About the Dalhousie Art Gallery

Since 1953, the Dalhousie Art Gallery has provided dynamic leadership in visual arts programming. The oldest public art gallery in the province, Dalhousie Art Gallery enjoys a national reputation for the exceptional quality of its exhibitions, research, publications, and high-profile visiting speakers. The Gallery is an academic support unit within the educational and research context of Dalhousie University and serves as a public art gallery and vital cultural resource for the whole community. In practice: we seek to not only encourage public interaction with the Gallery, but to promote visual literacy, and facilitate a familiarity with and appreciation of visual art through our varied exhibitions, ongoing schedule of films, lectures, panel discussions and artist's and curator's talks, and our permanent collection. In the absence of a visual arts faculty on campus, we stimulate and inspire our publics, making art relevant and accessible.

An invigorating program of contemporary and historical art exhibitions in a wide range of media and styles engages the imagination of our visitors, young and old, seasoned and novice. Every year we host an average of 8 professionally curated exhibitions, publish scholarly catalogues, and organize dozens of special events. Including artist’s talks, lively discussions, guided tours, lectures, and films, our public programs address issues in the visual arts across cultures, and attract many hundreds of visitors per month.

Qualified staff lead engaging educational tours and projects for local schools and community groups, and provide flexible and challenging academic support for students, faculty, and alumni from the Dalhousie community. The Gallery is also a space where all the arts can converge — film screenings, music recitals, poetry readings and book launches, evening meetings of arts societies, and cultural receptions. We balance our gallery programs to delight, inspire and intrigue, but also to challenge and encourage critical thinking. Volunteers and student employees are trained in a range of Gallery procedures, while student interns discover our collection as a wonderful place to conduct research, and to learn important aspects of museology. Our professional staff offers workshops in curating, preparation, programming, and registration, and act as a valuable resource for the whole community.

Along with our exhibition programs, collections management and the custodial stewardship of the 1300 pieces in our permanent collection are at the core of our vocation and culture. We ensure that the cultural, historical, social, and economic values of our holdings are not only secured for the future but also increase over time. The Gallery shares major works of art with colleagues across the country through a reciprocal loan agreement program. We are also pleased to share our collection with our colleagues on campus, and have more than 250 works installed in public locations and secure offices as part of our Loans on Campus program.