Call for Proposals: Art Nest 2023

Art Nest Installation at TOAF61 at Nathan Phillips Square, July 2022. Photography by Shane Fester.

Art Nest: A home for public art explorations

July 2023, Nathan Phillips Square
Deadline for Submissions: January 16th, 2023 @ 5 PM EST

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is seeking proposals for installation, sculpture, new media and performance art that are appropriate for an outdoor setting and related weather conditions. The works will be showcased at Nathan Phillips Square during the 62nd edition of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair in July.

Art Nest project provides emerging and equity-seeking artists with the opportunity to create their first public artworks in consultation with a curator and mentor during the Fair. The program provides artists with the experience, infrastructure, training and audience exposure needed to build confidence for future public art competitions and commissions. Proposals should also account for visitor safety. All proposals are subject to approval by the City of Toronto. Show organizers will assign space at Nathan Phillips Square.

An artist fee of $2,000 plus $2,000 for material costs will be paid to each selected artist.

TOAF has been celebrating art in public spaces and animating Toronto’s civic centre on a grand scale since 1961. The first iteration of Art Nest in 2022 was created in response to the City of Toronto’s ArtworxTO: Year of Public Art 2021-22 initiative. Championing career-launching platforms for the next generation of artists is central to TOAF’s programming values and key to the inspiration behind Art Nest.

For more information on Art Nest, visit the project page on

Admiral Ackbar, Kal Mansur, 2022. Art Nest Installation at TOAF61 at Nathan Phillips Square, July 2022. Photography by Shane Fester.

Submission Guidelines

Art Nest is open to emerging artists who want to take their practice to the next level by creating commissioned public art projects. Submissions must be submitted via email by 5 PM EST on January 16th, 2023 to

The subject line of the email must read: ‘Art Nest Submission 2023’

Submissions must include:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and email contact
  • Links to social media accounts if applicable
  • Statement describing the proposed work for exhibition, how it would be installed and how visitors might interact with it
  • 10 JPG images*/sketches/reference images of the work to be exhibited (include examples of previous work, especially if it is relevant to the proposed project)
  • Description of images (title, year, medium)
  • A brief bio (150 words maximum) and CV (2 pages maximum)
  • Please compress your images into a zip file

* JPG images can be no larger than 1024 x 768 pixels and 300 dpi

Selected artists will be notified by the end of February 2023.

Although some installation support will be provided, selected artists should be prepared to install and tear down their own work. Artists must provide all materials for installation. Artists are also encouraged to be present during the 3-days of the Fair to greet the public and answer any questions about their work and for associated programming (Art Talks, public art tours).

Only selected proposals will be contacted.

Left to right: Intervals of thread and the optics of space and Macro Weave, Sofia Escobar, 2022; Plan View: a look into the eye of a building, Aline Setton, 2022. Art Nest Installation at TOAF61 at Nathan Phillips Square, July 2022. Photography by Shane Fester.

Hear from the Artists

“It was productive to be part of a curated exhibition of outdoor artworks. Art Nest pushed my boundaries as an artist, as I had to create robust large-scale outdoor public artwork.”
– Kal Mansur, TOAF61 Art Nest Artist

“Participating in the Art Nest was a fantastic experience and opportunity. I had been wanting to shift my practice by incorporating more public art projects and this was the perfect platform. By bringing art to the public in a non-traditional setting it allowed me to witness a more diverse audience interacting with my piece.”
– Erin Vincent, TOAF61 Art Nest Artist

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair logo

About Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF) is Canada’s leading contemporary, juried, outdoor and online art fair. Founded in 1961, the Fair was established to put visual artists and makers in direct contact with the public and nurture artistic excellence and entrepreneurship. For 60 years, TOAF has been instrumental in launching artists’ careers and bringing art into people’s everyday lives. This free public event has showcased 350+ visual artists and makers and attracted 150,000 visitors to Nathan Phillips Square each year. The Fair continues to connect artists and art lovers through year-long showcases, income generation and discovery opportunities for independent artists. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is a registered charitable nonprofit organization.

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