The Artist Project opens this Thursday featuring work by many talented Akin artists!

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This year The Artist Project contemporary art fair Feb 22-25 at the Better Living Centre and will feature work by over 250 incredible artists from Canada and abroad including some Akin Collective studio members!

Today only you could win two free passes to the early access preview party which is happening on Thursday! Follow us on Instagram and comment on the Artist Project post we put up today with which friend you'll bring along and at the end of the day we'll pull a name from a hat! 

Click here to visit the Instagram post and participate in the ticket giveaway competition. 

The Artist Project is a four day contemporary art fair. From collectors and curators, to gallerists and designers, visitors can explore and discover works of art from over 250 top contemporary artists from Canada and abroad. This is a unique opportunity to meet and buy art directly from artists. We encourage you to check out the fair this week and while you are there please visit our talented Akin artists and chat with them about their artwork! 

Kayla Polan of Akin Dupont - Booth U-6 (UNTAPPED Emerging Artist)

Monique Resnick of Akin Lansdowne - Booth U-15 (UNTAPPED Emerging Artist)

Nancy Bennett of Akin Sunrise - Booth 514

Laura Kay Keeling of Akin Dupont - Booth I-11

Nicole Krstin of Akin Dupont - Booth 812

Chris Harms of Akin Dupont - Booth 340

Thursday February 22: Opening Night Party  7-10 PM
Friday February 23: 11 AM-10 PM
Saturday February 24: 11 AM-8 PM
Sunday February 25 11 AM-6 PM

Akin Studio Program at MOCA: Call for Applications

Akin and The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) are excited to announce our Call for Applications for the Akin Studio Program. This program will provide affordable studio space to 20+ visual artists and cultural practitioners in the museum's new home which is set to open on May 26, 2018 at 158 Sterling Road in the Junction Triangle.

Geoffrey James, The Tower Building, interior, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto

Geoffrey James, The Tower Building, interior, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto

Selected artists will be invited to move their studio into the museum for a term of one year and will share their practices with the museum’s visitors through programs such as open studio events. Regular Akin studio rental fees will apply. The studios will vary in size from approximately 50 to 250 square feet and will be designed by Akin to create a bright and welcoming environment for artists to develop their work. Similar to Akin’s seven other locations, the space will foster a community atmosphere and the exchange of ideas.

This call is open to student, emerging and professional art practitioners, curators and writers living in Toronto.

The deadline for the Call is March 5, 2018 at 5:00pm.*
*Applicants who require additional resources, support or time to complete their applications can request as such. Please request this assistance at least two weeks in advance of the submission deadline. To do so, or for additional information, please contact or call 416 826 2053.

The full call is copied below. Please share widely. You can share the call using the following links:

Web Version:

Thank you,
Love, Akin


The Akin Studio Program is a unique opportunity for art practitioners, curators and writers (hereafter referred to as artists) to lease shared studio space within The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) at 158 Sterling Road in Toronto. In addition to a one year studio space rental selected artists will be immersed within a community of peers, offering various opportunities for engagement. Studio members will be encouraged to develop and expand their individual practices while playing a role in the artistic community within the museum itself.

Studio Rental Program Start Date: May 1, 2018
Studio Rental Program End Date: April 30, 2019

Submission Details
Deadline to apply: March 5, 2018, 5:00pm.

Application Criteria, Artist Expectations and Opportunities
Applicants should consider the unique shared studio environment within the museum in which Akin’s Studio Program occurs. Certain processes and forms of production, materials and hardware (especially use of aerosols, and creation of dust or substantial noise) are not well suited to this context. Please ensure that your process is a good fit before applying, and contact us if unsure. While the focus for selected artists will be to use their studio spaces for independent practice, research and development, this is an inclusive, shared studio environment where artists will benefit from insight provided by not only their studio peers, but also guest curators and art professionals. Selected artists agree to participate in three public open studio days, organized in collaboration with the museum, during the course of their year-long program (dates to be determined).

Application Process
Within one single PDF document, applicants are asked to provide the following:

  • Name:
  • Email:
  • Address:
  • Phone Number:
  • Website if available:
  • Link to art-focused social media profile if available:

*Artist collectives please include the name of the collective as well as contact info for its members as indicated directly above and answer the following questions from the perspective of your collective.

  1. A brief artist statement and biography. (300 words max)

  2. Supporting documentation of up to 10 images of work and installation shots, including relevant caption information (title, medium, date, dimension). In the case of curators or art writers, please include two sample texts or appropriate work examples in addition to up to 5 related images if applicable. As noted above, please embed images and all application information into one PDF document.

  3. A written statement considering the following questions: How do you feel your experience and practice will help cultivate and contribute to a vibrant, equitable and diverse artistic community in our shared studio space environment within MOCA? How will you use your rented space, and how do you feel this opportunity will benefit and support your artistic practice at this time in your career? The studios will be flanked by a large open-studio where MOCA intends to develop and host workshops, talks and other programming that focuses on socially engaged artistic and interdisciplinary practices. Do you see your practice aligning with these concerns and interests and if so, please describe how? (300 words max)

  4. CV or relatable artistic experience.

  5. Can you commit to the entire program period from May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019? If not, what duration (necessarily beginning May 1, 2018) can you commit to? Please note that, if necessary, selected artists can relinquish their studio space by way of providing at least one full calendar month notice.

  6. Optional: Should you desire to, please identify if you are a member of one the Toronto Arts Council’s Equity Priority Groups detailed in the Selection Process information below.

  7. Below are examples of sizes and prices of Akin's studios. Please rank the sizes of studios that you would consider renting, beginning with your ideal size. If your application is successful we will do our best to match you with a space that is as close to your preference as possible.

25sf - $160/mth
50sf - $250/mth
75sf - $340/mth
100sf - $420/mth
150sf - $545/mth
200sf - $670/mth
250sf - $780/mth
550sf - $1300/mth

All prices include 24/7 access to the studios, taxes, insurance, wifi, access to communal working areas as well as shared storage, kitchen, and bathroom. There are no additional fees, though there will be a small rent increase in January 2019. Upon selection, artists will be required to pay first and last month's rent in order to confirm their placement within the program. Please note that pricing is the same as at other Akin studio locations

*Selected applicants must be available to begin their rental on May 1, 2018.

Accessibility Information
Within the building, there is elevator access to all floors as well as AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) compliant washrooms.

The Museum ground floor has three accessible entries:
East Vestibule, MOCA – operation-assisted doors to a ramp to an automatic sliding door to the main lobby.
West Vestibule, MOCA – operation-assisted doors from grade directly to the lobby.
West Vestibule, Base Building – operation-assisted doors directly to the elevators to all floors. 

The washrooms are gender-neutral.

The doorways into Akin’s studios are 36” wide and are not operation-assisted.

The kitchenette is AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) compliant.

Submission Format
Email application document to with the subject line: Akin Studio Program 2018 Application // [last name]. Please ensure that the total file size of your PDF is 10mb or smaller.

Deadline for applications: March 5, 2018, 5:00pm.

Selection Process
An impartial jury comprised of local artists, curators, arts professionals and MOCA’s Constituent Curator, will select artists and creatives based on their submitted material, anticipated benefit from the program, anticipated contribution to the studio environment, and practical considerations regarding their proposed use of the rented studio space.

Selected studio rental applicants will be notified of their status approximately 2 weeks following the application deadline, or as soon as selections have been made.

A significant component of the jury selection process is a desire to reflect the diversity of our city’s artistic community and the different voices within it. As part of this process, jury members will reference the Toronto Arts Council’s Equity Framework and its list of Equity Priority Groups(Persons of Colour, Deaf Persons, Persons with Disabilities and Persons Living with Mental Illness, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQIAP).  More information on this framework, as part of the TAC Strategic Plan, can be found here.  Please note that the application and selection process for the Akin Studio Program at MOCA has adapted parts of the TAC Equity Framework and that it is not the same process used by TAC for the purpose of adjudication of grant applications.

Adapting the TAC Equity Priority Policy, applications of merit proposed by applicants who self-identify as belonging to one (or more) of Toronto Arts Council’s Equity Priority Groups or who primarily involve or serve artists from these groups will be prioritized. We encourage applications from these communities. The jury will similarly prioritize artists living or working within the museum’s local Junction area given the recent displacement of artists within the neighbourhood.

Application Accessibility Support
Applicants who require additional resources, support or time to complete their applications can request as such. Please request this assistance at least two weeks in advance of the submission deadline. To do so, or for additional information, please contact or call 416 826 2053.

Thank you to The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) and to the Toronto Arts Council for their feedback on the selection process.

'Cash it! Don't trash it!' installation on February 15 at Union station by Rebecca Jane Houston of Akin Lansdowne

Arist Rebecca Jane Houston of Akin Lansdowne has been working hard transforming 12,000 plastic bottles into a sculpture that will be installed at Union station York GO Concourse all day on February 15th.


The project is part of Environmental Defence's “Cash it! Don’t trash it!” campaign. The campaign aims to encourage the province of Ontario to initiate a deposit return system for plastic drink bottles, something that already exists in other provinces.

Despite the Blue Box program, Ontario has one of the worst return rates for plastic bottles in the country. Over 1 billion plastic bottles are not recycled in Ontario and end up in landfills or the environment every year.

Akin artists Sara Pearson and Kira Varvanina at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival

The 8th annual Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) has begun with over a hundred design exhibitions and events happing at all over Toronto until January 21, 2018. We invite you to check out the TO DO schedule of events and explore the festival this week. 

Don't miss 'Rugs!' featuring new work by Akin Dupont artist Sara Pearson and 'Le Grand Mobile' featuring intricately made wooden creations by Akin Dupont artist Kira Varvanina

MADE presents Rugs!

Prospector Rug by Sara Pearson of Akin Dupont in collaboration with designer Lis Eeuwes

Prospector Rug by Sara Pearson of Akin Dupont in collaboration with designer Lis Eeuwes

Location: MADE Design, 70 Geary Avenue
Exhibition Dates: January 16-20, 2018
Opening Reception: Sat, Jan 20, 5-8PM

MADE is committed to innovative design made on a small scale in Canada to the highest quality. 

This is the first collaboration between artist Sara Pearson and designer Liz Eeuwes. Their creation combines elements of Sara’s gemstone paintings and colour palette, with the rich texture and sculptural design.

Sara Pearson is a Toronto based interdisciplinary artist exploring the relationship between materials and the natural world, using the optical phenomena that exist within cut gemstones as inspiration in her paintings. She also works with found materials, bronze, marble, clay, cement, and terra-skin paper to compose her sculptures and installations and has shown with Project Gallery in Toronto. 

Liz Eeuwes is a materials-led designer with a focus on small batch and custom produced rugs and accessories. Working in partnership with international artisan craftsmen, her home collections marry modern designs and colour stories with the rich heritage of traditional weaving. Her past collections have included themes of placemaking, scale, and our connection to Canadian iconography.

Le Grande Mobile at Mini Mioche

Wooden mobile by Kira Varvanina

Wooden mobile by Kira Varvanina

Location: Mini Mioche Store, 795 Queen Street West
Exhibition Dates: January 15-21, 2018

“Le Grand Mobile” is an artistic exploration of the idea of the “mobile” as not merely a children’s toy but a hanging artwork, which derives its movement from air or touch. “Le Grand Mobile” window installation is inspired by the sculptures of Alexander Calder – the creator of the modern mobile. Kira Varvanina's intricately made wooden creations, in particular Geometric Mobiles, are suspended from the ceiling and form discrete movable parts. The overall sculpture moves with air and motors creating a non-static presence.

Kira Varvanina is the owner and creator of Miloshka Handmade, a design brand specializing in unique lasercut nursery mobiles, clocks & wall décor. 

Town Hall on indigenous Reconciliation this Thursday

Arif Virani, Member of Pariliament for the Parkdale-High Park community in Toronto has invited the public to attend a Town Hall this Thursday January 18 at Roncesvalles United Church, 214 Wright Ave in Toronto, On from 7-9pm. 

Arif will be joined by a panel of guests to discuss an array of issues that are vital to reconciliation. Confirmed expert guest speakers include: Stacey Laforme, Chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation; Margaret Froh, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario; Max Fineday, Co-Executive Director of Canadian Roots and nêhiyaw (Cree) activist of the Sweetgrass First Nation; and Dr. Anna Banerji, Faculty Lead, Indigenous and Refugee Health, and  Associate Professor Pediatrics and Dalla Lana School of Public Health.