Saskatchewan

Regina's performing arts centre opens up its lobby to visual artists

The Sakewewak First Nations Artists' Collective just wrapped up a show at the Lobby Gallery, and the Regina Art Collective moves into the space for its first show starting Tuesday.

2 artists' groups to share space with rotating shows

The Lobby Gallery at the Regina Performing Arts Centre will feature shows by the Sakewewak First Nations Artists' Collective and the Regina Art Collective. (Submitted by Harvey Linnen)

The Regina Performing Arts Centre has turned its lobby into a gallery to feature shows by two local artists' collectives.

The Sakewewak First Nations Artists' Collective just wrapped up a show at the Lobby Gallery, and the Regina Art Collective moves into the space for its first show starting Tuesday.

Harvey Linnen, president of Theatre Regina, which runs the performing arts centre, said it's trying to help visual artists similar to the way the centre has helped performing artists for nearly three decades. He is also a non-artist member of the Regina Art Collective and saw they had a need for a showcase space beyond the occasional pop-up gallery.

"We had a lobby, space that wasn't being used for anything other than access and egress of people coming and going, a large space with lots of walls," he said.

Linnen said the performing arts centre wasn't in a position to run a gallery, whereas the art collectives "didn't have the space but they had all the skills."

For Linnen, the gallery space strengthens the centre's connection with the city at large and its service to the north central neighbourhood. He also hopes the gallery helps build connections between the people who come to see performances and the artists who will be displaying their work.

The Regina Art Collective's first show is called Emergence, and Mark Sexton, a member of the collective, said that's meant fairly literally.

"We're emerging into the public viewpoint," he said. "We're viewing this as a major emergence from obscurity into who knows what."

Sexton said so far the only thing the two artists' collectives have in common is that they're using the same space, but he hopes in the near future they'll be able to work on some projects together.

Linnen said he's excited to see what other programs emerge from the initiative.

Emergence runs until Sept. 30.