Announcing the Award Winners of the 58th Toronto Outdoor Art Fair


Award winners at the 58th Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, photo by Andrew Williamson

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor art fair, revealed the 2019 Award Winners on Friday, July 12th. Over $40,000 cash and in-kind awards were presented at Nathan Phillips Square.

A group of expert judges selected artists who demonstrated excellence, originality, workmanship and innovation. TOAF wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to all of the artists, volunteers, judges, jurors, donors, sponsors, media and community partners who made the 58th edition a memorable success!

Noelle Hamlyn won the Catherine Bratty Award for Best of Art Fair, a grand prize of $5,500 by The Rudolph P. Bratty Family Foundation. Renowned Canadian artist Joanne Tod, who also showed at Toronto Outdoor Art Fair early in her career, selected Hamlyn out of 360 artists, noting:

“Noelle Hamlyn’s sculptural work represents an intelligent hybrid of materials. Combining vintage life jackets with old suits, she creates conceptually charged objects that suggest multiple readings for the viewer. The ‘professionalism of male values’ for example, is conflated with notions of danger and emergency. Her work identifies topical and relevant issues in today’s fraught world.”

Merging art, craft practices, installation and costuming, Hamlyn’s work has been shown nationally and internationally. This past winter she completed a three month residency with the Salt Spring Arts Council (BC) exploring ‘non-normative’ garment forms and flotation devices. Through her work, she seeks a balance of conceptual ideas, technical execution and emotional resonance.


Joanne Tod, Noelle Hamlyn and anahita azrahimi at the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair Awards Ceremony, photo by Andrew Williamson

The Murray and Marvelle Koffler Founder’s Award of $5,500 by The Koffler Family Foundation was awarded to artist Nelson Cheng. The judges were struck by the resemblance of Cheng’s paintings to tapestries and stated: “Cheng’s latest oil paintings, mixed with drawing, are inspired and loosely based on tapestries, and their theme is one of identity and recognition of place. At any distance, they appear as if woven – but closer inspection reveals intricate, detailed and accurate accounts of Toronto and common cityscapes. Certain parts of his paintings may illustrate a place that we recognize, but overall each painting forms an almost abstract field of pattern through shapes, colour and composition. His unusual flattening of spatial forms, hearkens again to tapestries, making his familiar scenes unfamiliar at the same time.”

Flavio Belli, Curator & Tiana Koffler Boyman, Chair of The Koffler Centre of the Arts


“Patchwork”, 2019. 48 x 36 inches, oil and charcoal on canvas

Steven Restagno won the Best of Student Award, which is a two-part award: $1,000 Marie Collins Memorial Award, and the Artscape Award. Restagno will receive a one-week residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point, a one-week exhibition at Artscape Youngplace, and a one-year membership to Artscape Daniels Launchpad – a $4,000 value.

Judge Joshua Heuman, Curator of Education and Public Programs at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery noted Restagno’s powerful work: “Steven Restagno explores the human figure seemingly fleshy and in dissolution simultaneously – earthy and electric, sensuous and psychological.”

Mayor’s Purchase Award – Raoul Olou
Purchased by the City of Toronto for the municipal art collection
Judged by Neil Brochu, Supervisor Collections and Outreach, City of Toronto

Best of Painting – Aline Setton
$2,000 by Brett Ledger and Patricia Olasker
Judged by Bogdan Luca, Artist & Instructor, OCAD U

Best of Photography & Digital Media – Amanda Arcuri
$2,000 by Toronto Image Works
Judged by Greg Staats, Artist

Best of 2D Works – Cheryl Rock
$2,000 by Nicholas Metivier Gallery
Judged by Astrid Ho, Artist

Best of 3D Works – Julia Hepburn
$2,000 by Al Green in Memoriam
Judged by Eldon Garnet, Artist

Best of Craft & Design – Elycia SFA
$2,000 by Extrudex Aluminum
Judged by Meghan Price, Artist & Instructor, OCAD U

Best of Ceramics – Marissa Alexander
$3,000 Cash and Purchase Award by Aaron Milrad & Brenda Coleman
Judged by Aaron Milrad, Counsel, Dentons Canada LLP

Social Commentary Award – Maureen O’Connor
$1,000 by The New Regionalism Project
Judged by the Artists of Eyes of Society – The New Regionalism Project

Emerging Artists by Emerging Curator Award – David Brandy, Golrokh Daneshgar, Ivanna Hreshchuk, and Shaylah Marsh
By Megan Deeks, Charles Collins, and Frances Patella
An exhibition at Propeller Gallery – $3,000 value
Judged by Karlene Ouellette, Emerging Curator, Propeller Gallery

The Power Plant Emerging Artist Award – Eugenia Chan
Annual Membership and Publications by the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Best of Jewellery – Shelbey Dodds
$500 by Harry Enchin & Susan Friedrich

Best of Paper – Tania Love
$500 Gift by The Japanese Paper Place

Most Innovative Use of Material Award – Emily Carriere
$500 by Lonsdale Gallery

Honourable Mention, Student – Molly Berman
$500 Gift by Toronto School of Art

Honourable Mention, Student – Olivia Mae Sinclair
$600 Gift by Above Ground Art Supplies

Student Purchase Award – Elise Conlin
Purchase Award by House of IDEA

Honourable Mention, Ceramics – Kim Ross
$500 Gift by Tucker’s Pottery Supplies

Honourable Mention, Ceramics – Joon Hee Kim
$500 Gift by Pottery Supply House

Honourable Mention, Painting – Diogo Pinheiro
$500 Gift by Gwartzman’s Art Supplies

About Toronto Outdoor Art Fair
Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is a free public event showcasing works by over 360 juried contemporary visual artists and makers, ranging in medium from painting, photography, and mixed media to jewellery and ceramics. All of this, plus 120,000 art lovers from across the country and beyond, convene amongst the white tents in a space that is free of walls and admission fees; one that is radically welcoming.

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