We are saddened to hear of the passing of artist Vera Gartley and express our condolences to all of her family and friends.
Born in Edmonton in 1933, Gartley began her art studies at AUArts (formerly the Alberta College of Art and Design) in the late 1950s and obtained a Ph.D. in Painting Practice and Methodology from the Union Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio (1987). From 1964 until her retirement in 2011, Gartley taught at AUArts in Calgary, making an indelible impact on generations of artists in this province.
The AGA is proud to hold eight works by Gartley in its permanent collection, including Tons of Ideas on permanent display in the gallery’s front entrance. This piece comes from a greater body of work in which Gartley employed the materials and language of advertising to create signs that effectively advertise nothing but instead prompt viewers to consider our preconditioned mindset to consume.
The next time you visit the AGA, we invite you to pause in front of this powerful work and reflect upon its critique of consumer culture as you remember the life and work of Vera Gartley.