I just returned home from the Queen West Art Crawl, a weekend-long festival celebrating the arts in my neighbourhood. There were more than 100 exhibitors at Trinity Bellwoods Park, but four of them stood out for me.
Rob Croxford (www.rcroxforddesigns.com) often mixes quotes from old etiquette books with pre-1950 iconography to establish a vintage look in his paintings, in which observers will find elements of satire, irony and humour -- depending on their perspective. I spent more time at Rob's booth than any other.
Pei Lin Chen (http://firstname.lastname@example.org/) creates human portraits in wire mesh. The 3D creations are quite unique and life-like for those looking for something other than paintings or photos for their walls.
I've admired the work of Ruby Zhang (www.rubyzhang.com) for a few years. Her watercolour paintings of Toronto buildings and neighbourhoods, many of which I walk by all the time, capture their spirit very well and help put these places in a slightly different perspective for me.
Stephen Murphy (www.wadadli-watercolours.com), a native Antiguan and ska fan who now lives in Toronto, does similar things with Toronto streetscapes, but with less realism, bolder colours and more playfulness. Streetcars play a role in many of his works.
I walked further west along Queen Street to the Edward Day Gallery, where I had a glass of wine, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, where I was generally disappointed with works from the RBC Canadian Painting Competition. But I guess that should be expected from bank-sponsored art. I crossed the street to the Centre For Addiction and Mental Health to listen to the Parkdale Drummers and see some more art before heading home. It was a nice way to while away a few hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.