We are updating our website and will be deleting all collection sets on or after March 27, 2019. Please get in touch with us if you have any concerns.

The Art Bank – Behind the Scenes at a Warehouse of Visual Delights


Visit the Canada Council Art Bank on September 26, 2015, from 10 am to 4 pm, as part of Culture Days.

ArtBankCultureDays

In August, as a summer student at the Canada Council, I had the opportunity to tour its Art Bank, home to over 17,000 artworks by 3,000+ acclaimed Canadian artists. At any time one-third of the collection is on view, either through loans or rentals to public and private organizations across Canada.

Upon entering the Canada Council’s Art Bank, I was greeted by staff and a scintillating painting by Harry Kiyooka. Moving forward and inward, I encountered the area where most of the artwork is stored, and the discovery continued…

Wandering the jewelry art-box

Paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs – it was a plethora of art, presented on the walls, on the floors, and hung on the infamous grated-pull-out shelves.

Each work is catalogued with barcodes, and categorized through strategic planning – rather than collecting and displaying an artist’s work all within the same area, the members of the Art Bank choose to place them by size, as a means of employing as much available space as possible. The end result is a community of artwork, pleasing to the eyes in each their own way – you never know what you’re going to see until you see it.


“I felt like a child in a toy store; except these “toys” were created by masters of the fine arts, spanning across the 1960s to the present-time.”


What a fruitful experience! I felt like a child in a toy store; except these toys were created by masters of the fine arts, spanning across the 1960s to the present-time. It’s incredible that private and public sectors have the opportunity to rent these works and I briefly wonder if the walls in my home can be considered an establishment.

Now it’s your turn…

As I leave the Art Bank after this well-appreciated art-therapy session, I feel privileged to have had this rare behind-the-scenes peek at an amazing collection. And you can too – if you’re in Ottawa on September 26 from 10 am to 4 pm. The Art Bank will open its doors to the public as part of Culture Days, a national grassroots celebration of arts and culture. Along with exploring the collection, visitors can experience contour drawing, colour collage, interactive paper sculpture-making, and can talk art with Art Bank art consultants, framer and technicians. The location can be accessed by car, bus and even bike!

Also on:
Pre-screening of Marie-Hélène Parant‘s visual and interactive installation, Fluxus∞
Canada Council’s offices at 150 Elgin, Ottawa
More details to come regarding the vernissage of the work at artist talk.

DanielleHavimaki_100px

About the Author: Danielle Havimaki

Danielle Havimaki is a multi-disciplinary artist with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Communication Studies from the University of Ottawa. During the summer of 2015, she worked at the Canada Council as a summer intern for the Marketing Communications Department. She is currently in Toronto where she is completing her studies in Web Design, Development and Maintenance at Humber College. @havimaki

Subscribe to the Art Bank Bulletin and stay in touch

Subscribe

back to top

Please Rotate Your Device

This site is best experienced in portrait