The Audain Art Museum will open its doors on Saturday, Nov. 21, with an exhibition of work by renowned Vancouver photographer Jeff Wall.
“We are thrilled about Jeff as our opening temporary exhibition,” says the museum’s executive director Suzanne Greening.
“I was just in Denmark because he had a major opening there — he’s had three major exhibitions in Europe in the last year… it was exciting.
“Jeff is probably the best-known contemporary Canadian artist right now and we’re very, very honoured to have him as our inaugural exhibition.”
Wall’s art photography has been significant in contemporary Canadian art since the 1970s and he is the recipient of the Hasselblad award and a member of the Order of Canada.
Meanwhile, admission to the museum has also been set; $15 for adults and free to those 18 and under.
“(Founder) Michael (Audain) feels very strongly about children being free. He tells stories about when he was maybe 12 or 13 and going into art museums on his own and engaging. One has to think that this probably helped to inform who he is today,” Greening says.
“We very pleased. We want it to be as accessible as possible.”
The gallery staff is due to take occupancy of the building at the end of July. “We’re just so excited about the thought of getting in and doing what we love to do,” Greening says.
“When we open we want to be perfect because you only have that one chance for the first impression.”
Audain and his wife Yoshi Karasawa have collected art for 40 years and have spearheaded the creation of the art museum in Whistler.
Pieces coming to the resort will include important First Nations cultural artifacts, along with works by Emily Carr, Lawren Harris and E. J. Hughes.
“This is a remarkable legacy that Michael and Yoshi are giving to Canada, not to mention B.C. This is about the an important part of Canada’s history of artistic endeavour,” Greening says.
The Audain Art Museum will be Canada’s newest Category A art venue and one of the largest in Western Canada. It will be open year round.