Possible Worlds is a community-driven, artist-run alternative art space consisting of a micro gallery, art + record shop, print studio, and project space. Founded in 2015, this hybrid space is located within a 330 square foot storefront in Chinatown, Ottawa, Canada. Our focus is on electronic music and graphic art, and sharing the work of emerging, experimental, diverse, socially-engaged and underrepresented artists and groups, from Canada and internationally. Possible Worlds is the project of the art and music collective, Spins & Needles.
MISSION: To support the development of connections and creative work in Ottawa-Gatineau and beyond, forging intersections among art, music, design, education and culture in general.
PLATFORM: Embedded in a diverse neighbourhood within a storefront, Possible Worlds challenges the traditional models in which cultural institutions engage the public, transforming the familiar consumer site into a learning and social site.
VISION: To provide an inclusive art and music platform that helps advance creative and cultural dialogue in Ottawa and beyond, bringing artists and citizens together who are passionate about multidiscplinary approaches to creating culture, to reimagine progressive ways of thinking and being in the world.
HISTORY: The space was initially launched as a pop-up in 2015 to mark the 10-year anniversary of our collective, Spins & Needles. It was also a response to the lack of accessible cultural infrastructure available to the arts community in Ottawa for learning, gathering and experimentation, as well as our own desire to engage with more diverse artists and perspectives in the local artistic milieu.
REVENUE: Any revenue generated (from shop sales, exhibitions, events, workshops, memberships and services) goes back to operate the space, programming and the artists involved.
PHYSICAL ACCESSIBILITY: Possible Worlds is on the second-floor of a plaza and is only physically accessible by stairs (unfortunately there is no ramp or elevator to the second floor). We often host programming in physically accessible spaces in collaboration with partners.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: We acknowledge that Possible Worlds is located on unceded Algonquin territory.
SPACE DIRECTORS & CO-FOUNDERS: Jason Pelletier & Melanie Yugo
WHAT WE DO
SHOP: A curated selection of works is sold in our space, featuring new and affordable limited edition pieces and multiples created by local, Canadian and international artists, as well as in-house. Our selection includes prints, new vinyl records, cassettes, apparel, artist books, zines, pins, ceramics and other art objects. Many of these works can be found only in Ottawa at our shop.
GALLERY: The Possible Worlds gallery wall showcases the latest in contemporary and emerging graphic art from local Ottawa artists, across Canada and internationally. Rotating solo and group art shows feature selected artists, illustrators and designers. Entry to view the exhibits is free and open to all.
PROJECT SPACE + STUDIO: Artist talks, meetups, and workshops such as our popular silkscreening workshops, are hosted in our convertible project space. Contemporary artists, musicians, designers, writers, curators, educators, cultural workers, social practitioners, activists, students and the community-at-large gather to network and share knowledge, tools and experiences with their peers. The space also converts to host live electronic music shows, exhibition openings, book launches and other art gatherings.
PUBLISHING + SMALL PRESS: With expertise in silkscreening and Risograph printing, we collaborate with artists, designers and small studios to produce selected art posters, artist books, zines, t-shirts, album covers, cassette covers and other printed matter. For each solo exhibition at Possible Worlds, we collaborate with the exhibiting artist to produce limited edition works.
DEVELOPMENT: A large part of our work is discovering, developing and mentoring new and promising talent, and providing access to resources and opportunities for creatives to realize their projects. Creatives benefit from PW's network, experience and research of art and culture at local, national and international levels. We also offer a development program, allowing volunteers to gain experience and skills beneficial to their future careers; interns to acquire credits for coursework at universities, secondary and postsecondary institutions; or creatives looking for professional development experience.
We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.