Visual Arts Week
The Visual Arts Week Society (VAWS) is a non-profit
organization dedicated to increasing public interest in art, making it
more enjoyable for people and increasing public knowledge of it. With this
focus in mind, VAWS founded the ArtCity Festival 12 years ago.
Held annually in September, the festival provides an
exciting and accessible place for the general public to celebrate various
aspects of art, design and architecture. Building awareness of Calgary's
art scene is the end goal of the festivities that include an opening gala.
Each year, Calgary artists are asked to take part in
the ArtCity Festival's events by preparing work fitting with a chosen
theme. Last year's subject was spread,' which explored the nature of
expansion and the way in which both the tangible and abstract are spread.
Conceptually driven work is then presented alongside
lectures following opening night revelry. In the vein of last year's
theme, site-specific artwork was exhibited in different parts of the city,
drawing diverse crowds that totaled over 20,000 participants.
Artists taking part in the festival benefit by
receiving exhibition fees, national and international exposure and the
opportunity to situate their creative practices within the larger context
of other work being done. By creating heightened awareness, ArtCity
expects to make Calgary a destination for those passionate about
contemporary visual culture.
Ideally, artists participating in ArtCity will come
away from it wanting to actively pursue collaborative and
cross-disciplinary work with other creative individuals or organization.
VAWS is not content with maintaining current audiences,
and instead hopes to meet its objectives by identifying, educating and
cultivating future audiences. The expected outcome is that these
individuals will retain a sense of excitement from the festival and stay
engaged in active dialogue with the art world.