Though pretty new on the scene, this gallery fashioned from a former hardware store already represents work by some of the city’s top contemporary artists: the rhythmic, abstract encaustics by Nicole Collins and chimerical, pseudo-landscapes by Celia Neubauer. After 20 years building a rapport with the art community as a graphic designer and art director, Niki Dracos made the leap to opening her own gallery once she found the perfect location. “Parkdale has the city’s highest artist population,” she says. “It’s cool, creative, evolving and real.” Dracos could see the potential in the run-down store; she stripped the interior to reveal a wood-beamed ceiling and brick walls that give the space a warmth atypical of galleries. This eye (and intuition) also brings new artistic talent to showcase alongside established provocateurs, local and international. In May, coinciding with the Contact Photography Festival, Dracos features the work of the UK’s Maslen & Mehra, who explore the nature/culture divide by super-imposing urban iconography onto serene landscapes.
By Shannon Anderson
Photos by Naomi Finlay