Perpetually Emerging Group Exhibition

January 10 – 21, 2024
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 11, 6 – 9 pm
Meet the Artists: Sunday, January 21, 3 – 4 pm

The most exciting concept for many burgeoning artists is the thought of “making it big”. The dream seems so unattainable, and yet we are still taught that if we try hard enough, we can accomplish anything. The reality for most artists is far from the fantasy of getting discovered one day while you’re still young, and then riding off into the sunset with your art supplies to a life of prestige, financial stability, and making whatever art YOU want to make. 

As a group of artists, the seven exhibiting artists all relate to the feeling of being stuck in a perpetual state of “emergence”.
We ask ourselves, when does that preface emerging get to be removed from our title? What must we do to confidently stand and declare ourselves as just Artists? Is it making a living off our art? Or how many art shows we participate in? If we slave away working for “exposure”, network correctly, and take on soulless commissions to make some cash, will that do it? 

We have found that being able to call ourselves Artists (sans emerging) must come from within ourselves. Often, only the very wealthy, or the very lucky, get the chance to “make it big” in the art world. Most artists experience success in a much different way, but that does not mean it is less impactful. So while we may still feel sometimes like our career isn’t what we once dreamed it would be, we know that as long as we dedicate ourselves to our practice, to the thing that makes life easier to live through, we can exist contently being Perpetually Emerging.

Exhibiting Artists:

Olivia Aguiar
Olivia Aguiar is an emerging artist born, raised and working in Tkaronto.  Olivia’s practice is interdisciplinary with a focus on digital collage, experimental animation, oil and acrylic painting. 

Across her body of work, Olivia explores her positionality as a mind that weaves across natural, technological, spiritual and psychic landscapes. Reconstructing her daily experiences into paintings, Olivia’s pictorial grounds interlace figuration and abstraction to deal with melancholia and sense of self in the obscurity of contemporary being.

She is a recent graduate of OCAD University with a BFA in Drawing and Painting and a minor in Gender and Sexuality (2023).

Sandamali Angunawela
In 2020 when COVID-19 hit, I was laid off from work and had to spend a lot of time at home with nothing much to do. That’s when I first started to draw and paint. 

I love to paint the human body. I think we are our true, pure and authentic selves in our own skin.  I find beauty and emotion in its contours and movements and try to capture and portray this ‘Body Language’ in all my pieces. 

I use acrylic on canvas and photos either taken by me or by others as references. Subject selection, setting, angle, lighting etc., are all entirely dependent on my mood.

Sarah Fabrizi
Recently in my practice I have been focusing on abstractions generated from art historical paintings and references. Specifically pulling inspiration from mid to late medieval art and into the Renaissance, these paintings may refer to their sources compositionally, colouristically, and sometimes rather literally. By utilizing historical paintings as reference material I am able to generate an image quickly, and efficiently get the paint onto the canvas. This becomes the “jumping-off-point”, and from there I am able to decide how to interfere with the images and turn them into something new.

Sarah Fabrizi is an emerging artist from Oakville, Ontario. She currently resides, works, and has a studio in Guelph, Ontario. Fabrizi is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences program at the University of Guelph, where she studied Studio Art and Biology.

Serena Kobayashi-LeBel
Passionate about capturing the fragility and resilience of today’s youth who face an increasingly uncertain future, they hybridize natural imagery and the human body to represent a subject’s unique life experiences. What inspires their work most is the complex and dynamic relationships young people have with themselves as they learn to navigate their social environment and define their identity. 

Their style captures a delicate blend of vulnerability and ferality, favouring flowering imagery that charms the viewer only to reward them with a grotesque twist. At the core of their work, they create strikingly queer pieces that offer insight into the complex emotions and struggles experienced by young adults in a rapidly decaying world. 

Based in Toronto, Serena Kobayashi-LeBel (They/Them) is an emerging figurative queer artist whose paintings reflect their internal struggles with their identity through a distinctly queer lens.

Atkiya Raisa
Atkiya Raisa, a Bangladeshi artist, finds fascination in the intricacies of mark-making within her artwork. Her approach revolves around viewing art as a process-driven endeavour, intertwining diverse facets of life, culture, and personal experiences. She reimagines traditional painting through a contemporary lens, employing oil and acrylic mediums, while also delving into the exploration of artistic boundaries through natural dyes and textiles.

Her lifelong passion for artistic exploration has been a driving force since childhood, culminating in the realization of her dream to pursue a creative path. The allure lies in the journey of continual learning, navigating the process from inception to the final artwork, relishing the challenges encountered, and finding solutions—an aspect that deeply ignites her passion.

Themes surrounding her cultural identity often find expression in her work, where surreal and emotional narratives resonate prominently. Notably, she completed her Bachelor’s in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University, cementing her dedication to the artistic craft.

Olivia Mae Sinclair
Typically books made from fabric are intended for children and infants. Olivia Mae Sinclair’s books however are made for lovers, survivors, artists, her, him, them and me. Sinclair analyzes the emotional implications of power and sex between female and male-identifying individuals. The form and shape of the books demonstrate the theme of deterioration through
manipulation such as cutting, ripping, and fraying. Techniques include screen printing, sewing, and machine embroidery. The books have a raw and rough quality to them as they borrow the visual language from sketchbooks, journal entries and the zine community. Overall, her question remains; how do we read with our entire body?

Olivia Mae Sinclair is a textile-book artist. Her intuitive and trauma-based practice is guided by sloppy craft and imperfection. She is addicted to infatuation and Redbull. She is a maker of books, love and other grotesque things. She graduated from OCAD University’s Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program and earned her Bachelor’s in Craft and Design at Sheridan College. Olivia is an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre and a sessional instructor at Sheridan & OCAD U.

Emily Zou
Emily is an emerging multimedia artist who works primarily with drawing and painting media and sculpture. She studied at DJCAD in Scotland while on an exchange, and she is a BFA graduate from OCADU’s Drawing & Painting program (2020) and Graphic Design & Visual Communication Skills, Continuing Studies Certificate Program – OCAD U (2021). Emily has shown her work at galleries and art fairs such as Gallery 1313, John B. Aird Gallery, Propeller Art Gallery, the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, “Bloom Festival” and Art & Mindfulness, a yearlong exhibition held at the University of Toronto to raise awareness for mental health.

Special thanks to our community partners, donors, and supporters. 

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