June 24th, 2024

Art visionary featured in Trianon exhibit

By Lethbridge Herald on November 5, 2022.

The Trianon Gallery will be hosting an overview of the late Jeffrey Spalding’s works ranging from his earliest 1970s Diary and Removal panels through to his coded striped paintings done just prior to his passing.

“Jeffrey Spalding, a Tribute” runs until Jan. 14. The opening reception is this evening at 7 p.m. in the Trianon Gallery at 104 – 5 St.

Spalding was an amazing visionary in the art communities that he served. Locally, he was the creative force behind building the art gallery collection at the University of Lethbridge. In his capacity as director of the gallery, Spalding oversaw the building of the University of Lethbridge permanent collection from 212 art objects in 1982 to 13,000 artworks by 1999 through the donations from art supporters. The collection comprises primarily 19 and 20th century art of Canada, Britain, the U.S. and Europe with substantial support collections of the art of Inuit, First Peoples, New Guinea and Micronesia.

In his lifetime, Spalding organized more than 150 exhibitions for display primarily in North America and has been a perennial curatorial contributor to Calgary’s Artweek/Art Walk Festivals. He presented at public art museums and exhibitions as a contribution to the November 2003 Toronto International Art Fair. For his entry he selected the Sobey Art Award 2002.

Spalding died Oct. 16, 2019 of a massive stroke at the age of 67 while enroute to Toronto from Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Spalding was an artist, writer, and curator. His artworks are in the principal national public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, The Canadian Embassy, Washington, Vancouver Art Gallery, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musee d’art Contempora in Montreal, McMichael Canadian Collection, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Alberta, Glenbow Museum, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, The Banff Centre, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Remai Modern and the Mackenzie Art Gallery among others.

He served as director at major art museums, including the Glenbow Museum, University of Lethbridge, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Appleton Museum of Art, Florida; artistic director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Calgary and chief curator Beaverbrook Art Gallery. 

Spalding organized Canada’s art exhibition for Expo 93 Korea and was author of numerous books and exhibition catalogues for museums such as the Tate Gallery, Phoenix Art Museum and Russia’s Hermitage Museum.

Spalding was president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts 2007-2010, recipient of the Alberta College of Art and Design Board of Governors Award of Excellence (1992), awarded the Order of Canada (2007), and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). He was named adjunct professor, University of Calgary and was a consulting editor and a regular contributor to Galleries West magazine. From 2017-2019, Jeff was in China creating exhibitions and acting as an art consultant, Tao Hua Tan Cultural and Creative Company, and lifetime senior artist, Tao Hua Tan International Artist Creative Residency, Tao Hua Tan, Anhui, China.

Spalding was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and obtained a BA from the University of Guelph in Ontario, an MA from Ohio State University and a MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

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