U of T Mississauga art gallery addresses COVID-19 crisis, digitally supports arts and culture

Learn to swim in your living room. Make music from tweets. Explore the folk remedies of pandemics past. The Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga has launched an ambitious new initiative to support artists and capture the creative energy of the current moment.

Earlier this month, the Blackwood Gallery published TILTING (1), a special two-part digital publication that marks several firsts for the on-campus art centre as it adapts to the new realities imposed by a global health crisis.

The Blackwood Gallery was among the countless galleries forced to close their doors in March, leaving gallery staff to find new ways to work with established artists from around the globe and support educational programming for curatorial students enrolled in U of T Mississauga’s art and art history program, as well as a joint visual studies program with Sheridan College. Programming is supported by U of T, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

“The closure of almost all public institutions across the country meant the simultaneous cancellation of contracts for the unprotected labour force, which [includes] the art and culture industry,” says Christine Shaw, Blackwood Gallery director and curator and assistant professor, teaching stream, in U of T Mississauga’s department of visual studies.

“An entire community of makers was left without income, without support systems and without resources. That became an immediate concern for us.”

Read more Blake Eligh