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Galleries

LE Gallery

Posted by Staff / Posted on May 30, 2007

20070522_legallery.jpg
Contributed by andi argast

Much like its Dundas West neighbourhood, LE Gallery is quickly establishing itself as a destination of choice. When I stop by LE one evening to chat with owner Wil Kucey, the long, narrow gallery is quiet - unlike the last time I was here, at the jam-packed opening of Katie Pretti's Dominant Recessives and Genevieve Jodouin's Home Decor show. Opened in 2003, LE was conceived as a space where young but talented artists could showcase their work.

"Canada has a lot of emerging artists, and I want to help them get established on the national and international scene," Wil says, adding that unlike most gallery owners, he encourages his artists to "get their stuff out there as much as possible." A good relationship between artist and gallery is built on mutual trust and respect, he notes.

"I find working with driven, and ambitious artists creates a relationship that pushes their careers and the gallery in exciting directions," Wil adds. "I represent an artist's practice, and not their work. I want to be fully invested in the person over simply choosing a facet of their production to focus on."

This approach seems to be paying off - several artists who have shown at LE, including Nicholas Di Genova (whose work was acquired by Whitney Museum of American Art this year) have gone on to national and international acclaim.

LE exhibits a wide range of media: sculpture, painting, drawing, prints and installation are all showcased in this slice of a space. I mention that the gallery space is quite narrow, and Wil cheerfully agrees - but ever a consummate salesman, he points out that the intimate setting gives buyers a sense of how the piece will look when it's hanging on the wall at home.

Now, I will admit to being partial to tales of success wrought from blood, sweat and tears, but the story of how LE Gallery came to be is pretty inspiring stuff. At the end of his second year of OCAD's Criticism & Curatorial program, at an age when most students are trying to figure out how to both pay rent and eat, Wil decided he was tired of just talking about curatorial practice. Looking at the Toronto art scene, he realized that he could fill a niche by showcasing the work of young artists, and thus LE was born.

It took two years to get the business rolling, and it was tough going at first. Still in school and unable to secure a bank loan, Wil worked four or five jobs - mostly manual labour, he says - borrowing money on as many credit cards as possible, and actually living in the back of the gallery space for the first year. But his hard work paid off, and this small gallery is starting to have a larger impact on the Toronto art world - and beyond. Be sure to watch this space for more exciting things to come.

Discussion

14 Comments

christi / November 17, 2009 at 03:38 pm
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This looks like a space than an unknown painter of 60 years might get to support, by showing work,never shown before. Could you please send me info about this posting?

It looks like a beautiful space to show in...I have a lot of work to choose from.

I really need some one to take a chance on me!! Is there anyone there who would manage my work for me? I have 700+ paintings, mostly small but also some very large stretched canvases..see In DECADES, in the box "large canvases"
www.brandonfineart.com...I am truly searching in the dark
,..thx christi
chrisbrandon / November 28, 2009 at 10:13 am
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I need someone to help me find a dealer to find good homes for 700 paintings that I have done over 50 years! Your gallery is perfect but I need someone to help me get the work to a gallery like yours!!
thx christine
Val / July 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm
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I am looking for a contemporary or modern landscape painting for my office that has no windows. Where can I find this in Toronto? I am not in the art scene at all and never go to galleries so a starting point would be nice. Thank you.
jenni replying to a comment from Val / October 8, 2012 at 07:14 pm
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Hi Val,
Check out Gallery 1313 on Queen Street this month. They have a show on now called Canadian Landscape. http://g1313.org/?p=3465
Gallery 1313 replying to a comment from jenni / October 10, 2012 at 05:25 pm
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Hi Jenni,

Thank you for letting Val know about Gallery 1313 and the current Canadian Landscape show!
Hopefully Val visits us as well as LE Gallery- LE Gallery has an amazing stable of artists, some that also do landscape work.

Kind Regards,
Sarah @ Gallery 1313
Janet / November 2, 2012 at 05:57 pm
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Can someone suggest a gallery to showcase photos/prints of the amazing wall murals painted by the Bogside Artists of Derry, Northern Ireland depicting the 'Troubles'. They're brilliant!
Becky / November 16, 2012 at 08:41 pm
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Hi everyone,

I'm a Toronto based artist focusing on abstract and surreal landscapes. Please feel free to visit my site. I'm interested in showcasing my work and would love to hear about any calls for submissions.

Becky Pura
http://purabstract.com/
info@PurAbstract.com
dieter schlatter replying to a comment from Val / December 10, 2012 at 11:24 pm
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Hi Val,
please check out my website. Maybe you'll finf something you like.
Cheers
Dieter
Liz Massarella / March 5, 2013 at 05:38 pm
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Hello,
I am so impressed with your story of how you began! Blood sweat and tears, that is what is the backbone behind a successful venture.
I am a self taught aspiring (older) haha artist and looking to have a show in Toronto. I have had several of my own art shows in the Newmarket area- I must say I made them a black tie event as marketing is my "job". However, I am soooo passionate about painting, and have been told by many that I am very good ? I would just like the opportunity to come down with a few of my peices and see what you think- could I have a show, is my art worthy of space in your gallery?
I come from a family of artists, and I just discovered my talent in the last couple of years, I am truly addicted!
If you would respond to me, and give me a chance/guidance I would deeply appreciate it.
Thank you kindly
LIz Massarella
905-954-5061
massarellacontracting@rogers.com
Georgina A. Turner replying to a comment from Val / August 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm
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Hi Val. If you would like to see a sea scape I call Banana Bay, check out Georgina A. Turner on the Behance Gallery site. Look up my name and see What I call Banana Bay.
It is a simple and beautiful image that you would not believe was made from bananas, peaches and a straw bowl.
susan McLean Woodbun replying to a comment from Val / February 9, 2014 at 08:47 am
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Val...In reply to your comment...looking for landscape for your office... Google my full name Susan McLean Woodburn they will come up...Essays and Painting... has my recent larger works...including landscapes...I have 8x10 to 40x40. Google Maps shows some of my work as well. ( My works are also represented by an Art Consultant and an Art Gallery.

I am listed with National Gallery of Canada Canadian Heritage Information Network and Artistes au Canada. I can email some jpegs of my paintings.

I look forward to hearing from you.
all the best,
Susan
Hoda ackad-Wenger / April 2, 2014 at 01:12 pm
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Hello,
I am presently looking for a gallery to exhibit my work which consists of large 6 feet x 7feet oil portraits of visionaries behind the art and cultural milieu in Canada. The portraits are painted from black and white photos that I took myself of the subjects.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Regards,
Hoda

Hoda ackad-Wenger / April 2, 2014 at 01:15 pm
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Hello,
I am looking to exhibit my work consisting of large 6feetx7feet portraits of visionaries behind the artistic and cultural milieu in Canada.
I recently had a television interview regarding this project which you can link to on my website.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Hoda
Daniel Jean-Baptiste / September 7, 2014 at 02:09 pm
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I am a St. Lucian artist based in Markham. My style is truly tropical and vibrant. Are there galleries in Toronto that feature this genre.

Thanks,
Daniel Jean-Baptiste
http://www.jean-baptiste.com/

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