A number of people are asking what I think about the Globe article re art in Calgary:
I suppose the minimum to observe is that our friends from across Canada and beyond care about what happens with the visual arts in Calgary. I am optimistic on many fronts.
To begin with, Calgary already has a very vibrant arts scene and enjoys service from a variety of outstanding arts agencies: museums, commercial galleries independent and artist run spaces. Actually the number and quality of these visual arts exhibitions rival or surpass most places in the nation. So we should be proud of these advantages.
That said, it is also encouraging to know that all seem to think that Calgary deserves to have more. A larger, stronger art museum is at the forefront of people's thoughts. Allow me to reassure all art patriots, the visual arts agencies in Calgary are coming together to work cooperatively and to plan a brighter future. To my mind, we need at least one agency that is 'larger', stronger, better resourced. I think we all could benefit by seeing more exhibitions of art from afar. We really do not see enough incoming traveling exhibitions to keep us current about the leading developments elsewhere. Conversely, our Calgary arts agencies have not had the resources to consistently organize exhibitions from here (including the art of this region) to share with audiences beyond Calgary.
We are doing what we can with the available space and finances. As you saw with our participation with ContainR, Nuit Blanche and many other festivals, MOCA will continue to branch out beyond its gallery enclosure to find inventive ways to create more arts space 'Right Here; Right Now'.
If you truly want more, you know what has to be done. Your museums need sponsors both large and small. I have little doubt, together we will get this done.