Image: Cybele Young
Prepare the walls and frames because these Canadian artists are home decor essentials.
Curating the perfect pieces of art for your home can be a daunting mission. While furnishings and accessories will make your home livable, artwork can really bring it to life. When you pick pieces that speak to you, your space will become more engaging, and it'll give off an energy that adds personality to the room. So, how and where do you even begin?
With an endless trove of galleries and online sites that curate beautiful paintings, photography and sculptures, and an ever-growing list of emerging artists seeking a place in the art world, it can be difficult to find a starting point. We recommend starting close to home, and Canada just happens to be home to an exceptional myriad of artists of all art forms to discover. To help get your own art collection started, we’ve compiled a list of Canadian artists and galleries with a variety of price points that will not only fit your home’s decor but your budget too.
1. ART EVENT: Timeraiser150
For Canada’s 150th, the Government of Canada is bringing together artists and nonprofit organizations from across the country in a true “celebration of creativity and community.” Created by Framework Foundation, the Timeraiser150 initiative allows Canadians to use earned volunteer hours to bid on original artwork. Artists apply to be selected and Timeraiser chooses and purchases artwork at fair market value, which is set by the artists themselves. The goal of the project is to make art affordable while promoting the social good by bringing meaningful volunteer opportunities to nonprofits across the country. For those looking to get in on the bidding, each of the 10 participating provinces will be hosting their own Timeraiser party with food, drink and live performances, with an online extension available as well at Online150.
2. ARTIST: Cybele Young
A graduate from Toronto’s Ontario College of Art and Design, Cybele Young has since become an internationally renowned artist and author. Known for her exacting miniature sculptures using fine Japanese papers, her work delves into a world of whimsy, replicating real life objects and abstract shapes into a playful dialogue. In creating these diminutive worlds, Cybele strives to highlight the “small seemingly insignificant moments in our everyday lives that come together to create unexpected outcomes.”
3. ARTIST: David Burdeny
David Burdeny’s photography has a remarkable stillness to them — so focused that you feel physically pulled into each scene. Before getting behind the camera, David studied Interior Design at the University of Manitoba, later returning for his Masters in Architecture, which has certainly encouraged his art. His ability to appreciate “the artistic potential of pure space and how it can be purposefully structured to appeal to the senses” is manifested in each shot, whether an interior or a landscape.
4. ARTIST: Anna Church
Similar to David Burdeny, Anna comes from an interior stylist background, as well as graphic design. Fusing sculpting and photography (a.k.a. Sculptography, as Anna’s friend deftly coined for her), she creates unique, whimsical pieces that explore her love of plants and decor, which are layered in meaning as the eye explores each image.
5. ARTIST: Christine Flynn
As a mixed media artist, Christine Flynn truly embraces her love of nature and travel in her work. Focusing on scenic rural and urban landscapes, she elevates her images using graphic elements and textures that give her photography a subtle rawness. Her methodology targets the “experiences in her images rather than scenes” to “evoke a sense of nostalgia and wanderlust.”
6. ARTIST: Elsie Chiu
It was only a year ago that Elsie Ciu was working in the corporate world, but has since decided to follow her love of painting full-time. Combining “accidental undefined brush strokes” with bold colours, she creates pieces that are graphic, as well as fluid, as if her paintings come with their own heartbeat.
7. GALLERY: Partial Gallery
Located in Toronto, Ontario, Partial Gallery allows art patrons to not only purchase, but also rent original artwork by local artists. Understanding that curating your own collection can come with a hefty price tag, Partial gives its customers the opportunity to test out a piece in your home to “experiment and explore artwork that speaks to you.” The gallery offers rental periods of three, six and nine months, with the option to renew your rental. And the best part? Should you choose to buy the artwork after renting, the fees you paid up to that point will go towards the purchase price.
8. GALLERY: Canvas Gallery
Toronto's Canvas Gallery has been touted as one of the best places to purchase original Canadian artwork thanks to its extensive collection. With over 120 artists featured, you can browse the variety of paintings, encaustics, mixed media, photography, printmaking, and sculptural works they offer. And if you see something you like, you can take it home “on approval” to test it out in your space before you fully commit to the piece.