Against All Odds: A Large Working Artists Co-op in Pillette Village

Sunday January 8th, 2012

Posted at 12:00pm

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Guest article written by Chris Ford

The Back Room Gallery Artists’ Co-op is a group of artists who work together to put on shows, to split the cost of exhibiting, to share display equipment and to help each other with sales and marketing tips and/or mutual support. Their organizational structure has been casual and inclusive, any member wanting to be involved in planning a group-sanctioned project has been able to do so. This has naturally led to small groups of leaders emerging for each project, groups which then operate by consensus, not an easy way to go, but one that is working for this feisty group. The Back Room Gallery Artists’ Co-op has been an active group since December 2009. Founded by Chris Ford, the original handful has grown into the more than forty in today’s roster.

The latest in their accomplishments is the opening of their own gallery at 4749 Wyandotte Street East, Windsor in the heart of Pillette Village. This beautifully appointed space is presently used by 23 artists as a true cooperative operation. Artists will also be able to use this professional looking space to meet clients and teach art lessons and for other potential uses related to their work as artists. All participating artists will share responsibility for the day to day operation of the gallery. A co-op is one of the hardest templates to run as a large group, but the Back Room bunch has found a way to make it work, making them the only co-op in Windsor. The physical space is welcoming, but so is the energy you feel when entering, very welcoming to patrons as well as other artists.

The space not only plays host to displays of beautiful art work, but is developing four working studios: pottery, painting, wood shop and dark room facilities. Artists-in-residence are signing up for these spaces and classes will be announced. There is even talk of a new Pottery Guild being formed. The gallery is at near capacity and is looking for a few artists to join in, preferably a stained glass artist or possibly another sculptor. Inquiries should be sent to [email protected]

Artists who are showing and selling their wares at Back Room Gallery are:
Chris Ford, Kathryn Tisdale, Nicola Ferguson, Suellen Evoy-Oozeer, Dayna Wagner, Christy Litster, Lori Moore, Lindsay Hanaka, Natalie Sinn, Mary Wheeler, Rob O’Dell, Dilly Daisy, Bernadette Robertson, Cindy Teti, Norm Fortin, Collette Broeders, Sue Rumball, Ken Friesen, Cheryl Carlin, Lisa Brabant, Sue Marentette, Albin Kristy, Linda Hurst, Bill & Theresa Posloski and soon Robert Wright. There is a wide array of art forms, sure to satisfy your craving for creativity: pottery, paintings, photography, blown glass, fabric arts, jewellery, sculpture, mosaics and so much more. The Back Room Gallery Artists’ Co-op invites you to drop in, Tuesday-Saturday 10-6. 4749 Wyandotte Street East, Windsor.

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