Dance circles and a radical haircut: How marginalized artists find home in DIY art spaces
For these Toronto galleries, it's bigger than the art itself: it's about creating a safe space
- Point of ViewDo-it-yourself art spaces are under siege — and we need to do everything we can to protect them
Aliermo is headed to two thriving spaces for artists in Toronto: Blank Canvas and 187 Augusta, the latter of which is based in Videofag's old home. For both galleries, one of their most important shared goals is bigger than the art itself: it's about creating a safe space.
187 Augusta founder Cathleen Calica says, "This space is for women of colour, people who are marginalized...I need it and my community needs it." And Just John of Blank Canvas echoes the sentiment: "There can be those prestigious galleries out there, but there needs to be places where artists can feel safe, artists can feel comfortable, artists can grow. And DIY spaces serve that need."
In this video, you'll see what goes on inside these community hubs and get a sense of how much they mean to the people who frequent them. It's a powerful argument for the essential role that DIY spaces play in the wider art landscape. As Just John emphasizes: "These places are our home."
Dead Poet, a spoken word and open mic event, happens at Blank Canvas on June 15. And FAM jam (a community potluck) is on at 187 Augusta on June 18.
Watch Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.