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Visual Arts

Untitled, H.G. Glyde (oil on masonite)Today, Alberta is home to a very rich and diverse art scene, including some of the most well-known and respected visual artists Canada has produced. However, it was not always that way.

In the 1920s, Alberta was sparsely populated and considered by many to be an isolated province. At this juncture in its history, many artists had no desire to move to Alberta, as they perceived it to be a cold and uninhabited land that was inconvenient to get to. Due to these misconceptions, the arts were very slow to advance in Alberta. The community was comprised of very few arts organizations and on the rare occasion that an art exhibition was held, it was confined to a local library, school or store. Woman & Child.

At first, visual art followers in the province looked to artists from other countries, but by the 1930s, due to the increase in professional art instruction and the formation of art societies, such as the Alberta Society of Artists, the appearance of visual art created by Albertans dramatically increased.

The growth of Alberta's visual arts community in the past 60 years can be attributed to a few causes. The first is due to the growth of educational institutions focusing on the arts. The creation of schools such as the Banff Centre and the Alberta College of Art and Design, have helped promote visual arts in Alberta, attracting the attention of art instructors from all over the world. Another reason for the growth, is the increased creation of art centres and galleries throughout the province, allowing the public easier access and ultimately promoting the culture and understanding of art to the general public.

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