There’s only so much gallery space to go around, especially in a mid-sized city like this. And depending on your method of artistic output, or place of training, or familiarity with the scene, getting eyes on your work—and getting your work into a place where eyes can find it—can be as involved a process as the art-making itself.
With that in mind, the Art Gallery of Alberta is opening up some mini-exhibition space for any eager presenters—26 such spaces, actually. Showcase: small spaces/big ideas will be a wall at the AGA dedicated to community use: its mini-galleries—plexiglass trapezoids—will be bookable for month-long instalments at a low cost ($21). They can be used to showcase whatever you want to display, by people of any age, background or level of experience.
“There are many people in Alberta who are engaged with all types of creative practices,” AGA executive director Catherine Crowston writes via email, while travelling out of the country. “Many are not professional artists, and many don’t have a place to share their ideas and the things that they make with the public. Showcase is a way for members of the community to have a place and connection with the AGA.
“Encouraging creativity, communicating the importance of art-making and creating a public forum for thinking and talking about art are all important parts of the AGA’s mission,” she continues. “We think that this new project helps to do this in a way that is engaging, fun and grounded in our community.”
Showcase isn’t a temporary gallery: it’s essentially a permanent part of the AGA (“So long as there is interest from the public, we will continue to present their works in the AGA showcase,” Crowston explains.) The idea came from a museum Crowston visited in Eastern Europe in 2014; the AGA’s showcase boxes are being designed by local carpentry studio Oliver Apt, “as a way to engage local designers and craftspeople from the beginning of the project.”
The first deadline for submissions is Monday, March 7, and the inaugural batch of exhibits will begin on Friday, March 18. Crowston notes that the ideas that have already come in run a gamut of disciplines.
“This is a non-juried exhibition space, and so it’s a great opportunity for anyone to get involved in the AGA,” she writes. “The submissions so far cover a range of media and practices (as we had hoped), and they have also been very thoughtful and cover a broad range of topics.”
More info at youraga.ca/showcase