Whippersnapper Gallery was founded in Toronto in 2004 to provide an accessible and versatile exhibition space for young and emerging artists. Through a series of back-room deals with real estate moguls, Whippersnapper founders Luke Correia-Damude and Patrick Struys secured the gallery’s first location at Front St and Sherbourne in Toronto’s south/east side. With a tenacious attitude and a highly sophisticated DIY mentality, Whippersnapper showed nearly 75 artists in its first few months on the scene and proved that there was a need for this unique type of space.
After moving to Little Italy (west of Bathurst on College), Whippersnapper spent 4 years as a multidisciplinary arts space that played host to art exhibitions, music events, cultural forums and theatrical performances. Over the corse of these years the original founders struck a meaningful and lasting friendship with two soon-to-be integral members of the Whippersnapper Team – Jessica Hayes and Chris Altorf- better known as Istoica. As a larger collective, Whippersnapper continued with its high flying, accessible and fun programming. This wholesome mix of music, theatre, community and visual arts has been crucial to the gallery’s success, providing a common venue for various and diverse creative communities through out Toronto.
In the Summer of 2010, Whippersnapper Gallery was granted Artist Run Centre status and given annual operating funding by the Ontario Arts Council. The gallery is the first gallery in five years to be granted this status and the first with a specific mandate focused on the needs of New Generation artists. During the transition to this new structure, Whippersnapper Gallery relocated once again to the current space at Dundas and Augusta to begin its first year as a fully programmed, artist fee paying, contemporary visual arts gallery.