When Fred Greene (BA '98) is asked to name a favourite work of art, he rhymes off not one, but a handful. With an impressive resumé that includes a four year fellowship at the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome and 10 years in the Conservation Department at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, it's not surprising that Greene feels right at home in the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery.
He describes the U of L Art Collection with passion.
"Our collection is spectacular," he says simply.
Even more importantly, Greene is proud of the work going on behind the scenes. "Our reputation isn't based on what we have in the collection anymore. We're being recognized for what we're doing with it," explains Greene, whose training is in conservation. "Instead of commenting on the value or size, people now know we also have a well-housed, well-maintained, well-documented and well-utilized collection."
Moreover, access to artworks is incredible. Since Greene started work at the gallery in 1999, he's been involved in the development of an online database that allows much of the collection to be viewed electronically. This makes artworks more accessible, helping Greene to share what he loves with others.
"I'm the art guy," laughs Greene, referencing his unofficial title amongst the students he works with. "I am involved in our museum studies program, but I also work with students from disciplines outside of fine arts. We have very dynamic young people on this campus and I'm proud to say that I get to work with lots of them."
For Greene, supporting students extends beyond showing them works from the collection and helping them with conservation projects, he also shows his commitment as a regular contributor to Supporting Our Students (SOS).
"We talk a lot about access and equal opportunities but without proper funding, it's not possible," says Greene, who returned to university in his 40s and completed a bachelor of arts at the U of L. He took advantage of applied studies and was able to work overseas on archaeological sites between semesters to help pay for his education, but Greene recognizes many students are not as fortunate.
"I hope my gift helps someone who wouldn't be here otherwise," says Greene, who is proud to be part of the University community.
"The U of L plays a significant role not only in my life, but in the life of my family," adds Greene, who notes his wife is a faculty member and his son is a current student. He's witnessed the impact the University has from all angles and wants to ensure more students benefit from what the U of L has to offer.
"I'm proud of this university and what we're building."
For more information on SOS, or to make a contribution, visit www.uleth.ca/giving/SupportingOurStudents or call 403-329-2582.
This story first appeared in the March 2012 issue of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.