Edmonton Tourist: Art Gallery of Alberta

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When I was a University student I had an annual pass to the Art Gallery of Alberta or AGA as it is fondly called around these parts.  It isn’t like a yearly membership is expensive but I have been on a quest to find fun and free things to do in Edmonton. I get that somethings cost money to participate but not everything has to. The last Thursday of every month, AGA opens it’s doors to the public. I went right after work and arrived downtown at 5:00 pm. It was relatively quite, but by 6:30 it was getting busier. People, like me, taking advantage of this amazing oppourtunity.

I started on the main floor of the gallery walked to a photography exhibit. The smell of developer transported me back to my darkroom days of my Grandfather’s Print shop. Meandering around the room looking at prints was restful. I had forgotten the peace I feel when I come to this building. It had to be 4 years since I darkened the doors.

Moving to wards the next gallery, I wasn’t certain it was open because it was dark. I witnessed people walking in so I also entered. It was a movie of a Rube Goldburg, a complicated series of steps to blow out a candle. It was 30 minutes long and the hand held camera made me incredibly dizzy but I couldn’t stop watching. I was met with delight at unexpected ways to propel the movement forward, flames, wind, foam, water…I was fascinated.

I didn’t take photos of my time in each gallery because it makes me uncomfortable unless the item is for sale. I like to respect the artist’s work.


The Looking Glass exhibit was the opposite. It was an installation of portraits and part of it was interactive intending to post on social media. These were called Selfie Spots.


I took a few. You can find them at #AGALookingGlass

What struck me was the difference in mediums used and yet the pieces were able to capture the essence of the person in the portrait. The photo on the right is me posing with an Andy Warhol. I am a big fan of his eccentricity and medium choice. I enjoy pop art. What I didn’t know was near the end of his life, 1984, he painted Wayne Gretzky. Given the current excitement in the city with the Oilers in the playoffs and Wayne being a team partner, this was sure to appeal to a hockey fan like me.


I turned the corner and discovered the Evan Penny pieces including his self portrait.

These were AMAZING. The detail was exquisite! Tiny little chin hairs. I was fascinated with both pieces. Larger than life.




There was a selfie spot on the floor indicating I could photograph this. Granted I should have been in it but I was mesmorized.

I moved upstairs to the Survivor exhibit and found a lot of works depicting surviving in the wild, including movies of Inuit life and hunting. That brought back memories of living in Canada’s Arctic and heading to the Caribou Carnival for fishing and igloo making events. The clothing was an amazing memory, I had an authentic parka. A necessity for warmth when walking the long hike to school because it was too cold for the car to start.

On the upper level of the gallery you can go out on the patio to enjoy the view. This is my favourite addition to the art in the city.

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“Take a Risk. It is the most Edmonton thing you can do.” ~ Amen to that!

When I told people I was coming to AGA I heard responses like, “I don’t get art”

There is nothing to ‘get’ You look at it and you feel a response. There is no right or wrong. Take the risk, visit AGA.




Random Musings from a Tourist in Her Own Life.

Friday afternoon of the most relaxing Christmas Break I have ever encountered, and I am lost in thought. A bazillion things flit through my mind in a random pattern. If you are wondering the inside of my brain looks like this:

I spent time gazing out the window looking at this:

I was reflecting on the new things I tried this week. I vowed to give 12 new things a try, so far I am up to 5 +

6. I played the Guitar on Rockband! Sure it was Lego RockBand, but the guitar is from the Beatles set and looks like Paul’s. It’s a niiiiiiiiiiiiice one. I only ever sing when playing RockBand. The guitar was pawned off on me by ChatterBox. She wanted to sing a Jackson 5 song. The setting was Super Easy, I got 5 stars because I am awesome like that.

7. I am learned a new piano tune that I have never played before.

8. I had my Tea Leaves read.

9. I refinished ChatterBox’s dresser in MacTac. I usually paint or stain furniture, but the look she was going for was more than I could bear with coat after coat to give it a high gloss finish. So I went to Home Depot bought 2 rolls of Mac Tac and covered it. It looks so fantastic! All it cost me $20 and 2 hours of work. Sweet!

10. Took my first Italian lesson. That’s right Italian. How very European of me. It is on the 50 in 50 list and a New Thing List. I will write soon about the reasons for learning Italian. Today I learned to say  una bambina è sotto un cavallo. Impressed? You should be. It means A girl is under a horse. Yes it is pornographic. I haven’t learned enough prepositions to say on or enough verbs to say riding. Baby Steps People! Cut me some slack!

That leaves 2 more new things to do. I have 3 more days because I don’t go back to work until Tuesday. This weekend I will be touristing downtown Edmonton to see Metropolus and the new Art exhibit at the AGA if all goes according to plan *spit*spit*

The new bloglove of my life nominated me with the Versatile Blogger Award. *blush* When in fact it is HIS blog that deserves all the accolades. Run – don’t walk or saunter over to Brian Westbye‘s page. His stories are magical. I want to have them put into a collection and onto my ereader. I need to figure how. His stories are short delicious visual bites that will transport you to another place for 3 minutes at a time. Here is a link to my all-time favorite so far. I haven’t read through them all yet, but I will. I am OCD like that.