Profile of Genevieve Finley, ARAS student

“At For the Love of Cake, we’re not just bakers, we’re also designers. We pride ourselves on taking special care and attention to detail with all of our cakes and custom designs.”

Owner and head designer Genevieve Finley started For The Love of Cake in a small loft studio in June 2008, and recently enrolled in the school’s I Wish I Could Paint class to further improve her cake artistry.

In 2009, Genevieve opened her first retail location in Liberty Village, offering up Toronto’s first filled cupcakes and unique ‘mancake’ flavours while making headlines and garnering international attention.

In 2010, Genevieve’s husband Adam joined the team full time, heading up customer service with Genevieve focusing on producing delicious works of edible art. For The Love of Cake has quickly become one of Toronto’s go-to bakeries for tasty and extraordinary custom novelty cakes.

Since opening, Genevieve has been featured on Roger’s Cable “Start Something Big!”, The Cooking Network’s “Best in Chow”, Breakfast Television, W Network’s “Double Wedding” and has competed on Slice Network’s “Cake Walk”. Her cakes have been featured in numerous wedding magazines within Canada, the “Extreme Cakes” calendar along side some of the top US cake designers and in the Huffington Post and Reddit.

Genevieve can also proudly say that she is the only person to have ever made a cake for the son of Buddy Valastro, other than the Cake Boss himself. The team at For The Love of Cake have also created cakes and cupcakes for Katy Perry, U2, Dr. Jane Goodall, Elisha Cuthbert, Queen, Snow, Tia and Tamera Mowry, Howie Mandel, Drake, the entire Breakfast Television cast and Jose Bautista.

Adam, Genevieve and their team look forward to many more years to come of pleasing everyone with their mouth watering recipes and eye catching creations.

Visit For the Love of Cake to find the perfect cake for your next event!

Read about a geode wedding cake that Genevieve created at the Toronto Star.


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image1ARAS instructor Sadko Hadzihasanovic’s first animated movie Bee Boy (directed and edited by Hanna Jovin) is in the official program at the Banja Luka 2016 International Animated Film  Festival, October 23-28th, Bosnia and Hercegovina.



Read an essay about the movie by Gary M. Dault below:


Although Sadko Hadzihasanovic’s animated film, Bee Boy, is only 45 seconds long, it required 400 of the artist’s painstaking, minutely sequential drawings to make it.  An animated film, however charming, is a very inefficient visual engine, with a prodigious, gluttonous appetite for content.

Despite its labour-intensive compression—or maybe because of it—Bee Boy, brief in duration, long in suggestibility—is arguably that oxymoronic thing, a miniature epic.

As a virtuoso painter and draftsman, Hadzihasanovic, is not normally a filmmaker; he produced and “drew” this film, however, which his daughter, Hanna Jovin, directed and edited.  He notes the film may have been partly prompted by his admiration for the graphic piquancy of the short animated films of South African artist William Kentridge (see, for example, his 9 Drawings for Projection).  But he also cites a more direct source for the film—a story inspired by something that befell his father.

Hadzihasanovic says that in 1939, in Bihac, Bosnia, when his father was only six years old, he was playing in the garden when, as unlikely as it sounds, a swarm of bees suddenly descended onto the unsuspecting boy’s head.  His plight alarmed  what Hadzihasanovic refers to as “a man from the mosque” (one longs to know what man and what mosque) who quite sensibly yelled for help—which came quickly in the form of the boy’s grandmother, who valiantly smoked away the swarm with her billowing cigarette.

But what Hadzihasanovic has constructed here is not just a vivid family anecdote or an amusing / appalling shard of the inner mnemonic landscape.  Bee Boy—despite its radical storytelling economy (or because of it)—has all the clarifying force of a moral tale.  It’s a miniscule story about bravery, about courage, is it not?  Or foolhardiness (but how could the boy have suspected there’d be bees?)?  Or bravado?  Mostly, I think it’s about hubris.

     Hubris, the exhilarating state of rising above oneself.  Here, as the film begins, is Hadzihasanovic’s father-to-be, walking briskly away from the viewer, heading

confidently—perhaps over-confidently—to a waiting chair (and a not very stable-looking chair at that) and beginning to clamber up onto it—a climb made up of equal parts uncertainty and determination.

One of the things I love about this masterful little film is the way Hadsihasanovic’s animated line boils and roils and percolates and pulses, becoming a convincing graphic outering and uttering of the boy’s tremulousness itself, of his gleeful, risky will.  This continually frenetic agitation of the line may well be a normal low-tech by-product of the way animated films like this are made.  Nevertheless, the effect of the constantly throbbing line is to generate in the viewer an inescapable sense of the boy’s self-appointed high-pressure, high-anxiety state.  We behold what he enacts—and even what he feels.

Having attained the chair (which is as shaky as he is), the boy carefully stands up on it—a growing smile of accomplishment on his face—and turns proudly (and carefully) to face the viewer.  This is as triumphant a moment as first climbing Everest must have been.  The boy climbs the chair because it is there.  He over-reaches himself.  But perhaps his pride, honestly enough earned, is nevertheless too excessive, too provocative, not to have angered certain malevolent bee-gods.

The bees come out of nowhere.  They descend like the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute.  Their maelstrom-like, vortex-like swarming is represented by lines of a different, rougher, scarier texture than the boy’s lines or the chair’s lines.  These bees are not honey-giving, living lozenges of sweetness and light.  These bees are tough and angry.  Their swarming defeats the boy, obliterates, obfuscates, overwhelms him.  The swarm overwhelms us too, filling and blackening the screen.  All the puerile bravery in the world cannot prevail against this other-worldly  descent.

The film thus offers us an innocence we can understand (a beatitude of courage and self-possession), and then threatens it with a disturbing, almost extra-terrestrial inexplicability we cannot understand.   The juxtaposition of the two is funny, sad, whimsical and really terrifying.

 — Gary Michael Dault

August 24, 2016     

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Cavan Plein Air Festival


Instructor Sam Paonessa (Essentials in Landscape Painting, I Wish I Could Paint) recently participated in the Cavan Plein Air Festival and won an award for his painting, pictured above.

For many years Sam has traveled and painted plein air landscapes in North America and Italy. He is a founding member of Plein Air Canada and is a member of the Ontario Plein Air Society and the Ontario Society of Artists.

Other notable recognition includes a Quick Draw 1st prize in 2007 and 2nd prize in the 2006 International Plein Air Painters Annual Paint Out and an honourable mention in the oil category in 2005.

View Sam’s work at his website.

Sam (right) with other winners.

Profile of Anna Nenoiu, ARAS student

Anna Nenoiu is a Romanian Born hair and makeup artist with Page One Management (P1M) and Vanity Fair Vienna, and is attending our new Classical Painting Techniques course this fall.

Anna trained in Europe and attended York University for Fine Arts, and later moved to Los Angeles to work with BMG Music, where she became personal makeup artist to Dolph Lundgren.

Says Anna,

Beauty is in everyone. Sometimes it only takes a bit of paint and a few brush strokes to emphasize what is already there or what’s been forgotten. My most rewarding work to date has been with the Look Good Feel Better campaign where I had the immense pleasure and opportunity to teach cancer patients a few tricks of the trade to help them cope with their struggles during their brave battle for life. As a makeup artist, nothing has been more humbling or fulfilling. […] Colour mixing and understanding the anatomy is a highly valuable skill of a makeup artist. However, a lot of the knowledge comes with experience, practice, taking chances and being exposed to and open to different environments and situations.

She is known for editorial spreads in magazines (including Bazaar Thailand, American Vogue and FASHION) and advertising campaigns for brands like Armani and Garnier. Anna has worked with many celebrity clients, and photos from her adventures can be seen on her Instagram account @annanenoiu, where she recently featured a piece from her painting class at the school.

Anna’s editorial collaborations have been featured nationally and internationally in Flare, FASHION, ELLE Canada, Schön!, Vouge, DarkBeauty, Glow, Harper’s Bazaar Thailand, Clear, Russian Elle, Plaza, Noblesse, InStyle, and New York Moves.

Nenoiu’s celebrity clientele includes Lady Gaga, Robin Thicke, The Pussycat Dolls, Carmen Electra, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Carly Rae Jepsen, Greta Gerwig, Sarah Gadon, Selma Blair, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Nickelback, Fall Out Boy, Brooke Shields, Lights, Fefe Dobson, Dan Aykroyd, Paul Anka, All American Rejects, Patrick Adams, Hayden Christensen, and the late Ray Charles.

We look forward to seeing the artwork that Anna’s time at the school produces, and hope it helps to expand her creativity and career!

Follow Anna on Twitter and Snapchat @AnnaNenoiu, and visit Page One Management (P1M) to see makeup and hair by Anna!

A sampling of Anna’s work can be seen below:
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Profile of Actress Cecilia Deacon, ARAS alumni

Screen-Shot-2016-03-31-at-6.57.46-PMAvenue Road Arts School Vocal Studies and Musical Theatre student Cecilia Deacon has established herself as a successful actor and model, with acting roles in film, theatre, and television, and international campaigns for L’Oreal, Truvivity, Ouidad and Matrix.

Cecilia began taking classes at the School in 2005 at the age of 14, and only three years later, she moved to New York to attend the prestigious acting conservatory, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Over the years Deacon has amassed an impressive repertoire of work in film and television with starring roles including Stormy on the Investigation Discovery series “Deadly Sins,” Sandra in the comedy series “Catch-30,” and most recently Cecilia in Derek Ahonen film “The Transcendents,” where she starred alongside Kathy Valentine from The Go-Go’s. She has also appeared in productions of Technicolor Life, Marathon, and No Exit, to name a few.

The Avenue Road Arts School offers a number of performing acts classes, to spark an interest in singing and acting at a young age, and we are proud to have Cecilia as an alumni.

To find out more about Cecilia Deacon and how she got to where she is today, visit her website:

Above, Cecilia Deacon shot by Mark Kayne

The Best American Comics 2016

Instructor Dave Lapp (Cartooning, Cartooning & Illustration) is featured in The Best American Comics 2016, edited by Roz Chast (staff cartoonist for The New Yorker) and Bill Kartalopoulos (a Broo61vmIsZnU1L._SX383_BO1,204,203,200_klyn-based comics critic, educator, curator and editor).

From the Back Cover:

There is something thrilling about seeing people invent new ways to tell their story. To me, it is proof that the art form of comics is healthy: it lives and grows and reinvents itself. It is alive!
Roz Chast, from the Introduction

FEATURING Lynda Barry, Kate Beaton, Cece Bell, Genevieve Elverum, Ben Katchor, Dave Lapp, John Porcellino, Joe Sacco, Adrian Tomine, Chris Ware, Julia Wertz, and others.

Roz Chast, guest editor, was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her cartoons began appearing in The New Yorkerin 1978. Since then she has published hundreds of cartoons and written or illustrated more than a dozen books. Her memoirCan t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? was a #1New York Timesbestseller and a 2014 National Book Award Finalist.

Bill Kartalopoulos, series editor, is a comics critic, educator, curator, and editor. He teaches courses about comics at Parsons and at the School of Visual Arts. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

About the Editors:
ROZ CHAST was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her cartoons began appearing in The New Yorker in 1978. Since then she has published hundreds of cartoons and written or illustrated more than a dozen books. Her memoir Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Please ? was a #1 New York Times bestseller and a 2014 National Book Award Finalist.
BILL KARTALOPOULOS is the publisher/editor of Rebus Books and the programming coordinator for SPX: The Small Press Expo. He was a cofounder and the programming director for the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. He is a member of the Executive Committee for the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF), a contributing editor for Print Magazine, and has worked as an assistant to Art Spiegelman for several years. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

The Best American Comics 2016 will be released October 4 on Amazon:

Autistic teen’s abstract paintings wow collectors

Via CBC:

As an autistic teen, Niam Jain doesn’t speak much. But ever since the 13-year-old  picked up a paintbrush last summer, he’s found a way to express himself, and the art world is listening.

Niam is a previous Avenue Road Arts School student, who attended our Painting and Printmaking and Clay Creations courses.

In April Niam created a painting to help the Light It Up Blue campaign in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, that was displayed at Yonge and Dundas Square.

You can see Niam’s work on his website. We look forward to his future as a professional artist!


Water Lilies (acrylic on wood, 24×24) by Niam JainWater-Lilies-by-Niam-Jain

Detour – Documentary Film

Directed by Hanna Jovin, an Avenue Road student, Detour is in the official selection for Toronto Film Week (Fox Theater, Sept 12th-18th) and has made it into the Awareness Film Festival in LA (Oct 6th-16th at LA Live Regal Cinemas).

Detour is a documentary about Jelica Jovin’s struggle with her brain injury.

Directed by Hanna Jovin
Produced by Anastasia Popova
Cinematography by Benjamin Wong
Editing by Josh Conley
Sound by Stephanie Cohen
Special Thanks to Jadranka Pastries and Sadko Hadzihasanovic

Hanna Jovin (Hanna Hadzihasanovic) is a Toronto-born Filmmaker/Cinematographer. In addition to filmmaking, Hanna is also a multimedia artist most interested in oil painting, photography, writing, storyboards and video installations.





Solo Show at Montgomery Inn Historic Museum

Jelica Jovin, a former teacher at the School, presents a solo show at the Montgomery Inn Historic Museum, opening on Sep. 29 2016:

You are invited to the opening of Jelica Jovin’s solo exhibition at the Montgomery’s Inn Historic Museum. The opening night is in conjunction with Thirsty Thursday at the Inn. Come and enjoy some music and drinks at the tavern. Hope to see you there!

Artist would like to aknowledge the support of Ontario Arts Council.


John Viljoen Memorial Scholarship

John Viljoen was a much loved Avenue Road Arts school instructor, and gifted artist. He passed away in August 2015 and his friends and family have contributed to a memorial fund in his memory.

A generous scholarship will be awarded to a high school student with a serious commitment to art, who is interested in advance studies, and has a demonstrated ability and financial need. This scholarship will cover the cost of a year’s tuition plus $200 worth of art supplies.