Executive Director Kay Higgins
Production and Communication Coordinator Jamie Ward
Board of Directors Paula Booker, Brady Cranfield, Lauren Marsden, Emma Metcalfe, Sunny Nestler, Patrick O’Neill (chair), Terra Poirier
UNIT/PITT (formerly the Helen Pitt Gallery) is a non-profit artist run centre dedicated to the promotion of experimental contemporary art that addresses social, political, cultural, and critical issues.
The history of the Helen Pitt Gallery, named for a British Columbian patron of the arts, dates back to the mid-1970s. It was first established by students of the Vancouver School of Art (later the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design). It served as a venue for expression and community building for the students and instructors of the school. When Emily Carr College of Art and Design (now Emily Carr University) moved to Granville Island, the gallery joined with the Unit 306 Society for Art and Critical Awareness to become an independent artist-run center, receiving initial funding from Canada Council in 1981. The gallery is currently operated by the Unit Pitt Society For Art And Critical Awareness.
Over its history, the gallery has established itself as an asset to the Vancouver art community, having been the key starting point for the careers of many artists including Attila Richard Lukacs, Angela Grossman, Graham Gilmore, Derek Root, Peter Schuyff, I Braineater, Vicky Marshall, Phillippe Raphanel, Teresa Marshall, Patrick Cruz, Nicole Ondre, and Althea Thauberger. The Pitt has also showcased such performers as ORAF, Sheri-D Wilson, Elizabeth Fischer, bill bissett, Veda Hille, Margo Kane, Tagny Duff, Chris Bose, and Joe Sarahan along with curators like Michael Harding, Todd A. Davis, Dana Claxton, Lance Blomgren, Lee Plested, Paul Kajander, and Jeremy Todd. The Helen Pitt Gallery also played an important role in the origin of projects like Issue Magazine, the Vancouver Artists’ League, Women In View Festival, and the Warehouse Show and October Show (later Artropolis). Through its many incarnations (Helen Pitt, Unit/Pitt, Pitt International Galleries/P.I.G., Pitt Gallery, and now UNIT/PITT Projects), it has continued to be an important centre for cultural community-building.
UNIT/PITT is actively involved in artist-run culture in Canada, and is a member of the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centers, PAARC.