About Us

What we do

The Artists’ Network is a member-led and member-driven organization dedicated to teaching visual artists how to be better business people.  What started as a local outdoor art exhibit just before the turn of this century has now become the premiere organization for artists to learn from, and grow together. In 2018, we are celebrating 20 years, and we hope you’ll join us in the celebration!

Our members are artists, our staff are artists, and our Board of Directors are artists. Together, we decide what we do and how we do it. And we rely on our membership to direct the path we take. We depend on the membership, along with our volunteers, community partners and generous art-loving sponsors, to help make the organization run smoothly.

Our principal base is the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), although members participate from across the province. Membership is not geographically restricted, all fine artists are welcomed from anywhere in Canada.

As a non-profit organization, we are primarily funded by membership fees and show participation fees. All of our Board positions are volunteer; the only paid positions are our Office Manager and Show Producer.

Independent artists must be, by their very nature, small business owners and entrepreneurs. They not only have to know how to produce fine art, they need to know how to promote themselves and run a fiscally responsible business. Our goal is to help our members develop skills to make them self-sustaining professional artists.

“As a remote member based on Vancouver Island, the Artists’ Network had given me access to a new market in Toronto with group shows and corporate instillation opportunities.”

Helen Utsal

How we do it

We promote the development and entrepreneurship of artists in a variety of ways.

We organize monthly educational seminars, offer networking opportunities, and provide business tools. We produce two large shows annually, and continue to develop exhibition opportunities with smaller, popup group showcases at various Toronto galleries. We work with individual artists, the community and with other arts organizations, as well as the private sector and all levels of government to help promote our member artists.

Within our new headquarters on Queen Street East, we have a gallery space that will now be available for artists to contract out on a monthly basis for individual or group shows.

Members value their ability to connect with their peers through the Artists’ Network. We have created a safe-haven community for artists to learn (everyone’s got to start from somewhere!) and share honest experiences (both good and bad). Artists are encouraged to share resources, too (buy ‘n’ sell, studio space, suppliers, etc.).

“Really great people. I feel that they care that I have a successful show.”

Mike Smith

RAW has a good reputation for excellence and variety which draws more experienced art collectors as well as giving new art collectors confidence to buy from artists that are in this show. Every year I have people come back to see me. When my work, the right price point and their circumstance, come together its usually a substantial sale. This show is an investment in new and long term relationships. Witnessing the impact and response of people viewing your work can be helpful, surprising or even disappointing but it is excellent to experience the immediate feed back. It allows artist and community an actual conversations that both can benefit from.

Elva Hook

OH … that was my top few reasons… I also do RAW because it is very well organized and great support to artists in many ways, from set up to tear down. Any problems that might come up are easily dealt with by competent staff, volunteers and other artists.

Elva Hook

Really great people. I feel that they care that I have a successful show.

Mike Smith

Professional marketing and promotion efforts for show. exceptional marketing support for artists new to outdoor art fairs.

Wonderful, supportive and collaborative arts community amongst participating artists, which means this is a fun and high energy show to be part of.

Serious art buyers at show.

Sharon Kirsh

Juried – exposure – learn what’s expected from AN pre-show workshop – meet other artists – help you cull and organize your inventory of work – moral and physical support from the AN and members – gets you “off the fence” about exhibiting – not a competition – extremely well run – well promoted – well respected – did I mention exposure, exposure, exposure.

David Johns

What everyone else said! I love RAW!! Great community feel/vibe (among artists and also visitors), tons of eyes on your work in one weekend, extremely well organized and supportive … it’s just the best!!

Christina Preece

Ditto and also unmatched artist support, from Booth Set-Up to electrolytes. I’ve never felt so cared for, and like I was valued as an artist.

Lisa Hickey

It’s a well established juried show, that art buyers recognize as a show that provides high calibre art and an opportunity to meet the artists. Juried is important for art buyers because someone has prescreened artist participants as ‘worthy’, so that’s a hurdle we’ve covered for them. Also, its ‘outdoor, neighbourhood’ feel is non-intimidating. Bring your kids, your dog, your bike, and walk through some great art. Everyone wins.

Rea Kelly

“Run by artists, for artists. I like that!”

Karen Taylor