Art Gallery of Alberta

AGA announces curator and call for submissions for 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art

For Immediate Release
September 12, 2011

EDMONTON, AB – The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is pleased to announce that Alberta-based writer, critic and curator Nancy Tousley will curate the 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art. The exhibition, presented by ATB Financial, will be on view at the AGA from January 26-May 6, 2013. A Call for Submissions is now open to resident Alberta artists and will close on December 1, 2011.

The first and only exhibition of its kind in Western Canada, the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art has served to promote Alberta artists across the country and brings national attention to Alberta’s art scene. This will be the 8th of the Alberta Biennial exhibitions, which have featured new and exciting works by over 130 different Alberta contemporary artists since its inception in 1996. The AGA’s 15 year commitment to the development and presentation of the Alberta Biennial is an example of the AGA’s ongoing support of Alberta artists and reflects the Gallery’s positions as a leading contemporary art institution in Alberta.

“Nancy Tousley was selected by the AGA to curate the Alberta Biennial based on her long-time commitment to and knowledge of the visual arts in Alberta” said AGA Deputy Director / Chief Curator Catherine Crowston. Nancy Tousley is an award-winning senior art critic, arts journalist and independent curator. In March, she was awarded the 2011 Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts for outstanding contribution. She is currently Critic-in-Residence at the Alberta College of Art & Design. Tousley was art critic of the Calgary Herald for more than 30 years and has been a contributing editor to Canadian Art magazine since 1986. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Artscanada, Vanguard, Parachute, Border Crossings and Canadian Art since the early 1970s, as well as more than 30 public art gallery and museum catalogues. Tousley is also an accomplished curator, having organized exhibitions for the Brooklyn Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Glenbow Museum and Art Gallery of York University, among others.

Throughout her career, Tousley has been recognized with many prestigious awards including the Board of Governors of the Alberta College of Art and Design’s Award of Excellence (1997), the Ontario Association of Art Galleries award for best curatorial writing on contemporary art (1999 and 2001), the Canadian Museums Association’s award for outstanding achievement in arts journalism (2002) and the medal of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art in (2009).

Participation in the 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art is open to all resident Alberta artists. To be considered for inclusion in this exhibition, artists are asked to submit the following by December 1, 2011 at 4 pm: a curriculum vitae; a brief artist’s statement; a CD with a maximum of 20 images formatted as a PowerPoint presentation of recent work (with artist’s name, title, media and date of work clearly indicated for each image) or a maximum of three videos or DVDs for media or time-based work; and a self-addressed envelope with appropriate postage for return delivery if required. Submissions should be sent directly to the Art Gallery of Alberta.

The 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art will be presented by ATB Financial as part of a five-year partnership with the AGA that began in 2010. In addition ATB supports two other important AGA programs: the ATB Financial Alberta Early Masters Series and the ATB Young Alberta Artists Competition.

“This is our second Biennial, and we couldn’t be more excited. We love the Biennial because it gives all Albertans a chance to celebrate the stories of Alberta art. And given Nancy Tousley’s extraordinary record of championing and highlighting the work of Alberta visual artists, she’s a wonderful choice for curator,” said Peggy Garritty, ATB Financial’s Senior Vice-President of Communications and Corporate Responsibility.


Since its inception in 1996, the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art has presented new and exciting works by over 130 different Alberta contemporary artists. As the only exhibition of its kind in Canada, the Alberta Biennial has served to promote Alberta artists across the country and brings national attention to Alberta’s art scene. The last Alberta Biennial exhibition, entitled TIMELAND, was curated by editor of Canadian Art magazine, Richard Rhodes, and exhibited at the AGA from May-August, 2010.

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a centre of excellence for the visual arts in Western Canada, connecting people, art and ideas. The AGA is focused on the development and presentation of original exhibitions of contemporary and historical art from Alberta, Canada and around the world. The AGA also offers a full-range of art education and public programs. Founded in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta maintains a collection of more than 6,000 objects and is the oldest cultural institution in Alberta and the only museum in the province solely dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture. The AGA recently underwent a major re-building project. Designed by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout, the 85,000 sq foot (7,900 sq metres) new AGA opened to the public on January 31, 2010. The new Gallery features three floors of premiere exhibition space; the City of Edmonton Terrace; the Singhmar Centre for Art Education; Zinc Restaurant; Shop AGA; Ledcor Theatre and an Art Rental and Sales Gallery.


For additional information, please contact:

Alison Bulloch, Media Relations and Communications Coordinator
T: 780.392.2468 E:

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a not-for-profit organization that relies on the support of its Members, donors, sponsors and government. The AGA is grateful for the generous support of the many public and private donors and sponsors who have made the AGA’s New Vision possible, as well as the ongoing support of the City of Edmonton, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts and our Members.