Photography galleries are great, whether for spending a rainy day or solving your artistic endeavours for discovering existent and up and coming artists in your city and abroad. We’ve decided to pick out our fave 5 in Toronto, because sometimes, physically putting yourself in a gallery space is what you need to get yourself out of a creative rut.
“To me, the magic of photography, per se, is that you can capture an instant of a second that couldn't exist before and couldn't exist after. It's almost like a cowboy that draws his gun. You draw a second before or after, you miss and you're dead - not them. To me, photography's always like that.” Mario Testino
Ryerson Image Arts Centre
Okay, okay- call us biased, but the Image Arts Centre Gallery has in fact earned its place on this list due to its accessibility (um, it’s free!) and variety of works. Exhibits currently on include Angela Grauerholz’s 70+ work exhibit provided by Scotiabank, Annie MacDonnel’s Holding Still // Holding Together, and finally Julia Hendrickson’s As She, Rehearses Disappearance- where fragmented images of a female dancer are projected on a gallery wall (check out our 1-on-1 with Julia here). Chances are (if you’re an arts or design student at Ry) that you’ve already visited the gallery space, but if it has slipped under your radar, be sure to add this to your to-do list next time you’re on campus.
Gallery 44 is a little different from its peers on this list, as it is an artist-run centre with many aspects; hosting events, workshops, discussions, and of course, exhibitions located on Spadina and Richmond. Its current exhibit, titled ; IT WAS IN THE AIR, AS THEY SAY. is by Erika Defreitas and deals with thoughts of religion and the body and is fitting with the gallery’s theme of featuring solely contemporary art.
Located on Queen West, the Bulger Gallery was established in 1995 by Steven Bulger- alumni of Ryerson’s very own Image Arts School! Featuring an inventory of over 15,000 works, the gallery is sure to please the novice and the avid photography buff. With a specialization in historically-relevant pieces, the gallery also includes a bookstore for continued browsing.
Bau-Xi is a commercial gallery on Dundas West following the footsteps of its West Coast sibling, oldest of its kind in Vancouver, the Bau-Xi Vancouver Gallery, which was initially founded by Paul Huang to fight back against underrepresentation of Canadian artists. Showcasing contemporary fine art, Bau-Xi’s gallery includes other mediums such as sculpture and painting alongside its diverse photography collection, and is definitely a worth-while glimpse into the realm of fine art.
BAND (Black Artists' Networks in Dialogue) Gallery is a unique space on the list, providing a platform for black artists who are otherwise underrepresented in the mainstream art scene. Located on 1 Landsdowne Avenue in Parkdale, the gallery/event space hopes to feature most other artistic disciplines in the future, too. As stated, it currently hosts events and intermittent exhibits, such as its most recent by Milton Messam, an impressionist painter from Jamaica. Be sure to stay updated with their Twitter for updates on upcoming events.