Art Gallery of Alberta

Art Gallery of Alberta and ATB Financial launch new series of Alberta-focused exhibitions

‘Alberta Early Masters Series’ presented by ATB Financial will feature important figures in Alberta’s art history

February 9, 2011

EDMONTON, AB – The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is proud to partner with ATB Financial to launch a new series of exhibitions designed to tell the stories of Alberta’s artistic heritage. The Alberta Early Masters Series, presented by ATB Financial will commence on February 12, 2011 with the opening of Walter J. Phillips: Water and Woods, which will remain on view until June 5, 2011.

Media are invited to attend:
Media Reception and Exhibition Viewing
Monday, February 14, 11 am-1 pm
Representatives from the Art Gallery of Alberta and ATB Financial will be in attendance and available for interviews

Please RSVP to Alison Bulloch, Media Relations and Communications Coordinator 780.392.2468

“The Alberta Early Masters Series, presented by ATB Financial allows us to connect with all Albertans through a shared history of art in our province” says AGA Executive Director Gilles Hébert. “We’re proud to be able to spotlight some of our province’s most historically significant artists; it’s ATB’s commitment to telling Alberta stories that really made this new series possible.”

The inaugural exhibition of the series, Walter J. Phillips: Water and Woods comprises over 70 works by one of Alberta’s most influential artists. This exhibition of watercolour and colour woodcuts showcases the artist’s poetic vision of nature, and includes rarely seen and early works. Inspired by both natural and built environments, Phillips recorded the Canadian landscape from cottage country and prairie towns to Rocky Mountain vistas and fishing villages in British Columbia. His ultimate goal was to convey beauty in art, which he found in the various environments of his adopted homeland.

Walter J. Phillips was born and raised in England and immigrated to Canada with his wife and son in 1913. Already an accomplished artist by the time he moved to Canada, Phillips was trained in the English tradition of picturesque landscapes. His influences were as diverse as England’s Pre-Raphaelites, the Arts & Crafts movement, 19th century Japanese printmaking, and Canada’s Emily Carr, Tom Thomson and Group of Seven. Phillips spent 28 years in Winnipeg before living in Calgary, Banff and Victoria where he passed away in 1963.

The next exhibition in the Alberta Early Masters Series, presented by ATB Financial will feature abstract and modern works by female Alberta artists working in the 1940s and 50s. Early Mistresses of the Abstract and the Modern will open in 2012.

Visitor Information
The AGA’s hours of operation are: 11 am to 7 pm on Tuesday to Friday; 11 am to 5 pm on weekends; closed Monday. Admission is $12.50 for adults; $8.50 for students and seniors; $26.50 for families (two adults and up to four minors); free for children six years old and under and free for AGA Members. AGA Memberships cost $55 for adults; $85 for families; $35 for students and seniors and $70 for senior couples.

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 images and more information contact:

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

Oksana Gowin, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
T: 780.392.2466 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.

Media Kit

Media Release (PDF 356KB)