Upcoming shows

Here is a list of upcoming Fragmentalist exhibitions for 2014. Each of these events will showcase the work of many fantastic artists, so you should definitely come out. Also, come find me and say hi, cause we probably haven’t seen each other for a while.

ARCAFMay 24 – 25, 2014

11 AM – 7 PM

ARCAF Richmond Hill Art Sputnik Festival *
Richmond Green, 1300 Elgin Mills Rd. E., Richmond Hill

TESTy MarketplaceJune 7, 2014

11 AM – 5 PM

Toronto Etsy Street Team 5th Annual Spring Marketplace *

Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields, Kensington Market, 103 Bellevue Ave., Toronto

pride in canadaJune 25 – July 5, 2014

12 – 6 PM

Pride in Canada

Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw St., Toronto

ArtWalkNorthAugust 15 – 16, 2014

Fri: 11 AM – 8 PM | Sat: 11 AM – 6 PM

Art Walk North

Mel Lastman Square, North York

QWAC logoSeptember 13 – 14, 2014

11 AM – 6 PM

Queen West Art Crawl

Trinity Bellwoods Park, 840 Queen St. W., Toronto

*Edited to add: I’ve had to drop out of the Richmond Hill Art Sputnik Festival and the TEST Spring Marketplace, unfortunately, as I had to undergo unforeseen major surgery a couple of weeks ago, and am still recovering.

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2013

The TOAE was off to a very slow start today due to a combination of rain, construction on Queen Street and unspecified forces of evil. But it’s all settled in now, so go check it out tomorrow and Sunday.

Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads: Bronze by Ai Weiwei in the reflecting pool in Nathan Phillips Square

Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads by Ai Weiwei in the reflecting pool in Nathan Phillips Square

The good news is that this year the show is noticeably smaller and more manageable – you can definitely go around the whole thing in one visit.

The other great thing is that there are twelve bronze sculptures by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei on display in Nathan Phillips Square right now – the only Canadian stop on this exhibition’s North American tour – so that’s a world-class art experience bonus to your TOAE visit.

A couple of mixed media student artists whose work caught my eye: Becky Gaber, who makes what I can only describe as creepy mutant babies and Michael Rennick, whose media is seriously mixed – it’s got moss, and wood, and painting, and taxidermied baby ducks swimming in pools of resin. It’s awesome.

Becky Gaber at TOAE 2013

Becky Gaber

Michael Rennick

Michael Rennick

I basically geeked out on the sculpture and mixed media work – as usual – but there’s a lot of great painting and photography as well. I only really saw one or two drearily unremarkable painters that I totally thought could’ve been bumped to make way for my mosaics. How’s that for an overall quality recommendation?

Here are a couple more of the strange and wonderful – Janet Macpherson‘s ceramics and Julie Roch-Cuerrier‘s photographic collages:

Janet Macpherson

Janet Macpherson

Julie Roch-Cuerrier

Julie Roch-Cuerrier

A brief report on the Riverdale Art Walk

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my booth at RAW last weekend! It was a great show with lots of visitors, engaging conversations and talented artists.

My booth at RAW

My booth at RAW

The weather was all kinds of crazy, but not during the set-up and take-down times – so I think the weather gods liked my offering. Throughout the day, ten-minute bursts of drenching rain just cooled us off from the scorching sun and made sure we got our exercise running around covering stuff up.

I got lots of compliments on my mosaics, many fascinated visitors who haven’t seen mosaics before, a few who wanted to learn how to make mosaics, but on the whole not that many who wanted to buy them. One guy brought me samples of a material called smalt, with a printout of its history and properties – that was kind of awesome. A whole lot of my friends showed up all at once and then brought me amazing artisanal ice cream from a place called Ed’s. On Sunday, there was a bluegrass band playing between bursts of rain – a joy to my honky-tonk heart.

Also, my neighbour artists were fantastic – so here’s a shout-out to them, plus a couple of others whose work I enjoyed. Click on the images to go to the artist’s site.

Lynn Leonard Photography

Lynn Leonard

Rob Boerboom Painter

Rob Boerboom

Stephen Cooper Photography

Stephen Cooper

Rob Croxford  Painting / Mixed media

Rob Croxford
Mixed media

Paul Karkas Painting

Paul Karkas

Patric Lajoie Photography

Patric Lajoie

Andrew SmithPhotography

Andrew Smith

Deirdre Wicks Watercolour

Deirdre Wicks

One of a Kind Spring show

One of a Kind Toronto Spring show opened today at Exhibition Place and will run for five days until Sunday March 31.

The 3D printers and a glimpse of the jewellery at the Hot Pop Factory booth at OOAK

3D printers and a glimpse of the jewellery at the Hot Pop Factory booth at OOAK

OOAK has been running for many years and is one of the largest shows of handmade objects, art and crafts in Toronto. It’s huge. You likely know all about it, so I won’t go into too much detail.

A couple of interesting new things that are worth looking out for when you visit:

3D Printing Shop
The most delightful thing I stumbled upon at the Spring OOAK was Hot Pop Factory, a 3D printing shop with a very stylish jewellery collection. They also make custom 3D portraits, scanning your head on-site and producing a miniature custom bust within a few days. There’s a 3D printer operating in their booth and it’s great to watch it in action.

I love the new directions that are opening up to artists and makers and it’s great to see 3D printing outfits in high-profile craft shows such as OOAK. May there be more art enabled by new technologies everywhere and soon!

Etsy section
For the first time this year, there is an Etsy-branded section, with a sampling of about 40 artisans from the thousands who have online shops at the largest virtual marketplace for handmade goods. Etsy is currently trying to raise its profile in Canada and their section at OOAK is part of this effort.

Etsy section at OOAK

Etsy section at OOAK

As with many things that sell well online, the crafts on Etsy tend towards the lightweight and inexpensive, and most artists in this section are first-time OOAK exhibitors. Both of which factors probably contribute to this section being set up as tightly and compactly packed as it is.

There are many Toronto Etsy Street Team members in both the Etsy and the Rising Stars sections,  including Ele Willoughby (minouette)featured recently on this blog – whose science and nature-themed prints are gorgeous in real life.

Maplestone Mosaic Gallery in Creemore

Yesterday I and three other mosaic artists from the Toronto area took a trip to the small Ontario town of Creemore, population 1300, home to the only (as far as anyone knows) art gallery in Canada dedicated exclusively to mosaic art.

The front of the gallery, on a snowy dayCreemore is also home to Creemore Springs microbrewery, which adds to its tourist appeal. Well, it did for me.

Gallery interior, showing a red wall with mosaics and large window with Creemore Springs Brewery visible outsideThrough the large picture windows of the Maplestone Gallery, large snowflakes that were slowly falling onto the main street of this tiny town yesterday looked particularly picturesque.

Abstract mosaic on gallery wall in greens, blues and browns

A Terry Nicholls mosaic on the right

The gallery’s two rooms are filled with mosaic artworks by contemporary local and international artists in a range of styles and materials. From rustic to glitzy, in layered glass or wood and stone, from fine art to functional objects, from the nature-inspired abstracts of Terry Nicholls to the precisely crafted compositions by Lin Schorr, to Heather Vollans‘ work with upcycled and reclaimed materials, Maplestone gallery has an inspiring variety of contemporary mosaic art on display.

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Danforth East Arts Fair – Highlights

Now that the excitement and the stress of my first art fair are behind me, here are a few impressions I took away from it.

Me in my booth at DECA Arts Fair

Photo by Roman Martyn

The Good:

- Wonderfully organized and promoted, the DECA Arts Fair was attended by crowds of lovely people and dogs who enjoyed the calm sunny weather, live music and all the great art on display

- Booth set-up went without a hitch and the weather was great so nothing got blown away overnight. Big thanks to my husband Derek for building (from scratch!) the display rack you see in the picture above and his help setting everything up, taking everything down, and the two practice runs we did at home beforehand.

- Met lots of other artists, had lovely neighbours in booths all around me, and got good practical advice from them about other local fairs worth participating in. The consensus seems to be that the Riverdale Art Walk and the Cabbagetown fair are both great, and that One of a Kind is worth the huge fee.

- Got lots of compliments, admiration and exclamations of wonder at my mosaics. People loved the coffee table especially, but everyone had their favorites. The starfishes were a hit with the children. Gave out lots of business cards. I imagine the kids will just make spitballs out of them.

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Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is on right now in Nathan Phillips Square by the City Hall. It began today, July 6th and will last through Sunday July 8th. TOAE takes place once a year and is one of the best art shows to be seen in Toronto. Having just come back from it – very impressed – I just wanted to write a quick post about a few of the neat things I saw there so as to encourage everyone who’s in town this weekend to go wander around a huge, free outdoor exhibit of amazing art.


A Toronto landscape in blueBeing fascinated with the beauty of tactile, dimensional, multi-media art objects, I tend to be less captivated by paintings than I am by sculpture or applied arts. Nevertheless, there are some very good painters on exhibit at the TOAE.

Here’s a painter whose work I really liked for being colourful, featuring Toronto, and having old maps for backgrounds:

Watercolours on display

As someone formally trained in watercolor who made a mess of it more often than not, another category of paintings I tend to notice are masterfully executed, spontaneous, light-filled watercolours. This artist’s work, which also features views of Toronto is a stunning example of the medium.

A metal bleeding heart sculptureMetal

From airy flights-of-fancy to a bleeding mechanical heart, there is choice metal sculpture on display. There is also a giant robot, the discovery of which I leave up to you.


Maybe this is a new trend, but I haven’t noticed quite so much embroidery at art shows before. Turns out lots people are making really fascinating textile art pieces these days.

Textile art on display at TOAEThis artist is like the Andy Warhol of embroidery, with pop culture subjects, great colours and eye-catching minimalist design. Someone please get me one of her pieces for a no-particular-occasion present?

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