Yellowknife Art Gallery to open in September

An art gallery will open in Yellowknife on September 2, promising to showcase different artists from the territory each week.

Colin Dempsey, a professor of business administration at Aurora College with a long history in the Yellowknife arts community, will open The Gallery on 47th with his wife, Ainsley, on September 2.

Several years ago, Dempsey operated a gallery in a nearby building. The new gallery, in the space vacated by the Mermaid and Moon boutique, will occupy a larger space.

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Dempsey said he and his wife feel ready to run a gallery again.

“It’s a weird thing to think of a gallery as infrastructure, but it is,” he said.

“As an artist progresses in his career, he must have a solo exhibition.

“It’s a big step forward in terms of accessing grants, getting into bigger galleries, getting into national exhibitions. It all starts with doing a solo exhibition.

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To have that kind of show, Dempsey said, artists need a purpose-built exhibition space willing to consistently empty its inventory to showcase one artist at a time.

“By providing the facility, it actually enhances the potential of the local arts community, because all of a sudden people can get these critical solo exhibitions,” he said.

The Yellowknife arts community has consistently raised the lack of a territorial gallery as a critical gap in the NWT’s offering to visual artists.

More recently, a trailer acting as a mobile art space has played an ironic role as an unofficial territorial gallery.

The Gallery on 47th opens on 47th Street in Yellowknife on September 2 with a collection of existing inventory at a reduced price.

From there, the orientation of the gallery will change weekly. Artists lined up include Carey Bray, Aidan Cartwright and the opening of the 2022 Cape Dorset Print Collection, an annual collection of graphics featuring Inuit fine art.

The complete fall schedule can be found on the the gallery’s Facebook page.

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