They may have barely been out of the red, but that's still worth celebrating, according to the gallery's board of directors.
“Sometimes those black numbers are razor thin, but its so good to see them,” said Alan Nursall, chair of the board, with a laugh.
An overview of the gallery's financial statement for the year ending April 30, 2012 was only part of the AGS's annual general meeting held Oct. 30.
New acquisitions were unveiled, and Tom Smart spoke about the gallery's artistic direction.
“Over the past three years, the Art Gallery of Sudbury has been undergoing a significant shift in its strategies to engage wide and diverse audiences,” he said in his presentation. “Previously, our exhibition and educational programs centered its activities primarily on gallery exhibitions featuring local, regional and national audiences.
“While the gallery benefited a great deal in the past from this activity, at the beginning of the new millennium, many forces and variables compelled the gallery to broaden its artistic vision and program delivery in order to meet changing expectations of the audiences.”
Smart spoke about how the gallery has developed programs that embrace the city's cultural diversity and historic development.
“In the past two years, the AGS has made significant strides programmatically and through its educational activities to embrace each and every community of artists — contemporary and historical and from the widest spectrum of the population base — in order to regain its place as a cultural centre of national significance through embracing and interpreting this area’s unique culture and history. Programs have been delivered in French and English, and when possible in the appropriate First Nations language.”
Some of these initiatives have already begun. Cage Call, an exhibition currently set up at the gallery, is a prime example. The collection of photos by Louis Palu illustrates the life of a hometown miner.
“Tangible expression of the AGS’ new strategic direction is encapsulated in a new programmatic series that has been named 'Nickel City Stories,'” he said.
“The entire ethos of this series is collaborative programming with other cultural organizations in and around Sudbury, with artists of all disciplines and backgrounds, the diverse communities comprising our current and potential audiences, and with private partners.”
Smart also addressed the relocation of the gallery in his presentation.
“The AGS has identified several sites for possible re-location and has worked closely with municipal, public and private partners to achieve the goals not only of the AGS but of the municipality,” he said.
“In addition to re-location, the AGS has undertaken a re-branding exercise to burnish its image and identity. To this end, the gallery made steps toward re-naming itself as the Franklin Carmichael Art Centre in recognition of the historical fact that Group of Seven painter, Franklin Carmichael, lived and worked in the region near Willisville.”
For more information about the AGS, visit www.artsudbury.org.