Link Tong has been coming to the Danforth East Arts Fair as a vendor for three years now.
While trying to keep up with queries from customers for his pop-up card art at one of the busiest booths at the fair, he says, “The community here is very welcoming. They appreciate art and craft.”
Tong was one of the more than 60 artists displaying and selling their wares at the 10th annual fair presented by the Danforth East Community Association (DECA) over the weekend.
Organizers estimated more than a thousand local residents attended the two-day fair in East Lynn Park.
It practically takes a community — of artists and craftspeople — to create the elaborate pop-up cards sold by Tong’s business, Roses Without Thorns, he says.
As a child he was obsessed with pop-up books and he learned from books and the internet how to create pop-up art, “very simple ones,” he says. Eventually though he joined a community of artisans and took his work to a new level.
“You need the collaboration of a lot of people, of many skills,” he says. “It takes up to a month to create each new card,”
He has been covered by major media across Toronto and takes part in many shows, but he keeps coming back to the Danforth East event.
The same goes — even more so — for Gord Falk, who calls himself a wood turner. His business, Re-Turn Designs, turns discarded wood into bowls, flower pots, spurtles and other useful or decorative items.
He points out pieces he’s produced from a tree, from a friend’s woodpile, and from a part intended for a stair railing but didn’t fit. He never buys fresh lumber.
Falk has been coming to the arts fair for almost the entire decade of its existence to sell the fruits of his retirement project. Before retiring he was a Wheel-Trans driver.
The Danforth East Arts Fair is a juried show, which means the artists — from as far away as Montreal— are selected to attend.
Fees collected from the vendors go to pay the fair’s expenses and to cover other community events and library talks sponsored by DECA.