A couple days after I sat down with co-founders Jess Carroll and Emma Clough to discuss their gallery space AC REPAIR CO. at Dupont & Franklin, I found myself back there again. This time I was there for Jeff Bierk’s closing show, at which Simone Schmidt of Highest Order played a few songs that wed the work with its title. It was on this second visit that I was wholly able to internalize what Carroll had stated to me days earlier about the space: “It is what it is”.
Now, I see how this summation could come across as sounding like Carroll and Clough lack a sense of intentionality with AC REPAIR CO., but it’s really quite the opposite. Describing AC REPAIR CO. as being just what it is would simply be the best way of compressing this open-concept, collaborative social space, which functions as an art gallery into a single avowal. And the physical space itself is so primary to this fluidity of use.
Located in converted garage on Franklin the space is probably best described as partially finished. It is small with the classic white gallery walls, but the original uneven concrete floor reminds you it isn’t the entirely traditional gallery setting. This discrepancy surely makes it all the more inviting, which feels significant due to its location on a residential street, it encourages the local wanderer to stop in and check it out. Carroll and Clough are conscious of engaging with the community both in terms of establishing relationships with those who live near-by, as well as with the many galleries who have recently migrated that way. Clough, who found the space almost by affected-accident, stated her like for “art as discovery”, favoring the intentional journey to a gallery or space you’ve heard about. As such, AC REPAIR CO. is perfectly nestled somewhere close enough to the gallery storefronts nearby but still tucked away.
In taking a less-than-traditional gallery route, but not rejecting its systems in place altogether Carroll and Clough are able to offer something valuable for the young and emerging artists. The low overhead of AC REPAIR CO. means artists are offered a less pressured and more experimental platform to work with that is also seamlessly bundled with solid familiarity Carroll and Clough have with the art world. The future of AC REPAIR CO. brings hope to show similarly situated artists from abroad into the space as well as the potential to use this designation elsewhere in order to curate shows for local artists and ruffle the slightly insular art community of Toronto.
AC REPAIR CO. seems a special spot for the up and comer, and I think Carroll and Clough are as curious as we are to see how it unfolds.
Go say hi to Emma and Jess, and check out their next exhibition: ‘Bitch And Mona All You Want About Reality‘ for painter Tess Marten on til July 10th 2016.