Edmonton Art Gallery
One of Edmonton's oldest art facilities will be
celebrating its 80 birthday in 2004. Founded by volunteers that felt
passionately about visual culture, the Edmonton Museum of the Arts, now
known as the Edmonton Art Gallery (EAG) was established in 1924.
Without a space to call home, the emerging entity
held a premier exhibition in the Hotel MacDonald. To do this it borrowed
pieces from the National Gallery and private collections.
Following its first event, the EAG came to inhabit a
permanent space in the Edmonton Public Library, until the room was too
small to house the Gallery's ever-growing needs. Merely five years after
introducing itself to the public, the Gallery had seen 25,000 people pass
through its doors. By this time it had also achieved the acquisition of a
When the A. E. Candell Family and the City of Edmonton
provided land and funding towards the construction of a stand-alone
facility, the EAG gracefully accepted the resources and got to work. The
building that currently stands as the EAG in downtown Edmonton is the
materialized expression of the above contributions.
The 500 plus works that the
Gallery currently holds is
a vast improvement when compared to the few pieces held while forming the EAG's earliest collection. A view of the current collection reveals works
created with a kaleidoscope of media and disciplines. National and
international artists are represented in this permanent collection.
As for curated exhibitions, the EAG works at achieving
a balance between showing historical, modern and contemporary work. In the
spirit of its missiondedication to an innovative and engaging practice in
visual artsthe gallery organizes and participates in various activities
that strive to place people at their centre.
Publishing artist catalogues, hosting artist talks,
lunchtime and weekend courses, symposia and workshops are all part of
regular EAG happenings. Some seasonal activities include summer break
camps, and After Dark, a series of events combining visual works with live
music and treats.
Celebrating decades of existence, the EAG is still able
to look ahead and find new ways of motivating audiences to connect with
visual culture. Collaborations with fledgling organizations such as the
Media Art and Design Exposed (MADE) in Edmonton Society help to bring new
lifeblood to the EAG.
Tommy Banks speaks with Terry Fenton about the latter leaving
his director position at the Edmonton Art Gallery. Listen Now
Throughout 2003, Godzilla vs. Skateboarders
provided an example of hybrids coming out of the EAG. The multi-media exhibit is
based on the merge of street subculture and architectural design and
brings together cultural aspects sometimes disregarded in large art
The 2005 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art, which
the EAG will be co-organizing, speaks to the exciting events that seem to
lie ahead for what was once a small and completely volunteer-run art