Budget and artist-friendly art gallery in Toronto.

This fall, I was running around the city and exploring possible galleries for an art exhibit. I found one that I really liked and that I will definitely use for my future projects. I am talking here about Peter MacKendrick Community Gallery located on the northwest corner of Benson and Wychwood avenues.

This Gallery is part of Artscape venues. Artscape is a not-for-profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. From the first email I got from Artscape’s sales manager, I got a feeling that this organization cares about artists and art professionals and is open to any art project. What should be also emphasized here is a such a reasonable and low rental fee that we all want when it comes to displaying artworks outside an art studio. This space will cost you, as an artist, $350 per day + HST and this price also include a few tables and chairs as well as cleaning, wall patching, and painting after your event. You can make holes in the wall – as many as you like. Isn’t this amazing?  

I saw the gallery during Sari Richter’s Fine Art Show and it gave me a sense of how I can exhibit art and how the gallery looks like during the day. In spite of the fact that this gallery is only a 566 sq. ft., it has 14’ ceilings and lots of natural light coming from the windows. I would recommend having a solo art exhibit here or group shows with a small number of artists to give everyone proper attention and wall space. Having art openings here can be a challenge due to the gallery’s capacity. However, you can have an RSVP event and accept a limited number of guests. For example, you can invite your colleagues and people from the art community for the opening night and then have your exhibit open for the general public during the day.  There is a small kitchen on the side – so you can prepare food/drinks station easily. The only disadvantage of this gallery is that amplified sound and/or music is not allowed. I always insist on adding music to the exhibition openings as it welcomes people to wander around the gallery and creates a mood for their art journey. In addition, if you will be serving alcohol, a venue supervisor is required with an additional cost for your rental: $25/hr – 4 hours minimum. To give you a sense of how the gallery looks like during an event, I found a picture of one on the Living Toronto Journal’s website (see below). I enjoyed Sari Richter’s exhibit I visited at Peter MacKendrick Community Gallery and believe that any artist can transform this gallery into an amazing art exhibit. 
Sari Richter is an OCAD U graduate (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting) and completed Masters Certification from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Sari works in both traditional and non-traditional drawing and painting media and is a published children’s book illustrator, storyboard artist, and muralist. She is currently employed as an art therapist and works with transitional aged youth in a mental health day treatment setting.