June 2017


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Dwell at Harbourfront Centre – Group Show

Hello dear friends,

I have been M.I.A but for really good reasons. Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is just around the corner and we are very busy with final details and working very hard towards the big day(s). I will tell you more about it shortly. That being said, I am participating in a great group show at Harbourfront Centre with a number of phenomenal artists this summer. Dwell, curated by Melanie Egan and Robyn Wilcox invites us to examine dwelling as both a physical and psychological concept and how that effects our relation to objects, space and the body.

My response: Since I started the #collagediet at the end of 2015, I have been dwelling on subtleties, small gestures, vignettes of thought and floating fragments. I have put myself on a rigorous research into minimizing, simplifying and stripping down to essentials in different aspects of my life, mainly in my art. It has not been easy. But I think I have managed to crack the code with these collage works. The attention here is on these very small fragments that are simple, minimal yet still possessing rich characters.

You will have a chance to see a selection of my collages along with the works of Diyan Achjadi, Helen Liene Dreifelds, Stephanie Flowers, Michelle Forsyth, Amanda McCavour, Suzanne Nacha, and Jocelyn Reid.

joins us for the opening night on Friday, June 23, 6‚Äď10pm. This is a free public opening party for Harbourfront’s Summer exhibitions with a cash bar and snacks ūüėČ

Exhibitions run from June 24 ‚Äď September 17, 2017.

Hope to see you there!

8-dec15collagediet-anahitaazrahimi

Canada’s largest & longest-running outdoor show is near!

This is my second year in my role as Executive Director of Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and I have to say it has been a rich, intense and insanely fulfilling experience that has stretched me in so many directions.

I am passionate about what I do and I wear many different hats but I spend a good chunk of my time fundraising for the artist awards (for which I initiated a significant increase last year) and other things. Oddly enough, it is the first time throughout my arts management career that I enjoy fundraising and it comes naturally to me. First, it’s because we have an incredibly generous roster of supporters who wholeheartedly believe in what the Exhibition does for the artists. Also, as an artist myself, I get an immense joy facilitating artists getting the recognition and support they deserve.

I firmly believe that the role Toronto Outdoor plays for the artists, and the public is an important one. It is truly an art discovery platform for independent and entrepreneurial artists and makers. The premise of the organization from the beginning has been about artists having the right to sell their art directly to the public at a civic centre! The civic centre has had a particular significance because the founding members set up the first Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in response to the removal of artists from the City Hall property when they tried to sell their work there in 1961.

A lot of effort is spent on marketing the Exhibition to bring the public in direct contact with the artists, to encourage dialogue between artist and public and encourage an exchange of some kind. We know for a fact that people spend over 2 million dollars on buying art over those three days.¬†Yes, the Exhibition is also a sales platform and some might look at it as only a platform for commercial art, but it is not only that! Thousands of successful artistic careers have been launched for the past five decades from those white tents. We have to keep in mind that there is always some sort of a transaction associated with any works of art. There are layers and levels of transactions, whether a work of art ends up in a permanent collection of a museum, commissioned for a public gallery, lands on a cover of book or magazine, or ends up in the possession of a seasoned collector or in a humble art lover’s home! .Our role is to make these exchanges happen more frequently and help our artist community thrive artistically and economically!

I also think one of the other important roles Toronto Outdoor plays, is removing the fear and the barrier of buying art for the public. Art is accessible to people from all walks of life with all sorts of budgets. The show is an opportunity to take some of the amazing work, that for the most part can only be seen in galleries by a smaller number of people, out in the open, under the bright sunshine (not necessarily good for some works though) and put it in front of a hundred thousand people.

It is a great reminder for everyone that original art is not only for art collectors. It is not even about collecting. It is about adding quality to everyday life. It is about seeing the world around us, the objects, the concepts and our environment from different perspectives. It is about bringing in a bit of energy, creativity and soulfulness to our personal surrounding. I have made a pledge to myself to save on a monthly basis so that I can do just that this coming July. I encourage you to do the same thing.

Below are the two prints I got last year from Daniel Paterson, the winner of Founding Chairman’s Award and Japneet Kaur Saini, Winner of the Best of Exhibition that I cherish!

Please join me on July 14 – 16 at Nathan Phillips Square and discover some great art for you!

See you soon!

 

 

Screen by Daniel Patterson
Screen by Daniel Patterson
By Japneet Kaur Saini
By Japneet Kaur Saini

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at the Interior Design Show

Partial_IDS17_Invitation_120dpi

Partial gallery will be featuring some¬†of my works from last year’s #collagediet at the Interior Design Show. This is one of my favourite shows of the year and I am very happy to be represented¬†as part of Akin Collective artists. For those of you who are researching material for your next renovation project, sourcing the coolest furnitures and appliances or working on an awesome interior design project, make sure to drop by booth #2242 and get the perfect artwork for your interiors. Partial Gallery has been listed as top ten favourites of stylist, Christine Dovey, at #IDS17. I have also updated my profile on Partial’s website. Take a look of what will be available at the show.

 


subtle fragments

subtle fragments

I will be showcasing a few of my collages on paper in a two-artist exhibition, subtle fragments, with Helen Liene Dreifelds, a fascinating textile artist, at Propeller Gallery (30 Abell Street РQueen & Galdstone area) from September 19th to 25th. The reception is on Saturday, September 24th from 2-5 pm.

A while back, Frances Patella, co-Chair of Propeller Gallery invited us to showcase our work together as she had spotted a dialogue between our creations.

I had¬†came across Helen’s¬†work last year at the Artist Project and it was love at first sight. I haven’t stopped admiring her intricate and contemporary¬†textile¬†creations since. Her pieces and installations¬†are extremely thoughtful and meticulous¬†yet they seem effortless, airy and very dreamy!

The idea of a joint show was definitely a surprise for me. My work is essentially about the characteristics of textile in an abstract form and quite out of context. I had never thought about the juxtaposition with actual textile work. So obviously I am very excited to see how this juxtaposition unfolds.

This exhibition is about our shared interest in referencing textiles with our individual techniques and practices and our joint fascination with folds, creases and draping. There are shared moments of unravelling and unfinishedness.

It is a new experience for me¬†to look¬†at my¬†pieces¬†in relation to another artist’s work. It is a different lense and a learning process. I have picked a few of the¬†collages that are truly subtle – very simple fragments.

Thank you Frances for your insight and for creating this opportunity for us! I am very much looking forward to see how this connection between our works translates into the physical space.

Please come to the show. I really want you to witness this dialogue. It is also my first showing since 2013 so a get-together is long overdue!

Thank you!

subtle fragments

helen liene dreifelds & anahita azrahimi

September 19 – 25, 2016 – Propeller Gallery

Opening reception

Saturday, September 24th 2-5 pm

Textiles are coded material, a living language and archive. subtle fragments brings together the work of two emerging artists working with and referencing textiles. A mutual preoccupation with draping and folds is explored through a range of processes: assembling, collage, layering, weaving and drawing. The result is a series of meticulous records that appear to be in various states of beginning, unravelling.


featured on Saatchi Art again

I just got this email from Saatchi Art¬†that one of my works has been chosen to be¬†featured in¬†the¬†“Architecturally Round”¬†Collection, a part of Saatchi Art’s 2015 Gift Guide Collections. ¬†Here is the image of the piece, Minto 44, a collage and painting piece, a of mix of cut-out round patterns I found in a polka dot pair of pants and a patterned dress which I used across the set blurred into the painted subtle round shapes. The related images show you how it looks on the wall along with its sibling.

This is the second piece from this set that is featured on Saatchi¬†and I am quite happy about it. If you want it/them you’d better hurry!

minto44-anahitaazrahimiIMG_1256 IMG_1257 IMG_1259 IMG_1260

Thank you SKETCH

Yesterday I was invited to participate in the Artist Talk series for SKETCH. SKETCH is a fantastic and essential organization that provides creative training initiatives for street-involved, homeless and at-risk youth. Their programs are truly amazing and they cover anything from visual arts, creative movement, textile art, music recording as well as culinary and environmental arts. And all this happens at their cool space in the creative hob of Artscape Young Centre. It was an honour to have the opportunity to share my experience and my work with this group of brilliant participants and hear their responses.

I also collected the sketch below from an emerging artist who was smart enough to have his work available for sale and promote it! Keep up the good work Gaetan Genesse!

GIE-Sketch2015

 

 

 


thank you for the old year

It is the old new year today. So this is the best chance to send you my be-lated new year wishes. But first, let me thank you for the old year.

25 works of mine found themselves new loving homes in the past year. The majority of it happened during a modest 4-hour studio sale. It was a record-breaking event for me and pleasantly unexpected. I am still stoked.

Last year, I focused my energy on re-building my online portfolio. In between launching a new website, a new logo, a blog, an online store, cool art rentals, and this newsletter to keep in touch with you, there was not much time for shows and art fairs to disseminate my work. However, I had the most increase in new viewers, feedbacks and sales of my work over the years.

So I have only you to thank for this great success. I owe my elevated enthusiasm to continue creating new works to your support and appreciation.

Artistically I have been toying with “less is more”. I would say last year has been more about explorations, studies,¬†sketches¬†and¬†developing new different series¬†which I will tell you about briefly today and in the months to come. I am very excited about the new developments and the new direction that is gradually emerging, although unknown to me.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts and my works with you. Please continue visiting my website for events, new works and blog posts. Bring along friends too.

I can not possibly add to all the best wishes you have already received from everyone around you, but I too, wish you a colourful, joyful and an artsy year ahead.

Happy 2015!

anahita

IMG_4840sketch – collage on watercolour postcard – 2014


the very first online sale

I had a personal record-breaking  sale at my studio yesterday with 17 pieces leaving me for new homes within a mere 4-hour period. I am still dizzy about it and very happy. Thanks to all of you who came, brought friends and made this a huge success. I can now focus more on the new series that I am developing with much more enthusiasm, encouragement and of course space! I am very grateful to you.  As promised,  I am hosting my very first online sale out of my store for my out-of-town, out-of-country but not-out-of-mind friends and supporters.

visit

my online store

 for great deals!

September 28-30

I still have a few budget friendly works under $500 left that are marked down up to 50%. 

I will have discounted & fixed shipping rates to make your first shopping experience at my store a real bargain. If you are in Toronto, you can simply arrange for picking up your artwork.

I suggest you even think about stocking up for Christmas gifts, as there are still some smaller pieces from $30-$100 available. I know it is early but “jingle bells” will be here before you know it.

 

Online Art Sale flyer

it’s all about shopping now!

Insert drum roll and ribbon cutting ceremony here! I am announcing the official opening of my very own on-line store.

I can’t tell you how exciting it has been to set this up. It is a full-on store with all the fancy and top-notch e-commerce capabilities out there. I will be adding more small scale and affordable options to serve all sorts of budgets. I will be having online sales and I am also planning to have occasional giveaways. Yes, you heard it right! Just stay tuned.

I will continue using Saatchi Art as an excellent on-line gallery and for sales outside my personal network. However, running my own store offers more flexibility and direct relationship with my network both locally and internationally. It also allows me to accommodate price negotiation requests. After all, I am Iranian and all about a good old chooneh zani (bazaar-style bargaining!)


midnight stroll in a washing machine on a Rogers commercial

Once in a while I rent out my works for special events,¬†stylings¬†and commercials.¬†midnight stroll in a washing machine had a mini second of blurry fame on a Rogers commercial¬†just recently. It’s on 49th second and it comes and goes like a flash.

I love the title of this piece. I think it is one of the most appropriate and funnest titles I have come up with so far. I created this painting for a solo show I did in 2011, I am a fashionista and this is how I wear it! It was one of those works that everything came together instantly and it was actually the last piece for the exhibition. The painting layer had a lot of texture and energy and the spiral movement invited lots of certain type of cut-outs that had a sense of motion embedded in them. It really felt like these collage cut-outs just flocked onto the canvas and took position. It was chaotic and smooth, crazy and effortless. I had a lot of fun working on it. It is certainly a very energetic piece with a lot of commotion just like what happens in a washing machine.

 

washing_machine