By Gurman Sahota, September 27 2016 —
The Glenbow museum will mark its 50th birthday from Oct. 1 to 5. To celebrate, the Calgary art and culture staple will host Glenbow at 50, a pop-up exhibit showcasing a variety of works that are not normally displayed.
Curating a quick preview of the diversity of the Glenbow’s eclectic collection of works over 50 years was no easy task. The vigorous curation process selected only 50 pieces out of a collection of over 30,000.
Each piece carries significance for the region of Calgary or artists that have visited the city. National and international importance were also taken into consideration.
There will be both new and familiar work for patrons of the museum since many pieces haven’t been shown in five years. Glenbow manager of marketing and communications Jenny Conway Fisher says this particular exhibit will address a variety of artistic voices.
“It’s easy to put up a collection of old, dead white guys,” Conway Fisher says.
The exhibit will reflect how the museum has changed over the last 50 years, showcasing differing perspectives and diving into the diversity of collections that would not have otherwise been seen.
There will be representation of many artistic forms — historical, contemporary, video work, sculpture and paintings — present at Glenbow at 50. Conway Fisher says having a variety of mediums helps tease out engaging stories from the artwork.
“Art is only interesting if someone is looking at it,” she says.
Canadian artist Douglas Coupland, famous for Generation X, contributed his life-sized sculpture of a iconic green toy soldier à la Toy Story.
“It is a fun pop art, Andy Warhol piece,” Conway Fisher says.
The exhibit will showcase contemporary pop artist Sol LeWitt whose works are regarded as the beginning of conceptual art. LeWitt printed his own pieces, whereas many artists create their works and another party prints them.
Graeme Patterson will be one of the younger Canadian artists featured in the exhibit. “Monkey and Deer” is a multimedia, stop-motion video which is an ode to old, low-tech movies.
“[The film] is a quirky, creepy but always a melancholic, lovely story,” Conway Fisher says.
The special 50 cent admission fee for the duration of the pop-up — a nod to the price of Glenbow admission when the museum first opened — aims to expose as many Calgarians as possible to the past 50 years of art.
With extended hours to accommodate a busy Calgarian schedule, Conway Fisher says the exhibit is incentive to visit one of the most iconic institutions in the city, especially for its 50th birthday.
“[It’s] a buffet of crazy, interesting choices. Hopefully people will connect to one piece,” Conway Fisher says.
Glenbow at 50 will show at the Glenbow from Oct. 1–5. Admission is $0.50.
For more information, visit glenbow.org