Melanie Kjorlien, Glenbow vice-president of access, collections and exhibitions, in a storage area at the museum.
The vision, the voices, the visceral perspectives and vivid representations that have been expressed by Calgary artists over the last 50 years were powerfully showcased in Glenbow Museum’s Made in Calgary exhibition series.
Now the culturally relevant and deeply thoughtful series — Made in Calgary: An Exploration of Art from the 1960s to the 2000s — is accessible across the country in a book format.
“The exhibition series provided Calgarians with a long view of how Calgary artists not only perceived their environment, but also influenced and supported each other. This book is really a culmination of that series,” says Melanie Kjorlien, Glenbow vice-president of access, collections and exhibitions, who also co-edited the book.
Made in Calgary highlights Glenbow’s series of eight exhibitions of the same name, which was a two-year undertaking that showcased 577 artworks by more than 200 artists.
The project attracted many notable partners and supporters in the community including MoCA Calgary, the Art Gallery of Calgary and the Nickle Galleries. The book, which has been incredibly well-received, made the National Post’s bestseller list.
The book explores the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s, and tells Calgary’s story through both words and visual art.
Made in Calgary relied on the voices of carefully chosen curators — Mary-Beth Laviolette, Ron Moppett, Jeffrey Spalding, Nancy Tousley and Katherine Ylitalo — to accurately tell the story of each decade.
“The five curators really did an amazing job of encapsulating the vibe and the influences on and in the city in each decade, and each one who participated was very excited to have the opportunity to take this on,” says Kjorlien.
Glenbow’s hope is that the book will “live on” as a valuable reference book that provides information on the art and artists of the city.