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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

TOAF will take place July 12 – 14, 2024.

From humble popsicle sticks to wooden monuments

Introducing you to the recipient of our cherished 2023 Murray and Marvelle Koffler Founder’s Award is the best way to start a beautiful new season and a fresh cycle of activities here at TOAF. 

Please meet Davoud Khosravi, a skilled woodworker and a veteran TOAF artist. His first showcase was in 1998, and since then, his masterful works have earned him a spot in the Fair for over 15 years. 

Davoud’s artistic journey is filled with persevering commitment and material exploration – one that started humbly, crafting with popsicle sticks and evolving into the intricate and sophisticated wooden sculptures and objects that embody his work today. 

This year’s award judges were inspired to celebrate the excellence and career longevity of TOAF’s long-time artists. Davoud’s work stood out.  

Our heartfelt thanks to the Koffler Family Foundation for their steadfast support of TOAF’s artist community for over six decades, and for their thoughtful and evolving vision around the Founder’s Award. Enjoy getting to know Davoud and his work. 

PS. The next season of our professional development panels for artists, supported by TD Bank Group, begins this October. These workshops were in high demand last year, and spaces are limited. Make sure to reserve your spot

Davoud Khosravi
Recipient of the Murray and Marvelle Koffler Founder’s Award

Davoud is a self-taught artist and developed his own tools and techniques over 25 years of experimentation. Nature, movement and the human body inspire most of Davoud’s work. His new adventures in wood are free-form, organic, and abstract in shape. He considers himself fortunate to work with material that is alive and transforming. The works are an amalgam of angle-cut pieces of wood glued together, reinforced with steel cables and hand-sanded or turned on the lathe. A variety of woods are used while incorporating segmented and inlaying techniques.

Bird FishingDavoud Khosravi, 2020, Wood sculpture.

From the award judges

‘This year’s Founder’s Award wishes to recognize one artist out of the many who have exhibited their work at TOAF for more than 10 years. Among many criteria, the Founder’s Award honours those whose vision is greater than the sum of their work. The ambition of the award is to help make a difference in the trajectory of this artist’s continued creative development and to contribute to their experimental material process. We are presenting this award to Davoud Khosravi who has not only shown his dedication to TOAF, but also his work reflects a commitment to evolving his artistry and investigations in wood.’

– Tiana Koffler Boyman, Immediate Past Co-Chair of the Koffler Centre of the Arts & Flavio Belli, Artist, Curator & Art Consultant

From left to right: Flavio Belli, Murray & Marvelle Koffler Founder’s Award recipient Davoud Khosravi & Tiana Koffler Boyman. Photography by Shane Fester.

Davoud on the award

Receiving the 2023 Murray & Marvelle Koffler Founder’s Award is a tremendous honour and recognition of my work. It is also a motivation and inspiration to create more and explore new possibilities. Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is my favourite art show, always professionally organized and artist-oriented. It has been my constant companion throughout my artistic career and a motor to create more work. This year, I celebrate 25 years of my artist career and establishing my art business, Wooden Pottery. It’s a time to reflect and look back at the achievements and challenges. It’s also a time to plan new projects and exhibitions (stay tuned). 

Photography by Shane Fester.

How did it all begin?

My life as an artist began in childhood, learning the intricacies of Persian rug weaving from my mother; the complex geometry and tight symmetry that are evident in my current work. However, wood has always been my predominant interest. As a young boy, I recall collecting popsicle sticks in a park (washing and drying them too), to make different decorative objects. Many years later, in Canada, I revisited the popsicle stick idea and this became the base of my creative process and art business.

Monthly Curated Collections

Curated by TOAF Team

Pvt. TimeMichael Faubert, 2023, Archival ink & watercolour paint on bristol vellum paper.
Like A Moth…Serena Kobayashi-LeBel, 2018, Oil & acrylic gouache on panel.

Professional Development Sessions

Check the Price Tag: What to charge for your artworks?

Art schools are effective at teaching emerging artists about a broad range of materials and technical skills, and how to refine subjects and themes. You spend hundreds or thousands of hours developing your aesthetic style and your promotional presence on the web and social media. But one of the most fundamental aspects of being an artist is scarce or absent in school: What to charge for your artworks?

Date: Wednesday, October 25th, 7 – 8 PM
Location: Urbanspace Gallery, Ground Floor, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, M5V 3AB
RSVP: Register is required to secure your spot

Funders & Sponsors

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