In Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, there is a public gallery operated by a not-for-profit organization called the Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM). On Celebration Square across from Square One Mall, it is located at the Mississauga Civic Centre. A wide range of programs is offered at the Gallery, including free admission every day, guided exhibition tours, and art social events, workshops for adults, and programs for schools, universities, and community groups.
As the first artist-in-residence of Mississauga’s Art Gallery of Mississauga in 2013, Camille Turner was hired. Turner was fascinated by Mississauga’s hidden histories. At the AGM, she created the (un) settler Community Journal Project, as well as an exploration of strip malls as cultural spaces through the 5 & Dime walk.
The Art Gallery of Mississauga rebranded in 2014 with a new design, created by Toronto’s The White Room. International recognition of this campaign has been received in design magazines, and it has been selected as a finalist in the Graphis 2015 annual design competition.
More than 500 works by regional and national artists are included in the Permanent Collection of the Art Gallery of Mississauga. Using funds from the Museums Assistance Program and the Museums and Technology Fund, the Art Gallery of Mississauga launched a digital archiving project in 2013, which created an accessible online database available on the AGM website in 2014.
Due to space constraints, the Gallery has been prohibited from collecting since 2008. The Art Gallery of Mississauga introduced a new collections policy in 2014, focusing on digital media and lens-based works, particularly those by regional artists and works by artists representative of Mississauga’s distinctive social character. December 2014 saw the debut of an online archive of the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Mississauga.
Due to the lack of noticeable signage, the gallery, long regarded as Mississauga’s best-kept secret, underwent a facility expansion plan in 2011, to potentially move it into a new building that would help with visibility and exhibition space. As reported by Lord Cultural, despite being in the sixth-largest city in Canada, & Curator Stuart Keeler and Board President Mike Douglas presented a proposal to Mississauga City Council seeking city support for an expansion.
In 2013, there were over 30,000 gallery visitors, an increase of nearly 19,000 over 2011. The city is considering expanding the AGM’s current facility in City Hall and moving into the adjacent Living Arts Centre. Staff was asked to examine the feasibility of the request by the City Council.
An award from the Ontario Trillium Foundation enabled the Art Gallery of Mississauga to fund educational and engagement programs from 2013 to 2014. Through Roots & Branches, students are introduced to the contemporary artistic process through free artist visits and visual arts-inspired activities. They provide a broad, eclectic introduction to critical notions in contemporary practice and extend the standardized curriculum.
Throughout the program, free tours of the Art Gallery are provided, as well as free bus transportation between the school and the Art Gallery.
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