Photo: Neil Zeller

Galleries and artspaces host events and experiences in addition to exhibits

Galleries and artspaces are perhaps best known for hosting exhibitions. While these range in style and genre in Calgary’s galleries, they are static in the sense that the work is waiting there for you the viewer to go stand in front of it and look and contemplate it. 

But galleries across the city also host a wide variety of events and pop-up installations and artistic experiences — and exhibitions are also expanding out of the gallery spaces with installations outdoors and in unexpected locations.

Art events can be a great cheap date as they are often free and sometimes include light refreshments. Even better, they provide something for you and your date to discuss, allowing you to share a memorable experience and potentially giving you the opportunity to look smart as you discuss the work or event.

Here are some suggestions for art events taking place this month.

Ruberto Ostberg Gallery: The Artists Lounge
Open Wednesdays to Fridays 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1840 20th Avenue NW

While not a special event per se, Ruberto Ostberg Gallery prides itself on welcoming everyone no matter their art expertise. In the Artist Lounge in the gallery, patrons can enjoy a beverage while experiencing the artwork.

Exposure Photography Festival
This festival celebrates its 20th anniversary of highlighting photography at venues across the city and with several notable events throughout the month including receptions, exhibitions, talks and workshops. For a full list of events visit

Free First Thursdays X Exposure Festival Launch Party
February 1, 5 to 9 p.m.
Contemporary Calgary, 701 11 St SW

Each month on the first Thursday, Contemporary Calgary stays open late and admission is free between 5 and 9. Often there is some sort of special event as well. In February, join Contemporary Calgary for the launch of the nineteenth edition of the Exposure Photography Festival.

Chinook Blast
February 2 to 18
Various locations including Olympic Plaza, 228 8 Ave. S.W.

Chinook Blast, the city’s winter festival, brings together a variety of partners in the arts with interactive installations and performances. Visit Olympic Plaza between 2 and 18 to experience the light and art installations. The weekends include even more, such as Roots/Routes by Be.Trit, which will be at Olympic Plaza February 2, 3, 10 and 17. For a full list of events and installations visit

Da Vinci: The Exhibition
Until May 5
Telus Spark, 220 St. George’s Drive

On until the beginning of May, this exhibit of Da Vinci’s work includes 65 life-sized reproductions of Da Vinci’s inventions as well as fine art studies and multi-media experiences.

Frozen Fire/Hot Ice — Han Sungpil Opening Reception
February 3, 1:30 to 5 pm.
TrepenierBaer, 105, 999 8 St. S.W.

Han Sungpil practices art mainly by means of photography, video, and installations, covering
subjects such as environmental issues, originality & imagine, history, and the relation between the real and the represented.

cSpace Showcase Series and Open House; Featuring Exposure
February 8, 5 to 9 p.m.
cSPACE, 1721 29 Ave. S.W.

This free open house at cSPACE Marda Loop features artists from Exposure Photography
Festival, cSPACE tenant artist demonstrations, live music in the Studio Theatre, cocktails and

Mitch Kern – Wild Suburbs; Chris Cran — After the Flood Opening Reception
February 10, 2 to 5 p.m.
Herringer Kiss, 1615 10 Ave. S.W.

This afternoon reception includes an urban wildlife performance at 3.

Megan Dyck — Apertures; Opening Reception
February 10, 1 to 3 p.m (artist talk 2pm)
Newzones, 730 11 Ave. S.W.

Megan Dyck’s figurative imagery investigates the ubiquity of photography and aesthetic
qualities of glitch that occur in digital and analog communication as metaphors for psychological
isolation, loneliness, and desire. This opening reception includes an artist’s talk at 2 p.m.

The Memory Palace Cyanotype Workshop
February 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sparrow Artspace, De Waal Block, 36 4 St. N.E.

Cyanotype is a slow-reacting photo printing process first developed in the 1800s. Create your own cyanotype print with photographers Julya Hajnoczky and Stephanie Jager as they demonstrate the steps of this historical analogue photo process. This event is part of the Exposure Photography Festival.

The Memory Palace Art Party
February 23, 2024, 5:00 PM 9:00 PM
Sparrow Artspace

Drop in to Sparrow ArtSpace to see what Exposure Photo Festival artists in residence Stephanie Jager and Julya Hajnoczky have created during their residency. This event is free and no tickets are required.

What’s On in the Galleries

Harry Mitsuo Kiyooka
Until April 27
Nickle Galleries, 435 Campus Lane NW

Painter, printmaker, instructor and community builder, Harry Mitsuo Kiyooka straddled the last
hundred years in a way that few other artists have. Born in Calgary in 1928, a place he would
call home for 94 years, Kiyooka served as an important link between an earlier generation of
Alberta artists – some in fact his instructors – and the thriving artistic place Calgary has
become. Also on at Nickle, until March 28, The John L. Sommer Collection of Kyrgyz Textiles — these reed-woven textiles were virtually unknown in the West until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios
Until March 3
Glenbow at the Edison, 2nd floor, 150 9 Ave. S.W.

This is the last full month to catch this exhibit of artist-designed textiles from Nunavut in the 1950s and ’60s — a period of social change that disrupted traditional language and relationships to the land.

From Skyworld to Cyberspace
Illingworth Kerr, 1407 14 Ave. N.W. (AUArts)

Skawennati investigates history, the future, and change from her perspective as an urban
Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) woman and as a cyberpunk avatar. Her artistic practice questions our
relationships with technology and highlights Indigenous people in the future.