Outworks Gallery: An Artist Run Centre

Outworks Gallery was an artist-run centre in the heart of Winnipeg’s Exchange District featuring studio and exhibition space. Outworks formed as a collective of Winnipeg-based artists sharing ideas and working together in the spirit of collaboration and opportunity. The group included painters, photographers, ceramists, and multi-media artists.
Outworks was realized by the hard work and dedication of several local artists who were interested in creating a space to make and show art. Outworks was run with profits obtained via fundraising activities and funds obtained through regular, membership fees and donations from its founding members. all work in the gallery was done strictly on a volunteer basis.
The gallery and studio space was available for rent.

This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2007 - 2010 archived pages.

3rd flr 290 McDermot Ave


Outworks Gallery: A Cultural Beacon in Winnipeg’s Exchange District

Outworks Gallery, nestled in the heart of Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District, has been a cornerstone of artistic expression and collaboration. This artist-run centre emerged as a collective effort of local artists, driven by a shared vision to create a dynamic space for art creation and exhibition. In this document, we dive deep into the historical, cultural, and architectural significance of the Exchange District, the evolution of Winnipeg's art scene, and the pivotal role played by Outworks Gallery in shaping the local art community.

Historical Background of the Exchange District

The Exchange District is a National Historic Site of Canada, located in the downtown area of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Spanning about twenty city blocks with approximately 150 heritage buildings, it stands as a testament to early 20th century architectural styles, featuring warehouses, financial institutions, and terracotta-clad skyscrapers. The area's name originates from its role as the centre of grain and wholesale trade in Canada, particularly the Winnipeg Grain Exchange, which flourished between 1881 and 1918. During this period, Winnipeg experienced rapid growth, becoming known as the 'Chicago of the North', and serving as a gateway to Canada's West. However, World War I and the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 led to a decline in the city’s prominence as a wholesale centre, shifting the focus of development to other regions.

Evolution of Winnipeg’s Art and Cultural Scene

Winnipeg has long been recognized for its vibrant arts and culture, significantly influenced by its historical development. The city's architecture, heavily influenced by the Chicago style, stands as a physical representation of its cultural evolution. The Exchange District itself, once the hub of commerce, transformed into a cultural centre, housing art galleries, specialty retailers, and various cultural events. Institutions like the Union Bank Building, Canada's oldest skyscraper, and the vibrant North End, with its multicultural and historical murals, illustrate the city's rich artistic heritage. The University of Manitoba’s School of Architecture has also played a significant role in shaping the city's architectural landscape. Moreover, Winnipeg's music scene has been a breeding ground for notable acts, and the city is home to several acclaimed filmmakers, contributing to a diverse and dynamic cultural milieu.

Outworks Gallery: An Artistic Haven

Outworks Gallery, an artist-run centre, was a manifestation of local artists' dedication and hard work. It provided studio and exhibition space for artists, including painters, photographers, ceramists, and multi-media artists. The gallery was sustained through fundraising, membership fees, donations, and volunteer work. Events like 'Doppelganger', an art exhibition featuring members and friends of Outworks, showcased the diverse talents within the collective. The gallery not only served as a creative space but also as a platform for artists to connect, collaborate, and contribute to Winnipeg’s growing art community.

The Impact of Outworks Gallery

Outworks Gallery’s influence extended beyond its walls, playing a significant role in Winnipeg’s art scene. As a collaborative and inclusive space, it fostered artistic expression, experimentation, and growth among emerging and established artists. The gallery’s events and exhibitions became a hub for the local arts community, contributing to the cultural vitality of the Exchange District. Its presence underscored the importance of artist-run centres in nurturing and sustaining local art ecosystems.


Outworks Gallery, through its commitment to artistic collaboration and community engagement, embodied the spirit of Winnipeg's rich cultural history. It stood as a beacon in the Exchange District, a reminder of the city’s evolving art scene and the enduring power of collective artistic endeavors. The legacy of Outworks Gallery continues to inspire and influence the art community in Winnipeg, reflecting the city's ongoing journey as a centre of cultural innovation and artistic expression.



About Outworks Gallery

Outworks was realized by the hard work and dedication of several local artists who were interested in creating a space to make and show art. outworks is run with profits obtained via fundraising activities and funds obtained through regular, membership fees and donations from its founding members. all work in the gallery is done strictly on a volunteer basis.

At present Outworks full members, also comprising the board of directors, are president Jordan Miller, vice president Dominika Dratwa, secretary/treasurer Pete Grunwald, and members at large Jennifer Delos Reyes, Rahim, Delaney Earthdancer, Clyde Finlay, Sarah Johnston, Aleem Kahn, Darryn Nimchuk, Karen Wardle and Jessica Perry.


Looking to join an artist run collective?

Written by Outworks Gallery
Sunday, 29 April 2007
Outworks gallery is looking for more artists to join our collective: Access to over 5,000 square feet 24/7 days a week, plus solo/group shows for $130 per month. Contact us if interested or download our member application from the menu. *Please note: There may be a waiting list.

Our opening receptions are always a hit.  Come join the local arts community and celebrate the share local talent culture in Winnipeg's growing Art community.  Don't forget to sign the guestbook!  Outworks opening receptions are always free of charge with snacks, beverages, music and a cash bar.

What Might Have Happened
It is always somewhat sad to see a vibrant endeavor such as this gallery eventually come to an end. One wonders if they had had a a help desk platform such as Zendesk, it might have helped the collective to reach out to more people in the community. On the other hand, Zen Desk help is most often utilized by companies to deal with customer service allowing customer service agents to get more visibility on relevant customer data. But a Zendesk Help Center tool can also provide public-facing documentation to customers with the options for organizing content being extremely flexible, thus providing just about any kind of information such as FAQs, tutorials, legal disclaimers that shaped to fit a brand's identity. Perhaps this endeavor by a group of artists never became large enough to warrant such a platform. Would Facebook, and other social media as well as communication by email have sufficed? Unfortunately the gallery closed.
It would be nice to know what the original artists are now up to. I sometimes spend too much time creating what if scenarios, particularly if I have too much time on my hands which is what occurred when I had to quarantine for two weeks because of exposure to some one who had Covid. I ended up playing at a us slots player friendly online casino that a friend told me about. Not knowing anything about slots, at first I only played the free version of a number of slot games. At the end of the 2 weeks I was ready to play with real money. I pass on some wisdom that is not particularly original but never the less true: Don't gamble unless you can afford to lose, have a limit, and know when to stop. This is certainly not the advice for someone who is going to pursue a career in the arts where it is imperative to take risks, and stretch your boundaries. But I digress.


2010 Current Shows and Events:

Written by Outworks Gallery   
Sunday, 07 November 2010

A Member and Friends Exhibition

Opening November 12 at 7:30 

Also open November 12- 29th Thursday-Saturday from 12-4pm or when the signboard is out.


From November 12 – 29, 2010, Outworks gallery proudly presents "Doppelganger",  an art exhibition featuring Outworks members and friends.  A doppelganger is any double or lookalike of a person.  The term is also used to describe the sensation of having glimpsed oneself in peripheral vision.  Doppelganger could relate to a virtual persona such as those used on facebook, online dating, or gaming. 

The show includes painting, drawing and sculpture by artists Karen Wardle, Clyde Finlay, Lisa Bissett, Susan Birdwise, Jan Laidlaw, Christine Fleischmann Seaver, Jordan Miller, Nora Kobrinsky, Lana Winfield, and Connie Chappel.   

Outworks Gallery is committed to the creative development and exhibition of contemporary artists including emerging and student artists.
For more information contact:
Outworks Gallery
3rd floor-290 McDermot Avenue
phone 949-0274
[email protected]



Gallery Layout