TAP Centre for Creativity: Growing culture in the Forest City

Header image for the article TAP Centre for Creativity: Growing culture in the Forest City Credit: IAN INDIANO
Founded in the late 90s and located in downtown London, TAP offers different spaces and events.

Among the many institutions that provide access to arts and culture in London, TAP Centre for Creativity is certainly well-known. Founded in the late 90s and located in downtown London, TAP offers different spaces and events. The gallery space showcases the work of local artists and offers free admission, the theatre has seating of up to 80 and hosts performances from local artists. Meanwhile, the studio space offers 10 different studios to be occupied by resident artists. TAP also offers several programs and classes, like the life drawing classes and the Emerging Artist Studio Program, where emerging artists are mentored by the resident artists. Like many other institutions, TAP was very affected by the pandemic. I talked to Sandra de Salvo, TAP’s executive director to learn more about their reopening process:

How did the pandemic affect TAP?

I think early on we all experienced lots of uncertainty, trying to determine how far into the future we need to adjust. And certainly, like everyone else we realized that it was going to be a stop for quite a period of time. Initially as we closed, cancelled classes and cancelled programming, and then we started to turn our focus on what we could deliver with the limited recourses we had at the moment, to make sure that we can help the community through this period. But the week of closure should have been the week that our Fanshawe second-year students came in to install their exhibit. So, it took a couple of weeks to connect with the Fanshawe faculty to figure out how can we help in this moment, both for the graduate class and the second-year class, and then for the photography department. Executing those three exhibits online to make sure that that was happening was very good.

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How is your reopening process going?

I think the stop and start that we all experienced was quite difficult. So, as we received that information by the government, that sort of staged reopening, and that really looked like we could move forward, that did mean focusing a lot on programming. We did a poetry workshop, we introduced life drawing both Monday and Tuesday afternoon again. We’ve got classes under way and some presentations in the gallery with the 42 x 81 series, a collaborative art series. As well there’s a poetry meeting and some film screenings coming up. Over the last four weeks, I think, the response by artists looking to reconnect, looking to continue to do the things that they love in a group setting, that has rolled out quickly, and the uptake for that has been amazing. So, artists were really keen to come back, but we can also see that audience are also keen to return as well.

What should we expect from TAP in the near future?

I think for us it will be steady, and I think our priority is definitely connection. You know, how do we make sure that what we are delivering allows all the disciplines to continue to work together, what are the opportunities for overlap, and how we make sure that the educational and learning part of our organization is the biggest push coming into 2022. And how do we make sure that there are more spaces and places for people to create and network and to share ideas.

TAP Centre for Creativity is located at 203 Dundas Street and it is open for drop-in viewings Wednesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram and to find more about their programs and events, check their website: tapcreativity.org.