emilie Croning is a Toronto-based independent curator, visual artist, and scholar. Her work explores notions around identity and representation through visual language, working at the intersections of feminist theories, post-colonialism, and art history.
She received her BFA in Art History & Studio Art from Concordia University (Montréal) and a MA in Art History with a Curatorial Studies in Visual Culture Diploma from York University (Toronto). She is currently a Collection Manager for the Wedge Collection, a Project Coordinator at Wedge Curatorial Projects, and Program Assistant at Critical Distance Centre for Curators.
Director, Craft & Design, Harbourfront Centre
Melanie Egan has over 35 years of experience in the field of craft and design. She is Director of Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre; Canada’s foremost artist-in-residency devoted to ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery and design. She is a curator, organizes symposia/conferences, lectures, writes, mentors and advocates for craft & design in Canada and internationally. She has curated numerous exhibitions including, The View from Here – a critical response to Canada150 (2019); The Mind is the Hand is the Bomb that Blows: Anders Ruhwald (2018); Aberrant Tales: Lindsay Montgomery (2016) RE: Position – curated with Paul McClure for Toronto International Jewellery Festival (2013); and edited Crafting New Traditions: Canadian Innovators and Influences - published by the Canadian History Museum (2008).
Assistant, Craft & Design, Harbourfront Centre
Jillian Barreca is a Toronto-based arts worker. She is passionate about supporting emerging and mid-career artists who work across craft, design and visual art. Currently, Jillian works as the Assistant for Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre where she helps run Canada’s leading Artist-in-Residence Program in textiles, glass, ceramics, jewellery and design.
Alex Garant is a French Canadian artist known as the pioneer of Contemporary Figurative Op Art. She established herself as one of the leaders of the analog glitch aesthetic when a heart attack became the catalyst for her full-time commitment to the arts. Her oil paintings offer a graphic quality combined with traditional portrait techniques. Represented by several prestigious galleries in the United States and Australia, her works have also been shown in several museums including the Museum of Art and History (MOAH), the Fullerton Museum Center in California, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Arizona, and the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii.
Executive Director, Craft Ontario
Janna Hiemstra is the Executive Director of Craft Ontario. Over the course of her thirteen years with the organization she has established extensive connections with the community, and an in-depth knowledge of the organization's structure, history, and potential for moving forward as an arts service organization. With a background in philosophy, curatorial practice, as well as ceramic studio assistant, Janna brings a wealth of cultural sector knowledge and strategic thinking in support of Craft Ontario's vision and goals. She is both grateful and determined to focus on 2021 and beyond in order to continue strengthening Craft Ontario’s vital role as a champion of craft. Special thanks go to Sharmaine Mehta, Social Media & Communications Coordinator, for her hard work in helping to coordinate and promote Craft Ontario's curatorial selection and TOAF partnership.
Arounna Khounnoraj is a Canadian artist and maker working in Toronto where she immigrated with her family from Laos at the age of four. While her education includes a master’s degree in fine arts in sculpture and ceramics, it was through subsequent residencies that she found her current focus in fibre arts. In 2002 she started bookhou, a multi-disciplinary studio with her husband John Booth, where Arounna explores screen printing and a variety of textile techniques such as embroidery and punch needle. She creates objects such as bags, home goods and textile art.
Artist, The Jealous Curator
Danielle Krysa is the writer/curator behind the contemporary art site, The Jealous Curator. A published author of 5 books, Danielle is also an artist and creates mixed media collages combining found images, paint, and as much humour as she can pack into each title. Follow @thejealouscurator on Instagram.
Micah Lexier is a Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based artist whose activities include making, collecting and organizing. He has a deep interest in measurement, increment, found imagery and display structures. He has presented over 100 solo exhibitions, participated in more than 200 group exhibitions and has produced fifteen permanent public commissions. In 2015 Lexier was honoured with a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. Lexier’s work is in numerous public and corporate collections including The British Museum (London, England), the Contemporary Art Gallery (Sydney, Australia), The Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), and The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). Micah Lexier is represented by Birch Contemporary, Toronto.
Henry Heng Lu
Curator, Writer, Artist, Curator and Executive Director at Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Henry Heng Lu is a curator, writer and artist based in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada. Currently, he is Curator and Executive Director at Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. He is a co-founder of Call Again, a mobile initiative/collective committed to creating space for contemporary diasporic artistic practices, within Canada and beyond, through exhibitions, screenings and roundtables. In 2018, he won an Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) Exhibition of the Year Award for his curatorial project, Far and Near: the Distance(s) between Us at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. His writings have been published by Canadian Art, ArtAsiaPacific, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, C Magazine, Richmond Art Gallery, PLATFORM Gallery, ArchDaily and Gardiner Museum. He was on the jury for the 2020 Sobey Art Award at the National Gallery of Canada. In 2019, he was a Researcher-in-Residence at the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Shenzhen, China. Lu holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto.
Explore Codes, Patterns, and the Unspoken Collection
Through McLeod's career spanning over a decade making 3D rendered environments, his work has been shown globally from major American institutions like the Whitney Museum of American Art to film and art festivals in Vienna and Tokyo. Collaborations range from videos for Mozart, installations for big brands, live performance visuals for DJs, Opera singers, and public art for cities.
Stéphane Monnet is the president and creative director of Monnet Design and is based in Toronto, Canada and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Monnet is also the former President of the Advertising & Design Club of Canada. In his 20+ year career Monnet has received numerous awards from international design publications and organizations, including the ADCC, AIGA, Applied Arts, Communication Arts, Graphis, HOW, the National Magazine Awards and the New York Type Directors Club. Social: @monnetdesign / @monnet_stephane
Jeroen Dijkstra is a cultural entrepreneur living and working in The Netherlands. With a passion for art and design he organizes exhibitions, cultural events and is the curator and co-founder of DIRT (the Dutch Institute of Royal Taste). DIRT is a studio which conceives of, and organizes, cultural events such as The Royal Hangover, and runs the DIRT Market, a gallery featuring works which are designed and made in Europe. Social: @thedirt.nl / @jeroen_yuh_roon Url: thedirl.nl
Designer and Creative Director
Tiffany Pratt is a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary designer, artist, author, and television host. She supports corporate clients and the public on projects ranging from creative direction, product design, interiors, colour consultation, and personal styling. Often referred to as The Queen of Colour, Tiffany has an unmistakable, standout style. Never trying to fit others into her aesthetic - Tiffany's goal is unwavering: to be fully herself while helping people connect who they are on the inside with their outward representation. You can learn more about Tiffany on her website at tiffanypratt.com
Artist Consultant, Curator and Educator
Pennylane Shen is an artist consultant, curator and educator. Since 2006, her company Dazed and Confucius has offered one-on-one consultations to over 1000 artists each year and business development seminars to audiences worldwide.
Pennylane holds a Master’s Degree in Visual Culture Theory from New York University and has lectured at various forums throughout Canada, the US and the UK. Her publications discuss the politics of representation, race and fine art. For more than a decade, Pennylane has worked in commercial and public galleries including the longest standing commercial gallery in Canada. Among her curation and education projects are the NYC Crit Club, Langara College, The I Like Your Work Podcast and The Vancouver Mural Festival. She currently sits on the board for the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Foundation, collecting notable art pieces for hospital walls.
Kristen Sison is a diasporic Filipinx woman practicing community choreography as an artist-healer, storyteller, + book witch. She serves community by creating youth-led education spaces that re-imagine how we teach about climate justice — from Conscious Minds Co-operative, and most recently through a 3-month climate leadership program Rooted and Rising. In June 2021 she released It's Bigger Than All Of Us; a ritual object, workbook, and community archive that reflects the process of claiming self-sovereignty within our bodies, while deepening our relationship with Spirit. She's also a founding member of Kapwa Collective, a mutual support group of Filipinx-Canadian artists, critical thinkers, and healers based out of Tkaronto. www.bonesthrown.com @bonesthrown
Gary Taxali is a contemporary Canadian fine artist, illustrator, and holds the rank of Full Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University. His retro stylized art, reminiscent of depression era artwork, advertising, typography and packaging, has earned him important placement as world renowned artist. Taxali’s artwork has a high brow/low brow appeal, and consists of original stylized characters, iconography, and symbols reminiscent of the 1930s best described as "pop art”. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world including The Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), The Whitney Museum of American Art (USA), The Andy Warhol Museum (USA),
The Contemporary Art Museum in Rome (Italy), and his work is in the permanent collection of The Library of Congress (USA). He has collaborated with various brands including Canadian men’s retailer Harry Rosen on custom-designed silk pocket squares, six Gary.
Taxali celebration coins for The Royal Canadian Mint including the world's first currency celebrating non-gender specific marriage, and with musician AimeeMann on her album “@#%&*! Smilers”, which earned Taxali a 2009 Grammy Award Nomination for Best Art Package. Taxali's illustrations have appeared in every major magazine including Rolling Stone, GQ, The New York Times, Newsweek, and The New Yorker. He has won hundreds of national and international awards including numerous recognition from American Illustration, Communication Arts, Society of Publication Designers, a nomination for a Cannes Lion, and Gold Medals from the National Magazine Awards, The Advertising and Design Club of Canada, and 2 Gold Medals and a Silver Medal from The Society of Illustrators (NYC). Gary was listed as one of the top 100 illustrators in the world by art book publisher Taschen in “The Illustrator: 100 Best from Around the World”. His monographs include “I Love You, OK?” (published by TeNeus USA), “Mono Taxali” (published by 27_9 in Italy), and “Happiness with a Caveat”. He lives and works in Toronto.
Xiaojing Yan is a Chinese-Canadian artist whose work embraces her sense of having a hybrid identity. Combining her Chinese roots and education at Nanjing Arts Institute (B.F.A., 2000) with higher education at George Brown College in Toronto (2004) and an M.F.A. in sculpture at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2007,) settling permanently in the Toronto area, her work reflects her journey through these various cultures, arriving at her own personal vocabulary. Her unique point of view brings together the past and the present, encompasses culture and nature, art and science.
Yan is a recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the 2014 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Project Grants from the Canadian Council for the Arts, the Chalmers Arts Fellowship, Mid-career Grants from Ontario Arts Council, and a 2018 OAAG Exhibition Installation and Design Award and many more.
Most recently, she has had solo shows at Maison Hermès, Shanghai, China; Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cobourg, ON, Canada; Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC, Canada; Varley Art Gallery, Markham, ON, Canada; and Suzhou Museum, Suzhou, China. Yan has also completed public art projects and commissions in Canada and China including her 2018 installation “Cloudscape” at the Royal Ontario Museum and 2019 Window display “Into the Dreams” for Maison Hermès in Shanghai.
Shaheer Zazai is a Toronto based Afghan-Canadian artist with a current studio practice both in painting and digital media. Zazai received a BFA from OCAD University in 2011 and was artist in residence at OCAD University as part of the Digital Painting Atelier in 2015.
Zazai’s practice focuses on exploring and attempting to investigate the development of cultural identity in the present geopolitical climate and diaspora. The digital works revolve around Microsoft Word and imagery drawn from traditional Afghan carpets. Through mimicking carpet-making methods, Zazai creates his own designs in Microsoft Word, where every knot of a carpet is translated into a typed character. While the digital is a process based exploration, the paintings have been an internal investigation into vulnerability and fear.
Zazai is a recipient of Ontario Arts Council grants and he was a finalist for EQ Bank’s Emerging Digital Artist Award in 2018. Since graduating, Zazai has had several solo and group exhibitions such as those at the Capacity 3 Gallery, CAFKA Biennial 2019, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant., Double Happiness Projects and Patel Brown Gallery. His digital works have been covered by CBC Arts in 2018, Ajam Media Collective in 2019 and Globe and Mail in 2020.