Copyright © 1997. All Rights Reserved.
A brief Artwalk history
by Anne Severson
Talking to interesting people while looking at a variety of art and drinking coffee. That's a good memory of Artwalk.
It's been 14 years since art activist Ouida Touche started working on the gallery-walk idea that has mushroomed into a model Artwalk, one of the best in Canada. Touche talked it over with gallery owner Paul Kuhn, and they organized some commercial galleries within walking distance of the downtown core who were willing to put out a small brochure and do some advertising to kick off the fall season. From those six pioneers - Canadian Art Galleries, Gainsborough, Kensington Fine Art, Masters, Paul Kuhn and Virginia Christopher - there are now there are 41 sites. It has expanded from a commercial base to a volunteer community base supported by grants from Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Calgary Regional Art Foundation. The Glenbow Museum, Muttart and Triangle public galleries have joined as have artist-run centres such as EM/Media, The New Gallery, Stride, Truck, and Untitled. Even the provincial government is exhibiting! The Alberta Foundation for the Arts is a temporary exhibition, as is Alberta Society of Artists and Calgary Artists' Society.
There have been spin-offs like ArtWeek with blockbuster exhibitions and lectures, and the building murals on 17th Avenue. Artwalk has become a point of celebration in a year-round visual arts event.
Welcome to Calgary's unique, trend-setting, original Artwalk and enjoy your coffee while looking at the art. From a rainy, successful afternoon with six galleries in 1983, this year's provincewide marketing is aiming for 15,000 people. Will you be one of them?
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