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3 LGBTQ Artists To Watch For At Artist Project 2018

The Artist Project is a contemporary art fair featuring original works from over 250 contemporary artists…
On February 22, 2018, the Artist Project kicks off its 11th annual Contemporary Art Fair, opening the doors at the Better Living Centre in downtown Toronto. The annual showcase will feature over 250 works of art by top contemporary artists from Canada, and around the world, allowing ticket-holders to explore interactive installations, live performances, and the opportunity and to meet artists and buy artwork directly from the source.
Included in the 2018 exhibition, you’ll find artwork courtesy of three super-talented LGBTQ artists; each showcasing unique and inspiring works of contemporary art.
Andrew Stelmack is a Canadian artist who draws a not-so-subtle influence from cubism and bold, conflicting colours. The Winnipeg native uses imperfect squares to find the “calm within chaos.”

Returning for his second year with Artist Project, Stelmack’s admiration for abstract art spawns from the endless possibilities for its interpretation.
“Abstract art can be anything you want. It can take you anywhere. I would much rather look at a painting again and again and see something different each time than see the same thing and just admire the brushstrokes and technique,” Stelmack told IN, also mentioning that the imperfect shapes of his work are what adds the excitement.
Stelmack’s artwork also contains a hidden life lesson through it’s against-the-grain approach.
“What makes my art better, would do the same in the real world… You need to have things different in the mix to make it exciting, diverse and engaging. Differences should be celebrated, indulged, sought out and most importantly never feared.”

Keight MacLean will also be returning for her second year at Artist Project to display her artwork, which combines the contrasting themes of old and new.
The Toronto-based painter told IN that she’s influence from her admiration of European history and art. More specifically, MacLean recreates women from historical paintings and uses experimental methods to create something modern.
“Women throughout history have not had it easy, yet so many historical portraits of women exude so much strength. My work seeks to celebrate the strength of these women, often using motifs of erasure or destruction that while bold, don’t overpower the brilliance of these subjects,” said MacLean, also noting that the male-driven stories of the era made her wonder more about the women in the artwork.
MacLean’s use of contrast broadcasts her work to a much wider range of people. She says her own admiration for both renaissance and abstract expressionism relates to the real-life experiences of others.
“I think one main thing I take away from my experience as a queer woman is striking a balance between acknowledging injustices to yourself and others, while still being able to celebrate who you are and what makes you special.”
Anand Jaggernauth will be returning for his third consecutive year at Artist Project. He launched his career in 2016 as an emerging Toronto artist, where his large oil paintings combine serenity with vibrancy to create an abstract work of art.

One very interesting feature to mention; Jaggernauth never uses paintbrushes.
“I achieve certain things I can with certain tools that would not be possible with a paintbrush. So, part of it is also thinking what you want the oils to do and finding the right tool to do it,” said Jaggernauth, who also mentioned that his unconventional approach adds a challenge to his creation, which transcends into his art.
With a background in geophysics, Jaggernauth’s work uses elements of science to create layers and textures. He says he views the canvas as the first layer in the Earth’s subsurface, while the layered and non-uniformly applied paint translates to sediment deposition and movement.
Jaggernauth’s multitude of layers and textures brings his work together in a harmonious and unique display of abstract art.
“When a piece of art creates a platform for discussion, debate, meditation, happiness and so on then I think that particular piece of art is what I refer to as a successful piece.”
The 11th annual Artist Project runs from February 22 to 25, 2018 at the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, (195 Princes’ Boulevard) in Toronto.
* You can view Andrew Stelmack’s work at booth 903, Keight MacLean’s work at booth 316, and Anand Jaggernauth’s work at booth 430.