A 10-Point Guide to Art Toronto

Artsy Editorial
Oct 21, 2013 1:08AM

In addition to gathering 100 galleries from across Canada and the world, Art Toronto offers a rich schedule of daily programming to address collecting and criticism in the contemporary art market. We offer a guide to this year’s fair and highlights of its extensive programming.

1. When/Where is it? How do I get tickets?

Art Toronto takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Friday, October 25 through Sunday, October 27, 2013. Tickets can be purchased online here.

2. What Sets Art Toronto Apart

Art Toronto is Canada’s only modern and contemporary art fair and provides unique access to the Canadian art market. An exceptionally accessible, user-friendly fair, Art Toronto is highly amenable to new and established collectors.

3. Platform

Platform is a series of panel discussions, conversations between artists and art professionals and tours. Some highlights include:

Canada in Venice: Curating the National Pavilion
Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada discusses her experience curating Steven Shearer: Exhume to Consume (2011) and Shary Boyle: Music for Silence (2013), the most recent exhibitions held at the Canada Pavilion during the last two Venice Biennales. Saturday, Oct. 26, 1pm.

The Next Generation of Canadian Art
A panel of up-and-coming art professionals in Canada will be moderated by Leah Sandals, Online Editor of Canadian Art. Panelists include collector and art historian Mary Dailey Desmarais, Executive Editor of ARTINFO Canada Sky Goodden and art dealer Wil Aballe among others. Saturday, October 26, 6pm.

Performing in Institutions
Art Gallery of Ontario artists-in-residence Diane Borsato and Life of a Craphead present an overview of their recent work at the museum. Toronto-based artists Borsato and the pair behind Life of a Craphead, Amy Lam, and Jon McCurley, are recognized for their performance work.

The full schedule can be accessed here.

4. Power Talks

In collaboration with Art Toronto, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery presents Power Talks, a lecture series offering a talk by a major art world figure each day of the fair. In its eighth year, the 2013 Power Talks are given by Tom Eccles, Chantal Pontbriand, and Julia Dault.

Tom Eccles, Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, presents Curating Collections, discussing the founding of the Hessel Museum of Art and the museum as a resource for teaching.

In The Contemporary, The Common: Indispensable Links in a Global World, Chantal Pontbriand, Contemporary art curator and critic, considers contemporary art practices of the past two decades and the role of Canadian art within a global context.

In her talk Coming to America, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based artist Julia Dault discusses her work considering the concept of home. She will discuss site-specific works and the influence of popular culture on her work, particularly Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth

5. Focus on Collecting

The fair offers several talks and panel discussions geared towards educating collectors. Talks cover topics including appraisals, conservation, and estate planning.

6. Tours

Art Toronto offers several themed tours led by experts, varying in scope to appeal to collectors, buyers, photography lovers, and Canadian art aficionados. For the full list of tours, check here. Below are some highlights:

Focus on Photography
Sophie Hackett, Assistant Curator of Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario, leads a tour of the fair with a focus on photography’s role in contemporary art. Meets Saturday, Oct. 26, 1pm.

Exploring Canadian Art
Andrew Hunter, Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, leads a tour through the fair, highlighting key works by Canadian artists and making connections to historical works at the AGO. Hunter will discuss themes including landscape, place, identity and the environment. Meets Sunday, Oct. 27, 1pm.

7. RBC Painting Competition

Each year the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) hosts a painting competition at Art Toronto to support emerging artists who are within the first five years of their careers. This year’s winner is Colleen Heslin, for her painting Almost young and wild and free. Awards of honorable mention were given to Colin Muir Dorward and Neil Harrison, and in honor of the competition’s 15th anniversary the RBC also gave cash awards to 12 finalists. All 15 works will be on display at the fair.

8. Opening Night Gala

Each year the Art Gallery of Ontario collaborates with Art Toronto to put on a benefit for the AGO, attended by established collectors and prominent community members. Each year an artist is commissioned to produce a site-specific performance work for the event. Past artists include

Derek Liddington, Tibi Tibi Neuspiel, and Geoffrey Pugen.

9. Canadian Art Now

Canadian Art magazine curates a project space at the fair, featuring rotating exhibitions by contemporary Canadian artists. Editor Richard Rhodes will curate the space this year. In 2012, the space held works by Alain Paiement, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino, and Ohotaq Mikkigak.


Canadian artist Thom Sokoloski has created an installation for the entrance to the fair featuring all the faces of the artists represented in the fair, with accompanying QR codes that visitors can scan to find out more about the artists. Find out more here.

Explore Art Toronto 2013 on Artsy.

Artsy Editorial