Through the Memory Atlas: 40 Years of Collecting
Kamloops Art Gallery
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In celebration of the Kamloops Art Gallery’s 40th anniversary, Through the Memory Atlas: 40 Years of Collecting, gathers together the most comprehensive selection of works from its permanent collection in one exhibition to date. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to bring a large and diverse group of works, in various media, out from storage and into public view. The exhibition title and curatorial framework pay homage to the German art historian and cultural theorist Aby Warburg, who founded a private library for Cultural Studies that organized and classified the legacy of Western culture in an experimental, non-logical and non-conventional manner. His project has worked to inspire and inform many contemporary artists today. Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas constituted cosmographic and art historical images arranged non-chronologically to reveal the ways in which subjective and objective forces shape our understanding of Western culture. His juxtaposition of “information constellations” attempted to make sense of the overwhelming process of historical change, creating what he called “thought space” (Denkraum), rather than a definitive archive.
The strength of an art gallery’s permanent collection is its ability to capture and tell the story of the institution; in this case, forty years of exhibitions, forty years of relationships with artists, collectors and other galleries, and foremost, a consistent connection to the ever-changing dialogues in contemporary art. The Kamloops Art Gallery’s collection reflects a maturing institution, at first steeped in the local and representing its regional art communities, and over the years, coming to house works by significant historical artists such as members of the Group of Seven and renowned contemporary Canadian artists who have made an impact on visual art in Canada over the past many decades. Curatorial contributions tell the story of the Gallery’s evolution.
This exhibition reflects the viewpoint of the fulltime and interim curators who have shaped the Gallery’s exhibition history over the past forty years and thereby, its permanent collection. Representing approximately ten percent of the over 3,000 works in the collection, this non-chronological constellation of works endeavors to show the diversity of holdings that are now cared for in perpetuity by the Gallery.
Thematic selections include work by artists from the region, significant highlights from the mobile storage racks and the Gallery’s extensive works on paper, representing a “thought space” of collected artwork that traverses personal and institutional memory.
Curated by Roger Boulet, Jen Budney, Susan Edelstein, Adrienne Fast, Andrew Hunter, Charo Neville, Jordan Strom and Tania Willard
Generously sponsored by Funk Signs Inc., the Audain Foundation, Rojeanne and James Allworth, and Jane Irwin and Ross Hill
Location Information: Kamloops Art Gallery
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101 - 465 Victoria Street,
The Kamloops Art Gallery is a registered charity and not-for-profit society.
Incorporated in 1978, the Kamloops Art Gallery serves residents of and visitors to Kamloops (pop. 82,000) and the surrounding Thompson-Nicola Regional District (pop. 124,000) as well as national and international audiences.
In 1998, the KAG moved to a purpose-built civic building, designed by award-winning architects Peter Cardew and Nigel Baldwin, which also houses the Thompson-Nicola Regional District offices and the Kamloops branch of the TNRD Library System. The 20,853 square foot Gallery includes 4,500 square feet of exhibition space, an admissions/store area, two multipurpose studio/workshop/lecture rooms, a packing and acclimatization area, the collection storage vault with an adjoining workroom and, on a mezzanine above, administration and curatorial offices along with a research library. In 2006, the KAG was designated a Category “A” institution under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.
The Gallery’s annual attendance has ranged between 24,000 and 37,000 over the last five years. It enjoys a national reputation for its touring exhibitions and publications and has developed relationships with national and international artists, curators, critics and scholars. The KAG is also well respected for its exhibitions, events and educational and public programs through activities organized and presented in the community and region involving both contemporary and historical art. Its collection as of December 2012 consists of 2,700 works that primarily reflect the Gallery’s exhibition history. In 2005, the KAG co-commissioned with the University of British Columbia’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Canada’s participation in the 51st Venice Biennale with the work of Rebecca Belmore.
Governed by a Board of Trustees, the KAG maintains an effective organizational structure that includes a Management Team led by the executive director, a Program Team led by the curator and a Development Team led by the manager of operations. Teams meet monthly to report, evaluate, problem solve and plan.
The Kamloops Art Gallery brings art, artists and communities together.
The Kamloops Art Gallery is the principal gallery in the Southern Interior of British Columbia supporting contemporary and historical visual arts and practices on a local, national and international level. The KAG acknowledges art to be an essential part of the human experience in nurturing a healthy society. As a leading cultural institution, the KAG is an integral part of the fabric that draws intellectual, social and economic opportunities to our province and to our region.
The Kamloops Art Gallery fosters enjoyment of and interest in the visual arts by researching, developing and producing exhibitions, publications and programs that engage, challenge and inform its various audiences. The Gallery also oversees the development and preservation of a permanent collection that includes regional, national and international art in all media. It also strives to create rewarding opportunities for visual arts professionals and the public.
- Committed to art, artists and audiences
- Collaborative, respectful and ethical
- Tolerant, inclusive and diverse
- Relevant to local and regional communities
- Striving for excellence
- Fiscally responsible