Facing an uncertain future after graduation from the Ontario College of Art, and with no galleries willing to exhibit their work, an enterprising group of 1996 grads decided to pool their resources. They rented a space on Spadina Avenue and organized a one-off group exhibition. The enthusiastic response led these artists to make their collective official; they called it the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, founded on their vision: to empower artists to ‘propel’ fellow artists forward.
Today the Propeller Art Gallery (PAG) calls Artscape Triangle Lofts home in the West Queen West District. After almost 25 years, Propeller remains one of Toronto’s oldest artist-run galleries. Over the next year, the Propeller Art Gallery will be launching two important virtual projects to mark this important anniversary.
PAG 25: Celebrating 25 Years of Propeller Artists 1996–2020 is a virtual exhibition opening July 25 at propellerartgallery.ca. The retrospective exhibition embodies Propeller’s motto of “Artists empowering Artists” in this trying time due to COVID-19 closures, as it will feature over 69 alumni and current members and over 175 artworks, celebrating this momentous occasion. The show’s opening will be happening virtually on Zoom where artists will talk about their creative practice and their artwork on display. Please register with Eventbrite and you will receive a Zoom link to their Opening Reception and Artist Talks, to be held Saturday, August 1st, starting at 4:00 p.m.
An overview of the many exhibitions held at the Propeller Art Gallery since its opening in 1996. (Source: PAG)
The Propeller Art Gallery is also launching The PAG Archive project, a living history of the artists collective, a continuously evolving exhibition that will remain active until their official twenty-fifth anniversary in August 2021. As part of the anniversary exhibition, the Propeller Art Gallery will also be will showing archival material — old show invitations; photos of openings, installations, events and people, even artist talks, video commentary and other extras. Art enthusiasts will also be delighted to know that the Propeller Art Gallery will be creating an ebook as a permanent record of the show that will be available for viewing and downloading at a later date.
Artscape congratulates The Propeller Art Gallery on their amazing contribution to Toronto’s arts and culture scene since their inception in 1996. Make sure to check out these important exhibitions and show your support of this artist-run gallery in the West Queen West neigbourhood.