Atomic Toybot is closing down its gallery after more than four years exhibiting art and running shows in Leslieville. Part art gallery, part boutique for designer toys and exclusive books, T-shirts and nifty gifts, Atomic Toybot is about as extraordinary as bricks-and-mortar shops come nowadays.
"It was a good run and we will forever be proud of hosting the first ever exhibitions by Alex Garant, who has achieved a level of international fame that is so rare for a Canadian artist, and also the first exhibition by Cindy Scaife who has become a star with Rotofugi in Chicago, as well as the many other artists who showed with us and participated in events like Fordmania," says Cory Bartlett, owner of Atomic Toybot.
Bartlett says that although high rent is mainly to blame for the closure, art is also a tough sell in the neighbourhood.
"Having the early work of an acclaimed artist sitting in the store for a year is a testament to that fact," he says. "Our goal was always to help local artists gain exposure and therefore we never charged our artists anything to show in the gallery. It's a nice thing to do, but business-wise it can only go on for so long."
The gallery element of Atomic Toybot will reappear as a pop-up in numerous locations, according to Bartlett. In the meantime, the shop is downsizing its offering to toys, books and art prints, and will be moving into the basement of Daniel Jewellers at 1006 Queen St. E until the December holiday season.
To mark the store's move, there will be a massive sale this weekend, July 25-26.
"Unbelievably, we still have original work by Alex Garant and some other gems which will be marked down this weekend only," he says. "If you’re an art collector of art, this is something you really don’t want to miss."
Atomic Toybot is located at 978 Queen St.