2018 Get Noticed Participating Artists
The Players II, 2018
Acrylic on wood panel, 16” x 20” x 1.5”
Ibrahim Abusitta is a Palestinian Canadian interdisciplinary visual artist that lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ibrahim is a graduate of the Fine Art Photography BFA program at OCAD U in Toronto. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Project 31 Award for his graduating thesis work ‘Al-Kanady’; this work also won Best in Exhibition Award (Student) and Best in Photography Award (1st Honourable Mention) at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in the same year. Ibrahim’s work has been exhibited in Canada and Italy.
My approach comes from the nonconformity in using an array of mark-making instruments within the Sgraffito practice. The combination of calculated, accidental and even subconscious mark making allows me to create a layer-by-layer narrative.
Timelessness is something that is recognized. It is difficult to explain. It was my obsession with the human figure and enthusiasm of found photography that led to the exploration of human interpretation using space, shape and colour.
The faceless language of these figures uses strictly sensuous means to express their natures. Encouraging the audience to conjure their own feelings and emotional engagement while uncorking the past.
Composition 5, 2018
Oil on canvas paper, 15” x 12”
Rebekah Andrade holds a BFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Currently, she is completing a Graphic Design certificate, remotely, through Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Through re-imagined environments and composed structures, Rebekah's work explores the many definitions of the ideal form. Her interest lies in our ways of shifting and manipulating concrete and ambiguous elements within our inhabited environments. She draws inspiration from a negotiation process within the methods and boundaries of subject and medium. The neutral space that Rebekah creates in allows the evolution of geometric combinations, application of paint and construction of shapes. Within her minimalistic approach of transitioning layers, ambiguous lines and contrasting palette reside harmonious moments. As she rethinks her surroundings opportunities arise, allowing the work to become expressive, organically responding to both medium and subject matter.
Watercolour and paper on canvas, 62” x 54”
Julia Balfour graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from the Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto. She received the Fred Hagan “Passion in Painting” Award. In 2016, Julia studied in Florence, Italy where she created a body of work exhibited in open studios and group shows. Since graduating, Julia has participated in several exhibitions including Art Toronto.
The abstract forms in each piece are a trace of Julia’s experiences in a space, influenced by colour and composition. Colour is prominent in her work, whether it has a negative or positive impact. She is interested in the ways she can use colour to create harmony and balance in painting. After the watercolour dries it turns into a stain, which she combines with paper to develop layers. The paper and watercolour compliment each other with minimal dialogue using the opaque and transparent surfaces. The subtle difference is a small detail that draws the viewer in and out of the space. Ultimately, these mediums work together, relying on the colour and surface qualities to have balance.
Studio Interior, 2018
Oil on canvas, 54” x 39”
Stefan Berg received a BFA from OCAD University in 2008, along with the Eric Freifeld Award. His work has been exhibited in group and solo shows in Canada and the United States, and has received positive reviews in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Telegram Journal, and Uppercase Magazine. Recent online press includes the Berlin based Ignant.com and Sydney based Minus37.com. Berg lives and works in Toronto and Bruce County, Ontario.
I work on site in order to be present in the act of looking, and paint to remember the complex information I feel at a specific time and place. Feeling is complex because it is informed by lived experience. How do you represent the full depth of lived experience? A faithful record will include the condition of time. My paintings become surfaces on which time is deposited as a continuous present, and weave together the act of seeing within the depiction of a thing seen.
Artist print, 24” x 20”
D’Andrea Bowie is a Toronto based artist whom recently graduated from OCADU with a BFA in sculpture/installation.
As a sculptor and maker, the exciting opportunities that occur while exploring connections between methodology and material drives my practice forward. Medium that retains touch and memory through various modes are employed when creating art that is instinctual and self-reflective. With a practice firmly rooted in the studio, I have also found approaching inquiries from a variety of sources such as poetry, performance, and sound effective in creating a rich narrative that appeals to the senses and generates deeper involvement. Currently, my explorations delve into notions of mothering and stewardship, the relationships we nurture with the land and those that inhabit it.
PLAGUE VIII, 2018
Acrylic on panel, 18” x 24”
Colin Canary (b. 1988 – Halifax, Nova Scotia) earned his BFA at NSCAD in 2013. His paintings have been shown in multiple group exhibitions nationally including Abandon Ship at the Khyber Centre for Arts (2013) a juried exhibition showcasing top fine art graduates from Atlantic Canada. The following year Canary was awarded a finalist in the CSCE Emerging Artist Competition (2014) along with the Nova Scotia Art Bank's purchase of his painting “Poison”, a work created for his solo exhibition Subsequent Structures, at Hermes Gallery in Halifax, NS. Recently Canary was selected to represent the Atlantic in, ab NEXT: Contemporary Abstraction by Emerging Artists at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, ON. (2017). Canary currently lives and works in Montreal, QC.
My practice is informed by the visual and physical experiences presented to the viewer through the language of painting. Utilizing reductive aspects of form and colour I wish to encourage a more careful focus onto the development and analysis of the picture plane. Repetitive linear motions build the compositions, revealing the paintings own making while the muted colour pallet either emphasizes or convolutes this presentation of process. Favouring the tactile qualities of thickly applied acrylic medium and an emphasis on primarily abstract imagery to produce a more intuitive observation for the viewer, this mode of working manifests a subtle notion of the artists hand that is pushed and pulled slowly across the support, slightly wavering and imperfect. This visual information communicates a presence of physicality to the viewer, a glimpse of chance, intention and the precarious nature of the painters hands in every brushstroke or mark. Through the subtlety of this gesture an awareness of the artists impression is communicated, capturing and disseminating an emotion or perception that lives outside the function of representational painting.
Wall Plate, 2018
Alabaster, 5” x 3“
Candice Davies holds a BFA from York University, Ontario and a MFA from Concordia University, Quebec. Her art practice draws attention to layers of meaning within the gallery space and questions existing assumptions surrounding the art object by engaging the viewer in an unexpected encounter with objects through subtle material interventions in the gallery space. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada, namely at The Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, Parisian Laundry, CIRCA, Modern Fuel Artist-Run and Connextion Arc. Recent solo exhibitions include La Centrale Gallerie Powerhouse and TRUCK Contemporary Art and anupcoming solo exhibition at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In my art practice I strive to create sculptures that engage the viewer to look at mundane objects and occurrences, concentrating on objects or materials that are often ignored, discarded and undervalued. In my work there is an intentional play with the viewer’s visual perception through the manipulation of such everyday objects and occurrences, as these everyday objects are replicated and treated in such a way to convince the viewer that they are viewing real things. Elements of display, site, illusion, reality, function, material, time, and labour are essential in my practise. It is through the seemingly invisible shifts in material, from the original object to the emulated object that allows the viewer to begin to reconsider what, where and how the ‘art objects’ are presented in the gallery space. The gallery brings an array of expectations which affect our experiences and behaviours, all of which inform the art work that is presented within the gallery walls. My choice of replicated objects is in direct dialogue with the assigned value of objects contained within the context of the white walls of the gallery. In the blending of site and replicated objects I attempt to question what the art object should be and where it should be located. What normally acts as the background becomes the site of significance where only through the subtle shift in materiality the replicated objects are able to call into question their function, worth and politics inherent in the display of art.
Acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36”
Maureen Doody is a self-taught contemporary abstract painter who lives and works in Ottawa, Canada. The bold and compelling complexities of Maureen’s expressive artwork reflects her comprehensive background as an anthropologist, photographer, elite athlete, film enthusiast, mother, and cancer fighter.
Maureen has a degree in Anthropology and Film Studies from the University of Western Ontario; and, a Masters in Cultural Anthropology from Carleton University. During her studies Maureen competed on both the Varsity Basketball and Track and Field teams, and is a multiple Academic All-Canadian and a UWO Sports Hall of Honour Award recipient. Throughout the course of her esteemed athletics career, Maureen was heralded as one of Canada’s elite long jumpers.
Alongside her husband, Maureen conjointly conceived and started, one of Canada’s most prestigious and fully digital wedding/portrait studios. Their award-winning work has had international reach and has been featured in national wedding publications.
A cancer diagnosis in 2017 “awakened” the artist to pursue her passion for painting full time. This includes the creation of art that is to the highest degree pure, honest, natural; and, reflects the most real version of her own core truth.
Maureen’s early influence in painting stems from her east coast heritage, namely her late father, the renowned Newfoundland ceramicist William Doody. Working primarily with acrylic paints, her paintings offer a perspective unique and fascinating, with vivid colours and atypical compositions that stand against the current trends of abstraction. Through the fluidity of her use of colours, textures, and tones, she is able to convey pure emotion, evoking a sense of place and aesthetic of memory.
Her process is very intuitive and emotionally driven; with music, movement, and other art forms such as film and photography, lending inspiration. References to her appreciation of lines, detail, colour, light and expression reflect a synthesis of these style influences. Her distinctive personal style is derived from her innate ability to express her own abstract emotions for which there are no words; to communicate on levels often not yet understood; and, to capture on canvas, the transient nature of life and the essence of the human condition.
Her work, selected for numerous juried art shows (Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts, 2018; Ontario Society of Artists Emerging Artist, 2018; Gallery Ring Open Online Exhibition, 2018 - Juror's Choice Award; Colour and Form Society’s 66th Annual Open Exhibition, 2018), can be found in private collections throughout Canada and the United States.
It’s as if the world has suddenly opened and everything is illuminated. I don’t want to just survive, I want to thrive. As an artist, I believe that art can forge the path to one’s true self-expression and nurture a mind-body-spirit connection. The creative process of painting is a way to communicate on levels often not yet understood, to expand one’s perceptions beyond the five senses and make us aware of the fact that we are more than mind and body and that we all have a purpose. My paintings are a reflection of personal discovery and essential truths towards an authentic self (living). I sincerely hope my art inspires others towards their ‘awakening’ - to let go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embrace who we’re intended to be.
Acrylic painting and laser cut wood impressions on canvas, 40” x 30”
Alysa-Beth Engel was born in Toronto. Her art is represented in corporate, public and private collections in Canada and abroad, including the Donovan Collection at U of T. Alysa’s art has been exhibited in the UK, USA and Canada. At Queen ’s University, Alysa earned a Bachelor of Fine Art (1990-1994) and was the Print Studio Technician. Alysa was awarded the Queen's Appeal Undergraduate Scholarship for high academic standing. She learned intaglio printmaking at the Santa Reparata Studio in Florence, Italy (Emily Carr College of Art and Design, summer 1993). At Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, Alysa studied Portrait Drawing and Painting (Short course 2005). Living in London (UK) from 2002 until 2006, Alysa worked at Sotheby’s Olympia and painted in her Chelsea Bridge Studio. She has organized several exhibitions in Canada and London (UK) and previously worked at Toronto’s Open Studio as an artist, sales manager and archivist. Alysa was also a contributing writer for D.A., a journal of the printing arts. After hitching a ride to Moshi, East Africa, Alysa successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to the summit (5895 m). When the climb got tough, she focussed on each breath and being fully present. This experience, along with teaching yoga and meditation, inform her art. When Alysa’s children jumped in front of a video projector at the AGO, their dancing silhouettes temporarily concealed part of the intended installation, creating surprising fleeting images. It was at this moment that Alysa reclaimed being a mother as a valid subject for her art practise. Blurring the mundane and the profound in her life and art, Alysa practises the Law of Attraction, focusing on positive thoughts to bring positive experiences.
The Fortunately/Unfortunately: Silhouettes examine Handstands, floating and falling. Grit, grinning and getting up again. These paintings also turn inwards as meditations on a Buddhist fable which shows how the universe flips fortune on its head. A farmer finds a horse (fortunate). His son falls off the horse and breaks his leg (unfortunate). The military comes to recruit the son for the front lines and rejects him because of his broken leg (fortunate). In much of her work, Alysa combines painting with printmaking. The figures in Euphoria were generated by pressing hand painted laser cut matrices onto canvas combined with pochoir and acrylic painting. Alysa lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. An artist member of Open Studio’s Contemporary Printmaking Centre, Alysa-Beth Engel also teaches yoga and meditation.
Wood, grey paint, 11.4” x 9.4” x 8.6”
My interest is in articulating ideas around the constructed / manufactured / engineered world including the systems and infrastructure around the making of things: assembly lines, scaffolding, construction sites, engineering design, schematics, flow charts, etc. - essentially, the processes of creating structure, from organizing space into architecture to translating raw data into diagrams.
Where the manufacturing process is committed to criteria of efficiency and standardization - my process is intuitive and perhaps even frivolous despite my rigid, self-imposed design constraints of working with only 90 degree angles and a neutral grey color ... alluding to some kind of functionality or purpose, but put together the way a painter might create an abstract impressionist image.
Medium found wood, flashe, 10” x 12” x 20"
Kristine Mifsud is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in Toronto Canada.
Her work and methodology considers unidentifiable found objects, materials, structural forms and context, or lack of context.
Her process is intuitive, embracing the unknowing of the objects that inform her work, and working through the considerations afforded by this not knowing.
Kristine received an Ontario Arts Council Project Grant to pursue the practice of pine and birch tar-making, an extension of her interest in materials, and found materials.
Recently Kristine’s work was included in Support Gallery's inaugural exhibition 'this will never end' in London ON, and The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, 'After the Pedestal' group show of small sculpture curated by Dr. Cathleen Chaffee, Chief Curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Kristine received a Bachelor Visual Arts at the University of Guelph, Canada, specializing in drawing and painting, moving to Japan, Europe and Australia before returning to Toronto, Canada in 2008.
My sculptural practice combines found objects that are unidentifiable, displaced from their intended use or purpose. I do not pursue the knowing of these objects functions, as it is the loss of context that serves to heighten the awareness of material, form, and can speak to the potentiality of the objects while retaining an ever-present indeterminacy that extends into the works. Exploring themes of balance and precarity or following interests extrapolated from the histories of the materials, my process also attempts to reconcile the disconnect that exists between the found/ waste materials and their intrinsic value, with the systems that regard these objects as waste.
I am currently working to incorporate new processes, including self-produced pine and birch tar. I am encouraged by the relevant discourses that have been emerging recently in the visual arts that speak to, and acknowledge natural processes, resources and elements, and relationships to land. I am interested in exploring my own connection to land, through my found objects and self-made materials. I am interested in questions about resources, how they are developed and depleted, and notions of materials being ‘exhaustible’ or ‘waste’. I am very motivated to further explore a practice of deriving materials from what already exists, and what exists as ‘spent’ or ‘used’.
Medium Oil on Canvas, 48" x 60"
James Olley received his MFA from the University of Waterloo in 2008 after completing his BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2004. Since graduating Olley has had a number of solo shows locally and internationally; Angell Gallery (Toronto), Galerie Trois Points (Montreal), Peter Robertson Gallery (Edmonton), Kasia Kay Art Projects (Chicago), Incident Report (New York) and Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland), Galerie Weissraum, (Kyoto, Japan); and Groenhazengracht 1, (Leiden, Netherlands). Olley’s work belongs to private collections such as Colart Collection (Montreal) and Cenovus Energy (Edmonton). Olley has been awarded Emerging & Assistance Artist Grants (Toronto Arts Council & Ontario Arts Council), in addition, received full scholarship to the Vermont Studio Center Residency (2009). Olley’s work has been profiled at contemporary art fairs, including Pulse New York, Pulse Miami, Papier 13 and Next Chicago.
Part of a series of works which explore the translation of language between photo and painting. I thought it was interesting to use abstracted areas that I found in an architectural space.
Damned Jocks Ruined the Mosh Pit, 2018
Oil on Canvas, 60” x 60”
Scott Sawtell has never claimed to be a magical person, yet he has devoted his life to utilizing his limited flesh, blood, brain and soul to create paintings that ignite something within and speak about his shared humanity spinning in space with everyone else. Sometimes some very smart people take these painting and put them in front of some other very smart people.
In addition to his making his paintings in his suburban studio just outside Toronto, Scott works diligently at teaching other like minded individuals to create their own unique artwork at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, and Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. Often called a “good egg” by others, Scott is helping raise two young boys to also be “good eggs” themselves.
Scott has an M.F.A from the University of Waterloo (2002) and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design (2000). As well as maintaining a vital artistic career showing work across Canada and the United States, Scott has previously curated exhibitions for The Town of Newmarket, the City of Kitchener, Oakville Galleries and Humber College.
This strange striped egg man with a silhouette of a...chicken (a chicken?) growing out of its head is bellowing “Hay-Ya!” It is covered in dangerous looking spikes with candy swirls in it and inside it are several 3-D cubes. It seems that my 7-year-old son is learning about perspective and integrating them into this monstrous and delightful drawing.
As I am bemused by his artwork it reminds me on my childhood self, sitting next to a cacophony of strewn comic books and drawn copies of Carl Bark’s Donald Duck and Don Martin cartoons for Mad Magazine. I, as I always did, take my stack of drawings to my Nana and Papa for their approval, because making art is what I do well.
Liberation, possibility, enthusiasm. Endless transformation.
My work has changed considerably over the past few years. News of the world was horrifying and bleak. This reality was contrasted daily with my constant playing with my children; pretending to be animals or truck drivers, building Lego and escaping into imagination. Drawing with them three circles become a face, an S on the chest and two red lines becomes Superman blasting his heat vision.
Observing how my children navigate themselves through life and how the stresses of childhood manifest themselves in an open and expressive way has been very important for my work. So much of their outlook may be based in naivety, but there is also an amazing process of letting go. Any darkness is nullified through manifesting into a more palatable act of imagination.
I begin by either making completely non objective marks and colour fields in my painting, or painting overtop of an older painting obliterating the subject matter completely. I continue to improvise and to search until it triggers another suggestive meaning or memory. I then try to paint enough of the new subject matter until it is suggestive of a story or character while still being open ended. My work is continuously created and destroyed as I create numerous canvases at once.
From this process characters have emerged. They are informed from a lifetime of looking at cartoons and contemporary art. Blended them together and finding them and their stories that emerge. I find them to be terse strange little creatures. They resist darkness. They embrace their transitional nature.
Trees in a Dream, 2017
Oil on linen, 48” x 60”
Kyle Scheurmann currently resides and works in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Through painting, I analyze both visual and non-visual sensory elements to construct new ways of representing the world. Compiling hybrid environments in paint from geographically varied and experientially intimate encounters removes the specificity of place, creating a woods of my own fabrication. Each natural element in a painting holds it’s own agency, speaking to the location of it’s origin. The combination of foliage, atmosphere and paint produces electric interplay between environment and material embedded in the surface
While in the woods, I become an antenna for the underlying sensory information coming up from the earth. All trees in the woods communicate with each other and I can listen in with increasing accuracy. The act of painting becomes a calibration of sensory elements that moves beyond the literalness of landscape. Painting in the studio often reveals things about the woods that haven’t been observed before. In these painted moments, the edge of my brain becomes the edge of the woods, seeping into the painting. My entire lived experience and all of my embodied knowledge become housed in the material.
Paintings can become environments for the viewer to inhabit when all senses are relied on to inform aesthetic decisions. The fluidity of the paint is in correspondence with the ever transforming state of the woods; always in the moment of becoming and continually resolving itself in front of the viewer.
Hammer 2, 2017
Cast bronze and hand carved hard maple, 16" x 1.5" x 5"
Michael Simon is a practicing artist and recent MFA graduate in Interdisciplinary Masters of Art, Media & Design at OCAD University. He holds a bachelors degree in Architecture from Carleton University and has worked for over a decade in design, lighting and fabrication - all of which he draws upon to inform his interdisciplinary practice. His work re-contextualizes common objects, tools and materials in site specific installations and explores the complex relationships of people and objects in our built environment.
Hammer II is one piece of an apprentice’s toolkit. It can be read as evolving in parallel to the knowledge gained through its making. This work taps into the human connection to tools by focusing on one of the most familiar, the hammer. This tool-thing has been meticulously made from cast, polished bronze and hard maple. It’s form has been paused during a process of metamorphosis, somewhere between the familiar and alien, encouraging us to question what comes first: the knowledge, or the tool? Potentially sparking frustration in its apparent uselessness, Hammer II, asks us to look a little longer–it could just be that we don't yet recognize its use.
Mark Liam Smith
Nymphs and Satyr Iteration 1, 2018
Oil on canvas, 72” x 48”
Mark Liam Smith (b. 1973, Middlesbrough, England) developed an interest in art at an early age and spent much of his childhood drawing obsessively. After completing three bachelor degrees—Fine Arts (Painting), Science (Physiology), and Arts (Linguistics)—at the University of Saskatchewan, he moved to Paris to continue studying art in some of the world’s greatest museums. After some time, he returned to Canada to pursue a Ph.D. in Linguistics at McGill University. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Ottawa, where he worked on behalf of the Canadian Department of Defence for several years before returning to his first love: painting.
Since moving to Toronto in early 2015, Mark has been granted the Emerging Artist Award by the Federation of Canadian Artists and won fifth place in the International Confederation of Art Critics competition. His work has been featured by the Toronto Star, the CBC, Hi-Fructose, Booooooom, Create! Magazine, and Bizarre Beyond Belief Magazine, among others. In the summer of 2016, he exhibited at SCOPE Basel in Basel, Switzerland.
Mark currently lives in and works out of Toronto, Canada.
Mark is a grateful recipient of the Emerging Visual Artist grant and the Exhibition Assistance grant by the Ontario Arts Council.
As a colour-blind painter, I recognize that I do not have the same natural ability to discern colour that normal-sighted painters have. However, I have embraced this difference fully and now paint my subjects not in their local hues but in a full spectrum of highly saturated colour. My particular chromatic idiosyncrasy has taught me much about overcoming the limitation of my vision by supplementing my work through advanced colour theory and paint application techniques.
Sonder 5, 2015
Oil on Canvas, 19.6” x 15.75”
David Theron is a South African-born artist now living in Toronto.
As an immigrant with a background in animation, it follows that his work centres on motion and notions of identity. What ties these together is the concept of ‘sonder’: a recently-coined term which refers to the realization that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.
Theron’s current focus has shifted from animation-inspired movement – captured as painted snapshot frames superimposed on a single canvas – to movement expressed as fluid motion and synchronous action.
Reminiscent of Abstract Expressionists, Theron’s gestural brushstrokes and swift sweeps of charcoal trace energetic lines across his surfaces in an attempt to capture and convey constant changing states of existence. His lines are a response to impulse rather than emulated observations of the world. The physical act of painting serves as a metaphorical mining of the subconscious; an art grounded in personal and empathetic experience.
Another interpretation of ‘sonder’ (in the South African language Afrikaans) is ‘without’, ‘deprived of’. While abstraction has always been present in his work, and while Theron does continue to draw on figuration based both on real life and on the canons of art history, the shift towards purer abstraction, the loss of the clear subject, is a re-evaluation prompted by his trans-continental move, and the subsequent dissolution of his previously-accepted ideas of self.
The Other has always been a focus in Theron’s work, but his time living in a new country has deepened his practice. The inherent difficulties of clearly expressing one’s self in life and in art, unsettling glimpses of strangers, surrounded by unknown environments – these all give rise to works whose energy emphasizes the significance of uncertainty. Theron’s dense marks, layered over crisp but simultaneously dissolving features, reflect the enigma presented by other people: the inability to know anyone truly, including one’s self.
'Sonder’: a recently-coined term which refers to the realization that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. Another interpretation of ‘sonder’ (in the South African language Afrikaans) is ‘without’, ‘deprived of’. While abstraction has always been present in his work, and while Theron does continue to draw on figuration based both on real life and on the canons of art history, the shift towards purer abstraction, the loss of the clear subject, is a re-evaluation prompted by his trans-continental move, and the subsequent dissolution of his previously-accepted ideas of self.