Canada has a strong culture of Government funded artist-run centres in every province. These are public galleries, run by artists for artists, with a strong exhibition program that supports artists from Canada and abroad.
Another type of artist-run gallery in Toronto opened earlier this month. 47 is run by three artists, Dennis Lin, Jaclyn Quaresma and Jennifer McGregor, with – so far – no grants, investors or outside funding. But it’s not an artist-run centre.
47 spoke to VoCA by email:
On artist-run centres: Though similar to, we are not an artist-run centre. The only thing that seems to connects us with the conception of an artist-run centre is the fact that we are all artists.
When we are working at the gallery we are gallerists/curators, the artists we show are our focus. Independently we are artists with our own, separate practices.
On what motivated them to start the gallery: Jennifer, Dennis and I have known each other and worked together on various projects for quite some time- it was a perfect fit! That being said we are all artists and found a place we loved, we thought it would be great to share it with the public and other artists.
This is a raw working space that allows for certain freedoms that may not be available at store front galleries. Because of this, the artists can interact with the space in ways that may not be possible elsewhere. As long as the artist tidies up afterwards, the space is theirs!
On the gallery’s future: We want to engage the community! This can involve many things, ideally for our AfterHours programming we would like to have video screenings, talks, discussions, events etc. We encourage participation from and interaction with the community including other galleries and art-related spaces.
We’re low key, we want to people to have fun with this.
We have a full program for 2009 and are currently lining up exhibits for 2010. We are also accepting submissions for the 2009 programming of AfterHours in the form of videos, performances, workshops and talks.
What’s next: Look out for “a really exciting installation” by painter Jennifer McGregor in June, and in July, an interactive installation, titled “Play” by db Johnson, where viewers are invited to explore vignettes made from toys, earth, sticks and sand, arranged throughout the gallery and yard.
A new exhibition, titled “Hurts so Good”, opens tomorrow night, May 1 from 7 – 10 pm.
The show a collaboration between Dennis Lin and Jaclyn Quaresma, involves thousands of knives that have been installed in the gallery.