16 Sculptors from Toronto You Should Know About

Posted by on Jul 25, 2012 | No Comments

Sculpture was first born in ancient civilizations, most often as a method to express religious devotion and politics. Today this art has evolved to encompass a wide range of themes and beliefs, seen everywhere from private homes to public monuments. These modern day pieces use seemingly any and every material available, both natural and man-made, allowing for limitless unique and beautiful combinations.

As one of Canada’s core hubs for creativity, Toronto fosters and embraces artists. Not surprisingly, this fast-paced multicultural city is home to some of the most distinctive sculptors in North America. Take a look at some of the top notch sculptors Toronto has to offer and don’t forget to leave a comment below if you know of some other great artists we should check out.

Alastair Dickson

Originally from Scotland, Alastair Dickson is currently represented by the Muse Gallery in Toronto. Having been a part of both solo and group exhibitions across the city, including the Artscape Tenants Show and the Brutish Museum, Dickson’s unique work is recognized throughout North America. With a diploma in sculpture from the Edinburgh College of Art, this talented artist also enjoys creating sets and props used in film as an alternative method of self-expression.

Andrew Benyei

Born in Hungary in 1949, Andrew Benyei came to Canada during the abortive 1956 uprising against Soviet rule. Although he tried his hand in the corporate world (having previously graduated with an MBA), eventually Benyei decided it was time for a change. Determining sculpture to be much more important to him than his a corporate career, he left his job in 1990 to concentrate on his artistic talents. Since then Benyei has earned accolades from critics and art enthusiasts alike, his work now bought and commissioned by both corporate and private collectors around the world.

Ans

Ans’ sculpting has its roots in 20’th century organic abstraction. As a sculptor she is particularly interested in the relationship between the experience of shape and movement, and the attribution of meaning. Her pieces begin as loosely sketched material compositions that are then sculpted and refined. Throughout the process she imagines how water, wind, or light would shape her pieces, always in a way that is in tune with how the natural world is formed.

Attila Keszei

As an artist Attila Keszei wishes to deal with what he believes are the most important issues in today’s world. Working almost exclusively in clay, he enjoys Raku firing as he feels the freshness and strength of this technique enhances the expressiveness of his sculptures. His work was most recently featured at the Canadian-Hungarian Art Show held at the Rainbow Gallery in Toronto.

Camie Geary-Martin

Initially after graduating high school, Camie studied theater arts, the basis for her previous work sewing costumes for the National Ballet of Canada. Years later she went back to school to learn Fine Arts, her talents eventually leading her to be commission by the Toronto District School Board to create one of her most notable pieces, a bronze bust of Dr. Ursula Franklin. In 2008 Camie exhibited the prototype exploratory works in her Shroud Series at the McMichael Art Gallery and was elected into membership in the Sculptors Society of Canada in 2009.

Dina Torrans

Dina Torrans has been working as a multimedia artist in Toronto for over twenty years. Her award winning sculptures, paintings and photographs have been displayed in many group and solo exhibitions and are included in private and public collections internationally. She is also the Creative Director and Owner of ArtDesign.to, a full service graphic design studio in Toronto, developing projects for both print and the web.

Farhad Nargol-O’Neill

Studies at York focused on music over art, and musical elements exert a powerful influence over his work. After graduation in 1991 he travelled extensively – living in Ireland for 10 years where he opened his first studio, and co – founded the SPACE Gallery. Farhad has exhibited widely, and is an internationally commissioned public artist.

Based out of his Toronto studio since 2004, he continues to build works based on the practice of automatic writing, as well as works inspired by Catholic mysticism and spirituality. He remains a working artist – living from commissions, performances, curating exhibitions, and producing musical and multi-media events. He has been a member of the Sculptors Society of Canada, and of the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto.

Gordon Becker

Gordon Becker’s life in art began in earnest at the age of eleven in Wellesley, Ontario. Being utterly captivated by a film of an Inuit carver creating an image full of magic and power from a raw lump of stone, he determined then and there to become a carver. In 2003 Becker was invited to exhibit his work at the Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea in Florence, Italy, where he was awarded a Gold Medallion in the Sculpture Category.

Gregory Robins

Born in the Steel City, Hamilton, Ontario, it is no surprise Gregory Robin’s material of choice for his art is steel. His love for creating started at a young age, blossoming as he was encouraged to follow his passion by family and teachers alike. Robins is inspired by everything from daydreams to conversations, however he typically creates pieces commissioned by both private and corporate clients.

Joanne MacDonnell-Foster

Joanne MacDonnell-Foster, best known as J. Mac, uses art and sculpture to embrace her search for life and meaning. Exploration in materials has always been important to J. Mac, starting with kinetic art in the 1960’s which evolved into the use of more natural fibers in the 1970’s. Throughout the 1990’s she concentrated on white painted works, experimenting with reflective color and tactile figures. Her most recent work uses texture on cast fiberglass forms and focuses around themes of sexuality in our culture.

John Wiles

John Wiles founded the virtual Sacred Voice Gallery with painter Ian Pearson. This gallery is devoted to primal mediums that the artists regard as the sacred voice of humanity. Wiles works in a figurative style, inspired by surrealism and pop art and embodies issues of spiritual, ecological and social morality.

Nick Chase

Nick Chase was born and raised in Sackville, New Brunswick. He found his true calling in 2002 when he attended Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and completed the Crafts and Design Glass Program. Nick now resides in Toronto where he creates his glass art, consistently influenced by the natural and urban landscapes around him as well as his Eastern Canadian roots. Nick is represented by several reputable galleries in Toronto, Montreal, New Brunswick and British Columbia.

Roger Golden

Roger Golden makes all his sculptures 100% by hand, using a combination of materials such as burlap and Winterstone (cement). Music inspires his art, such as the piece seen above, created while listening to albums by favorite singer Tom Waits. As Golden explains, although his sculptures are life sized they do not weigh very much, allowing him to experiment by mounting them in unusual places.

Tonya Hart

Tonya Hart graduated with Honors from York University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, completing the Visual Arts major. She has won several awards including the Ontario Art Council Emerging Artist Grant in 2010. Her work was most recently displayed at the Northern Passion Nordique exhibition in February of 2012 in addition to her participation the in the Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche in 2011.

Won H.Lee

Won Lee first attended Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He then went on to complete his Masters in the subject at Johnson State College in Vermont, U.S.A where he won the Master of Achievement Award in 2008. Currently serving as a Professional Circle Member of International Sculpture Center (USA) in addition to being an Advisor of Zwolle International Sculpture Space, his life-sized collections can be seen across the world.

Xiaojing Yan

As an artist migrating from China to North America, both Xiaojing Yan’s identity and work pass through the complex filters of different countries, languages, and cultural expectations. In an effort to shape herself, she takes traditional Chinese materials and techniques and reinvents them within a Western aesthetic and presentation. Yan completed her Masters in Fine Arts in 2007 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and also attended George Brown College in Toronto where she earned a Certificate in Jewelry Essentials.

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