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Gallery mission

The Public Gallery is one of the many ways we seek to re-imagine how the celebration and showcasing of local and marginalized artists can happen. The gallery allows us to create room to redefine who gets to call themselves an “artist” and blur the lines between art, design, and community practice. Our gallery is not funded, and run solely from the profit of our other work, so we also try to create reciprocal relationships through skills exchanges, like supporting artists in the design and set up of their exhibits, concept development, and writing artist statements.

The gallery provides accessible entry points into creating, showing, and viewing art, and it shows how art doesn’t need to be intentionally difficult to understand to be thoughtful and critical. The gallery also invites us to constantly create access in multiple ways, whether it’s by supporting artists through the creative process of their work, providing viewers with plain language hand-outs that explain our exhibits, or engaging in dialogue at our artist community events.

We program the gallery with the understanding that any work that’s shown in a community needs to be able to be read by people in that community. We’re often reflecting on the site-specificity of our space -- a gallery window in Parkdale, on Indigenous land, across from a school, at a bus stop, etc. -- and in these ways, we challenge the conventional role and relationship of a gallery to its surrounding community. Our gallery is also one of our favourite ways of community engagement. We love building capacity with artists to run community engagement and popular education workshops that in turn deepens the connection between their artwork and the community.

Past exhibitions

March 25, 2021 – June 2021

tamil aavana kaappaka tittam தமிழ் ஆர்கைவ் ப்ரொஜெக்ட்

For the past five years, Tamil Archive Project (TAP) has been a space where Tamil and other racialized people have explored their histories and activated different forms of care for the community. In this series of works, “place your head on my shoulder,” “remember when,” and “grounding caresses,” TAP members ask what it means to live through survival and joy and answer with three exhibits. To leave a record for the times to come.

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January 22, 2021 - February 2021

Land is Life

Responding to the prompts “What gives you life?,” OSF and Aura Last designed a series of hand-made beaded skateboards inspired by our relationships with nature. Combining photo transfer and beads, each board reveals the inner-spirit of the world around us.

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November 2020 - January 2021

Cuts Hurt Kids

Gloria Swain's exhibit, Cuts Hurt Kids, speaks to the importance of art as a way towards healing and hope, and how Doug Ford's cuts to the arts has impacted and hurt Toronto's marginalized youth. As an artist and community leader creating spaces for youth who do not have access to creative spaces, Gloria Swain has seen how much children need art to communicate and express themselves.

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The Public Studio
58 Lansdowne Ave.
Toronto, Ontario
M6K 2V9

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