a long time, many perceived Alberta as a culturally void province.
International and national artists were reluctant to visit the province,
leaving the artistic community in isolation, without professional
influence and guidance. Eventually, enough interest was generated to
attract artists such as Dr. Illingworth Kerr and A.C. Leighton who were
recruited to develop art school programs, such as those offered at the
Alberta College of Art and Red Deer College. Over the years these
schools and programs have evolved into some of the most successful and
respected arts education institutions in the country.
Each visual arts discipline has an extensive history in
Alberta. The art of ceramics, for example, began in the early 1900s in
Medicine Hat, when many companies took advantage of the clay deposits and
natural gas abundance and opened up pottery manufacturing plants. Also of
importance is painting. A popular art form in this province for hundreds
of years, painters are vital to the history of art in Alberta because they have
created lasting impressions of what the province looked and felt like like many