Saskatchewan

Saskatoon's Mendel Art Gallery reopens with a new focus

Nine weeks after fire forced it to shut down, Saskatoon's Mendel Art Gallery is scheduled to reopen with a gala reception Friday night.

Nine weeks after fire forced it to shut down, Saskatoon's Mendel Art Gallery is scheduled to reopen with a gala reception Friday night.

A blaze at the gallery in September was contained to a loading dock and none of the Mendel's 4,500 works of art were damaged. However, the gallery building suffered serious smoke and water damage.

Executive director Terry Graf told CBC News Friday that the longest shutdown in the gallery's history gave him a chance to review the Mendel's permanent collection.

Graf said that after conducting his review, he wants to shift the gallery's focus from provincial to more national and international works of art.

"It's very important that we take a leadership role in identifying cutting edge work that's being made not only in Saskatchewan but in other parts of the country," he said.

Graf said he wants to use the gallery's expertise to acquire new works early before their prices start to rise.

The gallery reopens with two contemporary art exhibits, includingworkby Ignacio Iturria from Uruguay.

Selections from the permanent collection and works by members of the Saskatoon Camera Club will also be on display.