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Toronto’s Artist Project celebrates its 8th year with a new show

Now in its 8th year, the show welcomes more than 15,000 seasoned art collectors, first-time art buyers, gallery dealers and interior designers to the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto.

This year, guests of the show will marvel at nationally renowned artist and sculptor Bruno Billio’s unveiling of a 100 foot long art work, dubbed Rocco, where he uses common, ordinary objects as his medium, and stacks and manipulates them into a spatial installation using coloured string.

Additionally, Sony Canada will launch an expertly curated exhibition of photographs from the Canadian entrants for the Sony World Photography Awards 2015, in partnership with the World Photography Organization. Sony of Canada will be awarding the first ever Canadian National award, selected from among the top Canadian submissions for the international competition. Artist Project attendees can also cast their vote for the ‘People’s Choice’ award for best Canadian Image displayed in the Sony gallery at the show.

The Artist Project will be showing its support of the 20 best up-and-coming artists through its UNTAPPED Emerging Artists competition and showcase. Guests can meet the artists and have the opportunity to collect their pieces before they are discovered.

The show will continue to offer stimulating experiences such as Art Chats and Art Walks, docent-led guided tours that explore trends, themes and insights into artists’ inspirations and processes,as well as engaging contesting opportunities for artists, such as TYPE. Artists are invited to submit an original work of art based on the theme “TYPE.” The Artist Competition theme will explore text-based art and the relationship between art and the use of text/language. All competition entries will be on display and winners will be selected by a panel of jurors for cash prizes.

Additionally this year, Art Battle Canada and the Artist Project have teamed up to bring live artist competitive painting right to the show floor. On the evening of Friday, February 20 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Artist Project’s first Art Battle will be held where 16 artists create the best work they can in 20 minutes. As they work,visitors can move around the easels, closely watching the creative process. The audience votes for their favourite painting and bids in a silent auction to take the work home.

Lastly, in partnership with OCAD University’s Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers, the Artist Project presents Alex Beriault’s sculpture and performance work Ring as part of the Career Launchers program. The initial performance takes places from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Opening Night followed by two hour performances on Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, and Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Claire Taylor, Show Director, has served as the Director of Artist Project for the past five years, and has chosen the following TOP FIVE emerging artists to watch in 2015.

1. Bruno Patyn, Nieuwpoort, Belgium – Medium: Watercolour

Living in Berlin and having studied printmaking during a residency in China, Bruno’s works have a decidedly calligraphic and Asian influence although realized in a modern way.

2. Shay Salehi, Mississauga – Medium: Glass

When Shay was finishing high school she had a desire to face new challenges by choosing to work with a medium she had no experience with, glass. After a couple years of exploring glass, and discovering different processes of working with it Shay began to find comfort in particular methods, such as kiln casting and the pate de verre technique. Shay enjoys the fragility of glass, and its ability to mimic other materials. Shay received the People’s Choice Award for Untapped 2014 and looks forward to coming back for the show in 2015.

3. Alexander Eros Rocco, Toronto – Medium: Photography

Alexander Eros Rocco is a Toronto based visual artist, born in Santiago Chile. Attended AGO art classes at an early age to build creative thinking and experiment with a variety of mediums. He started taking images with the family’s Minolta film camera, first project Niagara Falls grade 5 field trip. Alexander has collected recognition’s such as “PhotoLife Magazine – Top 10 Canadian Emerging Photographer”, Nominee for the B&W Spider Awards, and 117th International Salon of Photography Silver Best Canadian. His images have appeared in Black and White Magazine, Fashion Unlimited Magazine, and CBC Nature in Focus.

4. Gosia, Toronto – Medium: Sculpture

Gosia lives and works in Toronto’s Leslieville. Born in Poland in 1982, she moved to Canada in 1994. With a background in Illustration from Sheridan College, Gosia has been a professional artist for six years. Her career of creating and selling artwork through galleries and contemporary art fairs has led her to her passion for sculpting. Most recently her works have been featured in House & Home Magazine, Hi Fructose Magazine and Colossal Art Blog. Gosia’s technique involves five stages. She photographs her carefully selected models and sculpts her original figure out of clay, using the photographs as reference. A mold of the original clay sculpture is made and final pieces are cast using said mold. Each piece is individually hand painted. Gosia’s works are created in singles and small editions.

5, Dara Vandor, Toronto – Medium: Drawing

Dara’s precision-style techniques captures the delicacy of lingerie in this series.She is an artist working with pen on canvas. The medium itself seems ordinary: it produces small, intimate gestures, being a tool most of us use often, for daily tasks. Yet when tens of thousands of tiny strokes are marshalled en masse, they begin to assume a life of their own.

The Artist Project – Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto – February 19 to 22, 2015

Tickets are available for the weekend, and for the Early Access Preview and the Opening Night Party held on Thursday, February 19, 2015, an annual favourite of the Toronto art scene.Guests are among the first to view and collect works of art while enjoying specialty cocktails, complimentary hors d’oeuvres,and art performances. The Artist Project has partnered with Canadian Art Foundation, and a portion of Opening Night Party and Early Access Preview ticket sales will be donated to the organization.

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