Art Gallery of Alberta

Your AGA’s 2015 Highlights

The best of exhibitions, programming, education and more

As we get ready for our first opening of 2016, and our new season of exciting programming, art education classes, and activities, we look back on some of the highlights of 2015.

Most time-consuming exhibition
Christian Marclay’s The Clock

Christian Marclay’s The Clock, made its western Canadian debut at the AGA on February 13, 2015. This ground-breaking installation, a 24-hour long video that plays in real time, is a montage of thousands of clips sampled from movies and television series, demarcating, minute by minute, a 24-hour loop that audiences are invited to watch and listen to. Marclay and his assistants spent three years gathering thousands of film and television clips from every era to create the piece.

Over the course the exhibition, the AGA hosted three 24-hour screenings of The Clock, providing an exclusive opportunity for gallery visitors to view the rarely seen late evening and early morning portions of the installation during hours the gallery was normally closed. These marathon screenings, that created a community of bleary-eyed  gallery-goers, were one of the highlights of our exhibition-related programming in 2015.

Local artist caps off 2015
Dana Holst: She’s All That

Future Station: 2015 Alberta Biennial kicked off last year’s exhibitions, showcasing the creative practices of artists across the province. Our tradition of supporting Alberta artists continued throughout the year, featuring work by Chris Cran, Tyler Los-Jones, Wil Murray and Douglas Haynes (among others).

Edmonton artist Dana Holsts exhibition She’s All That was a highlight of the year, with a series of oil paintings and encaustic drawings inspired by the plots of fairy tales, personal experiences and research into feminine interactions and social development. Holst’s process involves mining the internet for captivating representations of women, searching for archetypal, vintage images: stills of Hollywood B-level actresses in film noir dramas, post-mortem family documentation of overdressed turn-of-the-century corpses and tense Victorians assembled in parlour mise-en-scènes. The rich narrative detail found with these early photographic documents provides the critical elements of her artworks.

Dana Holst: She’s All That runs until February 15.

Bringing art lovers together
Art on the Block

The next edition of Art on the Block is May 13, 2016, marking the 18th year of the Art Gallery of Alberta’s largest fundraiser. Last year’s event, Show no Mercy in the Name of Art, was a fantastic evening that saw attendees battle over 100 silent auction art items, including works by recognized Canadian artists and art-inspired items donated by local artisans and businesses.  Because of the friendly competition of the auction bidding, the fun atmosphere and the opportunity to meet and socialize with other art-lovers, Art on the Block was one of the stand-out events for 2015.

Metal-cast elk at Art Rental & Sales
Paul Freeman, Cervus Erectus

The Art Rental & Sales Gallery, on the lower floor of the AGA, acquires work by contemporary Canadian artists on an ongoing basis, and offers everyone the opportunity to bring significant artwork into their homes and workplaces, while raising public awareness of our vibrant artistic community. With over 1300 outstanding works of art in the collection, finding a favourite was not an easy task. The choice for Top Pick was an unusual and compelling piece by Edmonton artist Paul Freeman entitled Cervus Erectus. The piece originally appeared at the AGA in Paul’s exhibition It’s only Natural, and is now part of the Art Rental & Sales Gallery collection. The piece is a metal-cast elk, enclosed in a cage of antlers that emerge from every surface of the animal’s body. We invite you to visit Art Rental & Sales Gallery [http://www.youraga.ca/artrental] to find a unique and special artwork for your space.

ShopAGA merchandise in strange places
Chris Cran T-Shirts

Chris Cran: Sincerely Yours opened September 12, and along with the show came limited edition t-shirts emblazoned with an image from Cran’s 1990 painting Red Man / Black Cartoon. The shirts appeared in random and unexpected places on the evening of the opening reception, and subsequently went on sale at the AGA shop. They were snapped up quickly, a favourite of AGA staff and visitors alike. Our best-selling shop item of the year was the Chris Cran t-shirt. Look for it out on the streets on the backs of art-lovers everywhere.

Innovative drop-in art classes for teens
Studio Y

The gallery runs both registered and drop-in education classes throughout the year for adults, children and youth. These classes invite people of all ages to experience art, explore their creativity, and learn new skills and art-making techniques. Studio Y, our Thursday-night drop-in program for youth ages 13-17, is an innovative and fun program that gives teens a space to discover their creative voice in a supportive and challenging environment. We look forward to our 2016 classes, and can’t wait to see what you make in 2016!

Fine dining at your AGA
Zinc

Located on the main floor of the AGA, Zinc restaurant offers a relaxed fine dining experience inspired by simple elegance and served in stunning surroundings. Zinc menu focuses on fresh Alberta ingredients fused with local artisan food products. Zinc is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch, and their menu changes seasonally and includes dishes inspired by featured art exhibitions.  A perennial favourite of Zinc staff and patrons is the cauliflower croquette appetizer, a deep-fried tasty combination of cauliflower, feta, garlic chili aioli, and pepperoncini –an excellent start to any meal.