Leading community transformation through contemporary art.
The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba leads and inspires community engagement through contemporary art exhibitions, education, and events.
Statement of responsibility as future ancestors
Our current Strategic Plan is focused on our immediate goals, but it is also intended to honour the contribution of our ancestors and the history of hands that have guided this institution over the past one-hundred and ten years.
These words are offered as a seed. We believe that the choices we make today will continue to reverberate throughout our community for the next one-hundred and ten years. We acknowledge our responsibility as future ancestors to the culture and community we are a part of. This belief influences our choice of action. These guiding forces of connections, thoughtfulness, and support have built the pillars on which this institution stands, and we accept our ethical responsibility to help open a future of inclusion, belonging, strength, and creativity through the practice and support of contemporary art.
We recognize that these choices affect our future communities and future artists who will/have/had access to this space of art and culture.
This seed is offered for our future decisions, actions, and ancestors.
STRATEGIC DIRECTION 2017-2022
1. EXHIBITIONS, EDUCATION, AND EVENTS
Over the next five years we will approach our programs with a spirit of radical experimentation. Experimentation that honours our current strengths and offers opportunities to strive towards innovative imaginings. We will continue to push the boundaries and definitions of art through our ongoing programs while also developing new opportunities for people to engage with contemporary art.
Our priorities for new programs will be:
- Increasing leadership and representation from diverse artistic traditions
- Encouraging unexpected, radical, and/or new under standings of art
- New media programs and classes
- Skill building workshops for local artists
- Community led events
- Youth-directed and youth-led programs/classes
- Artist residencies
2. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Over the next five years we will approach our community engagement through reciprocal exchange with the purpose of developing and maintaining long-term relationships. Art is an essential element of what defines community, culture, and nation. We are committed to the artists and deep art history of this land as we collectively work towards the betterment of our shared communities. The AGSM acknowledges the 94 calls to action brought forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. We will honour these calls to action by developing strategies for reconciliation with our own communities.
Our goals and priorities in this area will be:
- To become a catalyst for rebuilding and strengthening relationships between Indigenous communities and the many diverse peoples who now make up Southwestern Manitoba
- To build new relationships with communities that are currently underserved by us (cultural, geographic, youth, and non-artists)
- To engage these communities in the development of our programs and outreach activities
- To extend our programming outside of the gallery through residencies and greater participation in community events and spaces.
Over the next five years we will be undertaking a phased approach to facilities improvement with the aim of ushering in an era of transformation. This plan begins with a bold new entrance to the AGSM on Rosser Avenue. With a renewed exterior we will act as a beacon for cultural activity in downtown Brandon, provide street level access, increase awareness and visibility, and generate new opportunities for our programs to move fluidly between the exterior and interior of the Gallery. We will then conduct a needs assessment before renovating the interior of the gallery to ensure that we have the most functional and inspiring environment that we can.
4. CAPACITY BUILDING
The AGSM is powered by a collection of people who work with the shared purpose of advancing contemporary art. We have a responsibility to work with and nurture those individuals to expand our leadership in the downtown, in Brandon, in Manitoba, and in Canada. As the gallery continues to expand and excel we will invest in our staff as much as they invest in us. We will take a strategic approach to HR planning to ensure that our staff has the skills and support necessary to continue their path of excellence. This investment includes: compensation, professional development, and increased support for program delivery.
In order to achieve the goals outlined in this plan, we understand we will need to expand our community support and investment. Over the next five years, we will increase awareness of the vital role the AGSM plays in the municipal, provincial, and national landscape and will be seeking increased levels of support. We will target increases from government funders to support ongoing expenses associated with operating activities and capacity building. We will target increased support from foundations, project grants, and private donors for facilities improvements and experimental programs.
The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba has been proudly serving Brandon and its surrounding region for 110 years. Founded in 1907, the Brandon Art Club provided a consistent array of classes in drawing, painting and art history for Brandon and the southwest Manitoba region. In addition, it regularly exhibited work by its members.
By 1959, the learning, practice and appreciation of art and craft had evolved to such an extent that a permanent space for studios and exhibition was established and renamed the Brandon Allied Arts Council.
In 1989, after a lengthy capital campaign a permanent building to house the art gallery/studio was renovated on Princess Street and again re-christened as the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.
Finally, in 2000, the AGSM was moved to the recently vacated Eaton’s building attached to the Town Centre Mall. The new 23,000 square foot space was renovated with municipal, provincial, federal, and private sector funds to accommodate a 4300 sq. ft. environmentally controlled exhibition space, a community access gallery and 6 discipline specific learning/production studios.
The AGSM remains steadfastly rooted in the community that built it, growing together in complexity and diversity.