If you are interested in having your art showcased in the library, please contact the Library Manager.
The Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) has supported a provincial travelling exhibition program since 1981. The mandate of the AFA Travelling Exhibition Program is to provide every Albertan with the opportunity to enjoy visual art exhibitions in their community.
Three regional galleries and one arts organization coordinate the program for the AFA: Northwest Region: The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie Northeast and North Central Region: The Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton Southwest Region: The Alberta Society of Artists, Calgary Southeast Region: The Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre, Medicine Hat
Each year, more than 300,000 Albertans enjoy many exhibitions in communities ranging from High Level in the north to Milk River in the south and virtually everywhere in between. The AFA Travelling Exhibition Program also offers educational support material to help educators integrate the visual arts into the school curriculum. Exhibitions for the TREX program are curated from a variety of sources, including private and public collections. A major part of the program assists in making the AFA’s extensive art collection available to Albertans. This growing art collection consists of over 8,000 artworks showcasing the creative talents of more than 2000 artists. As the only provincial art collection in Alberta, the AFA collection reflects the development of the vibrant visual arts community in the province and has become an important cultural legacy for all Albertans.
The Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library is proud to be a part of the AFA Travelling Exhibition Program and will continue to showcase Alberta. Local artists will be showcased as well throughout the year. There is always something new on the walls, so come down and visit the library!
June 20th to July 17th, 2019
Top Row: Left to Right: Pride Centre Opening, Edmonton (detail), Collection of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services; Frater Tham, When You Support Others..., 2016, Collection of the artist; Adebayo Katiiti, Untitled #1, 2016, Collection of the artist; Daniel Beaudin, Sleeping Beauty, 2017, Collection of Daniel Beaudin
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Max Quilliam, Untitled #1, 2016, Collection of the artist; Trudi, Sissons, No Trump 1, 2017, Private collection - Trudi Sissons; Espen Wade, Moth, 2016, Collection of the artist; Kris Swick, The Smoking Lady, 2016, Collection of the artist
17 Framed art works, 8 Didactic/photographic works
What does it mean to describe something or someone as ‘normal’? What is ‘normal’ and who gets to decide what is ‘normal’ or not? As defined by curator Michelle Lavoie, the term ‘normal’ refers to accepted ways of being: culturally constructed ideas around gender, sexuality and expected and accepted behaviour. These norms create the limits of what is accepted by a society and ensure that people stay within the boundaries.
Since time immemorial all societies have set norms of behaviour. As stated by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (535-475 B.C.), however, the only thing that is constant is change and as expressed by Michelle Lavoie, while society creates limits on peoples’ actions, these norms are always shifting. Such a view has been echoed by Canadian writer Scott Gilmore in speaking of Canadian society:
Mercifully, Canadian values continually change. As a result, we now live in a nation where women can vote, Chinese immigrants don’t pay a head tax and Indigenous children are not sent to residential schools. Society evolves. Citizens adopt new values. Progress marches on. Scott Gilmore, Macleans Magazine, July, 2017
Society evolves and progress marches on. Besides those aspects of Canadian society mentioned by Gilmore, a further component of Canadian culture affected by changes in norms has been views towards, and thus the rights of, Canada’s LGBTQ+ ‘community’. Prior to the late 1960s homosexuality was considered a criminal offense and many homosexual men were imprisoned as sex offenders. In 1969, however, homosexuality was decriminalized and the following decades have witnessed a steady, albeit arduous, progression concerning the legal rights of LGBTQ+ citizens in Canada. One result of this progress was the legalization of same-sex marriage across the nation in 2005.
While Canadian society has made significant progress concerning the rights of LGBTQ+ identifying citizens and all Canadians, however, there are those who resist these transformations. Whether speaking of LGBTQ+ recognition and rights or the rights and values of other minority groups, there are those who promote an us vs. them mentality and strive to impose a narrow definition of ‘normal’ on society.
The TREX exhibition Re-Imaging Normal questions such aims. Combining archival materials from The Queer History Project, developed by The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, with art works created by LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ - allied artists, this exhibition challenges expectations and allows people’s own stories to be told. Through this sharing, the exhibition creates a space for dialogue between different communities so that the boundaries of what is considered ‘normal’ are questioned and possibly expanded.
As expressed by Michelle Lavoie: The only way to address the blind spots of our own existence is by being in conversation. If these spaces aren’t held open they shrink and this leads to a narrowing of vision and imagination. The art works and archival materials included in the exhibition Re-Imaging Normal seek to contribute to a concept of ‘normal’ which encompasses the richness of human experience. It is believed that through this re-imaging everyone, not just the queer community, benefits and society as a whole will become broader, richer and more inclusive. The exhibition Re-Imaging Normal was curated by Michelle Lavoie and Shane Golby and was organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta for The Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program.
July 25th to August 21st, 2019
Into the Badlands
Bob Hamilton, Lothar, Ghost Finder (detail), 2016
18 Framed Art Works, 3 Didactic/photographic works
Fourteen thousand years ago, rapid channel down-cutting by glacial melt-water formed the dramatic coulees and hoodoos of the Canadian Badlands. At the heart of this region is one of the most unique towns in western Canada. Drumheller, Alberta, has an extensive history that feeds its distinctive present-day status. The unusual land formations provide an unforgettable first impression of a town whose tourism industry is the backbone of the economy; the eye-catching, forty-six-metre-tall T. Rex confirms this, and makes you realize you are no longer in Kansas anymore. Beyond the hype of the hoodoos and dinosaurs, Drumheller possesses a quaint downtown filled with the usual suspects (post office, bank, second-hand store, pizza parlor) as well as a charming art gallery. In 2004 the Canadian Badlands Artist Association opened the Badlands Gallery, mandated to “foster and enhance public awareness, understanding and appreciation for the positive cultural significance of the visual arts.” This is achieved through a strong membership of local artists, who exhibit within the space.
Eight years ago, TREX Southeast organized Out of the Badlands, an exhibition featuring the works from the Badlands Gallery. In 2016 TREX invited gallery members to exhibit once again, this time with a stipulation—create new work based on a proposed theme. While Out of the Badlands focused on the enchanting landscape within the region, the new proposed theme challenged participating artists to visually express unique aspects of the region from a “personal” perspective. The result is a selection of paintings and photographs that communicate each artist’s individual sense of place. Conveyed through the twenty-one works is the unique experience of small-town living along the Red Deer River valley. Farming, super moons, ghost finders, storms and water towers are just some of the subjects explored. The seven participating artists include Jim Carlson, Dianne Faulter, Bob Hamilton, Carrie Mashon, Ellen Nobel, Janice Russell and Lindsey Stead.