by Lindsay Davies
You may not realize it, but art is all around us. It intertwines into our culture, our community, our everyday lives. The constitution of the art gallery is to educate while entertaining, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery is no different. However, KWAG is unique in many ways. While the essence of any art gallery may seem intimidating to some, I can assure you that will change as soon as you step through their doors.
Ever since it’s conception in 1956, KWAG’s goal has been to make art more and more accessible for generations to come. To quote their first President, Gerald Eastman, “…art is for all people in the community.” Yes, you read that correctly. You don’t have to study art or be involved in the art world to enjoy it. All KWAG wants is for you to be inspired by and appreciate the creativity of the arts!
So what makes KWAG unique? It’s how they adapt the arts to make it reachable through their events. If a night of dancing to a live DJ set while sipping on some cocktails is your jam, then you have to check out The Big Bang event. In its second year now, this one-night-only experience morphs the gallery into an epic after-dark dance party. Shake your groove thang and get your art on as you become a part of this immersive experience. There are also some awesome art activities to round out this non-stop evening of cosmic curiosities. This unreal event only happens once a year so grab your tickets for the next one on April 7th!
If you’re a foodie or wine fanatic, then you have to check out their Feast for the Senses series. A next-level chef from Waterloo Region serves exquisite tastes that are inspired by the artworks. The guest chef visits the gallery in advance, selecting 4-5 works of art to create a tapas-style tasting menu while interpreting the art however they see fit. Paired with a guest sommelier, he or she works with the chef to create drink pairings that round out the palette. On the night of the event, attendees are given a short guided tour of the exhibition inspiring that night’s menu with the curator, chef and sommelier where the pairings are explained and how it relates to the artwork chosen. Feast for the Senses has really become a hit so keep an eye out for the next one November 15th. It’s often a sold out event so be sure to grab your tickets when they go on sale September 10th!
While the events above have an admission fee, the gallery itself is free. Visit any day at any time and you’ll never have to pay admission! No matter your budget, you can come in and enjoy the art on display within its walls… except on Mondays since the gallery is closed. If you’re a little unsure of the art world and are looking for some guidance – never fear! There are plenty of workshops and programs you can enjoy that are also free. Join a Walk the Talk for an hour-long tour of the gallery and its exhibitions in a variety of languages. Young parents, there’s even a stroller tour where you can expose your little one to the art world early! If you’d like to hear more from the artists themselves, grab a seat at one of their talks or attend an exhibition opening so you can ask any questions you may have. To find out about current exhibitionsand all of the programming offered for kids, teens, families and adults at KWAG, be sure and check out the website.
For over 60 years, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery has been a vibrant member of Waterloo Region’s community. Their passion for making art accessible to all walks of life holds no bounds. Whether you’re an art nerd or you barely have a creative bone in your body, you’ll love your time at KWAG. Don’t want to miss out on these amazing events? Follow their Facebook page or sign up for their newsletter to be in the know!