Image: U of L, Centre for the Arts Entrance | Sculpture: John McEwen, Western Channel, 1981 | Photo: Bernie Wirzba
The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery has a dual role: we serve both the campus community and the general public. The Art Gallery plays a central role for research, learning and community engagement at the university. At the same time, the Art Gallery is a key component of the university’s public face and reaches audiences from Lethbridge, within Alberta and across the country. By making art works and the activities of the Art Gallery highly visible on campus, we foster understanding about the visual arts for the full range of students at the university. We also attract members of the public to campus thereby giving them access to contemporary and historical exhibitions, to professional visual arts programming, and to research produced at, and disseminated by, the Art Gallery and the university.
The U of L Art Gallery is crucial within the strong local art community. In addition to our exhibitions, programming, collecting and support of research, we partner with art galleries and cultural organizations throughout Southern Alberta. We assist smaller organizations and cultural groups in Southern Alberta by providing expertise and technical support and by loaning equipment. Furthermore, we train arts professionals and many of our past interns now work in galleries and arts organizations.
The U of L Art Gallery maintains a strong national profile by developing touring exhibitions and loaning art works to galleries across the country. As well, we have developed an innovative publications program to reach national audiences. Our publications go beyond being catalogues and include artist’s works created for the publication along with writers addressing the context of the works in the exhibition. The Art Gallery participates in Canada’s National Publication Exchange in order to distribute free copies of our publications to galleries and libraries across the country. On our web page, we sell our publications; disseminate documentation of our activities; and provide public access to the works in our collection through our on-line research collections database.