Experience the dimensions of art!
Generally speaking, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Canada is one of the best known hubs for fine arts and aspires to create an active connection between the visitors and the art, between spectators and the spectacle. A great emphasis is therefore laid on showing particularly some ground-breaking and authentic samples by contemporary and past artists coming from Alberta as well as the rest of the world. Thus, the museum offers a unique variety of art and, above all, promises to be a varied and colourful visit with all its spectacularly artful halls.
A huge variety of art
There are more than 6,000 paintings and samples exhibited in the Art Gallery of Alberta, which is actually the oldest cultural institution in entire Alberta and the only museum in the vicinity that is dedicated to exclusively saving visual art. This challenging task is masterfully managed by the museum permanently, which especially becomes obvious in the touring exhibitions. Not only are there classic paintings shown, but also photography and sculptures. A special flair is added by music performances and videos that are part of the exhibition programme of the museum.
Connecting to art
As the gallery follows the philosophy to have visitors actively participate in the miraculous world of art, there are public discussions taking place here at regular intervals including speeches by artists. This is a fantastic opportunity for all interested visitors to learn more about the artists' creative process, thoughts, artwork and inspiration. Occasionally, there are film nights organised by the gallery, complemented by exhibitions of matching artworks. The Gallery also holds strong ties with the Edmonton Public Library and regularly has a book club assembling in its premises. Visitors not only have the chance to combine fine arts with literature, but also are given space and opportunities to exchange.
The Art Gallery of Alberta was founded in 1924 and was then known under the name “The Edmonton Museum of Arts”. The art museum was still tiny in size and had its first collection exhibited in the premises of the MacDonald Hotel. In the following years, the locations of the gallery kept changing, among which the Edmonton Public Library and the so-called Civic Block were important stations. In 1952 the gallery moved into the Secord House and stayed for nine years in a row.
Moving to the Bittdorf Building
Over the years, the art collection of the museum kept constantly growing, so that the premises of the Secord House turned out to be too small in 1961. The Art Gallery then took the decision to build its very own building from scratch. With financial aid from the Municipality of Edmonton a brand new and large place for art was created at the Winston Churchill Square and was finally opened in 1969. As Don Bittdorf left his architecturally significant mark on the new building, it was hence called “Bittdorf Building”.
Modern Art Gallery
It was in 2007 that the gallery got its latest architectural face-lift and this way was turned to a hyper modern building that it is today by Randall Stout. In the course of reshaping, the museum was renamed to “Art Gallery of Alberta” and was made accessible to the public in its new make-over in 2010.
How to get there
From the direction of Calgary
Coming from Calgary, you first take the Memorial Drive in the direction of Calgary Zoo and then change to the Deerfoot Trail (Route 2), which will, the further you get, turn to Queen Elizabeth Highway. Nevertheless, you follow the road, crossing Bowden, Innisfail and Red Deer before finally getting to Edmonton. Once in town, you follow the Gateway Boulevard and then turn right into Saskatchawan Drive and left into Queen Elizabeth Park Road. Just before reaching the river, you turn right to get to Waterdale Hill. Keep following the road, crossing the river up to the point you will have passed Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel and turn right into Avenue 102. Follow the road and turn left at the third junction. And here you are at the Art Gallery of Alberta.
From the direction of Grande Prairie
Coming from the direction of the Grande Prairie, you first hit the road on Route 43, passing Smoky River and Lake Sturgeon up to Valleyview, where you turn right but still stay on Route 43. You cross Fox Creek and Whitecourt before getting on Yellowhead Highway leading towards Edmonton. Once you're in Edmonton, you turn right into Street 121 and keep left at the next junction. Follow the Kingsway and turn left at the second intersection. Shortly afterwards, you turn right at the second street. This where you will have reached your desired point of destination: the Art Gallery of Alberta.
There are parking facilities provided at the City Hall, the Public Library and the Canada Place parking garage.