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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

July 12 – 14, 2024.

Sasha Sutherland and Raoul Olou, two remarkable painters

Sasha Sutherland and Raoul Olou are two remarkable painters who are musing about urban spaces and cityscapes in familiar or fantastical and curious ways. 

Sasha Sutherland’s vibrant and hopeful utopian worlds garnered her the 2022 Best of Painting Award. A very special thank you to Patricia Olasker and our board member Brett Ledger for their continued support of this award and the artists of TOAF. 

Raoul Olou’s quiet and mesmerizing renderings of the familiar corners of Toronto need no introduction. You’ll remember him from his first year at TOAF in 2019 as the recipient of the Mayor’s Purchase Award. This past year, he earned the Honourable Mention in Painting by Gwartzman’s Art Supplies

Enjoy getting to know their art, and if we may say so, please don’t hesitate to bring one of their works, or other artists’ work, home with you.

A final note, Sasha and Raoul are among the artists who participated Online-Only last year, adding to the excitement of our ever-expanding and buzzed-about online Fair. Hosting artists of their calibre on the platform has inspired us to dream up new initiatives, which we can’t wait to share with you. Please spread the word that artists from anywhere in Canada can join TOAF.

The Call for Artists early bird deadline is this Tuesday, February 28th, at 11:59 PM!


Meet Sasha Sutherland, 2022 Best of Painting

Sasha Sutherland is an artist living in Vaughan, Ontario. Sasha has completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Education at York University and graduated in June 2022. In 2021, she received the Willowdale Award for the quality of her painting. She chose to work with vibrant colours in order to lend a utopian dimension to the cities. Sasha has painted these imagined cities from various perspectives and they all consist of tubes as a means of transportation throughout the cities.

Dubai in the Sky, Sasha Sutherland, 2021, Acrylic paint.

From the award judge

Sasha Sutherland’s work opens a space that allows us to think beyond the current trauma of life on earth at this moment, her work gives hope for an imagined future that uplifts the mind, body and spirit. Daily life in the constructed world of Sutherland is a collaboration of differences and values that gently collide to empower us to see others and our roles as responsible citizens of the world.

– Stuart Keeler, Chief Curator, TD Bank Corporate Art & Archive Collections

San Fran, Sasha Sutherland, 2021, Acrylic paint.

Meet Raoul Olou, 2022 Honourable Mention – Painting

Raoul Olou is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto. He creates work that references personal experiences, race, ontology, intuition, and anthropologie inspired by quantum physics and speculative fiction. A formally trained filmmaker and self-taught painter, Raoul has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Mark Christopher Gallery, Patel Brown and the Run Gallery. He has received several grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Art Council, and received the Mayor’s Purchase Award in 2019 the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair.

We Will Be Fine, Raoul Olou, 2022, Oil on panel.

From the award judge

Gifted with an eye for the nuance and silent moments of daily life, artist Raoul Olou asks us to consider our city experience as a shared moment of public and private observations. Olou allows us into his view and experience of Toronto where the social formation of cities and human moments are equally present. He creates a commanding pause as true power can be silent and these works are indeed that and alight with promise.

– Stuart Keeler, Chief Curator, TD Bank Corporate Art & Archive Collections

Raoul Olou in studio. Photography by Shaya Ishaq.

Curated Collection

A Sense of Flourishing
Curated by Sean Lee

 If Not Here, Then Where?, Helen Tran, 2021, Encaustic on wood, woodcut prints, cyanotype and oil stick.
Slack, Juliana Scherzer, 2021, Ecoprinted cotton, preserved leaves, polyfill and thread.

In the Community

Photography by Brian Medina.

Harbourfront Centre Call for Artists-in-Residence

Deadline: March 10, 2023
Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre is accepting applications for residencies in Ceramics, Glass, Metal/Jewellery, Design and Textiles. Open to recent graduates and emerging artists with equivalent experience, Artists-in-Residence can enjoy access to affordable studio space, receive mentorship, participate in exhibitions and be part of a supportive community.

DesignTO takes over Toronto from January 20 to 29

For all of you design lovers: DesignTO Festival takes place in-person and online, bringing people together to design a better future, one that is more sustainable, just, and joyful.

Funders & Sponsors

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