A space crunch for storing collections isn’t deterring the Red Deer and District Museum from holding a number of major exhibitions over the next three years. During the museum society’s annual general meeting held on Wednesday, executive director Lorna Johnson discussed the museum’s exhibition plans and the ability to hold them in the renovated building.
Johnson said the biggest ongoing challenge is collection storage, particularly when it’s assembling a huge exhibition on the last 100 years of Red Deer.
The History of Red Deer will be unveiled in 2013, the City of Red Deer’s centennial.
“We have a big collection and it’s been in very crowded conditions for a very long time,” said Johnson. “When we work towards the history exhibition, we know we will have to collect additional things and when you display things, that stimulates people to donate other things — and we are full.”
Community Services director Colleen Jensen also made a presentation at the meeting to chat about the 25-year plan for Rotary Recreation Park, of which the museum is a part of.
The city is well aware of the museum’s needs for collection storage, but there aren’t any dollars to build such a facility, said Johnson.
“All we can do is make a good plan and be ready when the time comes,” she said.
Following $1.5-million worth of renovations in 2009, the museum space is more versatile to host a broader range of exhibitions, although the number of those being produced has decreased.
Johnson said during each cycle of the year, one exhibition will focus on the history of the community, one on art, and the two remaining can be on history, art, or something different.
Sixteen exhibitions can be held in a year.
What MAG has in store
The exhibition plans at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery for 2011 to 2013 are extensive.
For 2011 and 2012, people can expect to see Red Deer College Student Show, and Alberta Wide annual exhibition of works by members of the Art Clubs of Alberta. Also in 2011, contemporary First Nations art called Narrative Quest, as well as an exhibition on farming, and Second World War prisoner-of-war experiences.
In 2012, the National Gallery of Canada-circulated exhibition — Uuturautiit: Cape Dorset Celebrates 50 Years of Printmaking — will come to Red Deer. Local painter David More will present, The Garden Ceremony. Plus, Prairie Excellence: Fine Crafts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, will be presented in 2012 and includes a number of Red Deer artists within that national-juried show. The Canadian Museum of Civilization’s show, Profit and Ambition: The Canadian Fur Trade, 1779-1821, will be here. National Gallery of Canada’s Back to the Beginning: Rethinking Abstraction From an Aboriginal Perspective, will be on tap.
James Agrell Smith Retrospective, organized in collaboration with the Red Deer Public Library, will be showcased in 2013. The History of Red Deer will be unveiled in 2013, Red Deer’s centennial.