ABOUT JAY DART
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An overview of Dart’s works heretofore produced in the lead up to his artist residency in
Port Hope, Ontario with Critical Mass in August 2020.
Jay Dart is a Canadian drawist, author and designer whose practice includes bookworks, animated videos and mixed media installations. Dart’s work has been shown in galleries and art fairs including exhibitions in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Regina; as well as internationally in Paris, New York, and Amsterdam. He is the recipient of multiple grants and honors including from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and a National Magazine Award for editorial illustration. His work has been featured on CBC Radio and TV including a profile on The Exhibitionists.
Dart is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Fine Art programme. Currently, he lives and draws with his family in a small hamlet outside the sprawl of Toronto, and he teaches Drawing and Design at Durham College and Sheridan College.
Dart is represented by Galerie Youn in Montreal where he has had multiple solo exhibitions and been included in multiple art fairs. In the Fall of 2015, Galerie Youn published a catalogue titled Jay Dart: Images of Yawnder. Dart is also represented by Gallery Jones in Vancouver where he had his first solo exhibition in the Spring of 2020. Check out the profile video that was created for this show as well as available works at artsy.net. Works are also available at Slate Gallery in Regina.
In 2019, Dart self-published an artist edition of Where Yawns Go: Volume 1 – a picture book that brings together the narrative that has been evolving in his exhibitions over the past decade. The Field Guide to Yawnder, featuring an illustrated overview of the people and places in his whimsical mindscape of Yawnder, was published in 2016 by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in conjunction with his solo exhibition and can be found, among other places, at the Art Gallery of Ontario bookstore.
As a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, Jay Dart has worked with the Globe & Mail, Yen magazine (Australia), Max Joseph magazine (Germany), Land of Nod, Maisoneuve, NOW Magazine, Leo Burnett, Rogers Media, RESFEST International Film Festival, Sons & Daughters Film Production Co, University of Toronto, University of Guelph, Toronto Cyclists Union, and Juno Award winning singer/songwriter, Donovan Woods. He received a National Magazine Award for his editorial illustration for the Globe & Mail.
Jay Dart would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
Ten Hundred Years of Yawns & Dust, Touring exhibition celebrating 10 years of Yawnder continues with a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Northumberland (April 1st – June 3, 2023).
Solo Exhibition at Gallery Jones, Vancouver. November 2023.
Distance: Existence – Multimedia project that began in the summer of 2020 during an artist residency in Port Hope. This project includes drawings, animations and sound elements. Live presentations coming soon.
Where Yawns Go – Volume II of the Yawnder book series is in production. Animated versions of drawings from Volume I are also in progress.
For general inquiries about anything, email email@example.com
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To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the inception of his Yawnder series, Jay Dart is showing new drawings alongside rarely-exhibited pieces from this body of work in a touring exhibition titled Ten Hundred Years of Yawns & Dust. This series features the exploits of his alter ego, Jiggs, and a cast of wanderers in a whimsical mindscape through which a narrative continues to evolve about the mystical nature of inspiration, the quest for innovative creation, and the dissemination of ideas.
Within this conceptually layered world, Dart explores themes of identity, innocence lost/recovered, isolation, ecology, and interconnection in modern society. Recently, he has been exploring his fascination with other planes of existence as he continues to contemplate the role of the artist in contemporary culture.
This series has resulted in almost 300 pieces including mixed media works, installations, animated videos and bookworks that add another dimension to the works on paper. To mark the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his first bookwork and the inception of this body of work, Dart will be exhibiting new drawings alongside rarely-exhibited past works from the Yawnder series in a touring exhibition titled: Ten Hundred Years of Yawns & Dust.
In Dart’s exhibitions, he attempts to present his scenes in different ways that go beyond the flat service of his page. His newest works include a series of drawings on panels that extend beyond the front of the panel, along the sides and onto the walls. For each exhibition on the tour, he is doing site-specific installations with wall drawing in between the panels to present conjoined scenes for epic landscapes.
Many of Dart’s newest drawings harken back to the earliest settings featured in the initial works of this saga. However, a decade later, things have changed a little as the mystical dust storm of Voookaa has blown in from the Unknowns. The strange name for this atmospheric event references the concept of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) that Dart feels is an appropriate way to describe existence in the contemporary world.
Some of the newest pieces also portray scenes from an unexplored part of his mindscape called the Unknowns in which wonderers watch fathoms shooting across the sky from atop the hills of excess fill and ponder the previously unseen atmosphere of yawns and dust that surrounds them.