Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Queen West Art Crawl Sans Queen West?

This weekend, the annual Queen West Art Crawl is on the go. But there's a bit less fanfare about it this time around—-Queen West has changed a fair bit since the crawl was initiated 7 years ago, and so has the Toronto art scene.

As noted here and elsewhere, many Queen West galleries have recently closed or migrated further north along Ossington, Dundas West, and even Bloor. There are, of course, galleries still worth dropping in on along the Queen strip; they're just fewer in number than there used to be even a year ago.

Also, there's more Toronto art fests of note to steal QWAC's fire these days. Nuit Blanche seems to have taken over as the major public art event of the year, and the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair continues to grow, being the prime outdoor fair for artists to market their own wares at.

I will be dropping by the QWAC strip today, trying to get a better sense of what the status of area fests like this becomes when the art scene, in many ways, moves on from a given area.

On a somewhat related note, the Canadian Art Gallery Hop, which I'm involved with, is happening next Saturday, September 26. To me, the hop's tours and talks schedule really reflects the dispersion of gallery geographies in Toronto: the Distillery, 401 Richmond, Queen West, Ossington, Dundas West, Morrow Ave, Yorkville and Tecumseth St (which I'll be touring) each get their own treatment.

Times like this I yearn for a nice, centralized Belgo Building to call our own--lucky Montrealers!

Image from Toronto Craft Alert


Anonymous said...

But the Belgo has long since lost many of the galleries that once made it a hub, no? Most of the artist runs have run along to new digs ...

Leah Sandals said...

Many of them have, but not all. I've considered it, how long it would take to "do the rounds" in Montreal and it's nowhere near as treklike as Toronto. VOX is at St Laurent and Ste Catherine, then there's some galleries north on St Laurent/St Viateur area and then around Berri.

The fact that Belgo is across the street from the contemporary art museum is also a huge convenience for viewers.

Granted, it could just be those butter-croissant-overload rose-coloured glasses I ended up wearing last time I was there. Hm.

Leah Sandals said...

I'm going to be weird and post yet another comment, but only to link to this Artnet post which also points out Toronto's spread-out gallery geog.

Thanks Clare Henry! I feel slightly vindicated.

planforamiracle said...

Thanks for that artnet link. Somehow it's been hard to put my finger on why I miss so many of the great shows that go on here...