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.
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.
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.