Toronto’s three-day event called “STELLAR” showcased a variety of art from local artists and featured a Ryerson alumna
RAW Toronto presented “STELLAR,” a three-day event showcasing local art. Each day, starting last Wednesday, featured a variety of artists. Some artists were showcasing their music, while others were presenting their visual art, photography, fashion, beauty and even performance art.
RAW brands itself as “not your average art show.” They say they are natural born artists who are loud, colourful and creative. The company is an independent arts organization created for artists, by artists. The STELLAR event was held at Mod Club Theatre in Toronto’s Little Italy. The venue typically hosts live performance concerts and DJ nights.
One of the featured artists on Thursday night’s show was third-year OCAD student, Anika Becker, who specializes in visual art.
Becker categorizes herself as a visual artist who typically works with acrylic paint. She says that she loves the simplicity of black and white, so, when she adds colour, it is mostly for expressional use. She is interested in the process of aging, plant life and growth. Becker uses paint to create different layers and textures in order to enhance visual information.
She wouldn’t consider this event her “big break,” but she says “it was definitely a wonderful opportunity to get my work out there in the art world.”
The company contacted Becker via Instagram to invite her to participate in the show. STELLAR was her second show outside of school.
Becker says OCAD encourages students to get involved in the art community but “this was more of an independent project.” “RAW is a perfect tool for assisting emerging artists,” she said.
She encourages other student artists to be confident when presenting their work and not to fear failure. “The more trial and error, the more prepared you’ll feel,” she said.
Berkley Jasmine, who has been painting and taking art classes for 15 years on and off, is another artist who showcased her artwork on Thursday’s showing. She says that she categorizes her style as bold and bright. She is a visual artist that explores feel good, abstract art. The RAW showcase was Jasmine’s first time presenting her finished art to people in a public setting. She also happens to be a former Ryerson student.
“My time at Ryerson helped me to embrace the artist I am today,” she said. Ryerson’s Chang School’s Photography Studies program is where she learned to use Adobe Photoshop. At school, Jasmine worked in dark rooms, developed her own film and got to showcase her photography portfolio to her peers.
“I got to experience Toronto through my camera lens for the first time and it was a thrill,” Jasmine said. “Ryerson allowed me to be myself completely and comfortably. [The university] became a place I could rely on for the creative answers I was seeking.”
“I was in time able to find my own independence as an artist and I know Ryerson is partly to thank for that.”
Like Becker, Jasmine was also invited via Instagram by RAW Canada to showcase her art. Since the STELLAR event wrapped up on Nov. 15, Jasmine has been contacted by multiple galleries offering her to showcase her work there in 2020.
Her advice to other local artists and students is simple.
“Follow your heart and don’t be afraid to network and chat with classmates and teachers for help and creative inspiration.”