Those mischievous negative ions

Paul McGlashan (founding member and Director of the KAAI) writes on the emergence of the Artist-Run Centre in Kingston:

 

“QUEENS BROUGHT ME TO KINGSTON AND KINGSTON WOULD NOT LET ME GO. IT MUST HAVE BEEN THOSE MISCHIEVOUS NEGATIVE IONS. 

THE KAAI WAS CREATED BY THE TEACHERS OF THE ART DEPARTMENT AT ST. LAWRENCE COLLGE; SPECIFICALLY, TOBEY ANDERSON WAS THE DRIVING FORCE AS HE BECAME AWARE OF 'ART SPACE' IN PETERBOURGH VIA DENIS TOURBIN ET EL...AND THEN ANNPAC, (ASSOCIATION OF NATIONAL NON-PROFIT ARTISTS' CENTRES) WITH APROX. 12 GALLERIES ACROSS CANADA. THE KAAI EXISTED ON PAPER WITH NO GALLERY OR PERFOMANCE ART FACILITY. 

MEANWHILE CYNDRA MACDOWAL AND I HAD MET WITH MAYOR KEN KEYES AND BEEN GIVEN  21A QUEEN STREET FOR A NOMINAL RENT OF $500 per MONTH INCLUSIVE...TOBEY PROVIDED THE CORPORATION PAPERS, A WORK BEE WAS HELD, A  BUNCH OFFICE DIVIDERS WERE RIPPED OUT, FLOOR TILES RIPPED OUT, AND AN OFFICE SPACE  WAS DIVIDED OFF WITH A 7 FT. HIGH 'L' SHAPE WALL; FURNISHED FOR FREE BY ABRAMSKY'S FURNITURE WITH TWO OLD OAK OFFICE DESKS, 2 SWIVAL CHAIRS, A  GUEST CHAIR, A LARGE WORK TABLE, FILING CABINETS AND BOOKCASES -  ALL CIRCA 1955. WE MOVED IT ALL DOWN TO 21A WITH DICK BERRY’S PICKUP TRUCK. WITH A WORK BEE THE SPACE WAS TRANSFORMED FROM THE TEMPORARY OFFICE SPACE FOR CORK SAILING RACES OFFICE TO A PRETTY CLOSE RESEMBLENCE OF SOME SPACES YOU MAY FIND IN SOHO NY, NY.

A ROTATATING EXHIBITION AND PERFOMANCE SELECTION COMMITTEE FORMED. PERFORMANCE WORKS ALSO TIED INTO THE TOURING PERFORMANCE ART PROGRAMMES OF ANNPAC. AGM's WERE HELD, BUDGETS WERE CREATED BY THE DIRECTOR AND APPROVED BY THE BOARD, ACCOUNTING BOOKS MAINTAINED AND A PROFESIONAL ACCOUNTANT VERIFIED THE BOOKS AND PRODUCED AN ANNUAL REPORT. VARIOUS FUND RAISER EVENTS WERE HELD AND DOUBLED WITH WINTARIO MATCHING GRANTS. EVERYTHING WAS PRESENTED TO THE ELECTED BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

MEMBERSHIP REACHED APPROX. 60, THEN 102! THE MEMBERS’ ANNUAL SHOW WAS SUCCESSFUL AND OFFERED AN INTERESTING INSIGHT INTO

THE COMMUNITY AND CONVERSELY INTO COMMUNITY POPULATIONS IN GENERAL...THERE WERE A LOT OF CLOSET ARTISTS OUT THERE, AS WELL AS A LARGE, VARIED PUBLIC WHO HAD INTEREST/CUIOSITY IN CONTEMPORARY ART.  ELDON MACGLENEHAN WAS ONE SUCH WHO

COLLECTED MATCH BOOKS AND DISPLAYED THEM IN AN ARCHIVAL MANOR, SLIPPED INSIDE TINY STORE-BOUGHT PLASTIC BAGGIES AND DISPLAYED ON A GRID LINE OF PICTURE-HANGING WIRE STRETCHED ON OLD WINDOW FRAMES FROM EYE SCREW TO EYESCREW.

MY COMPUTER HAS CRASHED AND IS NOW BEING HELD TOGETHER BY SCOTCH TAPE AND SAFETY PINS - SOMEWHAT LIKE THE ELEVATOR IN THE PEACE TOWER ON PARLIAMENT HILL, OTTAWA!”

PAUL M. 

 

Transcribed from an email written Friday October 27th, 2017