Staycations are not only important to suppourt the local economy but you also get to discover local destinations.  That’s how I came to discover The Art Gallery of Alberta. Now, I have to admit not a long while ago I was in London (England), and spent hours upon hours in museums, and galleries so I was all ‘arted out’. I also didn’t think that I would find anything at the same level here. I was wrong.

Firstly look at this:

The building it self is an art work! As architecture lover I probably spent almost the same amount of time admiring the building as I did its contexts.

Located in the Arts District in Edmonton, The Art Gallery of Alberta was designed by the late Randall Stuart with metallic curves that play off each other, and large windows that brings the relationship of the natural lights to interior as a visual art display in it self – you will take some selfies 😉. The building is actually made with patinaed zinc (mined and manufactured in Canada), and stainless steel which gives changing shades to the Gallery through the day.

Looks like a great spot for a coffee break eh?Edmonton, Art Gallery, Alberta, Travel, Kirk Lubimov

The Art Galley of Alberta has been around since 1924 with a focus on collection, and exhibition of Alberta artists. Unless you are deeply emerged in the history of Canadian art you would probably not know how unique it is, and what a global relationship it has. I sure didn’t – I found it to be fascinating and amazing at the same time. The curation, and display of the art is world class. I absolutely love the layout, the separation of the floors and themes. Each floor has it’s own exhibition, and the journey between the floors refreshes you with the architecture. It is like taking a whiff of coffee beans between perfumes (or cologne for us men).

Edmonton, Art Gallery, Alberta, Travel, Kirk Lubimov

The exhibition choices are very engaging, and the staff made this visit extra special. Their knowledge of this history behind the works, and facts made it very interesting. They also challenged me to think, and figure out some details, and relationships about the displays. I had a lot of fun!

Talking about engaging; the AGA has a few places you can role up your sleeves, and get creating.

This is my “beautiful” butterfly I created with the artist in residence Gloria Mok. It will be later auctioned off for $1 Million but will probably fetch $1…from my mom (if that) :).  It was a unique feeling to just disconnect, and just do some art. It has been a while, I realized how important it is.

My favorite part about the AGA is probably how inviting, and engaging it is for all ages; there were business people on a lunch break, visitors like me, and kids on school trips. All looked equally satisfied, and enriched by their experience.

Canada has a unique history; from mountains to prairies, from the beautiful small towns to the large metro cities, and of-course the rich indigenous culture. The Art Gallery of Alberta captures it perfectly.

I am looking forward to come back again. If you are a local mark this as a destination for you (there also some great events), if you are a tourist put the Art Gallery of Alberta on your to do list. You will be glad you did.



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