The new Bau-Xi Gallery building at 1384 Dufferin Street
Bau-Xi Gallery, established in 1965, has just expanded into the West end of Toronto into an old shoelace factory at 1384 Dufferin St. at Geary Ave. They are keeping their Dundas Street location, just expanding. The new location has some 22,000 sq. ft on two floors which includes over 17,500 sq. ft. of exhibition space and lots of storage space. Co-Director, Kyle Matuzewiski, currently at the new location explained that all their works that were in storage at the two locations on Dundas Street West across from the AGO have now moved to storage at this new location as there is an abundance of space.
Co-Director, Kyle Matuzewiski with Isabelle Menin’s Cherubini series
Kyle told me about the preparations and refinishing of the new space. He pointed out the white markings on the polished floor of the first level where machines of the old shoelace factory once stood.
Installation view of the first floor
On the equally spacious second floor the wood floors had been refinished.
Installation view of the second floor
Many paintings were already hung on the walls while others await installation. There were recognizable art works from the extensive roster of Bau-Xi Gallery that looked impressive in the new space.
Installation view with Will Robinson, Spyhop (in front)
A few people trickled in but it was the first day they were open in this new location and, though they had done a mailing to their patrons, people were just finding the new space. Those that had arrived looked visibly impressed. Expect a big opening in early September.
Geary Ave has become a hipster destination for a young and vibrant crowd of artists and creative industry types. Several restaurants and brew pubs have added to the desirability of this new area. Given that many large-scale developments, such as the Galleria Project at Dupont & Dufferin, are bringing thousands of new residents to the neighbourhood one hopes that this will be good for business. So, congratulations to Bau-Xi for seeing the potential.
Installation view of Bau-Xi Gallery’s new exhibition place
Moves like this make the art world see hope at the end of the tunnel as economic struggles, climate change and the housing crisis fill most people’s minds. The arts are an economic driver that bring dollars into the cities. Tax dollars they no doubt need. Happy to have it happen in the Geary hood and let’s hope it thrives and perhaps a few local artists will find new representation as well.
Text and photo: Phil Anderson
*The gallery is open 7 days a week 10 am – 5:30 pm.