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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

July 12 – 14, 2024.

Get to know Varvara Nedilska, 2020 Winner of Best of Student

Happy New Year to all of you. We know the current state of the world around us is not the new beginning we had hoped for, but in the spirit of the New Year, let us introduce you to new artists and their fresh takes on interpreting dreams, ideas, and stories. It is our hope that this brings some colour and small moments of joy to your lives today. 

As you know, the student zone at Toronto Outdoor Art Fair has been a treasure trove for curious and dedicated art lovers who take pride in their diligent discovery of the next up and coming Canadian art talents. Varvara Nedilska is the newest artist from OCAD U’s Career Launcher program to join this legacy. Her magical storytelling and surreal dreamscapes are a perfect escape to a wonderful imaginary world — the only kind of pleasurable travel we can have these days!

Varvara’s modern take on folk art garnered her the title of Best of Student where she was awarded the Marie Collins Memorial cash award, the Artscape Award, and topped with the House of IDEA purchase award.

The Artscape Award grants Varavara the opportunity for a one-week self-directed artist residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point where she can ideate and create in the gorgeous Toronto Islands in preparation for a one-week solo exhibition in the Hallway Galleries at Artscape Youngplace in 2021. 

Below is a glimpse of Varvara’s world for you. Take your time to dive deeper, and get to know her a bit more. And if you can get your hand on a piece, you are in luck! We only have a few left on our website.

We are so thrilled to see so many artworks find new homes over the holidays; let's continue to show the love. Tag us on social media of your new pieces, and don't forget to use #TOAFatHome.

Varvara Nedilska is a Ukrainian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist and a 2020 graduate of the OCADU Illustration program.


Sleepover, Varvara Nedilska, watercolour, gouache, ink, 2019

Varvara Nedilska’s adept use of ink, watercolour and gouache is truly a delight to behold. Her blending of folk art aesthetics and dystopian subject matter create surreal dreamscapes, and highlight the absurdity of our daily lives in ways that are both ominous and hopeful… Nedilska’s illustrations poetically speak to our present anxieties while envisioning a more hopeful future.

– Justine Kohleal, Assistant Curator of Education & Public Programs at The Power Plant Contemporary Gallery, Judge of Best of Student

Orchid Collection, Varvara Nedilska, watercolour, gouache, coloured pencil, 2020

Varvara's work in her own words…

My practice focuses mainly around narrative illustration, although recently I have been branching out into printmaking & other media. I work primarily in analogue media (most often inks, watercolours) and some of my biggest inspirations are medieval and surrealist art, folk/outsider art and the natural world. Some themes important to my work are the dichotomy of wildness/tameness, beliefs/rituals, and the ways in which history repeats itself.

On winning this year…

Winning the TOAF Best of Student Award was a wonderful confidence booster and gave me a lot of hope going into my artistic career. I’m especially thankful for the opportunity to have a solo show at Artscape Youngplace, as I have long dreamed of having my own gallery show. The COVID pandemic deprived me of the opportunity to exhibit my undergraduate thesis at OCAD’s annual GradEx. This award and the experience of participating in TOAF have made me feel recognized and given me something to look forward to and work toward in the future.

– Varvara Nedilska

Visit her TOAF artist page

Follow her on Instagram: @varvaranedilska

Artworks still available


You can still purchase a limited number of Varvara's work along with thousands more on our website!

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