The AGYU is located at one of Canada’s most multi-cultural universities situated in the vibrant Greater Toronto Area. The Gallery is a steward of great art and acts as a community hub attracting internal and external members alike. The AGYU also provides opportunities for collaboration with York’s School of Art, Media, Performance and Design as well as other faculties on campus.
Exhibitions take place in the main gallery, a state-of-the-art, climate controlled, fully-wired, 3000 square foot gallery space opened in 2006; in the three vitrines located in the colonnade along the front entrance of the gallery; on school buses and alternative sites; and at other art institutions, galleries, and community spaces reflecting the commitment to community engagement for which York is known. Discussions are also underway for expansion.
In addition to the exhibition of York’s art collections, the AGYU partners with local, national, and international artists in commissioning new work and purpose-built exhibition design. Current artists criss-cross the Americas: from the USA with Postcommodity to Brazil with Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Búrca, and to Mexico with Betsabeé Romero.
The AGYU is also known for its research and stage actions that intentionally inhabit the civic spaces that surround the gallery, opening the GTA to new kinds of possibilities for movement and agency, not to mention diasporic performativity. In this context, the AGYU serves a pedagogical role with the individuals and groups engaged in the activities of the gallery. Hundreds of classes are conducted in the gallery, and the “gallery” goes out to departments across the University, inflecting curricula with contemporary art. Today, the AGYU is considered a leader in experiential learning at York. Ultimately, the AGYU aspires to showcase the potential of what art galleries can be in universities – a place that brings people together while increasing accessibility to art.