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Old Catch PenFor 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.

Fritz Mueller's photograph.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 years ago.

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