Art Gallery of Alberta
|Art Gallery of Alberta
Art Gallery of Alberta building
|Location||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
|Director||Catherine Crowston, acting|
|Website||Art Gallery of Alberta|
The Art Gallery of Alberta (formerly the Edmonton Art Gallery) is a public art gallery located in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Its collection of well over 6,000 works of art includes historical and contemporary paintings, sculptures, installation works and photographs by Canadian and international artists. In addition to its permanent collection, the AGA hosts visiting exhibitions and offers public education programs.
The vision statement of the AGA is: "The Art Gallery of Alberta creates a welcoming and engaging environment where people are motivated to transform their understanding of the world by connecting with the visual arts."
Originally designed in 1968 as a Brutalist building by Don Bittorf, the gallery recently underwent an $88 million renovation designed by Randall Stout Architects. It officially reopened to the public on January 31, 2010. The newly renovated 85,000-square-foot (7,900 m2) space includes almost double the exhibition space of the original building; a restaurant, gallery shop, and 150 seat theatre; and dedicated gallery space for the AGA's permanent collection.
Following the renovation annual memberships of AGA increased significantly and there were 30,000 visitors within the first six weeks of reopening.
The Art Gallery of Alberta was founded in 1924 under the name “The Edmonton Museum of Arts”. Its first exhibition was held that year in the Palm Room of the Hotel Macdonald. The museum later found its home in four different locations, including the Palm Room, the old Edmonton Public Library, the fourth floor of the Civic Block and the Edmonton Motors building before settling into historic Secord House in 1952. It was after this time that the museum re-titled itself “The Edmonton Art Gallery” in 1956.
Soon, even Secord House was too small for the gallery’s ever-expanding collection. In 1961, the Museum set out to build a new facility for itself. The City of Edmonton donated 0.59 acres (2,400 m2) at #2 Sir Winston Churchill Square for the site of the new gallery and in 1969, the new building was opened as the “Arthur Blow Condell Memorial Building”, colloquially titled “The Bittorf Building” after architect Don Bittorf.
The acquisition of this new building meant that the gallery could now invite in larger exhibitions with higher exhibition standards. However, by the early 1990s, the building was considered outdated in design, and the gallery required a new facility. In 2005, an architectural competition was held, and a design by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout was chosen as the winning design for the new Art Gallery. At this time, the gallery re-titled itself again as the Art Gallery of Alberta. In April 2007, most of the Bittorf building was demolished with significant portions of the existing structure incorporated into Stout's design. Local architects and engineering firms assisted Randall Stout's design team from LA and San Francisco. The local firms were HIP Architects (Architects), Stantec (Mechanical and Electrical), BPTEC (Structural) and RJC (Envelope). Ledcor Group of Companies provided the Construction Management.
- "Art Gallery of Alberta - The Canadian Encyclopedia". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica - Dominion. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Who We Are - Art Gallery of Alberta". Art Gallery of Alberta. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "New Alberta art gallery unveiled". CBC News. January 31, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "The Building - Art Gallery of Alberta". Art Gallery of Alberta. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- Demand for state-of-the-art gallery exceeds expectations by Joelle Tomek Edmonton Examiner 11 Mar, 2010
- Sanderson, Kay (1999). 200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Calgary: Famous Five Foundation. p. 21.
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