Art Gallery of Grande Prairie Grand Opening

A Sequence of Architectural Experiences

by Eileen Coristine

Art Gallery of Grande Prairie; Photo by Teeple Architects Inc.

In the dying light of a stunning autumn evening, the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie was officially opened on September 28, 2012. That evening the community was welcomed to a Block Party and a chance to see the additional galleries created through the restoration of the historic 1929 Grande Prairie High School.

Originally called the Prairie Gallery, the old school opened as an art venue in 1975. Then in 1993, the name was changed to Prairie Art Gallery. Earlier this year the facility was renamed Art Gallery of Grande Prairie and a new logo was unveiled.

“This Block Party is meant to celebrate all of the major changes that have been made and to mark the significance of the expanded gallery,” says Executive Director/Curator Robert Steven. “This is not revolution but evolution. It’s not just about the last five years but everything that’s happened in the last 37 years, and everyone who has been involved, even just to visit the gallery, should take pride.”

Gallery Two; Photo by Prairie Ranger Photography

At 20,200 square feet, the seven-gallery space is now double in size. Construction included many challenges, particularly since there was a desire to include the aged and damaged school in the project. The resulting combination of galleries ranging from small and intimate to large and expansive, with a glass bridge that connects the school to the Montrose Cultural Centre, is itself a work of art.

“What we have created is sculptural within, “says Steven Teeple of Teeple Architects Inc. “Architecture begins with what needs to be done. We invented spaces to fit the purpose, but they had to be expressive and had to be experiential.”

Pam French has been president of the board of the AGGP since July 1, 2012  “I have been involved with the gallery for nine years and have always had a passion for its mission. We are a public art gallery and our mission is to share the art experience with the whole community,” she says.

“The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie is the second largest public art gallery in Alberta and for a city our size across Canada, we will be in the top five,” explains past president, Grant Berg. “But more important than size, the seven new gallery spaces will allow us to show a wide variety of exhibitions. Being designated a category “A” gallery, we are equipped to show virtually any art exhibition in Canada.”

“For me personally, five and a half years after the collapse of the roof of the school building, I simply look forward to regular art exhibitions again. I am also happy for Robert Steven and his staff that they finally can transition into the jobs they were originally hired to do, running and programming an art gallery.”

Guests at the Block Party included many regional artists as well as representatives of all levels of government, including the Honourable Donald Ethell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta who performed the ribbon cutting.

Rise Again: The Restoration of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie; with Artist Kim Scott

“The past and the future of our region come together at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie,” said Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given. “Retaining the historic character of the original facade demonstrates our community’s commitment to remembering those who came before us and the cutting-edge interior provides an unrivalled space that will inspire generations of Peace Country residents.”

Celebrations continued the following day with a Family Festival. Exhibits on view over the weekend celebration included Narrative Quest, Jon Sasaki: Good Intentions, Catherine Hamel: 6 points of resilience, Robert Guest: Winter on the Wapiti, an installation called Rock Paper River by Faye Heavyshield and a series of photographs of the reconstructions of the gallery by Kim Scott.

 


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[caption id="attachment_1928" align="alignright" width="332"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="332" height="499" /> The Huntress; Rebecca Pratt of Eccentric Embellishments, 1st Place Winner at the Wearable Arts Show at the Centre for Creative Arts, Grande Prairie. Models: Heather Boos and Candice McMillan. Photo by Prairie Ranger Photography[/caption]

Five Years Old and Growing up

by Eileen Coristine During the last weekend of September Peace Country residents had more opportunities than ever to explore and expand regional art.From the much-anticipated opening of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie to the streets of Alberta’s Cultureville (also know as Peace River) regional artists and performers presented a dazzling array of painting, dancing and partying.Town of Peace River residents won the honour of being designated as the cultural capital of the province in the fall of 2011. They chose to use Culture Days to celebrate their achievement by holding dance lessons on Main Street, an exhibition at the library and a concert in the evening. Their neighbor to the north, Manning, held a Night of the Arts to showcase regional artists and musicians.Just down the highway at Fairview, the Fairview Fine Arts Centre was the host of free art lessons and demonstrations of quilting, weaving and tai chi. As in most communities, the Alberta Culture Days events were free of charge and family oriented.A small but dedicated group of Sexsmith and area artists held an art and craft market at the Sexsmith Community Centre on Saturday, September 29. Their plan is to grow their group and hold monthly markets at Sexsmith throughout the winter. An Evening with the Artist is a special one-on-one experience that the group is  planning to offer soon.[caption id="attachment_1930" align="alignleft" width="242"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="242" height="181" /> Family Art Festival at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie[/caption]Art of the Peace kicked off the Grande Prairie celebrations with a coffee party at the Montrose Cultural Centre and the launch of the Art of the Peace Cover Artist Competition. Spring 2013 will mark the tenth anniversary of Art of the Peace Magazine and to celebrate regional artists are asked to submit applications to be the featured artist of this landmark issue.[caption id="attachment_1932" align="alignright" width="234"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="234" height="196" /> Graffiti art created by Scott Kyca in Peace River[/caption]The Centre for Creative Arts in Grande Prairie offered a whole slate of visual art events over the Culture Days weekend. The Third Annual Wearable Art Show once again dazzled with two shows. Five Alarm Photography Competition and Exhibition, described as a friendly competition between five Grande Prairie photographers included shots by Al Gervais, Chris Beauchamp, Chris Fox, Doreen Altman and Nicky Heminson.[caption id="attachment_1934" align="alignleft" width="243"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="243" height="173" /> Cole Pardy at Fairview Fine Arts Centre. Photo by Chris Eakin for Fairview Post[/caption]At the  Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Alberta Culture Days provided a perfect opportunity to invite visitors to  get to know the newly restored, seven-gallery facility. The festivities began with a ribbon cutting ceremony and Block Party on September 29 and continued the next day with a Family Festival including guided tours of the galleries, four new exhibits and family activities for all ages.Alberta Culture Days is an annual province-wide celebration and is part of national Culture Days, a pan-Canadian movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.
6 years ago

[caption id="attachment_1928" align="alignright" width="332"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="332" height="499" /> The Huntress; Rebecca Pratt of Eccentric Embellishments, 1st Place Winner at the Wearable Arts Show at the Centre for Creative Arts, Grande Prairie. Models: Heather Boos and Candice McMillan. Photo by Prairie Ranger Photography[/caption]

Five Years Old and Growing up

by Eileen Coristine During the last weekend of September Peace Country residents had more opportunities than ever to explore and expand regional art.From the much-anticipated opening of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie to the streets of Alberta’s Cultureville (also know as Peace River) regional artists and performers presented a dazzling array of painting, dancing and partying.Town of Peace River residents won the honour of being designated as the cultural capital of the province in the fall of 2011. They chose to use Culture Days to celebrate their achievement by holding dance lessons on Main Street, an exhibition at the library and a concert in the evening. Their neighbor to the north, Manning, held a Night of the Arts to showcase regional artists and musicians.Just down the highway at Fairview, the Fairview Fine Arts Centre was the host of free art lessons and demonstrations of quilting, weaving and tai chi. As in most communities, the Alberta Culture Days events were free of charge and family oriented.A small but dedicated group of Sexsmith and area artists held an art and craft market at the Sexsmith Community Centre on Saturday, September 29. Their plan is to grow their group and hold monthly markets at Sexsmith throughout the winter. An Evening with the Artist is a special one-on-one experience that the group is  planning to offer soon.[caption id="attachment_1930" align="alignleft" width="242"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="242" height="181" /> Family Art Festival at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie[/caption]Art of the Peace kicked off the Grande Prairie celebrations with a coffee party at the Montrose Cultural Centre and the launch of the Art of the Peace Cover Artist Competition. Spring 2013 will mark the tenth anniversary of Art of the Peace Magazine and to celebrate regional artists are asked to submit applications to be the featured artist of this landmark issue.[caption id="attachment_1932" align="alignright" width="234"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="234" height="196" /> Graffiti art created by Scott Kyca in Peace River[/caption]The Centre for Creative Arts in Grande Prairie offered a whole slate of visual art events over the Culture Days weekend. The Third Annual Wearable Art Show once again dazzled with two shows. Five Alarm Photography Competition and Exhibition, described as a friendly competition between five Grande Prairie photographers included shots by Al Gervais, Chris Beauchamp, Chris Fox, Doreen Altman and Nicky Heminson.[caption id="attachment_1934" align="alignleft" width="243"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="243" height="173" /> Cole Pardy at Fairview Fine Arts Centre. Photo by Chris Eakin for Fairview Post[/caption]At the  Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Alberta Culture Days provided a perfect opportunity to invite visitors to  get to know the newly restored, seven-gallery facility. The festivities began with a ribbon cutting ceremony and Block Party on September 29 and continued the next day with a Family Festival including guided tours of the galleries, four new exhibits and family activities for all ages.Alberta Culture Days is an annual province-wide celebration and is part of national Culture Days, a pan-Canadian movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.
6 years ago

[caption id="attachment_1928" align="alignright" width="332"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="332" height="499" /> The Huntress; Rebecca Pratt of Eccentric Embellishments, 1st Place Winner at the Wearable Arts Show at the Centre for Creative Arts, Grande Prairie. Models: Heather Boos and Candice McMillan. Photo by Prairie Ranger Photography[/caption]

Five Years Old and Growing up

by Eileen Coristine During the last weekend of September Peace Country residents had more opportunities than ever to explore and expand regional art.From the much-anticipated opening of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie to the streets of Alberta’s Cultureville (also know as Peace River) regional artists and performers presented a dazzling array of painting, dancing and partying.Town of Peace River residents won the honour of being designated as the cultural capital of the province in the fall of 2011. They chose to use Culture Days to celebrate their achievement by holding dance lessons on Main Street, an exhibition at the library and a concert in the evening. Their neighbor to the north, Manning, held a Night of the Arts to showcase regional artists and musicians.Just down the highway at Fairview, the Fairview Fine Arts Centre was the host of free art lessons and demonstrations of quilting, weaving and tai chi. As in most communities, the Alberta Culture Days events were free of charge and family oriented.A small but dedicated group of Sexsmith and area artists held an art and craft market at the Sexsmith Community Centre on Saturday, September 29. Their plan is to grow their group and hold monthly markets at Sexsmith throughout the winter. An Evening with the Artist is a special one-on-one experience that the group is  planning to offer soon.[caption id="attachment_1930" align="alignleft" width="242"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="242" height="181" /> Family Art Festival at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie[/caption]Art of the Peace kicked off the Grande Prairie celebrations with a coffee party at the Montrose Cultural Centre and the launch of the Art of the Peace Cover Artist Competition. Spring 2013 will mark the tenth anniversary of Art of the Peace Magazine and to celebrate regional artists are asked to submit applications to be the featured artist of this landmark issue.[caption id="attachment_1932" align="alignright" width="234"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="234" height="196" /> Graffiti art created by Scott Kyca in Peace River[/caption]The Centre for Creative Arts in Grande Prairie offered a whole slate of visual art events over the Culture Days weekend. The Third Annual Wearable Art Show once again dazzled with two shows. Five Alarm Photography Competition and Exhibition, described as a friendly competition between five Grande Prairie photographers included shots by Al Gervais, Chris Beauchamp, Chris Fox, Doreen Altman and Nicky Heminson.[caption id="attachment_1934" align="alignleft" width="243"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Huntress.jpg" alt="" width="243" height="173" /> Cole Pardy at Fairview Fine Arts Centre. Photo by Chris Eakin for Fairview Post[/caption]At the  Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Alberta Culture Days provided a perfect opportunity to invite visitors to  get to know the newly restored, seven-gallery facility. The festivities began with a ribbon cutting ceremony and Block Party on September 29 and continued the next day with a Family Festival including guided tours of the galleries, four new exhibits and family activities for all ages.Alberta Culture Days is an annual province-wide celebration and is part of national Culture Days, a pan-Canadian movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.
6 years ago