Visual Arts Alberta Association
A recent but highly noticeable newcomer to the
provincial arts scene is the Visual Arts Alberta Association (VAAA). Four
provincial groupsthe Alberta Community Art Clubs Association, Alberta
Society of Artists, Alberta Potters Association, and Alberta Handweavers,
Spinner, and Dyerscame together to found the VAAA in 1996. The
Alberta Foundation for the Arts
designates it as a Provincial Arts Service Organization (PASO).
A very active community member, the VAAA works in
various capacities. It provides services such as marketing programs and
professional development courses directly to artists. The VAAA newsletter,
formerly called The Voice and now The Visual Arts Alberta Association
Newsletter, is a quarterly publication distributed throughout the
The association is shaped by the goals of increasing
and appreciation for arts in Alberta, and being accessible
to the artist community and general public it serves. VAAA support for the
arts in Alberta is achieved in several ways.
It runs the Visual Arts Alberta Gallery, which presents
juried member exhibitions to the public. A balance of members is
demonstrated by the work shown in the Gallery; it represents students,
emerging artists and professionals. Not only has the VAAA exhibited work
in Alberta, in May of 2004, it will be sponsoring a major exhibit in
Hong-Kong and Shanghai, China.
Providing operational funding for qualified provincial
visual art organizations, giving three annual fine arts scholarships to
high school students and contributing significant funding for Red Deer College's Summerscapes Visual Art
School for Teens, the VAAA visibly shares its financial resources.
Other VAAA activities include collaborating with
Harcourt House, its most proximal arts neighbour, as well as with the
Latitude 53 Society of Artists and the
Society for Northern Alberta Print
In the greater community, the VAAA involves itself in
Artists on the Wards, an innovative program provided in partnership with
artists and University of Alberta Hospital patients and staff. The goal of
the program is to contribute to patient comfort through creative forms of
With its intense level of numerous activities, the VAAA
acts as a catalyst for dynamic partnerships and the development of
Alberta's artistic excellence.