Monday, October 24, 2016Overcast 9°C

New gallery rents out wall space by the yard

Posted by Aubrey Jax / April 21, 2014

Art Yard TorontoToronto artists will be intrigued by the unique concept behind West Queen West's newest rental gallery: Art Yard is renting wall space by the yard, rather than per show like traditional rental galleries. In February of this year Natasza Cieplik took over the main floor of the Artscape Triangle Lofts, and by June she'll have exhibited the works of thirty-four emerging or mid-career artists.

The by-the-yard deal gets sweeter, too: Art Yard takes no commission charges, and demands no exclusivity or long-term commitments. "My vision has always been to exhibit group shows and eclectic works of art, at various but affordable price points," Cieplik tells me (pieces range from about $125 to $2,500). Shows usually switch up once per month, and openings are generally the second Thursday of the month; the next reception will fall on May 15. Cieplik adds that art classes for kids are starting up soon.

Art Yard is located on the main floor of the Artscape Triangle Lofts Building, 30 Abell Street.



Explotivist / April 21, 2014 at 01:49 am
God, this gallery is exploitive. So the effective commission for this gallery is 7 dollars per inch, per month. And what? For 3 feet you pay 250? If you fit a single 24 inch canvas with little room for anything else, and charge 500 for that canvas, you are paying 50% commission, or 250 if the piece isn't sold at all. WOW.
Jack / April 21, 2014 at 10:24 am
I agree, this has nothing to do with art. Their low hanging fruit are marginal artists with money. Kind of in the same category of modelling or talent agencies who charge huge fees for 8x10 glossies from folks who haven't got a prayer of making a dime professionally.
georgie pordgie / April 21, 2014 at 11:33 am
its an alternative. be more creative, think a little less linear. a 24x24 canvas may take up most of that room, but that isnt the only option. I can see alot of artists using this as an opportunity to maximize the amount of work within that given space. Its just an interesting way to think of displaying art. if an artist need something different and wants something different then they will find that. i think it will be interesting. everyones gotta make money too. so dont be hatinnn!
Al / April 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm
Pretty sure this space was costing previous renters somewhere around $3000/month. Maybe Art Yard has landed a better deal with a long term lease, but charging per yard is a feasible way to exhibit groups of artists who wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford the space.

The neighbouring buildings are supposed to soon house some other art venues too (TPW, etc.) so if Art Yard can hold on until construction in the area is finished this model may work out great.
Laura / April 22, 2014 at 10:27 am
This is such a fantastic and refreshing concept, particularly for emerging artists who are struggling to find wall space in galleries that only accept established artists and require exclusivity. There is no commission taken from the sale of paintings, so artists get to keep the full earnings (less the low monthly rental fee).
Moreover, I attended the gallery opening (they have monthly events) and was so impressed by the quality and diversity of art displayed. Owner Natasza is warm and passionate about what she does, and provides marketing support via the Artyard website ( and regular events.
I'm looking forward to heading back soon!
Son of Explotivist replying to a comment from Laura / April 23, 2014 at 01:57 am
Why was Explotivist second comment deleted?
Aubrey replying to a comment from Son of Explotivist / April 23, 2014 at 09:05 am
Hi Son, it violated our comment policy.
Peter / April 23, 2014 at 09:23 am
Clearly some posters don't understand the business model or mathematics. You can't assume a cap on the sale price of $500 dollars and only assume one sale per month to determine the "commission".

The good thing about this model is that your nominal cost of sales is fixed even if your sales grow.

There is no limit on how many pieces you can sell. Suppose you were to sell 2 pieces for $1000 each. Your commission would only be 12.5% ($250/$2000), which is very reasonable.

It is a very fair model and a great opportunity for artists to get exposure for a small dollar commitment.
Neil Young / April 23, 2014 at 11:38 am
To the pessimists...

The gallery has 80 linear feet of rental space and costs $250/month for 3', so if the entire gallery is rented out every month (times 12 months) then the gallery is making $79,999 . Then deduct the $3000 x 12 months ($36,000) the gallery is paying for rent for the year. Well that leaves the gallery with 43,900.

Oh don't forget the expenses for all the other things, like marketing, advertising, office supplies, shipping of works, food and beverages for events. Also, that's also assuming rent doesn't rise.

I will be participating in Art Yard starting next month. Nobody is forcing you too. If you think it is exploitation, then don't participate. But please come and enjoy the free food and beverages and the space.

Other Cities: Montreal