Tucked away in an alley behind Toronto Landmark, Honest Ed’s, there’s a celebration of art and life going on. Now in its third year, Visual Fringe is a collection of 16 art vendors and exhibitors that showcase the non-theatrical creativity of Toronto Fringe.
With subject matter dealing from more traditional paintings to hand-crafted jewelry as well as one vendor that retails one-of-a-kind lapel pins modeled after caricatured human faces -it’s the perfect place to enjoy visual masterpieces and shop for truly unique pieces of art. Many vendors are also donating a portion of their proceeds back to the festival.
Everything is based around the concept of pop-up-shops, so vendors and exhibitors alternate the time and dates they’ll be occupying the Fringe Club. For a full listing of times and dates, check out this PDF.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect to see at Visual Fringe this year:
Avarice Unbound (Mixed Media)
This interactive exhibit explores the impact of money on art and the life of artists. It draws on the exhibitors loves of hip-hop, comics, movies and cartoons.
Control Over Destiny Jewellery Designs (Jewellery, Fashion)
Showcasing their 2013 Fringe Signature Collection, CODJD is back after a successful go at last year’s festival. For sale is a collection of artisan cuff links, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.
The Dance Without Pants (Performance Art)
Shamelessly clad in full skin-coloured body suits, the duo from The Nakedme Show is all about baring it all for their audience – all in the attempt to show that there’s no shame in the naked human body. Caution: They will try to get you to dance on camera. (And because both of them are so charming, you’ll probably agree to do it!)
Freak Boutique (Mixed Media)
This vendor is all about Japanese street fashion, retro awesomeness, drag queen style and glitter! Expect to see a carefully curated collection of vintage knick knacks and wacky, tacky trinkets.
FREEDUMB (Acrylics and Mixed Media)
It’s a collaborative effort from Toronto artists MAJALYN & MALCOM that mostly uses acrylics to showcase what’s bright and beautiful in this city of ours.
Home Sweet Home (Paper, Fabric & Mixed Media)
You always know somebody’s home when you see the lights on – and that’s exactly the theme that was used to create these unique lantern pieces. Inspired by interviews on what “home” meant to different people, these pieces are colorful and would make a great addition to any artistic décor.
Imaginary Legends (Paper Prints)
Have you ever seen those ink blots that were commonly used in the past for psych tests? Well, that’s what these prints are reminiscent of. Creative, bold and mind-blowing.
Leftovers (Nature-Inspired Art, Biological Art, Trinkets)
Using the leftovers of the natural beauty we see all around us as well as post-consumer materials (shells, crystals, dental floss) – these pieces of art are all about making what’s old new again.
Masks & Moodlins (Clay, Macramé, Paper Maché)
Lapel pins modeled after characterized human faces. Awesome.
A midsummer night’s milkshake (Drawings, Prints)
Simple, modern and minimalist – these abstract prints, which are mostly in soft pastel tones, are available for purchase to liven up your home.
Myths & Monsters (Paint, Mixed Media, Leather)
Taken right out of the tomes of history, these masks, jewellery, paintings and drawings pay homage to some of the most famous legendary tales. The entire collection could be described as a bit dark.
Naughty and Nice (Acrylic, Ink, Mixed Media)
The icing on this shop comes from the über-relevant references to modern pop culture. Kitschy yet classic, these pieces are somewhat reminiscent of the modern art pieces you’d find at the Metropolitan.
Room 336 (Digital Art, Acrylic, Trinkets, Prints)
Pop by Room 336 to see a showcase of mixed-media art from some of Toronto’s up-and-coming young artists.
Socially Acceptable Half-Truths (Performance Art, Conversation/Dialogue)
Life is one big story. This performance piece chronicles what it means to live, laugh, and lie in our society.
Tim Skynz (Mixed Media)
What has Mississauga-based artist and designer Tim Skynz been up to for the last two years? Come find out at his exhibit showcasing a multitude or paintings, prints and pieces.
Running as part of the main Fringe Festival (July 3 – July 14)
Weekdays: 6:30pm – 12:30am
Weekends: 5:30pm – 12:30am
Where: The parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St. West)
Cost: You don’t need a ticket to browse these art pieces and it’s free to enter the Fringe Club. The art pieces themselves can run anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars.
Photo credit: Gian Verano.