Zante  leaves imprint in upscale Toronto downtown

Toronto, Ontario

His  works  focus on “the themes of everyday objects, Philippine culture, and ethereal landscapes”

Ricardo Caluen

Jason Zante’s giant art installation dubbed “The Riviera” is now part of downtown T.O.’s artistic landscape in the tony Yorkville district. The work is eye-catching not only for its sheer dimensions but also because of its vibrant colours that the young Filipino-Canadian multidisciplinary artist is noted for.

“The Riviera” evokes the images and smells of France’s Mediterranean corner—the Cote D’Azur. The work has further lent character to  D|Azur, the patio bar of the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel & Residences that takes pride in its signature French bistro fare.

Zante’s works are known to focus on “the themes of everyday objects, Philippine culture, and ethereal landscapes”.

A graduate of OCAD University, the erstwhile Ontario College of Art & Design, Jason Zante had done commissioned works for the likes of Justin Bieber and Cadillac Fairview Toronto Eaton Centre, to name some. His works had been featured in such prestigious publications as Forbes Magazine and Architectural Digest. 

His mother Reza Zante recalls that Jason was already drawing at age 3. “He enjoyed drawing gowns and clothes of  Barbie dolls. Even then, I could sense Jason was gifted with the creative arts.  I enrolled him at the St. Anne Montessori School in Kalibo, Aklan for  Senior Kindergarten through Grade 1 where he started joining art contests and always won. By the way, Jason also won in singing competitions,” she told Philippine Canadian News.Com (PCN.Com).

Jason and mother Reza. (Photo: Artist website)

In Toronto, Jason went to St.Margaret Catholic School. His teachers readily recognized the child prodigy in him and convinced his mother Reza to enrol him at the Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, Toronto’s prestigious school for gifted youth where Jason continued to reap awards through high school graduation.

It is perhaps to the credit of Jason’s mother that the new toast of Toronto’s artistic circles remains rooted in his Philippine origins. Reza adds with pride: “Jason and I would go home to Aklan every 3 years or so. Jason only has fond memories of these visits where he enjoyed exploring beaches and the surrounding mountains with his cousins. He particularly enjoyed seeing the Aklan River. “ This explains the Philippine landscape motif in some of Jason’s works.

Next time you see a giant mural gracing  a famous Toronto edifice, look for the artist’s signature. You might just read “Jason Zante”.

The artist in front of The Eaton Centre,another location of his work.
Limited edition of “The Jungle” ( 24″ x 52″ Archival Giclee Canvas Print) sells for $1,350.

He told  Flawless Magazine magazine in an interview that it was in 2016-2017 that he started to “embrace the qualities that used to make me insecure, such as my sexuality.”

” Accepting myself as a gay individual has made me more comfortable with who I am and encouraged me to be more receptive with everything that has come into my life,”  adding that  he doesn’t  believe ” in dreading over what I don’t have, but rather embracing everything I have to offer the world.”


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