HERSTORY & MANDATE
1973. Three women belonging to a group named the Flaming Aprons place an ad on a billboard, sending a call out to women artists who were interested in meeting and discussing the difficulties related to exhibiting their work in a professional context. This is how Powerhouse was born. During the first eight months of operation the gallery ran thanks to the support of members, exhibiting artists as well as women who were interested in supporting its activities. The gallery was two exhibition rooms on the 2nd floor of a four-room apartment at 1210 Greene Avenue. The founding members were: Elizabeth Bertoldi, Leslie Busch, Isobel Dowler-Gow, Margaret Griffin, Clara Gutshe, Billie-Joe Mericle, Stasje Plantenga and Pat Walsh.
The very first show was presented from May 20th to June 21st 1973. It was only one year later, on May 24th 1974, that the gallery was incorporated under the name of Galerie et atelier la Centrale Électrique / Powerhouse Gallery & Studio. Since then, the centre has moved many times, and most recently to a storefront window on the main!
In celebration of our forty years of artistic programming, in celebration of our dear members and the artists who animate our activities, we continue to build towards the goal of making contemporary art by women more accessible to the public!
Founded in 1973, La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse is one of Quebec’s oldest artist-run centers. The gallery exhibits and serves a broad spectrum of artists and their projects, that are often under-represented within established art institutions. Its mandate expands on a history of feminist art practices and aims to provide a platform for contemporary art that is informed by feminist and gender theory, as well as intercultural and transdisciplinary practices. This involves the development of artistic and professional exchange at the local, national and international levels. We promote the work of artists at all stages of their careers to encourage intergenerational dialogue.