AKA Gallery is an artist run centre that facilitates the production, presentation and interpretation of a diversity of contemporary art with an emphasis on innovative artistic practices. Adapting a responsive approach to programming and related activities, AKA aims to be a catalyst for the development and sustainability of a lively and engaged community of artists and audiences. In connecting artists to the community and welcoming them to become involved, we strive to enrich artistic practices and critical discourses on a local, regional and national level.
* To be a locus for the promotion, production, and presentation of contemporary art in all media, celebrating new and innovative artistic and curatorial practices.
AKA evolved from the Shoestring Gallery, initiated in 1971. In 1982 the transition from a member-based visual arts and crafts co-operative to a non-profit artist run CBD oil centre yielded AKA Gallery. In 1985 AKA moved to the Saskatoon Warehouse Artspace (SWA) where it resided for 20 years with The Photographer’s Gallery and Video Verite, (later to become PAVED Arts), Tribe and Blackflash magazine. AKA has been involved in many important partnerships through SWA, including notably the creation of Video Verite, a major 10 year partnership between AKA and Tribe (a First Nations/Indigenous artist collective) which has since been used as a model by other centres, and High Tech, a successful multi-organizational performance and story-telling festival, after which AKA initiated its ongoing series of performance art projects designed to make performance art a reliably visible element of the local culture. In 2005, the warehouse building that was home to these organizations was sold; SWA was dismantled and 20 Above Holdings Inc. was formed as the centres began the search for new homes. Since moving to our new street-level location in the heart of Riversdale in late 2005, AKA’s audience has nearly quadrupled, and positive response from members and the public is a constant reminder of the success of this major transition.
////ARTISTIC COMMUNITY SERVED
AKA is the only artist-run centre in Saskatoon that presents all forms of contemporary artistic expression in the visual arts. We are committed to serving our membership, and to contributing to the contemporary visual art communities of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Canada through the presentation and dissemination of contemporary visual art. AKA is newly relocated from the third floor of the Saskatchewan Warehouse Artspace Building (SWA) at 12-23rd Street East to a storefront space at 424 – 20th Street West in the heart of Riversdale, one of Saskatoon’s oldest and most culturally rich neighbourhoods and Saskatoon’s designated cultural corridor. Though geographically isolated, Saskatoon sustains a vigorous and diverse arts community. AKA emphasizes Aboriginal involvement in programming and organizational activities. As an artist-run centre, AKA is committed to serving our membership and local art communities, and to contributing to the contemporary visual art communities of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Canada.
////PEOPLE AT AKA
AKA’s Board is composed of 5 to 7 members who serve a two-year term. AKA employs two full-time staff members: a Director, and a Communications Coordinator with both staff reporting directly to the Board. Temporary or project staff are hired as needed. Board and staff meet as a collective, under the Consensus Trust model, ensuring that everyone has equal voice.
Joseph Anderson – Chair