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Government funding to build new Art Gallery of Saskatchewan

But is it a reckless, disrespectful travesty?


 

Federal and provincial funding totaling $26 million was announced yesterday for a new Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, to be wrapped around Saskatoon’s Persephone Theatre, creating a new arts hub for the city. The plan is controversial, though. It would replace Saskatoon’s existing Mendel Art Gallery, which is housed in an admired 1964 modernist building, and was largely financed by donations from the meat-packing fortune of the late Fred Mendel. “Moving the Mendel would indeed be a great travesty,” said Terry Graff, it’s former head, now director of Fredericton’s respected Beaverbrook Art Gallery, “demonstrating the city’s cultural amnesia, lack of vision, recklessness with taxpayers’ money and great disrespect for local heritage heritage and founder Fred Mendel’s significant cultural legacy.”

The Star Phoenix (With $26M in provincial, federal funding, new art gallery on Saskatoon riverbank becomes official)

The Star Phoenix (Mendel plan ‘travesty’)


 
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Government funding to build new Art Gallery of Saskatchewan

  1. Saskatoon's mayor is a selfish, small-minded man who just stomped all over Fred Mendel's legacy. Void of a real plan to develop the riverbank, he basically schemed to rob the 5000-plus piece art collection at the Mendel in order to move it to his new Coca-Cola Gallery.

  2. Let's face it: River Landing just doesn't live up to all of the mayor's overblown hype. It's hard to get excited about concrete and the mediocre architecture that houses Persephone Theatre. For those with even the smallest artistic bone in her or his body, River Landing is a design disaster. Based on the city's abysmal record thus far, it deeply saddens me to think that the Mendel Art Gallery and its exemplary site may be sacrificed for what I'm sure will be an uninspired destination centre with a generic art gallery displaced from local history and located next to the freeway. This dumbest of dumb moves by the Mendel board and city council is based solely on the availability of government funds, not on artistic, cultural, and community values. As such, it represents a shameful, highly regressive initiative, and announces to the rest of Canada that Saskatoon has seemingly sold its soul to the Devil for an overpriced cheap suit.

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