I have just returned from Toronto, after exhibiting for three long days, at the Toronto Outdoor Fair (TOAF). It was the first time in fifteen years, since I’d done this show and it has changed in so many ways, all for the better, I have to say. I have no complaints, it promised to be a great opportunity and it delivered on that promise. Way back in the early 2000’s, the TOAE, which was it’s original acronym, was a good show, offering up many artists to discover, especially with its student section. This year, I didn’t have a chance to see much, I was too busy making sure I was always at my booth, but what I did manage to see was impressive. The TOAF is a major event now, attracting over 115,000 art lovers and collector. The fair runs like a well oiled machine, and now with social media, it has incredible reach.
I chose to show mainly my Empyrean series, because its beautiful, cohesive and striking. The work was very well received. I was able to get a sense of which type of people like my work and why, which doesn’t happen often in a typical gallery setting, I suppose because we were outside in a very public and highly visible venue. The problem with outdoor shows, especially this one is the harshness of the elements; it was hot, I mean really hot. We had a flash storm on Saturday that had me holding on to my canopy for dear life. Taking work out on the road, as I call it, is never advisable, every time you hang the work, take it down, hang it again, etc, you risk damaging it. But of course, I’ve done this a million times and I came prepared. I met some wonderful people last weekend, my neighbors artists Karen L. Bowen and Lindsay Chambers, were so supportive, we had a lot to talk about in between greeting visitors to our booths. What struck me was that the three of us had very different artistic backgrounds, styles and life experiences, but what we did have in common, was being women artists in a very competitive and complicated art world. They are now my friends and part of my ever growing community of like minded people. Community is so important, as artists we really need to help one another, share insights, exchange information and simply just be there for each other.
This week was back to work, following up on sales that I made, updating my website, looking at new opportunities and of course planning my next piece. I bought a 36 x 48 panel, that I plan to prep and hopefully start on in a few days, assuming I don’t get sidetracked. My gallery Studio Sixty-Six https://studiosixtysix.ca/ is planning a pop up show for August. It will feature some of my new work from what I’ve decided to call the Sacred Land series. This series is inspired by my recent trip and residency in New Mexico and promises to be a drastic departure from previous themes. More on that when I start developing in earnest my direction.
I’m excited to get back in the studio, I have some ideas as to how I want to handle the new work. Much of what I’ve done so far, is working, but still very preliminary. And, I need to get back to New Mexico, hopefully next year. I have a place in mind that I’m planning to apply to. Finally, I made some excellent contacts while in Toronto. My strategy is to get back on track with that market and find a place to show my work. Old connections are starting to come to the surface, it’s a very exciting time! My To Do list is a long as my arm right now.
I think that’s about it for now, please stay tuned, share and comment!