Mandate

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is a charitable, non-profit, artist-run centre committed to supporting multi-faceted approaches to photography and lens-based media. Founded in 1979 to establish a supportive environment for the development of artistic practice, Gallery 44’s mandate is to provide a context for meaningful reflection and dialogue on contemporary photography.

Gallery 44 is committed to programs that reflect the continuously changing definition of photography by presenting a wide range of practices that engage timely and critical explorations of the medium. Through exhibitions, public engagement, education programs and production facilities our objective is to explore the artistic, cultural, historic, social and political implications of the image in our ever-expanding visual world.

Mission

  • To exhibit challenging and dynamic contemporary photography and related media by diverse artists
  • To support emerging practices
  • To support artistic production and dissemination
  • To provide innovative arts education for youth throughout the Greater Toronto Area
  • To promote the active exchange of artistic ideas and broaden public engagement with contemporary photography
  • To sustain inclusive, accessible and community-forward programming, administration and governance strategies  

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