The Grimsby Public Art Gallery was founded in 1975 as a committee of the Grimsby Public Library Board, creating an active and accessible community art gallery in the lower level of the Library. In 1999 the Gallery became a separate sub-department of the Town of Grimsby, although we still share a building with the Library. In 2004 both Gallery and Library moved into a new purpose–built facility that has significantly enhanced our ability to fulfill all aspects of our mandate. The galley’s mandate/mission statement is:
1. To be a public, non-profit gallery, serving the Town of Grimsby and surrounding areas.
2. To be dedicated to the exhibition, preservation, encouragement, and collection of visual art of professional standard.
3. To provide lectures, seminars, workshops, tours, and other forms of public education relating to visual art.
Forging and maintaining connections with our community is of primary importance and we do this through our careful selection and presentation of exhibitions and programs. We preserve art by our responsible care of the permanent collection. We encourage visual art by maintaining a gallery that is open and welcoming to all visitors and by offering a range of thought provoking art and art related programs for all ages.
Many of the gallery’s most popular programs, including Wayzgoose, our internationally celebrated book arts fair, and Art In The Schools, our educational program of in-school exhibitions, as well as our special focus on multiples and works on paper, were established during the first few years of our existence. Since then, our focus has expanded to include fine craft, popular culture and environmental art. All are reflected in our permanent collection, which contains primarily works by Canadian artists, with a strong representation of artists from the Niagara region and Southern Ontario. The distinct character and reputation of the Grimsby Public Art Gallery as a gallery that is both responsive to the needs of the community and ready to take risks with the work of contemporary artists, is evident in our exhibiting, collecting and programming activities.
The GPAG is well respected for the work we do serving the specific needs of the local and regional communities and across Ontario within the professional arts community. Our communities particularly value the work that we do to educate people of all ages about visual arts and to support and encourage creativity and creative thinking. Although our primary focus is visual art we are supportive and encouraging to all disciplines. Many of our programs are developed to encourage greater public access to the arts; recent additions to our programming include the Art House Café, a speaker’s series that focuses on the ideas of emerging scholars, and ArtsWalk, an outdoor event that encourages interactive presentations by practitioners of all arts disciplines. We also provide formal educational opportunities for all ages, with a particular focus on schools and children.