Never Gallery Ready (NgR) is a not-for-profit arts service organization providing media-literacy focused arts education to children and youth. Workshop series and projects explore media messages and content-creation through a variety of mediums, including: paper and digital collage, sound art, zine-making, site-specific installations, photography, video-loops and mashups, new media such as gifs and communication media such as memes and emojis and explores innovated real world exhibiting of works using emerging technologies such as augmented reality.

Never Gallery Ready aims to EDUCATE on the role and function of media, ANIMATE a variety of content, tools and tactics available to message-creators and FACILITATE the creation of works of art driven by individual and community voice. Never Gallery Ready’s inclusive cut & paste techniques allow community members of all ages and skill levels to: name themselves as artists and critical thinkers; react and respond to the messages they see around them; feel empowered to create new messages and share their stories.

NgR workshops are rooted in collage concepts, culture jamming / counter-narrative techniques, social justice histories and emphasize making works for the intended purposes of spreading new meaning and amplifying marginalized narratives to the world beyond the gallery space. NgR’s digital arts programs involve literacy learning as it relates building and maintaining online audiences in ways that are safe and ethical by directly support young people in uploading works to pixabay, giphy, youtube and various social media platforms.

Never Gallery Ready (NgR) workshops and projects have been hosted by schools across 6 school boards and generously support by the Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Communities and Schools program. NgR is an official partner of the Toronto District School Board since 2016.

What does Never Gallery Ready mean?

Gallery-ready art is art that is ready to be installed or hung in a gallery space. This term can be found in art exhibiting submission calls, e.g. “all artwork submitted for exhibition consideration must be gallery ready”. Never Gallery Ready is a title I came up with in 2006 to emphasize the process-oriented focus of my workshops. NgR is about thinking and interacting with ubiquitous messages, pushing back against dominant narratives in playful and creative ways, and spreading messages to audiences and peers. It’s not so much about the producing of pretty things but more about creating new meaning and art experiences for audiences that extend beyond the art world and gallery space. The title Never Gallery Ready has grown to take on new relevance with the advent of internet art and the current participatory-media landscape.


Recent funding partners include:


About karen darricade.jpg

About me, karen darricades

I am an artist, educator, writer, community activist and award winning youth worker living in Toronto. I have facilitated workshops and projects under my Never Gallery Ready banner to thousands of students and community members both inside the classroom and through community organizations throughout Southern Ontario since 2006.  Recently, as Power Youth Artist in Residence at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery,  I worked with young people in the Alexander and Regent Park communities to create installations, photography and new media works that animate the Power Plant's Fall exhibition schedule.

Responding to and re-framing found images and existing environments is central to my community-engaged arts practice. My workshops are as much a product of my education in visual arts and linguistics (University of Toronto), photography and visual communications (EFET- École de Communication Visuelle, Paris, France), as they are of my brief but impactful experiences in a variety of fields (including film, forum theatre, publishing and anti-violence education).

My art works have been exhibited through Gallery 1313, Luc Sculpture Gallery, The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto Free Gallery, Toronto's Visual Fringe Festival, The World of Threads festival: a Common Threads International Exhibit, and commissioned works have been sold through The Textile Museum of Canada's shop. My writing has been published in print through This Magazine, HERizons Magazine, Broken Pencil, Nukta Art and Living in Peru, and online at TextileArtist.org.