Mississauga Art Gallery launches program for emerging LGBTQ+ artists


Published May 20, 2021 at 7:12 pm


The call for artists is now out for a queer photo/film program at the Mississauga Art Gallery to help emerging LGBTQ artists.

LOVE LAB aims to match up emerging artists in the LGBTQ+ community with mentors, as well as innovative workspace and technology partners, to help “bridge the gap” between emerging and established and to provide access to networks and connections, as well as exposure to new and diverse audiences.

Anna Gulbinski, the gallery’s Executive Director, said they will be taking submissions for the program beginning June 11 and hope to have the successful artists named and the mentors identified by the end of the month. The next step, she explained, will be to plan out the program with sponsors and mentors through the rest of the year.

“It will obviously start out virtually, but the idea is to have some kind of personal interactions sometime soon. Even if it’s just between the mentor and the artist.”

Gulbinski said the timeline for turning a virtual artist mentorship program into one that is face-to-face with a grand gallery showcase will depend on the ongoing pandemic, as well as the type of art involved.

Certain kinds of art work better when the viewer is up close and personal, she explained, “so those artists might want to wait until the fall” to showcase their talents.

An in-person showcase will happen eventually, Gulbinski said.

“All the artists will want to show off their work.”

LOVE LAB will be an incubator for the artists as well as the general public to learn about the LGBTQ+ community and to help emerging artists elevate their skills for future projects and employment.

The program also hopes to educate the public about art, the LGBTQ+ community and support a more inclusive and healthy society.

“LGBTQ’s struggles are a little bit different from other artists,” Gulbinski added.

The artists will also benefit from financial literacy training, courtesy of RBC, as well access to technology and related support from Panasonic. They will also be able to present their work in a professional space (the gallery’s Resource Room will be converted to the LOVE LAB) and be able to use an “innovative co-working space,” courtesy of Mindshare.

“The goal is for the emerging artists to develop a better understanding of what it takes to build a career.”

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