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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

TOAF will take place July 12 – 14, 2024.

Three Outstanding Craft & Design Artists

We continue to celebrate exceptional artists working in Craft & Design. 

Carolyn Young was aptly awarded the Best of Jewellery for her delicate, organic, and sculptural jewellery work. This award is supported by our cherished donors, Harry Enchin & Susan Friedrich, to encourage fine jewellery artists at TOAF.

Kirsti Smith’s ceramic figures, which are fun and innocent at first glance but are laden with emotional stories, earned her the Excellence in Ceramics award by The Pottery Supply House.

Karla Rivera’s voluminous and bold vessels have been awarded Excellence in Ceramics by Tucker’s Pottery Supplies.

These artists’ masterful employment of textures, forms and shapes culminate in storied objects and designs that entice you to get up close and personal – a lovely invitation to seek, wear and display.

Enjoy exploring their works and I hope you are intrigued to bring some of these creations closer to you.

PS. We love seeing that you continue to bring our artists’ works to your spaces. This work found a new home last week!

Carolyn Young, Best of Jewellery

Previously an architectural historian, Carolyn Young studied jewellery-making and metal smithing in Montréal/Tiohtiá:ke, has graduate degrees in Art History from the University of Toronto, and held a Maker Residency at the Canadian Craft Biennial in 2017. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.

Patinated Silver Reimagining Blombos Brooch, Carolyn Young, 2021, Patinated sterling silver and nylon cord.

From the award judge

Carolyn Young’s foliate shell structures produce varied effects through their reflective, absorptive or luminous enfolding surfaces in this refined and powerful series. Primordial forms that delicately allude to the origins of human adornment, the three-dimensional sculptures conform beautifully to the human body. The attention to wearability is evident in the finesse of the curved silver leaf of the Conchology neck clasp or the shaping of the neck wire in Reimagining Blombos.

– Lisa A. Pai, Gallerist L.A. Pai Gallery

Conchology Necklace, 2020, Mylar, sterling silver and sterling silver cable.

Kirsti Smith, Ceramics Excellence

Kirsti has always used her creativity as an expression of her own reality. She begins with inspirations from her own family’s ties to religion, sisterhood, and emotions such as grief and innocence to produce physical moments. She creates tactile art that can be touched, as well as emotionally connected to; forming an intimate experience for the viewer. Blurring the line between fine art and functional ceramics, Kirsti brings familiar emotions into tangible experiences.

Letting Go of Letting Go, Kirsti Smith, 2022, Ceramics.

From the award judge

Kirsti Smith’s ceramic figures are strangely approachable in their embrace of the odd, awkward, and even difficult subject matters. Her focus is on childhood experiences with a language of silence and suspension. The delicate colour palette and suggestion of physical and psychological softness balance on toe-tip against the surreal and a hint of the grotesque. A suggestion perhaps, that as adults we may seek to pause and heed more.

– Lisa A. Pai, Gallerist L.A. Pai Gallery

Homesick for You, Kirsti Smith, 2022, Ceramics.

Karla Rivera, Ceramics Excellence

In her work, Karla explores the path she has taken to search for her inner being. Self-knowledge is a fundamental aspect of her path as an artist. With the help of clay, the use of different materials, shapes, textures and composition, she tries to create a bridge between beliefs, thoughts and experiences. In her work she explores, interprets and captures the different states of mind to which we are exposed to in different stages of our lives.

Through these sculptural alterations, she hopes to suggest that although our perspectives may be the same there is always space for the unidentified. With this, we can open a conversation about our own assumptions, dialogues that we would not have otherwise.

Tall Thin Flower Vase, Karla Rivera, 2022, Casting slip.

From the award judge

Karla Rivera is an emerging ceramic artist whose sense of form satisfies and challenges one’s sense of fittingness and of beauty at the same time. Her volume-oriented vessels and her ridged sculptural alterations reveal a bold approach that suggests a searching, expansive, attitude to her craft.

– Lisa A. Pai, Gallerist L.A. Pai Gallery

Dance for Two, 2020, Slip cast porcelain and soft brick, Karla Rivera, 2022.

Curated Collection

Intense Tactile
Curated by Jeremy Vandermeij

Serenity III, Andreas Krätschmer, 2022, Locally salvaged soft maple.
T Ring, Pasha Moezzi, 2021, Sterling silver and 14k yellow gold.

Funders & Sponsors

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