The freedom arches of Nathan Phillips Square work as an outdoor frame for this art event — Photo courtesy of Motion and Still / Toronto Outdoor Art Festival
Toronto is filled with world-class art galleries and museums. There is no shortage of places to hide from the dark Toronto winter. However, when the sun comes out, Torontonians easily forget what it's like indoors. From patio hopping to stand up paddleboarding, the summer months are all about maxing out sunshine opportunities.
The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition respects this, allowing you to have class and culture under the blue sky. This is the largest outdoor art exhibition in all of Canada, and it has been operating since 1961, getting more impressive and expansive with each passing year.
For three days (Dates for 2014 include July 4, 5 and 6.), Nathan Phillips Square is so filled with art, it seems to become more beautiful by proxy. It certainly is an improvement from the grey concrete jungle of any downtown core.
Approximately 100,000 visitors browse, mingle and gape at art that can be anywhere from mainstream to beyond the fringe. Dozens of artists come out of their studios to share their work.
If you are particularly taken with a piece, you are granted the rare opportunity of speaking with the artist. And if you need some ideas of what to say, we hear that an artist, like any human being, enjoys a genuine compliment.
Even with the enormity of Toronto's buildings, the art still holds center stage — Photo courtesy of Motion and Still / Toronto Outdoor Art Festival
The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (or TOAE, for short) has emerging and established artists at many price points. You don't have to have the space for a life-sized portrait to include more art in your life. Whatever you choose, whether it be a beverage coaster or a sculpture of a carrot, will speak volumes about what you find aesthetically pleasing.
Matthew Volpe, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for TOAE, describes the exhibition as "inclusive" and raves that there is a "broad range of talented artists."
If your stay in Toronto is short, Matthew still declares that it is the perfect event to attend: "One will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Toronto art community in a way that is less intimidating than the typical gallery setting."
Jewelry by Patrycja Zwierzynska — Photo courtesy of Motion and Still / Toronto Outdoor Art Festival
If the decor in your house is looking a little too Ikea, bring some originality into your home with art purchased at the festival. If the jewelry on your body is a little too safe, let your personality pop with a piece of statement jewelry.
Whether you decide to purchase or admire, going to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is certainly time well spent. You will not only walk away with a tan, but also renewed appreciation for the breadth and importance of art.