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Best of Toronto

The Best Contemporary Art Galleries for Emerging Artists in Toronto

Posted by Staff / May 8, 2008

Best Contemporary Art Galleries for Emerging ArtistsRunning 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.

All photos are courtesy of blogTO. Photo: "York U" by Mike DeBiasio, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

Whippersnapper Gallery

Whippersnapper Gallery

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 »

XPACE Gallery

XPACE Gallery

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 »

Le Gallery

Le Gallery

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 »

Katharine Mulherin Art Projects

Katharine Mulherin Art Projects

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 »

AWOL Gallery

AWOL Gallery

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 »

AGYU

AGYU

At the helm of York U's Art Gallery is Philip Monk, Toronto art trailblazer and curatorial guru. While the gallery is heavily focused on the work of established artists, it offers a professional space for York's emerging students along with internships for young gallery-directors-to-be. More »

Discussion

13 Comments

brendon / September 19, 2008 at 05:08 am
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cool. ^^
MaryJenks / July 30, 2010 at 09:55 am
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Definitely check out these two contemporary art galleries in Toronto: Art Interiors and Gallery 133. They carry outstanding Canadian Artists such as Richard Herman and Trevor Craig McDonnell.
Kyle Reynolds / October 24, 2010 at 02:13 am
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I will have to make a trip to T.O to see some of these great galleries
LISABEL / November 26, 2011 at 04:03 pm
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Looking for large size contemporary art?
Cosplay / September 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm
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I was at Shoppe D'Or over the weekend. The owner is not very pleasent. I don't even plan on returning.
Nunzio Di Lecce / September 27, 2012 at 01:08 am
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I am an artist, my name is Nunzio Di Lecce. I come from a family of artists that runs in the family; on my mother"s side. My art work and handle is Devilin Vegas and that is how I sign all my work. I have an eclectic creative capture...meaning, it all depends what mood I'm in or what has inspired me through the day.

If you would to to see some of my art work please email me at: devilinvegas@me.com

A presto
DV
Kristin Wright / October 15, 2012 at 03:35 pm
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I AM LOOKING FOR YOUNG OR EMERGING ARTISTS THAT WOULD LIKE TO SHOW IN MUSKOKA ONTARIO IN TWO LOCATIONS

My name is Kristin Wright, I am a 21yr. old artist and gallery manager I am
looking for unique, fresh, young talent
to fill our two locations in the heart of Muskoka
National Geographic's #1 tourist destination
Barbara Hamilton / November 14, 2012 at 12:55 am
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I am an emerging artist....I do it in spare time currently...I do mixed media and photography

paul replying to a comment from Kristin Wright / January 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm
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hi kristin im a artist from toronto e-mail me at pbartstudios@yahoo.ca
konstantin / January 17, 2013 at 03:09 pm
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I am an emerging artist working in sculptural photo collage. My work can be seen at faceclimbing.com
halia / February 24, 2013 at 08:02 pm
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Angell gallery is my favourite great artists
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