Home » Shout Out to the Art World: VoCA’s Top Ten

Shout Out to the Art World: VoCA’s Top Ten

Here’s a ‘lil shout out to some people and things who have come across my desk recently, and who I think are making Toronto’s art and culture scene a better place. In no particular order:


A work by Alex McLeod. Image: lookintomyowl.com

1. ALEX MCLEOD: For his style, both personal and on his twitter feed (his more than 3,000 ollowers apparently agree) And, of course, his art, which is amazing. But mostly for his brilliant sense of humor. Love him.

2. SCOTT SAWTELL: Although I didn’t get out to Etobicoke to see it, from photos and feedback I understand that 60 Painters, the major retrospective of Canadian painting that took place in late May at Humber Arts & Media Studios was an ambitious and rare example of Torontonians going all out to celebrate their own. I agree with Terence Dick, who wonders “why a downtown museum of sufficient size didn’t think to mount this themselves.”


Henri Faberge’s Heligoland Follies. Image: heligolandfollies.com

3. HENRI FABERGE: Now that the amazing Heligoland Follies has come to an end (Henri produced this series of multi-media shows as artist in residence at Hart House) I look forward to seeing what he & Juliann will do next. I’m a big fan (and not just because he reminds me so much of Billy Childish)

4. LA CARNITA: This ‘celebration of street art and street food’ began as an revolving art party with a few tacos attached. Now they’ve got a permanent spot at 501 College Street. A great idea that makes summer in this city a little bit better.


The Design Exchange. Image: katherinemorley.com

5. SHAUNA LEVY: They design dynamo who has taken over the Design Exchange. Newly rebranded as ‘Canada’s Design Museum’, I anticipate great, much needed things. It will become a vital addition to the city’s cultural landscape.

6. MY MOTHER’S BASEMENT: An online gallery started by young artist Courtney Stephenson, it shows a consistently strong group of emerging artists, many of them women and some of whom we’ve showcased on Artbomb, ahem.


Callum Schuster, Black Step. Image: callumschuster.com

7. CALLUM SCHUSTER: Because for a young graduate of OCAD, his work is cool and experimental and taps into an emerging style that I’ve mentioned before, where artists work in complex ways with unusual materials to achieve a minimalist effect. And he’s a really nice guy.

8. MJOLK: The Scandinavian/Japanese design store is located all the way in the Junction, which is miles from where I live, but I’m happy just knowing it’s there.


Putting the Mason together. Image: themasonmag.com

9. THE MASON: The project of two Ryerson students, this contemporary culture magazine recently launched. Concieved as a mag designed to ‘showcase the resurrection of post-industrial cities through their creative communities’, the first issue focused on Detroit. Which begs the question – what’s on for issue 2?

10. ARTSCAPE: The city is certainly lucky to be home to this creative urban development group. They put on the best fundraiser I have ever participated in – the Artscape Salon, a few months ago – and I commend them for recognizing the opportunity to occupy space in condominiums, providing artist studio and living space, downtown.

6 Responses to “Shout Out to the Art World: VoCA’s Top Ten”

  1. matt elkind says:

    Some great selections…I really appreciate the focus on great up and coming artists like Callum Schuster…who make really interesting work that you don’t need someone to explain to you why should like it…

  2. Typo alert says:

    I before e except after C.

  3. Bruce says:

    very interesting observations comme toujours.

  4. ChrisToronto says:

    Good choices, all of them. Hmmm, who would I add? How about Dan Bergeron, whose commitment to social justice enhances his work without veering into the preachy.
    And the new Bloor Hot Docs Cinema for bringing us art-focused films like Waste Land and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

  5. Juliann Wilding says:

    wow thanks for the inclusion ! very honoured that Heligoland Follies is included on such an inspiring list of work

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