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"Meditation" by Myrtle-Anne Rempel.The process of creating and sharing artwork takes energy and time, as well as other resources that may come in the form of training, funding, peer support, studio and exhibition space. Acquiring these necessary assets to materialize an artistic vision proves to be a great challenge for some, and it is here that the roles of professional associations, facilities, training and funding institutions come in.

A desire for expanded training in the visual arts has led to a thriving network of educational institutions that have provided the foundations useful for a professional artist practice. Some of the schools have developed into stand-alone establishments like the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), while many more, such the University of Lethbridge and Grant MacEwan College have developed departments within their colleges and universities across the province.

Marc Siegner.Over time, oranizations have emerged to address broad-based issues. The Alberta Foundation for the Arts for example, acts as the key provincial granting institution. Other organizations such as the Visual Arts Alberta Association and the Banff Centre, encompass a broad range of artistic professional development needs. The Alberta Society of Artists and Latitude 53 Society of Artists have both effectively acted as outspoken and tenacious arts advocates.

Specialized organizations in Alberta have also developed to enhance the capabilities of artists working in particular mediums. Mandates of the Alberta Craft Council, Society of Northern Alberta Print Artists and Alberta Professional Photographers Association all speak to more discipline-based goals.

The Sound of Shofar.Without exhibition spaces, all of the efforts put into bringing art into this world might never come to fruition. Albertans, like many other pople, have realized this and both artists and non-artists have worked to cultivate permanent exhibition spaces. These venues range from innovative artist-run centres such as The New Gallery, to more community-focused spaces like the Edmonton Art Gallery and the more institutionalized and academically engaged venues such as the Glenbow Museum, Art Gallery, Library and Archives and the Nickle Arts Museum.

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