Women's Art Resource Centre (WARC)
In 1984 a group of women artists joined together to do something about the effacement of women from art history. They developed WARC's Curatorial Research Library to facilitate the documentation and representation of women within contemporary culture and supported curatorial and artistic experimentation from diverse ideological, cultural and theoretical perspectives.
WARC also created and continues to provide a program of public discussions as well as theoretical and practical professional development opportunities that respond to the evolving needs of the professional arts environment. We present conferences every few years to encourage theoretical discourse and exchange amongst diverse artists and communities. Benchmarks include the "Feminism and Art Conference", 1987; "Empowerment and Marginalization", 1990; "The Status of Canadian Women in the Arts", 1994; "Crossing Borders, Mapping Boundaries", presented in collaboration with Women's Caucus for Art (USA),1997; 20/20 Vision: Seeing Our Way Through Change, 2004; Mapping Cultural Time Zones, presented in collaboration with the Goethe Insitut, 2005. To mark the 2001 millennium, WARC teamed with Kellogg Canada to curate and produce the calendar, "Celebrating Canadian Women Artists". Six hundred and fifty thousand copies were distributed across Canada.
In 1990 WARC introduced Matriart magazine to expand critical discourse and enhance the profile of women's art within the broader public and educational sector. The magazine was subscribed to by individuals as well as educational and art institutions across Canada and the USA. Funding cuts in the late 1990's forced the magazine to cease publishing.
In 1994, WARC published a landmark survey of gender representation at the National Gallery of Canada, entitled Who Counts and Who's Counting. The majority of public art galleries across Canada subsequently participated in this survey. A documentary video featuring WARC's 2004 update of the survey and a contextualized perspective of gender and cultural representation within the National Gallery of Canada will be disseminated at our Emerging Artist Conference November '07.
In 1998, we established WARC Gallery at 401 Richmond St. West, a Toronto cultural landmark in the Queen St. West district, to present exhibitions of visual, media and performance art featuring Canadian as well as international artists. WARC Gallery regularly liaises with visual and media arts festivals, cultural and educational institutes and consulate offices to foster diverse audiences and promote cultural exchanges.
Our commitment to a culture of peace has propelled the development of special outreach projects that highlight both the tangible and theoretical potential of artistic vision and innovation.
WARC continues to evolve, and as we move forward with the launch of World Wide WARC, we strive to challenge the exchange between artist and audience within a global perspective.