When we first got the idea of occupying some abandoned office space to serve as UKAI's new home we put the word out by asking for "Dunder Mifflin meets Andy Warhol's The Factory".
Some kind soul, on LinkedIn of all places, connected us to Bygone Theatre and as of September 1, 2023 we moved into our space at 379 Adelaide St. West (the entirety of the fourth floor), now known as The Bridge.
On Saturday, September 23, 2023 we opened the doors to crowds from Nuit Blanche looking for something a bit more chill from 7 pm to 7 am. We also hosted some incredible art from folks left without a space to exhibit their work after Artscape's troubles.
We were hoping to throw a little awe and wonder people's way, with a giant goat waving from the lobby at passers-by and an office space turned over to something weirder.
Awe and wonder help us rework the categories by which we make sense of the world. When we encounter something that we're not quite sure what to do with, we are invited to pause. We can continue on, pretending we don't see the giant furry goat waving at us (and many did), but encounters with awe are not easily bypassed.
There was drinking, dancing, conversation and lingering with artists' work. It wasn't to everybody's taste, and that's fantastic. Part of UKAI's goal is to invite folks to do the work of making sense of the world around them outside of the routines that we've been conditioned to apply. Saturday felt like a good start.
One of the challenges of running a space in Toronto is that the cost of doing anything here encourages relationships to become transactions very quickly. There are other models available though, and we're looking forward to trying things out and sharing what we learn. There is space for generosity and we are so grateful for the help we've received to get things moving here.
We invite you to come check things out for yourself. Open studios are Tuesdays from 1 to 5 or just pop by if you're in the neighborhood. We have plenty of coffee to share.
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