One of Ottawa’s newest galleries is asking for help with a new venture that will bring the work of local and Canadian artists and creators to a wider audience.
PDA Press, which is part of PDA Projects, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the publication of their first three books, which feature art and writing by contributors both from Ottawa and from across Canada.
PDA Projects’ physical space is PDA Gallery, which opened on Elgin St., between the Lieutenant’s Pump and Kochu Sushi, in the summer of 2014. Brendan De Montigny, who, with Meredith Snider, founded PDA Projects, commented that while the area is known more for nightlife than for art, the response to PDA Gallery has been overwhelmingly favourable. He sees it as a natural fit, rather than a contrast: part of PDA’s ethos is for art to be that anyone can enjoy and interact with and not something that is reserved for an élite few.
Now, the PDA team has launched PDA Press, which they intend to be a new way of building community and sharing ideas.
One of PDA Press’s three inaugural publications will be The Sameness Between You And I, a collection of poems, short stories and accompanying illustrations that centre around the relationship that loss has to gender and sexuality. De Montigny remarked that he, and editor Simon Honeyman, see the work of building peaceful dialogue between people of different genders and sexualities as being the most crucial issue of their generation.
Local zinester and multimedia artist SADBOY, also known as Faelan McEwan, is one of the artists whose work will be featured in The Sameness Between You and I. He became involved with the project when de Montigny bought his zine Boyhood, which is about his experiences coming out as trans, from the zine rack at Pressed and contacted him.
McEwan has enjoyed working with PDA Press, saying: “I came to PDA Press with about zero experience outside of self-publishing and wondered what that would look like – I didn’t know any of the image-quality terms or anything starting out! I just use black pens, a glue stick and a photocopier! That said, once I got over feeling unsophisticated for about five minutes I found the folks at PDA to be super welcoming and encouraging.”
As well, PDA Press will also be publishing Alysha Farling‘s States of Homes, which brings together excerpts from the artist’s sketchbooks. Farling’s work uses images of houses to bring out narratives of “drug abuse, sexual acts, and existential crisis”.
The third of PDA Press’s inaugural trifecta is Guillermo Trejo‘s Old Man Fashionista, “a photographic visual diary of one man who appreciates how older men respect the gravitas of hats”. It collects Trejo’s photos, which he has been sharing via Instagram, of old men wearing hats, intended in part as a tribute to Trejo’s late grandfather, “a humble man”, and “a construction worker who dressed well”.
Check out their Indiegogo Campaign video below:
PDA Press’s Indiegogo campaign runs until April 15th. Perks include copies of the first three PDA Press books, and prints of contributors’ art.