1. Tell us a bit about the Graffiti Gallery! How did it get started? The Graffiti Gallery is a not-for-profit youth art centre encouraging self-expression in various art forms. The gallery started out in the Point Douglas Neighborhood in the director’s garage about 20 years ago! Created by Stephen Wilson and Pat Lazo, the two became acquainted after Pat replied to an advertising poster Stephen had put up looking for a graffiti artist. Originally the gallery was just an art gallery until they developed a bigger space on Higgins St - which happened to be the old pickle factory! After this bigger space was developed and the gallery itself grew, they added new programs and art workshops where youth could join as well. One of the objectives was restorative justice: instead of just locking people away, they wanted to create something that could prevent the crime from occurring in the first place and to help direct individuals at risk into areas of the arts. The Graffiti Gallery provides a safe place for people to explore the arts and gain access to resources that would be unavailable to them financially. Ultimately, it’s a platform for emerging artists to get their foot in the door and learn how to use the arts as a tool for life.
2. Are there any specific campaigns, projects, or initiatives that Winnipeggers should know about? The Graffiti Gallery hosts a lot of different programs, events, and other showings! For example: Downtown Portage- located in the skywalk- (studio 393)
Free workshops for ages 13-30
older youth location drop-in studio
Art, dance, music, film, and photography satellite sitesGraffiti Gallery located on Higgins- Monday to Fridays from 4-8pm
Gallery showings- GAP frequently show emerging and professional artists pieces
Workshops offered to organizations, schools, or groups at different locations at different rates.
Mentoring youth/young peopleStreet Art
ART, short for Street Art, is free programming along Winnipeg’s North end and Downtown communities, where local artists join kids and youth in creating various forms of art.