SKILLS and its new initiative, the Nina Haggerty Centre were big winners when the Ministry of Gaming awarded Alberta Lottery Fund grants through the Community Initiatives Program. SKILLS was thrilled to receive a cheque in the amount of $59,125!
These funds will be used to complete renovations at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts and to purchase equipment for art making and reproduction, documentation, and framing.
The Centre, situated 9702—111 Avenue, provides a place where adults with developmental disabilities can be taken seriously as artists. It allows individuals to experience a sense of control and autonomy, express their feelings and communicate through their own unique artistic voice.
The on-site gallery provides opportunities for these and other “outsider” artists to display and sell their work. The art produced in the Centre may also find its way into corporate offices, restaurants and coffee shops, or mainstream commercial galleries.
Although the grant was received only recently, the Centre is already abuzz with the construction and the promise of new art making equipment. Shelving for storage has been built and a wall removed to create space for two pottery wheels and a canvas topped table for clay and ceramic work.
A work area behind the gallery will soon be equipped with wood working tools, framing equipment, and a kiln. Plans are also under way to complete renovations of the gallery space, including the addition of flooring, proper lighting and window screens to protect art work from the UV rays of the sun.
Although the Centre has only been open since the end of January, at least 45 artists have already come to the studio to make art, many on a regular basis. The dedication and commitment shown by these individuals is impressive, as is the art being produced.
SKILLS is grateful to the Alberta Lottery Fund for its generous support. The Centre also wishes to acknowledge it first donor, the Clifford E. Lee Foundation, who provided a grant to buy art materials. Corporate donors have included Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd., Nuttall’s Printing & Graphics Inc., Design Marketing, and Jin Global Design.
Anyone interested in visiting the Centre is welcome to drop in during operation hours.