Hey, Toronto West-Enders, great news; we’re getting our own art supply centre! Opening December 1st in the Junction, ARTiculations is part art supply store, part workshop, part gallery, and part artist resource centre. I got a sneak peak of the renovated space this week, and, let me tell you, it’s going to be good. In a brief moment between painting furniture and installing fixtures, owner Heather Phillips talks to us about hand-selecting supplies, being a Junction-lady, and the awesome line-up of events planned for ARTiculations’ grand opening.
Knock Twice Blog: What inspired you to open an art supply store?
Heather Phillips: As I finished school I realized what’s important to me is facilitating art-making. I am at a point in my life where I’m ready to be my own boss, and it only made sense for me to start and build a business in my own community. The location kind of happened organically. I’ve lived in the Junction for four years now, and I have a studio here which I share with my business partner, Miki. Miki and I have been neighbours in the same building for two years, and when we started talking about opening ARTiculations, I always knew it would be here, to give back to the Junction community that I’ve fallen in love with.
KTB: What is your background?
HP: Well, my mom is Austrian….just kidding. (I mean, she really is Austrian, but I know that’s not what you’re asking.) Miki and I both studied fine art at York University. We met in the sculpture studio on campus. We’re both multi-disciplinary artists, but I definitely gravitate towards sculpture.
KTB: What sort of art supplies will you be selling?
HP: We’re going to stock most traditional art supplies, so things for painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking. Miki and I have hand-picked everything that we’re going to carry. We’ve curated the selection based on our own personal use. We carry Canadian and sustainable products wherever possible, without sacrificing quality. As an artist, I believe that investing in quality materials contributes to the longevity of a finished piece.
KTB: Your mandate includes the term ‘resource”. What does that mean?
HP: We want ARTiculations to be a resource for both artists and the community at large. I have decided my job description is “creative navigator.” We’re going to host workshops. Some will be standard programming, like printmaking, sculpture, and drop-in life drawing classes. We’re also planning some collaborative, outside-the-box workshops, like a mural group, and a collage parties. The workshop space in the back will also be used to host pay-what-you-can open studio times.
KTB: And there’s also a gallery space?
HP: Yes, it’s named after Earl Selkirk. His name is inlayed in the tile entrance to our building. He played football for the Toronto Argonauts in the 1930s, managed the team in the 1940’s, and ran for city council in The Junction in both 1946 and 1949. Our debut exhibition in the space is by Toronto artist Amanda McCavour. We will be having an open call for submissions and the application will be up on our website soon.
KTB: What are you most excited for?
HP: People coming to use the space! One of the reasons we’re starting this is to give back to the community, and we’re so excited to see our friends and neighbours coming in and making ARTiculations their own. To celebrate our grand opening on December 1st, we’re hosting free all-day workshops and an all-night party. It’ll be a great way to kick things off!
ARTiculations is located at 2928 Dundas St West (just west of Keele), and will be opening onDecember 1st, 2011. Click here to visit their website, and click here for more information on the grand opening schedule.