Relaxing and Recharging

The Great Indoors – Exploring Art Toronto 2011

With the leaves turning and the temperatures cooling off what better time to venture indoors and discover some of the arts and culture highlights of Ontario? One of the must attend events of the fall is  Art Toronto 2011, a 4 day art festival featuring art from 109  galleries, is the largest indoor visual art event in Canada! We took a wander through Art Toronto and discovered works from renowned masters and emerging artists.

Art Toronto takes you right into heart of the art world as soon as you arrive. At the top of the escalators is the entrance to one of this year’s must see installations – The Art Game.

The Art Game is a commissioned Flagship Project by Kent Monkman. Curated by Steven Loft, The Art Game is a life‐size maze, constructed from booth walls identical to the Art Fair itself, which takes the audience through an art world “funhouse”. The meandering corridors are made more confusing with the use of double‐sided mirrors, trick windows, and fake doors, forcing the audience into a challenging experience of disorientation and multiple choice – not unlike the real art world.

After being welcomed to the Art Game by a ringmaster inviting you to experience the twists and turns of the art world, guests step through these red curtains …

… and into the maze. The winding passages take you through the path an artist must travel to display and sell their work, from arts grants to reviews to arts exhibitions. With surprises around each corner, there were a few shrieks from art show attendees as they navigated the maze.

Of course, “The Art Game” is just the beginning. With so much to take in you could easily spend a day wandering the show. Luckily, Art Toronto includes great features to help you get started, including art walks through the galleries led by experts, and art talks presented throughout the fair. We sat in on “Buy Early, Buy Young”, where The Art Stylists, Manny Neubaucher and Anya Shor shared their top picks from young contemporary artists at this years show. Some of their recommendations? Works by Canadian Artists Kristine Moran and Paul Butler. Sit in on a few talks and you’ll be ready to navigate Art Toronto like a pro.

Other highlights of Art Toronto show included this portrait by Julie Blackmon shown by Catherine Edelman Gallery, exhibiting at Art Toronto for the first time.

Julie Blackmon.  Courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago

Of course, with all that art to enjoy you’ll also need to take a moment to get off your feet. The Drake Hotel’s Lounge at Art Toronto is the perfect spot to sit down and reflect on what you’ve seen so far.
Art Toronto runs annually and wraps up this year on October 31st. For more information visit arttoronto.ca.

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