Collective Habitat 1997-2012

in honor of gallery gachet’s 20th anniversary
Venu: Gallery Gachet, Vancouver
Date: December 6th,2012 – February 17th, 2013
Curator: Bernadine Fox

Collective Habitat: What Gallery Gachet Meant To Me

Personally: Gallery Gachet was the first place I felt safe talking about my mental illness and physical disabilities without feeling ostracized or looked down upon. The place and the people were/are a huge part of my life. It was like coming home every time was there. I was a volunteer and collective member for about 6 or so years. I worked (volunteer) a double shift each week as a Gallery Host.  I loved greeting people at the door and talking with people. I have truly met some amazing people and forged some lasting friendships. It had also motivated me and allowed me a venue to show my work, and make connections to/with other organizations like Kickstart Disabilities and Art and Small DTES Grant.

The community of DTES: It’s a place where “everyone” is welcome, whether they want to come in to see the exhibit, or talk over a cup of coffee or tea . . . or just to get out the rain. 

It was so rewarding to mentor someone who ‘doesn’t consider themselves artist’ but creates to survive and cope. Assisting them to have their work shown in the Salon area was such a pleasure. The Salon is a space we created that is a smaller space with a low barrier, meaning minimal paperwork, and the chance to show usually within 3 months of applying. It is so thrilling to see someone from the DTES have their first micro show, and for them to see their name in big letters on the wall for the first time in their life was exhilarating. There is nothing more rewarding than to share that sense of purpose and belonging with someone you have mentored. And watch their art practice evolve with more opportunities, recognition, and sales of their artwork.

Gallery Gachet is not just a gallery space, it is so much more than that. A gathering place for all walks of life. They offered free art classes on Mondays called Expressive Arts, all supplies included. 

They have a computer lab and provide computers for free use to people who might not have access to one. They have Computer Interns who come in and teach from the very basics to more advanced programs. They have also held some grant writing tutorials.

Art is a means of survival for all of us affiliated with the Gallery.  Gallery Gachet is a necessity in our DTES neighborhood.