Posted by Sarah Flowers, Volunteer Assistant
As interns at The Works, we are focused on the mission of bringing art into the public. We strive to encourage everyone to engage with art, whether it be by attending a performance in the Big Tent during the Festival, talking to one of our volunteers about an exhibit on the square, or perhaps visiting an exhibit that remains long after other festivals have taken our place during Edmonton’s busy summer festival season. On a summer day after the last of The Works posters had been removed from Winston Churchill Square, the Enbridge Arts interns assumed a role that was both new and familiar at the same time – that of a gallery patron. We were given the day to explore several of Edmonton’s art institutions, including the Nina Haggerty Center for the Arts, LightForm Edmonton Inc, Art Hab, and several members of the city’s Gallery Walk association including the Bearclaw Gallery, Scott Gallery, and several others that dot the landscape of 124 Street.
Each gallery was arguably unique with an independent mission statement and sense of purpose. From Nina Haggerty’s belief that everyone who enters should be treated as an artist to SNAP’s focus on providing established artists and novices alike with a space dedicated to print making, each of the different galleries displayed a strong sense of individualism alongside the art on their walls. As interns, we were encouraged to not only engage with the art, but also with the various spaces we were in. We were given thought provoking questions to ponder on our tours such as: How do you feel in this space? What is the layout like? What kind of energy exists in a specific gallery?
As interns with The Works, we have learned about so much more than art over the course of the past few months. We have learned about people and their feelings about art. We have developed our own understandings about how those feelings influence interactions with art. During our time visiting various galleries, we interns allowed ourselves to slip into the role of patrons, developing new feelings – or perhaps rekindling old feelings – about art through our interactions with the numerous types of art and design that we encountered that day on our gallery tour.
Gallery Tour Itinerary:
-Nina Haggerty Arts Centre (9225 118 Ave)
-LightForm (10545 124 St)
-Society of Northern Alberta Print-artists (SNAP) (10123 – 121 Street)
-Alberta Craft Council (10186 106 St)
-Gallery Walk on 124 st and Jasper Ave, including: Bearclaw Gallery, Douglas Udell, Peter Robertson, Scott Gallery, Front Gallery, West End Gallery
-Latitude 53 (10242 106 St)
-Harcourt House ( 10215 112 St)
-ArtsHab (10217 - 106 St)