WAG Studio Celebrates Milestone Year with Opening of Youth Art Exhibit

Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 8, 2016: The Winnipeg Art Gallery invites the public to an open house celebrating the 80th anniversary of WAG Studio and the 30th anniversary of the Through the Eyes of a Child exhibition. The Gallery will mark these milestones with a free event on March 26 from 1-4pm, featuring the exhibit opening, art activities, cake, and more. As an added bonus this year, Through the Eyes of a Child will include work by some of the distinguished Manitoba artists who are past WAG Studio students or instructors including Michael Boss, Elvira Finnigan, Wanda Koop, Tim Schouten, Jordan Van Sewell and Diane Whitehouse. The exhibit runs until May 8.

“The WAG couldn’t be more thrilled to mark these two anniversaries celebrating the positive impact of the Studio in our community,” says Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “When the creativity of youth is encouraged, young people develop an appreciation of art and culture, and grow to better understand its value to society. We look forward to continuing this tradition at the WAG’s new Inuit Art Centre, which will provide an even better space for art classes over the next few years.”

WAG curator Alexander Musgrove launched the Gallery’s first Saturday Morning Art Classes in 1936, which are still conducted each fall and winter at WAG Studio, the oldest civic art gallery education program in Canada. In 1972, summer programs were organized for the general public. By 1995, WAG Studio had grown so much that it moved out of the WAG basement and into two adjacent buildings located at 280 Memorial Blvd. This move allowed the Studio to expand class offerings and develop into one of the country’s largest and most successful gallery-run schools. WAG Studio alumni and instructors are among some of the country’s most well-known artists.

As the WAG works to develop the new Inuit Art Centre, the current WAG Studio facility will be replaced by a state-of-the-art building to house art classes, as well as the Gallery's celebrated collection of contemporary Inuit art and related programs.

For the past 30 years, the Through the Eyes of a Child exhibit has highlighted the creations of the young people who attend art classes at WAG Studio. Although the 630 young artists in this year’s show represent a wide array of backgrounds, a common thread ties the exhibit together: the honesty of a child that emerges through art.

“For many of the young artists, this is the first time their work has ever been presented in a public forum,” says Diane Lafournaise, Manager of WAG Studio. “To see their vibrant work alongside that of established artists will be so inspiring for the children.”

The public is invited to celebrate the anniversaries and the opening of Through the Eyes of a Child from 1-4pm on March 26, with a welcome and exhibit opening in the WAG’s Eckhardt Hall at 1:30pm (main floor, 300 Memorial Blvd), and free art activities for the whole family from 2-4pm at WAG Studio, 280 Memorial Blvd.

The WAG thanks Winnipeg School Division, Louis Riel School Division, and the Associates of the Winnipeg Art Gallery for supporting the Through the Eyes of a Child exhibition, and Leon A. Brown Ltd. for sponsoring the March 26 open house.

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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Catherine Maksymiuk
Manager, Media & Marketing
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204.789.1767
Media-Manager@wag.ca

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate – a lens and forum – helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery and inspiration.

The WAG holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. Using the art as a vehicle, the creation of the Inuit Art Centre allows the WAG to further celebrate and engage with Inuit art and Indigenous cultures through exhibition, research, education, and art making. The Centre will also house the WAG’s nationally recognized Studio art and learning program.

 

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