Three Openings This Week

You are invited to three openings this week in Toronto. We would really like to see you all out for all of our upcoming events!

Wednesday February 28 7-9pm Our Grade 11 Exhibition Turning Point opens at Neilson Park Creative Centre. 90 grade 11 art and photography students exhibiting in this wonderful show of new work as warm up to Portfolio Day 9. Please join us to celebrate this remarkable achievement. Show runs until March 18. 56 Neilson Drive

Wednesday February 28 6-8pm Eight Art students are exhibiting in the Arts Etobicoke Exhibition Edge: Youth Art Show at Artscape Youngspace. Show runs until March 6

Thursday March 1 7-9pm Grade 10 Art student Ella Webber’s first solo exhibition Serena takes place at Les Enfants Terribles at 130 Foxley Place. Show runs until March 14.

Other Upcoming ESACA Exhibtions:

March 3 Four Art students are exhibiting in Tag Yourself at One Brooklyn Bridge Gallery at 360 Furman St Brooklyn, NY

March 15 Noah Brown opens his first solo exhibition Intergenerational Trauma at Project Gallery Studios 7-9pm

March 22 Ariana Pickard’s first solo exhibition Collaboration of One at Les Enfants Terribles 7-9pm

March 23 Art Talk 8 takes place at OCADU – hear 15 Art and Film students speak beautifully about their work. 7-9pm.

March 24 Graduate Michelle Nyugen’s first solo exhibition Anatomical Venus with her Toronto dealer Bau-Xi Gallery 2-4pm

April 6 Art Talk 9 at OCADU 7-9pm

April 12 ESA Fashion Show – two performances at 4pm + 7pm at ESA

April 12 Nearly twenty Art and Photography students will be exhibiting in the Albright Knox Gallery’s Future Curators Exhibition in Buffalo, NY 6-9pm

April 21 Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement about an historic exhibition that opens on this day from 2-4pm in Toronto

May 3 Dismantle – our annual Contact Photography Festival exhibition of grade 12 work opens at Artscape Youngspace 7-9pm

May 10 Spencer Julien’s first Solo Exhibition Refraction opens at Les Enfants Terribles 7-9pm in conjunction with the Contact Photography Festival

May 24 Our annual End of Year Sale and Exhibition runs from 3.30 to 9pm at ESA

May 31 Erica Bruno opens her first solo exhibition Saudade at Les Enfants Terribles 7-9pm

June 14 Giselle Valencia opens her first solo exhibition Rebirth & Regression at Les Enfants Terribles 7-9pm

July 5 Isabella Vella opens her first solo exhibition at Les Enfatns Terribles 7-9pm

Turning Point

You are invited to Turning Point – our grade 11 exhibition at the Neilson Park Creative Centre. The exhibition opens on Wednesday February 28 from 7-9 pm. This is a practice run for PD9 and an opportunity for the grade to bond together through a positive shared experience. The exhibition has been curated by Ethan Wilder. The address of the NPCC is 56 Neilson Dr, Etobicoke, ON M9C 1V7.

Turning Point runs at NPCC until Sunday March 19. Gallery Hours are:
Monday, Wednesday – Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00am – 9:30pm
Sunday noon to 4:00 pm

Thank you!

Matthew Varey

painting by Parker-Lily Tuson-Morse

Art Update

A little more than a year ago we began to shift our focus from continued growth, to reinforcing who we already were. The results have begun to stack up:

1 – ESA just won 155 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards – a global competition. Congratulations, especially those moving on to round two

2 – We will be exhibiting at the Albright Knox Gallery and in downtown Buffalo again this spring

3 – We will be participating in the annual Arts Etobicoke Edge Youth Art Exhibition at Artscape Youngspace which opens Wednesday February 28th, 2018, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

4 – One of Another curated by Spencer Julien opens at Les Enfants Terribles February 8 7-9pm: CLICK HERE FOR NFO

5 – Art Talk 8 will take place on Friday March 23 at OCADU from 7-9 pm with 12 of our students speaking about their research, passion and art work. CLICK HERE FOR INFO

6 – Art Talk 9 will take place on Friday April 6 at OCADU from 7-9 pm with 12 of our students speaking about their research, passion and art work.

7 – More than 90 of our grade 11 students will be exhibiting in Turning Point, curated by Ethan Wilder, at the Nelson Park Creative Centre – our opening in February 28 from 7-9 pm CLICK HERE FOR INFO

8 – Two grade 12 students have solo exhibitions in Contemporary Art Galleries this spring – this is groundbreaking and hugely exciting news – more information to come

9 – Our Contact Photography Festival exhibition will take over all three floors of Artscape Youngspace oepning May 3 6-8pm – stay tuned for details

10 – 20 of our grade 11 students will be exhibiting in the 2018 Flash Forward Incubator Photography Exhibition in Canada’s premier photography gallery – more info to come

11 – The gargantuan End of Year Art Sale takes place Thursday May 24th from 3.30 to 9pm with more than 1500 art works throughout the first floor of the school. Due to high demand we suggest arriving as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Our 2017 sale saw fights erupt about certain work!

12 – Last year saw Reed Hollett receive 1.2 million dollars in scholarship offers, the only person we know of who has managed this sum. The entire 2017 grade 12 post-secondary applicant total reached an amazing 4 million dollars. This year, and we are only ten weeks into the process, I have already written 185 letters of recommendation (more than doubling any previous year’s total), and one of our grade 12 students has received close to a million dollars in initial offers from only 12 schools – and they are still waiting for 20 more offers to arrive in the next few weeks. As you can imagine we are forecasting new records set in every possible way. Stay tuned for final figures in May.

13 – We will be releasing a documentary about PD8 this spring directed by Tessa Hill

14 – Portfolio Day 9 appears to be taking place here at ESA on Friday November 2 2018 – plans have already begun to make this another staggering success

15 – Our YouTube Channel has received almost 15000 views since it launched at the end of August 2017 and has been instrumental in our grade 12’s success with post-secondary schools this year – CLICK HERE

16 – Grade 12 student Shellicka Anglin will be featured in an upcoming podcast by Andrew Hunter – the former Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario and current Senior Curator at the Art Gallery of Guelph

17 – Grad Keiran Brennan-Hinton has his second New York solo exhibition up at 1969 Gallery until February 25th

18 – Audition Day – thank you to everyone who auditioned for us this year. This was the strongest group of applicants we have seen. Thank you to Lucy Carolan for her organisational brilliance and expertise that made this such a relaxed experience.

Enough for now! More to come! Book these dates into your calendars and I will see you all soon.

As always, we are happy to accept donations of art supplies, and monetary donations can be made by clicking here

Matthew Varey

New York Times

Congratulations to grad Calla McInnes who is in her second year at School of Visual Art in NYC for appearing in the New York Times this weekend with a drawing that was sold to Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Magazine while Calla was in grade 11 Contemporary Art at ESA.


Calla appeared on the Akimbo Hit List while she was here and that piece can be found here

Congratulations Calla!

Portfolio Day 8 November 3

If you are thinking of applying to ESA this year, or are someone who would like to see what our grade 12’s have been up to, please join us between 7pm and 10 pm to view more than 2000 art works hung throughout the first floor of the building.

Parents – a reminder that some of the post-secondary representatives will be setting up tables in the library beginning at 6.30 Friday evening to speak with you about their programs. You are welcome to arrive this half hour before the general public to have any questions answered and meet the reps.

If you would like to help support this event and other fantastic work we do, you can make a tax deductible donation through our parent organisation by selecting Visual Arts here:

See you all on Friday!

2017 Choreographic Workshop

Tickets are on sale now for the 2017 Choreographic Workshop. It is a wonderful evening of talent that is happening on November 8th, 2017 at the Nancy Main Theatre at ESA. For ticket information, please visit, or you are welcome to purchase tickets at the door at 6:00pm

Please Join us for Portfolio Day 8

We are looking forward to seeing you at Portfolio Day 8 on November 3 2017.

Parents of participating students are welcome to join us at 6.30 in the library to speak with representatives from some of the 70 participating schools and programs.

The public is invited to see the exhibition from 7-10pm.

If you know someone thinking of applying to ESA in the future – this is the ideal opportunity to see what we are capable of!

We have broken records this year with more students and schools participating than ever before. Please join us!

Matthew Varey

PD8 Volunteering


Many of you expressed interest in helping on Portfolio Day with food and drink.

Andrea McBride has been doing an amazing job of organising this for years, and has once again produced a sign up sheet:

Information can be found there as to what we need.

Thank you!

Matthew Varey

Lessons in Love and Colour

After a summer residency at Roncesvalles United Church, Grade 12 Contemporary Art student Noah Brown delivered a lecture on the Black experience to the congregation on Sunday, August 27, 2017. After his lecture, Noah was joined by special guest Soul singer, Carolyn T. and a Q&A with the congregation.

If you would like to hear the lecture, please click here

Please join us on Friday November 3rd from 7-10pm to see what Noah and 85 other grade 12 ESA students have prepared for Portfolio Day 8.

PD8 Fundraising Campaign


We would love your assistance to pay for Portfolio Day 8 on November 3 2017. 85 grade 12 students from 5 of our arts majors will speak to representatives from 70 schools and programs from around the world, including Harvard, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Paris College of Art.

We need to raise $300 per student for materials required to create 2500+ artworks, all of our hanging materials, and food for the day. Remember that the public is welcome to join us at 7pm to see the exhibition so bring your friends and family.

Please click through to our Crowdfunding Campaign to watch our video made by grad James Perry – now at School of Visual Art in New York, and please share the link with as many people as possible. We need to hit our target to make PD8 a reality.

Thank you!

Matthew Varey

PD8 Meeting Reminder

On Tuesday September 19 we invite all parents and students participating in Portfolio Day 8 and those looking ahead to PD9 + PD10 to join us in the library at 7pm.

During the meeting we will discuss the grade 12 year, Portfolio Day 8 schedule and responsibilities for parents and students, applying to post-secondary programs, scholarship strategies, and launch our fundraiser.

All are welcome to attend. For Contemporary Art and Photography parents + students in grades 9-11 this is an opportunity to begin planning ahead and volunteer your time.

See you then!

Matthew Varey

Portfolio Day + Scholarship Meeting for All

I invite you to join us for a meeting about Portfolio Day and Scholarships on Tuesday September 19th at 7pm. This meeting is for anyone with a child in PD8, PD9, or PD10, especially those in Photography, Film and Art, and as well as those in other majors interested in how we achieve such remarkable results, or in applying to a portfolio based post-secondary program.

For those connected to PD8, we will also be discussing parental volunteer options and other responsibilities.

This meeting is for parents and students. If you are a parent of someone in grade 9-12 Contemporary Art, I encourage you to join us.

See you then!

Matthew Varey