“A Day in the Life” with Toronto collage artist Danielle Cole

This summer, while in New Orleans for Kolaj Fest, I watched Danielle Cole stand up in front of a bar full of her collage peers and a crowd of drunken people waiting for Karaoke to start as she told of her victories as an artist. The achievement that stood out most was her art being selected by Collective Art Brewing for their series 8 beer label. As she tells it, ‘seeing my art on beer can had more of an impact on my father, then if I had won a Pulitzer.’ Danielle wasn’t born into the most creative of families. But she did have a mom who made up for it by signing her up for every after school art program available.

As an extension of her own practice, Danielle has developed a series of collage workshops for adults. Over the past four years she has run workshops at the Gladstone hotel, Gravenfeather gallery, with AKIN collective and at the Prelinger library in San Francisco. I have watched her patiently work with workshop guests, who often stay as long as they can beyond the end of each workshop while I am hauling her materials to my car.

Like many artists, Danielle is often donates her art to charity in order to get her work into the world. Currently she has work headed to New York for the annual Visual AIDS fundraiser in December. In 2015 her work was selected for the Timeraiser show at the Power Plant. Sometimes, Danielle, doesn’t wait for the call for submissions, sometimes she offers her work to an unsuspecting charity. For the last two years, she has donated works to PIBO in order to save the birds of Pelee Island but more importantly, get to be in the same room as her hero and yearly PIBO dinner guest speaker Margaret Atwood, the wife of founder Graeme Gibson. 

More than any other visual artist I have met, she puts her work forward for every show, publication and opportunity she can find locally and internationally and often, it pays off. NewAd media, has selected her work twice for their Art Here competition, which places original artworks across Canada squarely in front of bar patrons, while they are using the restroom. In the past few years her collage work has been featured in several magazines and has twice been published as part of Collage Collective Co’s annual collage book featuring the works of 100 international artists.

Danielle’s art has found homes in New Zealand, LA, San Francisco, Halifax and Hamilton and most recently on the TTC through, Life on the Line, until January 2019.

By Martin Bryne, life mate and collage material Sherpa 

Danielle Cole
Me and my wheels
Danielle Cole
Artist at work in my studio space
Danielle Cole
Studio space and inspirational wall
Danielle Cole
Teaching a collage workshop at AKIN
Danielle Cole
Celebrating my grandfather Carl Cole’s Alumni of Influence Award through U of T
Danielle Cole
Feeding the llamas at High Park zoo
danielle Cole
Showing off my artwork on a coaster in front of Collective Arts Brewing
Danielle Cole
With Martin Bryne at the Power Plant gala


What ‘hood are you in?

I live in the Annex and circle around the West end in my bike visiting parks, galleries and any restaurant that will feed me. 

What do you do?

I’m a collage artist, but if you are asking about how I make a living, I am a high school art teacher.

What are you currently working on?

I’m continuously making various pieces of collage work. Currently I am working on several ‘halvsies,’ with Washington based collage artist Cheryl Chudyk. She starts a collage and mails them to me to complete. I’m also working on adding several pieces to my existing body of work titled: ‘Pile on,’ for my upcoming participation in The Artist Project.

Where can we find your work?

Several original pieces from my Pile on series can be found at JCO’s Gallery, in Los Gatos, California. 

But if you are local, my art will be available for show and sale this February 21-24, 2019 at the Artist Project, located in Better Living Centre, Toronto.

My work can be found anytime at my website or on my Instagram account: @girlsanddinosaurs



About Joel Levy 2574 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography