FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 15 2020
GALLERY TPW ANNOUNCES VISION, VALUES, AND RECRUITMENT PLANS FOR 2020
Toronto – As we isolate and reflect during these unprecedented times, the arts have become more urgently needed than ever before. Art strengthens community bonds, illustrates human experience and enables new ways of understanding. Gallery TPW feels a renewed sense of purpose around its role and It is critical that we continue to champion and promote artists moving forward. Over the past 40 years, we have played an integral part in giving a vital voice to artist-run centres and artists at a local and national level. We have exhibited the work of more than 1000 artists, regularly advocated on behalf of the arts community, and developed an outstanding curatorial program. We are all committed for this legacy to continue.
Gallery TPW is excited to re-emerge from a period of transition amidst organizational changes this past year. “We felt strongly that we needed to do what every board should do regularly: dig into your organization and re-evaluate who you serve and who haven’t you served?” notes Elle Flanders, Chair of the Board of Directors. Alyssa Bistonath, Vice Chair, adds: “Our dedicated board has rallied together over the last six months and asked ourselves: ‘how does an artist-run centre with our history best serve its communities today?’” For those of you who are already familiar with us, our core values remain resolute. We have been hard at work refining our mandate and values so that they respond to the challenges of the present-day context.
We are honoured to share our vision for the future and initial plans with you—our friends, collaborators, supporters and community.
Gallery TPW is a leading artist-run centre dedicated to exhibiting underrepresented artistic and curatorial practices that push the boundaries of lens-based work.
We Champion Artist-Led Advocacy. We believe there is a real and sustained need to fight for the rights of artists, to protect creative freedoms and to draw attention to longstanding inequalities.
We Disrupt Systemic Barriers. We are committed to creating an anti-oppressive environment and working with historically underrepresented artists and curators.
We Experiment Fearlessly. We take risks, are not afraid of ‘failure’ and we provide artists with an opportunity to test out ground-breaking ideas. The image is an open-ended starting point for the artists we collaborate with to embark on cross-disciplinary explorations.
We Lead On Critical Issues. The global and local issues that most urgently need our attention are conversations that will always find a home at Gallery TPW.
We Embrace Change. We are flexible by design, as rotating curatorial positions enable us to continually bring in fresh perspectives and new ways of working.
We Are A Good Neighbour. We strive to build authentic and grassroots relationships with those who need us most to better serve the local arts community.
Recruitment and Growth Plans
In terms of next steps, as Elle Flanders the Board Chair comments: “With a strong vision and values now in place, we are now ready to turn our attention to the organization’s resourcing and implementation needs.” In the short-term a key area of focus is going to be staffing and board recruitment. In the upcoming weeks we will be hiring a new Executive Director to lead all aspects of operations at Gallery TPW. We are also planning to establish a new and more flexible curatorial framework, so we can better address and respond to the changing needs of our community. We are looking to recruit a rotating roster of curators, who will be tasked with shaping the program in new and exciting ways. Lastly, during this time of transition we are expanding our board to include a wider range of perspectives from the arts community.
About Gallery TPW and History
Founded as The Toronto Photographers Workshop in 1977, Gallery TPW was created by a group of 50 artists and curators who were passionate about the need to support photography as an art form. As conversations about contemporary art practice evolved and photography gained legitimacy, the gallery expanded its medium-specific mandate to include new forms of imaging and time-based work. In the 1980s, when a new wave of artists joined, the gallery began to also address issues related to feminism, Latin American liberation struggles and LGBTQ rights. Since its inception, Gallery TPW has exhibited the work of more than 1000 artists, regularly advocated on behalf of the arts community, and developed an outstanding curatorial program.
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