Being stuck at home makes you even more nostalgic about certain trips and memories. This week, the memories assailing me are those of which I don’t even have many photos. Memories of countless visits to artisanal markets, like the regular exhibitions at Chitrakala Parishad, and the innumerable flea markets that had become such a big fad over the last few years. But the one day that’s been shining bright in the maze of corridors in the palace of my memories, was the day we went for the Riverdale ArtWalk in Toronto.
It was a beautiful day, almost at the end of my stay in Toronto, and we had decided to head towards Queen Street West for a meal at Drom Taberna, a restaurant we’d discovered the previous week. The banners for the art walk caught our attention, as the streetcar trundled down Queen Street, and we quickly hopped off to explore.
To our surpise, it wasn’t some small, local art fair, as we initially thought. A two-day free event organised in the Jimmie Simpson Park in Toronto’s culturally vibrant Queen Street East area, the Riverdale ArtWalk has been around since 1998. There were over 150 stalls by established and emerging artists with a focus on fine arts.
We walked around for over two hours, checking out the stalls, stopping to admire and talk to some of the artists whose work caught our attention. I was floored by some of the artists, especially Helen Utsal, a Vancouver Island artist who does impressionist oil paintings of the British Columbian nature, and Nadia Lassman, another Impressionist oil artist whose tableaux of lilies were beautiful.
And then there was Morgan Jones, a mixed media artist, whose animals series, and the very Amélie Poulain style gnome series, had me circling back to the stall several times.
We finally decided to purchase artwork featuring scenes of Toronto’s street, and the streetcar that has come to symbolise my many visits to the city.
But we also picked up at least a dozen postcards and visiting cards from some of the stalls, some which have ended up in my travel scrapbook…
…while others are used as unique bookmarks, prominent souvenirs of a wonderful afternoon in Toronto.