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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

July 12 – 14, 2024.

Northwest Territories Artists at TOAF63

New this year, six Northwest Territories artists will be joining Toronto Outdoor Art Fair as part of a partnership between the Government of Northwest Territories and TOAF. The partnership came about after the success of Northwest Territories artist Darrell Chocolate, recipient of the inaugural travel bursary at TOAF62, which inspired the government to showcase the talent of the region to the Fair’s audiences. We’re excited to welcome Darrell Chocolate back to TOAF along with many of his peers from the region! 

About NWT Arts Program

The NWT Arts Program is a marketing initiative that supports artists of the Northwest Territories (NWT) to participate in the creative economy. NWT Arts aims to foster a positive environment for artists to generate an income from their creative work through business development workshops, marketing programs and services, and increasing consumer awareness to the unique and skilful pieces of work that are handmade in the NWT. NWT Arts is excited to bring a cohort of 6 artists from across the NWT to TOAF63, allowing them the opportunity to share the story of their art with you.

Participating Artists

James Wedzin, Artist

Dogrib artist James Wedzin was born and raised in the community of Fort Rae on the shores of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. Raised by his Grandmother, he would watch her create intricate beadwork patterns to adorn traditional Dene clothing. He credits her for his initial interest in art and later for encouraging him to develop his own style.

Drawing since the age of four, it was not until grade five in school where he was introduced to brush and paint. With no formal training, James would learn on his own from any source he could, including television. He credits the late Bob Ross for showing him many painting techniques he still uses today.

Darrell Chocolate, Artist

Darrell is originally from the Tlicho community of Gameti, Northwest Territories. In 2005, he got a job at a diamond mine and moved to Yellowknife, where he now resides with his wife and children. Darrell is a self-taught painter who paints from his office at home when he isn’t at work. He sells his artwork privately and does commissioned pieces upon request. In 2019, Darrell was awarded the Northwestel phone book cover.

Jen Walden, Artist

Jen Walden is a successful visual artist and film director living and working in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Her distinctive style of artwork explores Canadian and Northern life through people, wildlife, and topography. Jen works in oils and acrylics, using vibrant colour, rich texture, dynamic line, and three-dimensional relief to create a truly sensual experience. Her work is deeply influenced by the natural and human environment, in particular the geography and culture of her immediate surroundings. Her contemporary expressionistic paintings capture the spirit of place, inspired by light Jen uses copper plates, traditional oil colours and various acrylic media to create the deep sculptural relief that is her signature.

Jen’s work has been widely acclaimed across northern and western Canada and purchased by collectors around the world. She is currently represented by the Gallery on 47th in Yellowknife.

Isabel Orlias, Artist

Isabel Orlias, originally from Délı̨nę, now lives in Colville Lake. She is a Dene artist who continues to learn from the traditional artists in her family. Isabel loves to gift her creations to her loved ones, but sells some of her pieces in person. In 2024, she is attending her first big market at the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, an opportunity that inspired her to be more creative and to continue experimenting with her evolving artwork.

Kerri McPherson, Artist

Kerri McPherson was born in Yellowknife, NWT. Kerri grew up in Tulita during this time she found her interest in sketching and led to a love of expressing herself through painting. When Kerri went off to college she took a year of Fine Arts at Grant MacEwan College (now MacEwan University) in Edmonton, AB. Kerri feels she is still emerging and has much more to experience and explore before she has mastered her artistic talent. Many of Kerri’s finished pieces can be viewed at the Tulita Airport where her mother has filled a wall for everyone passing through to look upon.

Jessi Johnson, Artist

Jessi Johnson is a plains cree Metis born and raised in the NWT. Jessi loves to work with various furs, hides and beads when creating her pieces. She sells her work through Instagram, Facebook and artist markets. Jessi hopes to continue exploring her creativity while working and attending studies towards her MBA.

Funders & Sponsors

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