Community Spotlight | Galleria 814

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This week we had the chance to speak with Liz Havenaar (as seen below), a former graduate of OCAD, and now the curator of Galleria 814 about how the gallery got started and why they are big supporters of established and local emerging artists.

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VL: What inspired Adina Sarig to open up her own gallery and how did she decide on the name Galleria 814?

LIZ: Well, being located at 814 St. Clair West, we just wanted people to know that we were very community oriented and liked to showcase local artists. Adina has owned and operated Adina Photo at Yonge and College for many years, and because of her understanding of the custom framing technique, and being an artist herself, she would see a lot of artwork coming in through her other store and wanted to open up her own space to showcase local art and add an artist edge into the community she lived in.

VL:  Rather than focusing on one specific style or movement, the gallery showcases both contemporary and traditional art, along with photography. Did she always have an appreciation for different styles?

LIZ: For sure! Adina studied at the The Academy of Realist Art (ARA) so she has a very good understanding of the traditional technique and, being an art collector, she has a personal collection we like show every couple of months which is a mix of traditional and more contemporary pieces. She’s also a photographer herself so we make a point of having a couple photography shows around the year as well. But with that said, besides established artists, we like to show emerging artist as well.

We find that those fresh out of school use really interesting, fresh techniques that definitely brings a different element to what we normally show.

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VL: What’s a must see piece you currently have in your gallery?

LIZ: It’s hard to choose one piece! We actually just put up a new show two weeks ago. The artist’s name is Tonya Corkey who has a really interesting technique that I’ve personally never seen done before. I found her work at the OCAD grad show last year. She’s been in shows before, but this is her first solo show and a lot of the pieces were produced within the last 6 months.

She uses lint as her medium, weaving it onto the canvas as a way to reference the erosion of memory over the time. She bases these portraits off of antique school photos and the results are unbelievable, so it’s definitely something people should check out! The show runs until March 30th.

VL: You showcase great artwork, but you also offer other services at your gallery. Can you speak a little about that?

LIZ: Yes, we’re definitely not just an art gallery. We have a variety of services going on since Adina is also an art dealer and an expert framer so you can come to us for art dealing, custom framing, and also to take in an exhibition or two.

VL: What events can we look forward too?

The Tonya Corkey’s See You in the Future show that just opened and we also participate in the CONTACT Festival in May every year, a photography festival where a majority of art galleries will showcase photographers. We have teamed up with an artist at OCAD right now, Jessy Pesce, and her show goes up on May 1st for a month. We’re really excited for her!

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