The Father's Day gift guide for art lovers

From tech accessories to the "ultimate dad joke," browse 11 ideas for dad, inspired by artists we've featured on CBC Arts.

From tech accessories to the ultimate dad joke, 11 great ideas for pops

Do something with your wallet that shows dad you really care. Clockwise from left: Print by Stephanie Cheng, Callen Schaub laptop skin, Caliber Collection cuff links, Legends League "dad hat." (Stephanie Cheng, Callen Schaub, Caliber Collection, Legends League)

Father's Day is Sunday, June 18, which gives you just enough time to do the one thing dads are supposed to hate the most. Not crying. Not your boyfriend. Not even the breakdown of stereotypically masculine gender roles. We're talking about shopping, something dad probably doesn't mind so much when you're doing it for him. Do something with your wallet that shows pops you really care! And if you're not sure where to get started, we've rounded up these suggestions, all inspired by past stories on CBC Arts.

(Legends League)

"Heartbroken" logo cap

Legends League, $50

Because every dad needs a dad hat. This one's designed by Legends League, the Toronto streetwear brand co-founded by Bryan Espiritu, one of our past Exhibitionists in Residence.


Callen Schaub laptop skin, $30

Splash out for Father's Day with one of these laptop skins featuring artwork by spin painter Callen Schaub. Find a variety of designs on the Toronto artist's site.

(Society6/Hyein Lee)

Hyein Lee laptop sleeve

Society 6, $49

If dad has a neat-freak/Danny Tanner vibe, those Callen Schaub laptop skins won't do. Every time dad leaves his laptop on the sofa, he'll flip — so maybe check out these tech accessories by Toronto illustrator Hyein Lee instead. The light-weight sleeve pictured is printed with her illustration "Out of All Them Bright Stars II."

(Caliber Collection)

Caliber Collection steel cuff links

Caliber Collection, $270 US

Cufflinks are second only to ties as the standard Father's Day choice. But not these cufflinks. These cufflinks used to be illegal weapons — guns and shell casings confiscated by police. Made by Caliber Collection, 20 per cent of proceeds go back to gun amnesty programs. The initiative organized a Toronto art exhibition that was recently featured on CBC Arts.

View of works by Doug Schwartz (DetroitWick) and Tracy Hiner at Only One Gallery. (George Pimentel (WireImage/Getty Images)/Courtesy of Only One Gallery)



About that art show...DetroitWick is one of the artists involved. Like the cufflinks, his colourful Lucite sculptures are made with seized weapons. Contact Only One Gallery in Toronto for pricing.


"Corny Sweater"

WRKDPT, $145

As seen on Exhibitionists, it's the ultimate dad joke. For those less committed to the gag, you can get the same "corny" design on a T-shirt. Find both through the Montreal duo's website.

Julie Gladstone. Stormy Rainbow Cloud, 2016. (

Adopt an Extreme Cloud

Gallery 555, $600 and up

Watching you grow up was dad's greatest joy, and now that you're on your own, the nest is feeling a little empty. Adopt dad a cloud! Created by artist Julie Gladstone, a portion of proceeds from each sculpture benefits the David Suzuki Foundation. If dad hasn't already converted your old bedroom into a storage room for his weight collection, it'll look great in there.

(Shop AGO)

Warhol x WeSC Portrait T-Shirt

Shop AGO, $46

Everybody loves a classic T-shirt, even dad. If you're in Edmonton, St. John's or Charlottetown this summer, see if you can convince him to wear this Andy Warhol number when you take him to this show...


This Is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz

Amazon, $15

Written by acclaimed author and Creative Minds panellist Junot Diaz, this is a collection of short stories about a young man who is absolutely nothing like your loving and and faithful father...isn't that right, dad?!

(Stephanie Cheng)

Prints by Stephanie Cheng, $30

Sports! Is that a thing dads like? Stephanie Cheng has been creating screen prints ofsportsstars for some time, including this take on Blue Jays "bat flipper" Jose Bautista.


Fuji/Fucci hand-painted bicycle, $9,999

A one-of-a-kind ride, painted and signed by the secretive Toronto artist.

(Etsy/Gil Corral)

Custom black velvet portrait


Maybe you and dad share the same strange and extremely specific sense of humour. A custom velvet painting of the fam — plus Elvis — could be the ultimate gift. If so, please adopt me — and then get yourself to Etsy, where you'll find a variety of artists offering that exact service at different price points. If you need to send them any favourite velvet paintings for reference, please refer to this recent story out of Calgary.


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