Home » Toronto: Introducing 47 (A Gallery)

Toronto: Introducing 47 (A Gallery)

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.

Images from Rock Bottom, the opening night exhibition, by Steve Richards. Image: 47gallery.blogspot.com

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.

Image: Courtesy 47.

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.

Click HERE for more information and HERE for the gallery blog.

5 Responses to “Toronto: Introducing 47 (A Gallery)”

  1. LZG says:

    Art that is free from interference. Great idea, much success to them!

  2. Andrea says:

    I was disappointed by their current show, ‘Hurts so Good’. I was expecting a room filled with knives, something that perhaps took days, weeks to make, something that really engaged me as a viewer and forced me into an emotionally powerful experience. Instead, the board of knives, was….you know, kind of neat. But not really.

  3. Jennifer says:

    We at 47 would love to have Andrea Carson and VoCA readers back to the gallery to look at and engage with the work to learn about the motivation, conception and process of hurts so good. Our experiences with critics as a gallery and separately as artists have been one of engagement, investigation, and interaction. Could not the precarious leaning of an 8 by 20 foot wall, suspended by chains, filled with over 2000 knives driven into the wood been the impetus for minimal inquiry?

    What if the automatic response to “the board of knives” became a process of questioning, instead of a dismissive definition? How often has the viewer been asked to confront the back side of an installation, complete with the very real, and very sharp points of knives upon entering a gallery? Knowing that this is a collaborative effort by an artist couple, could we not question the approach of such a violent creation?

    The aim of 47 is to engage the artist(s) to push themselves out of their artistic “comfort zone”; the zone that is so often a trap due to market demands and risk free critical plateaus. Each exhibition here is a step beyond the artists’ practices, allowing for these risks and new conceptions. Negative responses are more than welcome, we just ask that they be grounded and informed.

    Thank you Ms. Carson for expressing interest in our space. Please do not delete this comment from your blog, as this is an invitation for an ongoing dialogue.

    – Jennifer McGregor, Dennis Lin, Jaclyn Quaresma

  4. Andrea says:

    Dear 47,

    Of course I wouldn’t delete your comment. It’s my opinion – everyone is entitled to their opinion. There are many ways of looking at this piece, and of appreciating it. Do not think that my opinion is not grounded or informed. It is based on over a decade of looking at, studying and critiquing art and expecting certain things from an artwork, which in this case, I feel were lacking.

    I’m happy to continue the dialogue – especially if you can change my mind about the piece.

    All best,


  5. Roslyn says:

    I was really impressed with the ‘hurts so good’ piece. i thought it was thought provoking and extremely impressive. There is an excellent profile on the artist and his collaboration with his partner on how the piece came together. you can read it here..http://www.deadsexymag.com/Toronto/2009/June/June1/Profile.html

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