Founded in 2012 by Jim and Susan Hill, Esker Foundation is a non-profit contemporary art gallery located in Calgary, Alberta. Esker presents and promotes contemporary visual arts exhibitions, engaging and accessible educational programs, print and online publications, and supports new artistic production and presentation through the Esker Foundation Commission Fund.
Esker presents three annual seasons of exhibitions: fall, winter, and spring/summer. The curatorial vision is one based on the support of artists, first and foremost. Exhibitions do not centre a thematic curatorial framework, but instead focus on artist research, production, and support through the presentation of two or more artists in parallels solo exhibitions. Curatorially we do not draw didactic lines between practices, but rather support the viewer to discover connections on their own to encourage a more organic, intuitive, and responsive experience.
The Project Space, located on street level, is a vital alternative exhibition venue that aims to engage the community by increasing the presence and accessibility of contemporary. Also a commissioning initiative, the Project Space invites artists at various stages of their careers to develop new, responsive projects that directly address the neighbourhood and explore important contemporary issues.
Each season of exhibitions is strengthened by a series of programs for families and children, youth, and adults. Esker Foundation understands the value of creating accessible, forward thinking, and highly engaging Public Programs as a way to gather in community, break down barriers to contemporary art practices, and support alternative methods of learning and knowing. Generally working with existing community groups, local or regional artists and makers, and exhibiting artist, Esker’s engagement opportunities activate our exhibitions, and aim to make them more accessible and relevant. Audio interviews, mini-documentaries, and video documentation of exhibitions, programs, and other activities provide additional access points to understand artistic practice, curatorial research, and exhibition production.
Watch the Esker Foundation film The Preparator – an in-depth and insider look at the role of art preparators, in conservation with Doug Haslam, Head Preparator at Esker Foundation. Filmed during the installation of the exhibitions Time Carriers by Jeffrey Gibson and Divine of Form, Formed in the Divine (Medicine for a Nightmare) by Nep Sidhu, on view from September 28 to December 20, 20219.
Esker Foundation 4th floor, 1011 – 9th Ave, SE Calgary, AB, T2G 0H7, Canada