Southern Alberta Art Gallery
Attempts to establish a community art gallery in LETHBRIDGEdate back to 1963, but it was not until 1974 when the community library moved to a new location that the only publicly operated, professionally staffed, full-time art gallery in southern Alberta came into being. The Southern Alberta Art Gallery, occupying the renovated Carnegie Library, opened its doors in January of 1976, the result of the co-operative effort of local citizens, artists and patrons and the Lethbridge City Council. Allan McKay, hired as the first director/curator in September of 1975, helped to establish the exhibitions and programming in the early stages of the gallery's development. McKay left the gallery to become director of the Power Plant in Toronto in 1977 and was succeeded by Alf Bogusky, who remained with SAAG until 1985. Bogusky's successor, Joan Stebbins, is the current director/curator of the gallery.
The Southern Alberta Art Gallery was given the mandate to present historical and contemporary art of national and international significance to the region of southern Alberta. In an effort to accomplish this goal, it has exhibited some of Canada's most important artists, often in the early stages of their careers. John McEwen, David Bolduc, Takao TANABE, John Clark, Gathie FALK, Otto ROGERS, Barbara ASTMAN, Catherine Burgess, David Thauberger, Alan Storey and Chris Cran are some of the artists who have exhibited at the SAAG over its 20-year history.