The symbolic properties of flowers have long been a source of artistic, poetic, and mythical inspiration. From antiquity to the present, blossoms have been called upon to signify and celebrate key moments in life: bouquets appear in delivery rooms, at baptisms, weddings, and funerals, as markers to commemorate and celebrate both the beauty and the fragility of life. 


This year the John B. Aird Gallery initiated our first juried online exhibition + artbook enlisting contemporary artists’ blooming compositions. We invited Taiga Bentley, Olga Korper Gallery‘s assistant director, and Treasurer to the Art Dealers Association of Canada, to jury this year’s exhibition, and our curatorial assistant Marli Davis, who furnishes this year’s adorning FLORALS publication with both an introductory essay and exquisite design.

This year’s 94 artists were selected from over 200 applicants for our online slide show and publication accompanied by a curated playlist.

We hope you enjoy the debut of John B. Aird Gallery’s FLORALS 2021.

Taiga Bentley was born and raised among the art and artists of 17 Morrow. She joined the Olga Korper Gallery staff in 2011 with a degree from Carleton University in art history and curatorial studies and currently holds the title of Assistant Director. As the third generation to enter the business, Taiga was trained to understand and cultivate the ethos of OKG. Taiga curates the exhibitions and art fairs, writes gallery press and catalogues, manages the website and social media, and gives regular tours and talks inside the gallery and out.

Taiga is treasurer of the Art Dealers Association of Canada, and has recently acted as a juror for Artist Project 2020; speaker for Artist Project 2019, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair 2019, and the AGO for ALAS “Art, Business and the Law: A Roundtable Discussion for Visual Artists”; panelist for CHANNEL No. 2, “Raised on Art”; and guest curator alongside Olga for Propeller Gallery’s, Live Longer, Piss Off Your Heirs. Having grown up in the art world, the gallerist is deeply passionate about art literacy, aiming to bridge the often-intimidating gap between art and viewer, to encourage engaging and meaningful experiences with conceptual contemporary art.

Marli Davis is a multicultural, interdisciplinary artist, based in Toronto. Her research-intensive practice borrows scientific and spiritual ideologies to conduct art-making in strategic phases, reminiscent of ritualistic laboratory experimentation. Establishing a practice within this convergence of ideologies provides Marli with the necessary outlets to execute intimate investigations throughout her work. Seeking topics that introspectively challenge the self; many dealing with the mapping of her fragmented cultural discourse. The artist begins to embody the examiner’s role; addressing and systematizing bodily notions through video, painting, sculpture, installation and publication.

In 2019, Marli studied abroad in Florence Italy and has obtained various awards and scholarships throughout her education. In 2021, she received a BFA from OCAD University; emerging with a dedicated passion for academia. Marli is currently partaking in selected art exhibitions, residencies and forum events. While learning within the art industry through mentorship and different intern, freelance and employment experiences.