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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

July 15, 2019 - September 10, 2019

Footprints of Change

Footprints of Change is a critical reflection on the ongoing gentrification happening in Parkdale. With the upcoming building demolitions at Dufferin and King, the artists wanted to highlight the negative impact of gentrification at specific sites, as well as uplift the ongoing and lasting communities that continue to sustain anti-gentrification movements in Parkdale.

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March 1, 2019 - April 30, 2019

Weaving Home

Weaving Home is a community arts installation exploring the meaning of home through collective journeys and adventures: what we find along the way, what we leave behind, and our ability to create home wherever we end up. Created by Parkdale community members, in collaboration with artists through Making Room Community Arts, the installation presents a variety of cardboard way stations and bridges that tell stories of the choices, support, and memories of home that we carry within us.

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December 17, 2018 - January 31, 2019

In Solidarity with Parkdale Legal Services!

One of our community’s most vitally important organizations, Parkdale Legal, is facing eviction, as the landlord and developer market the site to creative professionals. As a community arts practice here in Parkdale, we call on our fellow artists and designers to examine our role in this displacement, and to critically reflect on processes of gentrification through intersectional, abolitionist and decolonial lenses.

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

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