Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

What to see at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition this year

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition takes over Nathan Phillips Square from July 14 to 16. Entrance is free to this event that's been running since 1961, making it Canada's longest running juried art show.

The 2017 edition will include 340 artists, half of whom will be first time exhibitors. There will also be an expanded student zone, which will feature work by students from OCAD U, Sheridan College, and the University of Toronto.

In terms of artists to seek out, it's probably best to approach this massive exhibition by choosing your own adventure and seeing what catches your eye. Booths vary greatly, and some might be hit or miss, but amidst this multimedia fair, you should find something you like.

The TOAE jurors, recommend seeing ceramics artist Yolande Clark, Reid Orsten - who recreates famous pieces of artwork with teddy bears - kenetic jewellery maker Heather Rathbun, painter Dori Vanderheyden and Chason Yeboah, a self-taught artist who makes nude crochet dolls.

If you're into internet-age ceramics, check out Kaley Flowers' kitschy pieces. For Toronto-centric work, see Moira Ness's newest photography series that explores city streets at night. And if you're into hyper-real paintings, visit Mary Ann Slater's and Erin Rothstein's booths. 

In terms of setup, the event will look a little different this year. The TOAE worked with Plant Architect Inc., and it'll be laying out the exhibition in a circular formation.

"Inspired by the design of a neoclassical city, the new layout is reminiscent of a Spanish town with buildings circling the main plaza, where visitors are encouraged to wander and explore," explains a TOAE news release.

And don't worry, the cascading beer garden will return this year, so you can sip on Henderson brews after you're all art-ed out.


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