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AGA announces curator and call for submissions for 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art


September 10, 2011
by Canadian Architect

The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) has announced that Alberta-based writer, critic and curator Nancy Tousley will curate the 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art. The exhibition, presented by ATB Financial, will be on view at the AGA from January 26-May 6, 2013. A call for submissions is now open to resident Alberta artists and will close on December 1, 2011.

The first and only exhibition of its kind in Western Canada, the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art has served to promote Alberta artists across the country and brings national attention to Alberta’s art scene. This will be the 8th of the Alberta Biennial exhibitions, which have featured new and exciting works by over 130 different Alberta contemporary artists since its inception in 1996. The AGA’s 15 year commitment to the development and presentation of the Alberta Biennial is an example of the AGA’s ongoing support of Alberta artists and reflects the Gallery’s positions as a leading contemporary art institution in Alberta.

“Nancy Tousley was selected by the AGA to curate the Alberta Biennial based on her long-time commitment to and knowledge of the visual arts in Alberta,” said AGA Deputy Director/Chief Curator Catherine Crowston. Nancy Tousley is an award-winning senior art critic, arts journalist and independent curator. In March, she was awarded the 2011 Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts for outstanding contribution. She is currently Critic-in-Residence at the Alberta College of Art & Design. Tousley was art critic of the Calgary Herald for more than 30 years and has been a contributing editor to Canadian Art magazine since 1986. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Artscanada, Vanguard, Parachute, Border Crossings and Canadian Art since the early 1970s, as well as more than 30 public art gallery and museum catalogues. Tousley is also an accomplished curator, having organized exhibitions for the Brooklyn Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Glenbow Museum and Art Gallery of York University, among others.

Throughout her career, Tousley has been recognized with many prestigious awards including the Board of Governors of the Alberta College of Art and Design’s Award of Excellence (1997), the Ontario Association of Art Galleries award for best curatorial writing on contemporary art (1999 and 2001), the Canadian Museums Association’s award for outstanding achievement in arts journalism (2002) and the medal of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art in (2009).

Participation in the 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art is open to all resident Alberta artists. To be considered for inclusion in this exhibition, artists are asked to submit the following by December 1, 2011 at 4:00pm: a curriculum vitae; a brief artist’s statement; a CD with a maximum of 20 images formatted as a PowerPoint presentation of recent work (with artist’s name, title, media and date of work clearly indicated for each image) or a maximum of three videos or DVDs for media or time-based work; and a self-addressed envelope with appropriate postage for return delivery if required. Submissions should be sent directly to the Art Gallery of Alberta.

The 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art will be presented by ATB Financial as part of a five-year partnership with the AGA that began in 2010. In addition, ATB supports two other important AGA programs: the ATB Financial Alberta Early Masters Series and the ATB Young Alberta Artists Competition.

“This is our second Biennial, and we couldn’t be more excited. We love the Biennial because it gives all Albertans a chance to celebrate the stories of Alberta art. And given Nancy Tousley’s extraordinary record of championing and highlighting the work of Alberta visual artists, she’s a wonderful choice for curator,” said Peggy Garritty, ATB Financial’s Senior Vice-President of Communications and Corporate Responsibility.

Since its inception in 1996, the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art has presented new and exciting works by over 130 different Alberta contemporary artists. As the only exhibition of its kind in Canada, the Alberta Biennial has served to promote Alberta artists across the country and brings national attention to Alberta’s art scene. The last Alberta Biennial exhibition, entitled TIMELAND, was curated by editor of Canadian Art magazine, Richard Rhodes, and exhibited at the AGA from May-August, 2010.


art gallery of alberta
art gallery of alberta


Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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