The 10th annual Artist Project 2017 brought together the most creative Canadian and international artists and talents under one roof, exhibiting over 5000 pieces of artworks. The art fair took place Feb 23-28 at the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place. This year’s is theme was “BIRTHDAY PARTY.”

FE attended the Opening Night Party, and it was an exciting event with hors d’oeuvres, music (from DJ’s Lissa Monet and DEEJAY _Ling) and art performances. A portion of the night’s ticket sales was donated to Artbound‘s Creative Deeds Programs.

At the entranceway was LA artist Tracy Hiner‘s 100-foot long watercolour mural, “The Tenth Tide” which showed how paint interacts with itself and the swirling beauty it creates.

The Artist Project 2017 opening night party "Ink and Ice" by Tracy Hiner
” “The Tenth Tide” ” by Ryan Pechnick

OCAD’s Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers and The Artist Project co-presented Kevin Holliday’s multimedia performance piece “Rub”. Holliday became a Laughing Buddha and guests were able to interact with him as if he were a lucky statue.

“Rub” by Kevin Holliday the artist project opening night party 2017
“Rub” by Kevin Holliday

Aubrey Reeves‘ “ Topology of a String” was a series of seven looping videos showing the possibilities of a single continuous line in space. It mixed string games with topology.

“Topology of a String" by Aubrey Reeves- The Artist Project 2017
“Topology of a String” by Aubrey Reeves- The Artist Project 2017

Michelle Vella’s contemporary portraits of fashion icons Jackie Onassis, Iris Apfel and Diane Von Furstenberg, complete with her trademark “big eyes,” were full of colour and fun.

 had his luminous acrylic on canvas pieces “Adrift Again” and “Ready to Roll” on display.
Victoria Chin‘s ceramic installation “Still” featured playful mushrooms interacting with girls, evoking childhood memories of an innocent time.
Edd Baptista’s triptych “Respite Attempt and Sweep” was a fascinating piece done in charcoal.

Ryan Pechnick‘s “Ink and Ice” emphasizes the beauty of natural processes.
Orit Fuchs‘s Pinocchio sculptures had an edginess to them.
W.W. Hung’s moving sculpture “The Girl With Paper Boats” was inspired by the movement of bodies.
Alexey Klokov’s “Suggestive Art” collection was bold and sensual.
Morgan Jones‘ mixed media pieces had gnomes, spirit animals and masked people in various settings.
Tick Tock Tum‘s scrap metal sculptures were robot masks and bleeding hearts and mini robots.
Henry Ho‘s paintings of Zen-like horses were beautiful.

There was so much to see and experience throughout the fair. Art Chats seminars featured Mark Challen of StreetARToronto, Manny Neubacher and Anya Shor of The Art Stylists, and several others); Art Battle hosted live competitive painting series:” The Untapped Emerging Artists Competitions” at booth #494; Birthday Artist Competition, Art Walks guided tours; and an Installation Zone where artists use various mediums to express their ideas.

At the Birthday Café, we sampled Anet Gesualdi‘s macarons and SoCIAL LITE sparkling Vodka cocktails in a can at The Gladstone Hotel‘s Art Lounge.

offered their Crystal Berry and Hot Headed cocktails along with the custom designed Crystal Heads, created by The Artist Project 2017 artists Justin Blayney, Alexis Fraser, Nevena Niagolova, Benny Bing, Katrina Jurjans and Keight Maclean. Tabule offered their delicious falafels.

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