Art Gallery of Alberta

AGA wrangles portraits of contemporary cow-folk

AGA wrangles portraits of contemporary cow-folk

Exciting artist project offered free to the public in AGA’s Ernest C. Manning Hall

November 5, 2010

EDMONTON, AB – The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is proud to present All About Star, a series of photographs of cowboys and cowgirls by Winnipeg artist Sheila Spence. This special artist’s project will be on view in the AGA’s Ernest C. Manning Hall beginning Saturday, November 6, 2010 and running through January 2011. Admission to view the works will be free of charge.

All About Star is an ongoing series of large-scale photographic portraits of cowboys and cowgirls by artist Sheila Spence. The photographs are shot on locations including the Canadian Rockies International Rodeo in Strathmore and the Wood Mountain Stampede in southern Saskatchewan. The Winnipeg-based artist investigates the complexities of community and identity in her photographs, which reflect the mythology behind rodeo culture. Traditional ideas about this culture are visible, but most interesting are the differences between the subjects that break the assumed visual code. Spence’s suggestive portraits provoke questions about the subjects and their individual roles in the larger community. The 13 works on display at the AGA are an excerpt from a larger show that was organized by the Illingworth Kerr Gallery at the Alberta College of Art + Design.

Winnipeg-born artist and activist Sheila Spence has dedicated her practice to photographic portraits and the exploration of themes of identity, relationships and community. Since her first major exhibitions in the 1980’s, her work has been shown around the world in places such as the United States, Mexico, Finland and Serbia.

The Art Gallery of Alberta’s Ernest C. Manning Hall is a flexible space in which works relating to current AGA exhibitions and special artist projects are featured. The space is open to the public and can be accessed without paid admission.

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For more information or publicity images, please contact:
Alison Bulloch, Media Relations & Communications Coordinator
T: 780.392.2468 E:

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. It is 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.

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.