FLY was saddened to learn of the impending closure of one of Toronto’s finest indie art galleries, BLUE CROW GALLERY,  that is, until the announcement came that they had secured a new location in the same neighbourhood, and the move and re-opening will take place in the spring…yaaay!! FLY reached out to gallery owner, JODI WHEELER, and asked her to fill us in on the exciting new adventures for her gallery….

Jodi, Blue Crow is in the middle of a big move to a new location. What caused this move?  Sadly, we are having to move after our current landlord told us they would be raising our rent nearly double the rent we were paying and it was just not going to be feasible. We tried to negotiate and they were not willing to budge. Our options became move or close. We were lucky to find another storefront close by that would work for our gallery staying in the neighbourhood. This was vital for our art school and clients. Blue Crow has been a leading light in Toronto’s indie gallery scene for seven going on eight years – how was the gallery received by artists and art lovers when you opened?  I’ve been working in Toronto with artists and in galleries for 24 years now so when I started I had lots of artist friends in the community who were extremely supportive and eager to work with me here at Blue Crow. Since opening, the gallery has been lucky to get to work with so many amazing Canadian artists.  I think the artist community was excited to have a new gallery in the city carrying fun contemporary and emerging work in a space that was very inviting.  Our clients love being able to come and shop for local art and crafts at affordable prices. The east end community has loved having Blue Crow in the area and it has been a wonderful addition to Gerrard St.

And how has the gallery grown over the years with artist support, classes on offer, in-home consultations, special events, etc.? Blue Crow has become “a community” and not just a set of walls on which to hang art, hasn’t it?   We’ve grown so much, and the following for our gallery always fills my heart and surprises me how much we are loved by this city and beyond.  What started out as a dream has been brought to reality and wow it has been a ride.  Our art school started out small and now has full classes every day of the week.  Our adult workshops have been a big draw for fellow artists and creatives as well as others just looking to enjoy a fun afternoon creating in the studio.  Even our summer camps have really grown over the years and are now such a special part of our studio program.  The art events we host are always well attended and lots of fun.  Before Covid, these parties were booming and I’m sure with time this will grow again too.  The joy of our gallery really does go beyond just the gorgeous art on our walls. We will try to find our footing in the new smaller space and bring a new energy to our gallery, and I’m sure it will be wonderful in a whole new way.  This community has been so wonderful and their kindness and support has been overwhelming since announcing the move.Your new gallery is pretty close by so thankfully you’ll remain in the neighbourhood – can you share where the new location is, and will you still offer all the classes and workshops?  Yes, of course – 1330 Gerrard St E will be our new location.  We will be setting up there and fixing the space before we fully move over in April.  We’ll still have all the wonderful classes, camps and workshops to offer in the new location.  Registration for our summer art camps is on line now.  It will be different, as change always is, but it will still be filled with the amazing art, talent and our awesome team that you have come to know and we will just bring all that joy into the new gallery.

Are you looking to increase the number of artists you showcase, and if so, how do artists submit their work for consideration?  It will take us some time to find out how we fit things into the new gallery the way we like and then we will open back up to new artists.  We’re going to expand our online platform, too, with more work on our website once we have the new location.  Our gallery accepts artist applications for review through our website.  At this time, we are busy moving and won’t be reviewing any new work until after the summer.  This year, sadly, we will not be hosting our annual summer group show that features 107 Canadian artists each year.  We’ll try to host it next year once we’re settled in, so keep following for that news in future. (Pictured below, the fabulous Blue Crow team….)Thanks everyone for all of your love and support and we hope you will fly down the street in the spring and check out the new nest…I mean gallery :>) Jodi Wheeler, Blue Crow Gallery

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So, Jodi, good luck with the move and the grand opening on Gerrard in April. FLY will be there to report on all the festivities!