Labour Day Weekend in Canada means Artfest Ontario dominates the Distillery District for four days. The long weekend event is the highlight of the summer for many local artists and that’s because their paintings sell well in this place at this time.
Make no mistake these artists work hard for their money. Like animals they’re penned up beside their work and exhibited in white tents on red cobblestones. To the left is Mario Beaudoin who drives in from rural Quebec. He painted an interpretation of Balzacs Coffee House.
The Distillery District’s red brick buildings, patios and greenery really add to the outdoor experience of pondering great and small contemporary works of art. The event is a true one of a kind show in Toronto. The whole trip is very stimulating. Ambulating about the grounds is a great way to spend forty minutes or an entire afternoon.
This is the oldest and most historic region of Toronto and as such it attracts more sophisticated travelers than the other tourism hotspots in the city. The Distillery District and Artfest in particular is a great place to exhibit art and get feedback as well as healthy sales. This is a place to network with busy interior decorators, buyers, and curators of all descriptions who saunter through the grounds over the course of the four day long weekend. Two more high rise condominiums Toronto roof are still unfinished behind the Victorian age buildings that border the cobblestone courtyards.
Carlo Allion paints fantasy, surreal dream images
Carlo Allion gets ideas from dreams and half awake states of subconscious pondering, and he has the skill to put them on canvas and shape the vision to make great art.
Carlos says he paints ‘…statues that have come to life.’
His art is perfect for old houses and investment bank headquarters – its seems devil-may-care and somehow thoroughly random. Some of his work smacks of Terry Gilliam’s nonsensical whimseys.
Allion’s fun loving paint brush blends curious imagination and outrageous proportions into a sophisticated personal style. See more at CarloAllion.com
J.J. Dukharan airbrushes apes on T-shirts at Artfest2012 in Toronto
You can see more JJ Dukharan sketches and
Cre8cure is a storyful art project featuring a collaboration with Alfredo Malanca collage artist and image sampler. Read about a new partner Timothy Wong and discover their custom screen printing and airbrush service in Toronto.
JJ Dukharan of Cre8cure
Tiffany Horrocks, impressionist painter, Guelph Ontario
South center in a corner booth facing the cafe was Tiffany Horrocks acrylic on canvas, impressionist painter from Guelph Ontario. She was here last year, in the exact same spot. This time she brought lots of glossy sunflowers.
“These paintings will last forever,’ she said, pointing to the high gloss epoxy finish that makes each piece shimmer reflecting the light outside the canvas booth. And by that she means the colour wont ever fade, because that clear coat resin finish locks in the painting’s vibrancy for the rest of time.
Tiffany herself is a colourful person in every respect with great energy emanating from her soul. I made her open her eyes as wide as she could in the bright sunlight to catch her smiling and help define her as part of this historic event. She is here helping to define the event.
Tiffany Horrocks smiling face and personality alongside her big, bright and colourful works of art were certainly one of the main focal points of ArtFest 2012 in the Distillery District.
Here’s Tiffany standing beside her favourite painting in the bright sunlight outside her own booth at ArtFest 2012 .
Scott Cameron of Candide Cameron was in the District
Scott Cameron used to be a radio host and has a long career as a radio personality, and segment producer dating back over fifty years, including work at now obsolete radio stations such as CKEY. He was a disc jockey and grew up in that station’s classic struggle with CHUM in the early days of Rock&Roll here in Toronto.
Scott told me that his grandfather was an oil painter who was so talented that he could use each canvas as a live-time storytelling apparatus to amuse his grandchildren. He would tell a tale and as Scott watched the story would come to life in his hands.
Scott began to see pictures and photos that he had taken with his film camera as works of art, but it was the rise of digital manipulation that put Scott in the driver’s seat. With new cameras and computers it became clear that images could be refined and improved digitally and so better used as storytelling mediums. He told me that great art requires composition, sharp exposure and the ability to edit and improve an idea that may or may not be present in the image during the initial exposure, but probably was… then he looked around and told me some of the stories in the pieces on the walls of the booth. Today Scott runs Candide Cameron photography service.
Patrick Lajoie sells a wide array of various sized hollow wooden squares with curious images expertly stuck on their front faces.
Lajoie’s makes and sells limited edition wooden cereal box like photography pieces; its art furniture that you hang on the wall.
Patrick told me that he also makes wooden furniture for the floor too, but he prefers working with a camera and making photography better because there’s a lot less sanding.
I’m not sure if the army green vintage MASH 4077 tshirt goes along with the Magic theme that’s spelled out on the painting, but it probably does… The t shirt is oddly representative of Patrick’s style, a throwback to simplier times as represented in 1970s era iconic products and advertising. You can learn more about Patrick Lajoie.
Lauren Best sang songs to socialites and savvy shoppers on Sunday
This 21ye old girl has a huge talent inside her tiny frame. She did a perfect job of providing music for the festival on Sunday 2 Sept 2012
You can’t see it, but Lauren is wearing two pairs of glasses. She has reading glasses on under her sunglasses. She had a rough start that Sunday as she had to move all her equipment by cab, and was still setting up at 11am, but once started her show was solid and every song quite delightful and unrecognizable from its original form. That’s her art.
Find out more about Lauren Best and get on her mailing list for advance notice on upcoming shows.
Kevin Joyce in front of La Cloche Mountains, Killarney Provincial Park
Kevin is pretty skilled at painting landscapes with personality. This fine arts acrylic on canvas painter knows exactly how much of his own animated personality to inject into his art.
Kevin is good with a brush
Christian Aldo is the center point of the show.
Christian is super skilled fine arts painter with a big personality and full time party attitude. His wide style booth is #A1 and so he was positioned directly under the main Gooderham and Worts pipe transit, in the center of the compound.
Christian Aldo clutches his jazz piano painting and beams at adoring patrons after receiving many compliments at the show. His work is so unusual and recognizable now, and he has such a voice.
Christian Aldo’s central position in the courtyard became the wheel about which all other artists and guests would gyrate.
Its not by accident that Christian Aldo’s vociferous art spills out onto the cobblestones of the Distillery District during the 2012 Toronto Artfest
Christian Aldo does last minute repairs to his Latin horn player’s instrument.
Lori MacDonald the show producer was hanging around the grounds with chalk and a tape measure in her hand; she was always having conversations with herself (on headset on phone) managing her artists and putting out the occasional fire.
This year the art festival brought together over seventy Grade A quality fine artists, sculptors, painters, photographers and other vendors from Aug31 – Sept 1, 2, and holiday Monday Sept 3rd 2012. The show has a massive attendance; over one hundred thousand visitors passed through the front gates of the DHD this holiday weekend. Were you one of them? Tell us who you spotted, and which artist you liked best in the comments.