Blue Crow Gallery to celebrate Grand Re-opening at new location on Gerrard Street East on Friday, June 21

Jodi Wheeler stands by the Blue Crow Gallery's new location at 1330 Gerrard St. E. Photo by Alan Shackleton.

While owner Jodi Wheeler was not happy that she had to change the location of her Blue Crow Gallery recently, she is pleased that she was able to stay in the East Toronto neighbourhood along Gerrard Street East.

To mark the occasion , Wheeler will be hosting a Grand Re-opening celebration on Friday, June 21, at the art gallery’s new location which is at 1330 Gerrard St. E., east of Greenwood Avenue.

The celebration goes from 7 to 10 p.m., though the gallery will also be open earlier in the day during its regular hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wheeler has been running the Blue Crow Gallery in the community since 2016, and it was previously located at 1610 Gerrard St. E., just west of Coxwell Avenue.

However, she said that her rent was going to double once her current lease renewed so she had to move a bit further west along Gerrard Street East to her new location.

“It should be noted that so many small businesses are being impacted by these type of rent increases,” said Wheeler.

There was never any thought that she would close the gallery, however. It did take some work to find the new space though as Wheeler said it was critically important that the Blue Crow Gallery remain on Gerrard Street East.

“I had to stay on this street. We run a huge art school and so many families in the neighbourhood need us for that. Leaving the street would have meant the end of those programs,” she said.

Along with art programs, including a summer camp for local youngsters, the Blue Crow Gallery also plays a vitally important role in supporting a number of Toronto artists.

“We represent a large number of independent Canadian artists,” said Wheeler. “Everyone we carry is local and we offer great quality Canadian artwork at affordable prices. We want to make good art accessible.”

She said local artists need the support of galleries, and art partrons, especially as they work to continue to recover from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There were two years of restrictions, and the possibility of losing a local gallery that was supportive of them, and these are professional, working artists, would have really affected them,” said Wheeler of the artists the gallery works with.

An artist herself, Wheeler has exhibited her works in Canada, the United States and Australia. She grew up in Pickering and graduated from York University with a fine arts degree in 1999. After graduation she also worked as an art dealer and gallery manager in both Canada and Australia before opening a gallery in Toronto’s Distillery District in 2015 and then opening the Blue Crow Gallery on Gerrard Street East in 2016.

She added that Blue Crow Gallery is thrilled to be the latest addition to what is becoming a growing arts community along Gerrard Street East between Greenwood Avenue and Highfield Road.

They are located right next door to the Riverdale Hub and Wheeler said the gallery looks forward to working with them on arts and other community initiatives.

For more information on the Blue Crow Gallery, please go to https://www.bluecrowgallery.com/


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