I was exploring the west side of the distillery district this time, and was fortunate to meet with Fay Athari the full time Director of artagallery. I had to admit I was lured in by the aesthetic beauty of a horse sculpture made of metal that appeared through the window. It was just as beautiful up close under the spot lights. I was stunned by the amazing quality of the space. My exploration lead me to the belief that this was a high end art gallery with a warm character and friendly appeal. I explained to Fay my background in visual arts and my attempt to promote the arts in Toronto, especially the distillery district. During our conversation I could I feel the common passion for the creative arts and what they have to offer. I was pleasantly surprised to find out from Fay that artagallary is one of the older galleries in the historical Distillery District and has been running for 8 years. I must admit that I admire the pioneers that had strong visions to reinvent the distillery district. I can imagine the struggles the gallery had to overcome to establish itself in this area that transformed itself into an arts and culture centre.
Fay Athari and the Love of Contemporary, Emerging and Established Artists
Arta Gallery features various international artists emerging and established. This gives Fay, the gallery Director, a chance to travel and attend various art exhibitions and has buyers in Europe and the Middle East. The beginning for artagallery was a difficult time like any other business, but it still remains. After the recession in 2008, business slowed down. I was pleased to hear from Fay that she has begun to see business pick up once again. Art is unfortunately considered to be a luxury and is usually one of the first to be effected by the poor economy. I feel I had to add and remind readers that high end original art is an investment. Fay mentioned that she sees a lot of change in the art world. People are beginning to go directly to the artist. This is a concern for the private galleries. Many of the galleries are remaining positive in their passion for art display and have learned to get creative in their business practices.
Artagallery uses it stunning architecture and space for event rentals. What a perfect place to have an intimate wedding ceremony or reception, in a gorgeous gallery with historical character and a contemporary masterpieces. This high end gallery has also hosted wonderful birthday parties, film showings, book launching, poetry readings and various other types of ceremonies. The director of the movie Chloe had a film shown at this stunning location.
Accidental Discovery of the artagallery in the Distillery
The Director of artagallery, Fay Athari has an interesting history, originating from Persia. She is an architect and artist and was working for a contemporary design company looking for art space. When she discovered this new found area with it’s rich architecture, history and style it was easy to see it’s potential to house contemporary art work. I was delighted to hear Fay refer to it as a beautiful accident.
In the past eight years artagallery has housed over 200 exhibitions. They are currently presenting “Visions of Light” featuring artwork of Beata Goik until March 23, 2011. The spring holds the high season for art exhibitions. June, July and August are the highest tourist traffic time for the high end gallery. Coming this spring we can look forward to seeing Toronto’s own local Ryerson graduate students with their art show from the new media department in April 5, 2011. I encourage all to go for walk in the area and to take some time to view the gallery space and see what it has to offer.