50th Anniversary of the AFA Art Collection

Date: Sep 29, 2022

    A Message from AFA Board Chair Mary Rozsa de Coquet

    For fifty years, the AFA Art Collection has been collecting, preserving and sharing artworks by Alberta artists.

    Our collection is the largest, most active, and one of the oldest of 16 provincially owned art collections. It is a visual history of the development and evolution of the Alberta arts community and our culture and heritage. It is our story… as told by individual artists through a variety of mediums.

    On September 29, we acknowledge and kick off the celebrations for this momentous milestone! We are celebrating our past by developing a documentary video series about the history of the AFA Art Collection, and we are investing in our future by supporting Alberta artists with a one-time micro-grant program.

    Watch a teaser trailer for the video series below:

    We look forward to sharing the first episode of this series later this fall. In the meantime, individual artists are encouraged to apply for $2,500 Micro-Grants to support arts projects that engage in dialogue on visual culture in our province. The deadline to apply is December 1, and you can apply even if you already have an open grant application with the AFA. Review the guidelines.

    We are thrilled that our AFA Travelling Exhibition (TREX) partners have curated special art exhibitions in honour of the anniversary, which will tour across Alberta until 2025. Annually, more than 600,000 visitors enjoy TREX exhibitions in more than 150 venues, so this is a wonderful way for Albertans to view Alberta art in person, and learn more about the collection. 

    The AFA Art Collection actually pre-dates the AFA itself, as the collection was first established in 1972 by the Government of Alberta as the “Alberta Art Collection.” After the AFA was created in 1991, our foundation was charged with the ongoing management, care and growth of the collection as part of our core mandate to support the development of the arts in Alberta. In addition to the video series, we will be sharing stories of the history of the collection throughout this year on our website and through social media. Read the first story.

    The AFA Art Collection is a public treasure that we at the AFA are honored to steward. We look forward to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the collection, and all of the artists currently represented, and all those to come. As always, we encourage you to browse through images of more than 9,000 artworks from the collection at alberta.emuseum.com.

    Learn more about the anniversary at affta.ab.ca/collection.


    Mary Rozsa de Coquet, Chair

    Contact the Chair at afacontact@gov.ab.ca