The Best Contemporary Art Galleries for Emerging Artists in Toronto
Running a successful gallery in Toronto is like riding a bicycle backwards on a steep incline in the rain on a Sunday in church traffic hung-over. Not entirely impossible but an uphill battle of fierce proportions.
Not a whole lot has changed in Toronto's art scene since the days of the now-defunct sis boom bah and Luft gallery. Rents continue to increase, galleries open and galleries close. And though we've whined and complained ad nauseam to the point of cliché, we all know how the story goes. The movement from counter-culture to culture to "authentic loft living" is nothing new and certainly not unique to Toronto.
What defines an art scene is not the same as what defines an arts community. A scene can be annexed, packaged and sold but a community lives and breathes. As emerging artists, access and exposure to an arts community is critical, not only to career development but to the progression of Toronto's art scene (I use that word with hesitation).
The following list, as voted by our faithful readers, recognizes the best contemporary art galleries for emerging artists in Toronto. It spans the realm of the commercial and non-profit world and includes some well-established galleries alongside emerging ones.
A gallery and event space geared to young, feisty art school kids and 20-somethings with enough stamina to endure 24-hour live art nights. It's events like these, affordable exhibition rates and close-knit ties with Toronto's indie music scene that have made Whippersnapper the best thing to happen to Little Italy since the Italians. More »
Soaring rent may have forced XPACE to leave their much loved home on Augusta, but with an equally stellar space at Ossington & Queen, who's to complain? XPACE is a non-profit, student-run gallery of the Ontario College of Art & Design. More »
While still a student at OCAD, Will Kucey opened Le Gallery in 2003. The success of his commercial enterprise is no doubt attributed to Kucey's ability to nurture the careers of his artists of which include Toronto favorites, Nicholas Di Genova and Matt Crookshank. More »
The force of Katherine Mulherin is not to be overlooked. For two-decades she has influenced Toronto's art scene on a local and international scale, establishing three commercial art spaces in Queen West, two of which exist today under the umbrella "Katharine Mulherin Art Projects". More »
The 90's in Toronto saw a proliferation of arts collectives. While most have disbanded, AWOL is still run by its founding members. Their humble space on Ossington Ave is just enough room for emerging solo shows and their signature event, Square Foot. More »