Special Issue: Visual Arts Summit

Volume 6 No 10 / March 19, 200819 March 2008

This special issue of the Arts Research Monitor provides a brief summary of some key issues explored at the Visual Arts Summit, held in Ottawa from November 25 to 27, 2007. The first gathering of its kind since 1941, over 450 people assembled to engage in discussions about the visual arts in Canada. Participants included artists, collectors, art dealers, arts writers, publishers, art historians, teachers, critics, curators, corporate leaders, arts service organizations and public sector funders. A more thorough summary of the Summit proceedings, prepared for the Canadian Museums Association and the Summit partners by Hill Strategies Research, will be available in the spring of 2008.


Collective Agenda for the Visual Arts

Arts Research Monitor

Before closing the Summit, a statement was prepared to further a collective agenda for the visual arts. The statement reads: Art is the face of Canada. We, as artists, curators, collectors, dealers, educators and supporters, are united to enhance the… View this resource

Other Themes

Arts Research Monitor

Other interesting themes explored at the Summit include: Diversity National Narrative Media Coverage and Publications Diversity The growing diversity of Canadian society was discussed at the Summit, in terms of both access and interpretation. The div… View this resource

Policy, Politics and Funding

Arts Research Monitor

Participants perceived a disconnect between the burgeoning visual arts activity and the lack of awareness and limited funding from the municipal, provincial and federal levels. “Art is a societal project but not a government priority.” Is there a way… View this resource

Education and Visual Literacy

Arts Research Monitor

A number of participants indicated that more can be done to make Canadians – especially children – more visually literate. “Images are everywhere, but people aren’t necessarily visually literate.” In the school system, there has been a mo… View this resource

Public Engagement

Arts Research Monitor

Statistics were presented showing that 26.7% of Canadians 15 or older visited an art gallery in 2005, or 7 million people. Between 1992 and 2005, the percentage of Canadians visiting an art gallery increased substantially, from 19.6% to 26.7%. In oth… View this resource

Gallery Collections

Arts Research Monitor

How does a nation acquire and display its art collection? Collections policies were discussed at length at the Summit. Some participants perceived a danger in galleries’ reliance on donations of works of art from collectors. “Building a collection in… View this resource

Artists, Art Practice and the Arts Market

Arts Research Monitor

In the context of dismal earnings statistics for visual artists (average earnings of only $18,700 for visual artists and $15,500 for artisans and craftspeople, well below the average earnings in the overall labour force in Canada – $31,800), it… View this resource

Visual Arts Summit Major Themes

Arts Research Monitor

Some major themes explored at the Summit include: Artists, Art Practice and the Arts Market Gallery Collections Public Engagemen Education and Visual Literacy Policy, Politics and Funding View this resource

Artists and Museums Reach Historic Agreement

Arts Research Monitor

The 2007 Visual Arts Summit opened with the announcement that the Canadian Art Museum Directors Association (CAMDO), Canadian Museums Association (CMA), Canadian Artists’ Rights/Front de representation des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) and le Regroupem… View this resource

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