I started as director of Grenfell Art Gallery last November.
At the time, my wife Suzanne was seven months pregnant. We moved to Corner Brook from Edmonton and were fortunate to find a home in Townsite in time for the arrival of our fourth child. We have spent the last nine months exploring the community and island, falling in love with Newfoundland in the process.
Before moving here, I knew artists working and thriving in western Newfoundland, and more than that, the reputation Newfoundlanders have for revering and celebrating culture. Having served as a curator and arts administrator at university art museums in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta, I also knew the incredible potential that galleries have to be dynamic centres for collaboration, community, and learning.
The Grenfell Art Gallery and the School of Fine Arts was founded 30 years ago today on August 1, 1988. Over the last 30 years, the gallery has evolved to serve as Memorial’s university art gallery and as a public gallery for the western Newfoundland region. We are the only gallery in the province exclusively focused on art. In addition to year round exhibition and public programming, we offer school and youth art programs on an ongoing basis, and maintain an active collection of contemporary and historical art, specializing in, but not limited to, the art of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Our work at the gallery is propelled by the belief that art is fundamental to understanding the world and ourselves, and that it can serve as an engine for innovation, engagement, and experiential learning. The gallery is free and open to the public five days a week, including open hours on Saturdays. Please check our website for program updates and to sign up for our e-newsletter.
On Sept. 27, the gallery will be presenting “Saltbox: Contemporary Arts Festival,” a three-day event featuring performances by contemporary artists from Newfoundland and across the country. The event and the associated exhibition are supported by Memorial’s Public Engagement Accelerator Fund through Memorial University’s Office of Public Engagement.
It will serve as both a celebration and as an opportunity for the gallery to directly engage with our community. It promises to be an exciting time, don’t miss it!
Matthew Hills is the director of the Grenfell Art Gallery.