Art and Portfolio Day Updates

We are very excited to usher in the beginning of what is sure to be our busiest and most successful year to date.

We have tracked more than eighty exhibitions within our community in the past twelve months, so were involved in an exhibition every 4.5 days for the entire year! Stay tuned for many more to come, including those at our exhibition space Les Enfants Terribles at Ossington and Argyle.

2017 2018 Grade 12 student Noah Brown is speaking this Sunday at 10.30 am at the Roncesvalles United Church about his work for Portfolio Day 8. Noah has been using the church as a studio this summer and will address the congregation, revealing the issues within his ongoing series of large-scale felted images. All are welcome to attend and we are hoping to film the talk so share with you all. See the attached poster for more information.

We have launched our own YouTube channel and hope that you will all subscribe – it can be found by clicking HERE

We participated in the Second Annual Toronto Art Book Fair June 15-18 2017 and there is a lovely letter written to our students in the recent publication about the fair titled PINK & GREEN. Here is the letter by Emily Pleasance:
“Dear Students. Where was this when I was in my teens? The t-shirts and tote bags, the pins and patches, the pencil cases covered in pencil drawings and the kiss-cheek key-chains? They were everywhere, actually. But not like this. You hijacked the bits and bobs that were given to you. You stole them, re-purposed them, injected them with the youth experience, and gave them right back. It was a DIY of life itself.

One can’t help but notice the colour, exploration, sexuality, laughter, confusion, and self-discovery found in all of your art. There is mindful execution that makes this work very strong. The illustrations in the zine Fat Aphrodite are unassuming and whimsical. My drawings at that age were boring and looked as if I had tried too hard. (I was trying too hard.) The writing in A Childhood in its Last Twelve Hours is both raw and developed. It’s opening, “The Life and Love of Eve Rivers” made me choke up and cry. I cried because its honesty hit a little too close to home. I also cried because this eloquent piece of writing now exists in the world and will hopefully find its way into the hands of someone in dire need of empathetic connection.

Your show-and-tell-like table was so thoroughly laid out. Your work is fruitful and incredibly honest. The artifacts you created have no remorse for the customary and no respect for the conventional. Thank god.

What I saw at your table was an experience I wished I had lived, art I wish I had created, and an honesty I wish I had been surrounded by. It was a rejection of all rites-de-passage. It was a marking of territory and a proof of existence. It was a claim to the Arts not as a privilege but as a right. Do not stop your unbridled expression! Do not give into the do’s and don’ts! Most importantly, do not listen to me (or anyone), for you know better.

We need our youth to discipline the Disciplines.

Sincerely, Emily Pleasance, an envious admirer.”

We thank you so very much Emily for writing about us!

ESA Contemporary Art Graduate Callen Schaub has been receiving a lot of attention recently, including several million views of videos of him painting on BuzzFeed and other platforms, including this video by the CBC – click here to watch Callen’s next solo exhibition takes place at Project Gallery with an opening reception and live performance on Thursday Sept 28th 6-10pm.

Portfolio Day 8 will be a turning point in our history. Stay tuned for time and date of our parent/participant meeting mid-September. We will review the process that helped one of our 2016 2017 grade 12 students receive more than a million dollars in scholarship offers, provide information on assisting with the event, and speak about the application and scholarship process. PD8 happens Friday November 3rd, and everyone is invited to join us to see the 80+ exhibitions by our grade 12 students from 7pm to 10pm. Click here for our invitation We will be launching our PD8 fundraising campaign in the next two weeks, and hope everyone will assist in getting the word out to support grade 12 students from all six majors in this remarkable international event and life time opportunity.

Thank you ahead of time for your participation and assistance this year! This is an exciting place to be and I am honored to work with you all.

As always, please follow us on Instagram at esa_contemporary_art and esa_contemporary_photography

Matthew Varey

ESA