emerging artists toronto

10 up and coming Toronto artists you should know

Up and coming Toronto artists are visual creatives who have emerged on the scene in the last couple of years with some exciting work. Some of them already have a few solo exhibits under their belt, while others' CVs consist solely of group exhibits. Regardless of how many past shows these artists have done, the future looks promising. 

With the help of some of the best contemporary galleries in Toronto, here's a list of up and coming Toronto artists you should know. 

Kendra Yee

This mixed media artist has been impressing galleries and art-lovers since her work first started picking up in 2017. Her ceramics, illustrations, and tapestries (both digital and printed on silk) have been been shown at multiple galleries, and she's done some cool client work too (catch her illustrations in the Drake Commissary menus). 

Joshua Advincula

Pain meets hilarity in the big-toed shapes of this mixed media artist, who quit his day job a few years ago to pursue art full time. Advincula's work is instantly recognizable, using a mix of acrylics, oil pastels, crayons, graphite, markers, and pencils for his jumbled illustrations. 

Chason Yeboah

This self-taught artist crochets dolls that make the perfect 21st century replacement for binary Barbies and Kens (so passé). Her KnotNaked collection of dolls includes trans folk, amputees, and birthing moms in all sizes and colours—scars, stretch marks and all. 

Liang Wang

Capturing snapshots of Toronto life in oil paint, Wang made his solo debut last year at Northern Contemporary Gallery with his show One day I saw the sunset forty-four times. If you love Toronto scenery, his painting of the Hsin Kuang Centre in Chinatown feels especially priceless now given that building has since been demolished.

Jill Smith

This multi-disciplinary artist works in ceramics, prints, photography and painting, and had her first solo exhibit at Akin Vitrine in 2018. You'll see more of her fascinating textural and material combinations at The Costume House this year.

Amika Cooper

Better known on the interwebs as @blackpowerbarbie (let me reiterate, regular Barbie is so passé), Cooper's black-centric art—and most notably, the animations she creates—have really taken off reccently. Just this past year, she's been behind the visuals for people and places like like Shad, Melo-X, Tika the Creator, and TIFF.

Charlotte Penabel

Penabel was awarded the Untapped People's Choice Award at Artist Project 2019, which is no small feat considering the level of competition this year. As a person of many talents, her collage work is an explosion of pop culture elements that, according to her website, will soon grace the cover of her own memoirs as well.  

Raquel Da Silva

Finishing up her degree in Painting and Furniture Design at OCAD, Da Silva's super clean and colourful acrylic paintings have caught the attention from the likes of Nike (she designed a shoe for them in August). Plus her furniture is rad too.

Alexander Robinson

Capturing the black experience through his surrealist paintings, Robinson is a self-taught artist, using acrylics and artificial flowers to create his pieces. Tackling issues of stereotyping within masculinity, you'll notice that blooms and flower pots make a strong presence in his work.  

Allana Cooper

Recently graduated from OCAD's Painting and Drawing program, Cooper's bright and energetic pieces are created using a mix of wax medium, scanners, wood panels, and paint. She also weaves her colourful abstract works onto wooden dowels using wool and string.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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