Unpacking IKG: 60 Years a Gallery

Curated by Ashley Slemming as part of the IKG’s Curatorial Internship with the support of Dr. Jennifer Salahub, Professor (ACAD)

This is the first attempt to document the history of exhibiting art, craft, and design at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). While the title, Unpacking IKG: 60 years a Gallery, suggests that ours is a history of only six decades (1958-2018), the truth is that public art exhibitions at the College date back a full century (1918-2018). The Archive holds enticing hints about our early history, limited amounts of archival material about the mid-century, and a wealth of information about the past sixty years – the period when the ACAD art gallery was housed in secure purpose-built exhibition spaces. Thus, the title – Unpacking IKG: 60 years a Gallery.

With the aid of the archival holdings of SAIT, the Glenbow, the University of Calgary, and ACAD’s Luke Lindoe Library we were able to reconstruct a timeline that illustrates not only the past sixty years but also the four decades leading up to having a designated gallery space. This exhibition only begins to unpack the history that has brought the gallery to where it is today.


Sept 25 – Dec 8, 2018


Friday Sept 28, 2018

IKG’s Curatorial Internship is generously supported by the Rozsa Foundation’s ARIIVA program
Unpacking IKG: 60 Years a Gallery – Mosaic Design by Scott Cressman

Public Programs

This year the Alberta College of Art + Design will be participating in Alberta Culture Days as a Feature Celebration Site offering three full days of arts and culture programming. IKG will be hosting an opening reception, gallery tours and workshops to coincide with this event.

Opening Reception for Unpacking IKG: 60 Years a Gallery
Friday September 28, 5-8pm

Curator’s Tour with Ashley Slemming
Saturday September 29, 11-12pm

Monuments to Graffiti: A Workshop Unpacking Public Art with Dick Averns
Saturday September 29, 2-4pm
Public art appears in many forms, from easily recognizable monuments to more challenging approaches such as graffiti. This easy-to-follow workshop enables you to readily understand multiple forms of artistic practice, with a focus on historical and contemporary public art. The program structure incorporates topical examples of public art from Calgary and beyond, as well as a user-friendly worksheet and walking tour of selected public artworks on campus. By the end of the session you will have a stronger understanding of how, and why, public art is created and produced, enabling a more informed basis from which to critique public art.

Prescribing Art! From Rule-Based Art to Social Practice with Dick Averns
Sunday September 30, 12-2pm
Solving the riddle of “what is art?” has no easy answer… although one “logical” approach is to create art shaped by a pre-determined framework. Prescriptive examples explored in this workshop include rule-based art (where an artist proposes criteria to be followed); art multiples (a proposition for multiple iterations of the same art object); and social prescriptions (distinct from art therapy, a doctor prescribes activities e.g. art making, as a remedy to a health concern). Attending this session will encompass a range of art-making activities including creating an art multiple, guerilla gardening, and devising your own set of rules for making art.

Unpacking: The Series

Unpacking: The Series is a series of free public programs taking place Thursdays at 1pm at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery. Each week a visiting speaker will discuss a different topic relating to the current exhibition. Please meet outside the IKG. Programs are free and open to the public.

Curator’s Tour with Ashley Slemming
Thursday October 4, 1pm

Crafty Possibilities with Jennifer Salahub
Thursday October 11, 1pm

Marketing the IKG – A Closer Look at the Posters with Scott Cressman
Thursday October 18, 1pm

“…because it’s alive it’s really vibrant and makes me feel warm;” performance in the archives with Alana Bartol + Rita McKeough
Thursday October 25, 1pm

The Art School on the Hill: The First Fifty Years with Mary-Beth Laviolette
Thursday November 1, 1pm

Cliff Robinson and other early Calgary Modernists; A. C. Leighton, Henry Glyde and Walter Phillips with Nancy Townshend
Thursday November 8, 1pm

The Art of Catalogues with Elyse Bouvier
Thursday November 15, 1pm

all photos courtesy Jeremy Pavka