Canada’s Top Artists
The wealth of talent possessed by artists in Canada is undeniable, but a few great artists stand head and shoulders above the rest. Philip Aziz, Emily Carr, and Jean-Paul Riopelle stand as some of the most well-known and talented artists that hail from past and present Canada and should be recognized for their contribution to the art community.
Ontario resident Aziz is known for his work in breathing new life into egg-tempera-en-gesso panel technique, a popular Renaissance era technique. His work was, to him, a religious experience and can be seen at www.philipaziz.org as well as on his Facebook page.
Emily Carr’s work was largely inspired by the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest. While she wasn’t recognized for her work until later in her life (she was one of the first to adopt a modernist painting style), her work is widely viewable at www.emilycarr.ca and in a recent article at www.nitaleland.blogspot.com. She was also known for her writing and precise depiction of life in British Columbia and has been called a “Canadian Icon”.
Riopelle was both a sculptor and a painter and has become widely renowned for his abstract impressionistic work that can be viewed outside buildings throughout Quebec. His work can be seen by visiting the Quartier International or viewing photos of it on the website at www.qimtl.qc.ca His piece, La Joute, is an homage to his boyhood hockey heroes and has become the topic of much controversy in the past ten years.
All three artists are vastly different, but share the same homeland, a large body of compelling work, and an undeniable talent.
Top Canadian Art Colleges
Although there are no shortages of art schools and programs in Canada, there are only a handful of them that are consistently listed as being amongst the top schools in the country. The following three are considered to be the cream of the crop.
1) Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD)
Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, NSCAD is considered to be one of the best art schools not only in Canada, but also in North America. Degrees are offered in Fine Arts, Design, and Media Arts as well as Historical and Critical Studies. The small student body of only 927 is perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in their craft while living in a nurturing artistic community. Undergraduate tuition and fees are at $3,416.58 for Canadian students and $6,720.54 for International students per 12 credit semester.
2) Ontario College Of Art & Design
One of the oldest and largest art schools in the country, OCAD is located in the bustling city of Toronto, Ontario. The student body of 4,072 can choose an undergraduate degree in Design or Fine Arts. Undergraduate tuition is at $6,408 for Domestic first year students (completed less than 4 credits) and $6,248 for Domestic Upper Year students (completed more than 4 credits).
3) Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Located in one of top rated cities to live in worldwide, Vancouver, British Columbia’s Emily Carr University of Art and Design offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Their 2,100+ students can choose to study visual arts, print media, sculpture, ceramics, industrial design, or media arts. Undergraduate tuition and fees are at $1,936.80 for Canadian students and $6,365.85 for International students per year (12 credit semesters.)
The Best Art Galleries in Toronto
Taking a trip to Toronto is nothing unless you visit some of the top art galleries in the area. One of the best in the city is the Art Gallery of Mississauga. This gallery offers one of the biggest collections of art in the region. Visitors can take tours of the current exhibits, and the exhibits change frequently. The gallery also works with other businesses in Toronto, lending artwork to libraries and other public spaces.
The University of Toronto also boasts its own gallery. The Blackwood Gallery is a small gallery on campus that hosts touring exhibits and exhibits of local artists. Many visitors enjoy visiting the Bernie Miller Lightbox. This large installation piece changes every year, and the gallery commissions a new artist to create a billboard-size piece outside the gallery.
Also in Toronto is the Beaux-Arts Brampton, named after the famous Beaux-Arts movement. Though the gallery only opened in 2002, it quickly made a name for itself as the hotspot for up and coming artists. Thousands of local artists displayed and sold their work over the years. The inside of the gallery features two separate show spaces, and the galleries offer a constantly revolving series of pieces. Those interested in learning more about specific types of art can take workshops and classes at the gallery.
The last stop on the tour of Toronto galleries is the Art Gallery of Ontario. This is a favorite among locals and tourists because the gallery is more like a museum than a traditional art gallery. The gallery boasts more than 800,000 individual pieces of artwork, including pieces from famous artists. The Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens is on display in the gallery, as is an architectural piece designed by Frank Gehry. You can easily spend days wandering through the gallery without seeing all of the art.