Calgary artist-run centres end exhibition partnership with Arts Commons

CALGARY, AB — In the wake of recent disputes involving Arts Commons, multiple organizations have made the decision to cease programming their respective +15 Window spaces in this facility and terminate their partnerships with Arts Commons. Departing organizations include Marion Nicoll Gallery, Stride Gallery, The New Gallery, TRUCK Contemporary Art, and Untitled Art Society.

Over the past few weeks, each departing organization has written a letter to Arts Commons outlining their specific organization’s reasons for ending their partnership. Collectively, we believe that recent events have made it clear that there is a widening gap between our respective institutional priorities and values, and those held by Arts Commons. Throughout these challenges, Arts Commons has demonstrated a lack of support and an unwillingness to respond to the pressing concerns raised by our organizations and broader communities. This is indicative of a significant partnership imbalance that has negatively impacted the artistic integrity of our organizations’ programming in these spaces, as well as hindered critical discourse regarding contemporary art in Arts Commons. Our organizations believe that we cannot in good conscience continue to invite artists in to a space within which their safety, rights, and artistic integrity cannot be guaranteed.

Our organizations acknowledge that the +15 Window spaces have created many opportunities for emerging artists, and we are committed to supporting artists early on in their careers through other venues and programming initiatives. We encourage Arts Commons to continue to make space for contemporary visual arts within its facility, and we hope that the future holds more equitable opportunities for those who will continue to work and show in the space, where all parties respect and support one another in their endeavours.

An invitation has been extended to collectively meet with Arts Commons to further outline feedback on our experience working with their organization, and where we see room for growth or a need for changes. Ultimately, our organizations strive to create spaces and opportunities in the arts that work towards more equitable and inclusive futures. At this time, Arts Commons has been unable to support us in these aspirations.

For additional information or to schedule an interview with one of our organizations, please contact:

Areum Kim, Stride Gallery
P: +1 403 262 8507
E: director@stride.ab.ca
Ginger Carlson, TRUCK Contemporary Art
P: +1 403 261 7702
E: director@truck.ca
Laura Pritchard, Marion Nicoll Gallery
P: +1 403 284 7625
E: mng.acadsa@acad.ca
Natasha Chaykowski, Untitled Art Society
P: +1 403 262 7911
E: natasha@uascalgary.org
Su Ying Strang, The New Gallery
P: +1 403 305 7655
E: su@thenewgallery.org

Additional Media:

Artist-Run Centres Leave Calgary Arts Commons | Canadian Art – October 18, 2018