History

History

Gallery 44 was founded in 1979 by a small group of artists in need of production facilities who joined together to share darkroom and studio space. Forming a collective was an important first step in making facilities affordable and in creating a supportive community of artists with common goals. In 1980, the collective began mounting exhibitions and in 1981 began offering photography workshops.

Gallery 44 moved from its original location on Niagara Street to Bathurst Street in 1986, where both the production and exhibition facilities were expanded to serve a growing membership. Due to a severe lack of photographic education in elementary and secondary schools, Gallery 44 began its Education in the Schools program in 1987. In 1994, Gallery 44 moved to 401 Richmond St. W. to improve the centre's exhibition and production facilities and to widen its audience through a more centralized location.

The main floor of our space currently includes the administrative office, main gallery and adjacent vitrines gallery that host our seven annual exhibitions and our Members’ Gallery, which exclusively showcases the work of our members. Gallery 44’s 2,673 square foot, accessible facilities are located in the basement of 401 and include darkrooms, a shooting studio, scanning lab, wide format digital printing, print finishing area, resource library, and the Production Gallery which highlights works produced in our facilities. 

Throughout its history Gallery 44 has prioritized equitable access by breaking down barriers to the arts for artists, audiences and youth. We do so by programming outside of the downtown core, collaborating with numerous community partners both within and outside of our sector, supporting artistic experimentation and risk-taking and providing accessible public programs and production support to emerging practitioners, diverse artists and young people from across the GTA. Gallery 44’s partners include: ImagineNATIVE, Images Festival, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto District School Board, OCAD University, Trinity Square Video, NIA Centre for the Arts, Tangled Art + Disability and many more.  

While Gallery 44 continues to develop and evolve we have remained committed to our history as an artist-run centre, which in part relates to fostering collaborative decision-making and the sharing of leadership roles. Retaining the spirit of an artist-run centre, members, Board and staff work together to develop and implement programs that highlight unique artistic practices, engage a wide audience and increase the access to and understanding of image-based practices.

Gallery 44 supports over 400 artist members through affordable access to analogue and digital facilities and various professional development opportunities, including conceptual and technical workshops, portfolio reviews and mentorships. Gallery 44 continues to serve an important role in the larger arts community by supporting:

·       emerging artists through such annual programs as Proof, OUTREACH, Darkroom Club, CameraLinks and CameraReach

·       Canadian and international artists and curators through dynamic exhibitions and residencies

·       diverse audiences through public programs such as talks, tours, discussions, screenings, writing groups and performances

·       writers in every stage of their careers through our vital and prolific publishing program

  

Mandate and Mission