An-Other Way is a feminist art project situated on 64 acres of conservation-protected, organic farmland in rural Ontario, Canada.
An-Other Way is an expansive site for queer and feminist artists to come, to live, to conceptualize and produce land art projects alongside the 12 principles of permaculture: observe and interact, catch and store energy, obtain a yield, applying self-regulation and feedback, value renewables, produce no waste, design from patterns to details, integrate don’t segregate, use small slow solutions, use and value diversity, use edges and value the marginal, creatively use, and respond to change (Waddington, ethical.net, 2019). An-Other Way will also serve as a sanctuary and respite for artists and activists wishing to simply develop ideas, plan, write, research, rest and recharge.
Set deliberately outside the conventions and restrictions of traditional gallery, museum, institutional and classroom settings, An-Other Way expands on the intentional, intergenerational and queer feminist community building mandate of the FAG Feminist Art Gallery (Toronto) run by Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell since 2010. While FAG (a 450-square foot garage situated in our backyard) is feminist, it is not a women’s art project; it is equally engaged with gender, race, class, and ability. FAG is an art and political potluck, varied in its effects and actions, but focused in its goal: to realize, enact, and support an alternative artist economy and relation.
FAG has been a response and a protest, filled with humour, joy, and opportunity, bringing in who and what would not have space otherwise in conventional institutions. We host, we fund, we advocate, we support, we claim. Over the last decade FAG has been home to over 50 artists from all over the world who have come here to craft, publish, create, disseminate and rest. FAG has been seen as a breath of much needed fresh air and an important touchstone in the community. Our work has been featured significantly in feminist history anthologies that are often some of the first cohesively “archived” and published queer feminist histories, including in Desire Change: Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada (2017), edited by Heather Davis (see “A Speculative Manifesto for the Feminist Art Fair International: An Interview with Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue of the Feminist Art Gallery” by Amber Christensen, Lauren Fournier, and Daniella Sanader), Otherwise: Imagining queer feminist histories (2017), edited by Amelia Jones and Erin Silver (see our interview with curator Helena Reckitt), and The Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality, 1857-2017 (2018) by Lucinda Gosling, Hilary Robinson and Amy Tobin.
Continuing to build and keep meaningful space in a hyper-gentrified and intensified city like Toronto has become untenable, and it’s now clearer than ever that a way forward, beyond the Feminist Art Gallery, must be found. While our ethos remains the same, the strategy must adapt.
Located less than two hours from Toronto and easily accessible via a cross-country train line, bus routes and a main highway, An-Other Way will become part of a constellation of long-practicing artists and curatorial initiatives that have deliberately decentralized from urban settings in order to expand the connections between artists of all generations and locations.
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