Thankfully, Toronto's tight-knit artistic community has found a solution to these problems: the artists collective. By working and exhibiting together, members don't just save on rent: their newfound group also provides them with constant inspiration and input on their work, in addition to greatly broadening their audience.
Toronto has an amazing variety of active artistic collectives, but for this list, we're focusing specifically on those that have their own publicly-accessible studio or gallery spaces.
Read my profile of XPACE (Lansdowne) in the galleries section.
With more than 1,000 artists showing at 130 venues, finding a theme vague enough to encompass the incredible diversity of work sounds like a difficult undertaking. But the festival organisers once again hit it out of the park with "Field of Vision," which supposedly "explores the photographic medium as a way of seeing." Hard to argue with that.
Last year's festival was defined by the wonderfully ambitious joint exhibition between the MOCCA and UTAC. Entitled "Collective Identity | Occupied Spaces," the show was the absolute centrepoint of the event. Though there may not be a single dominating show this time around, there are still plenty of must-sees at CONTACT 2013.
Read more in my profile of Brockton Collective in the galleries section.
Sheridan offers the only dedicated Bachelor of Arts Illustration degree program in Canada, and its students leave the program with an incredibly well-rounded education. With mandatory classes exposing them to both traditional disciplines (such as painting and drawing) and digital technologies (like Web design and motion graphics). A 14-week work term is also offered, ensuring that students graduate with valuable real-world experience, as well as instruction on how to create a workplace-ready portfolio and website. This is definitely evident in the grad show, as savvy artists included cards, posters, and buttons to ensure their work stayed fresh in the minds of the attendees.