Some people like to go camping on summer weekends. Me, not so much. But give me an air conditioned art gallery, and I’m a happy camper.

This long weekend, we checked out Regina’s public art galleries: Dunlop Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Regina and MacKenzie Art Gallery.

Dunlop Art Gallery Central Gallery (2311 12th Avenue) and Sherwood Gallery (6121 Rochdale Blvd)

The Dunlop Art Gallery has two branches: the Central Gallery, located in the Regina Public Library’s (RPL) Main Branch downtown, and the Sherwood Gallery, located in the RPL’s Sherwood Village Branch in northwest Regina. Complementing the RPL’s literacy programs, the Dunlop promotes visual literacy through its exhibitions and related programming. Art exhibitions change seasonally. Neighbours is at the Central Gallery from June 30 to September 3, 2016, and looks at domesticated landscapes, where natural and constructed worlds collide. It is fascinating to see how the artists, Abbas Akhavan and Marina Roy, transform the gallery into a variety of unique spaces. Kingdom is at the Sherwood Gallery from June 11 to August 24, 2016, and investigates human connections to the animal world and breaks down the distinctions between nature/culture and human/animal.

Marina Roy, Apartment, 2009 Photo courtesy of the Dunlop Art Gallery website

Marina Roy, Apartment, 2009 Photo courtesy of the Dunlop Art Gallery website

Sherwood Gallery photo by Sabrina Cataldo

Sherwood Gallery photo by Sabrina Cataldo

Hours:

Central Gallery Mon-Thurs: 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fri: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sherwood Gallery Mon/Thurs/Fri: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tues/Wed: 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sat: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Art Gallery of Regina (2420 Elphinstone Street)

Located in the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, the Art Gallery of Regina (AGR) features contemporary artwork and emphasizes Saskatchewan artists. In addition to art exhibitions, it offers workshops, lectures, visiting artist events and demonstrations.

The AGR is my favourite gallery in Regina, because it is a bit off the beaten path and its exhibitions can be a bit quirky. Take, for instance, the current show, Anecdotal Evidence: The Work of Gerald Saul. This eclectic exhibition not only features Saul’s films, but it also showcases his photography, puppets and installation work. For example, there is a bank of rotary telephones where you can listen to recordings of people talking about their fears and anxieties. There is also a life-sized cut-out of Canister the Robot, a recurring character in Saul’s films, that you can have your picture taken with. Of course, I couldn’t resist.

Anecdotal Evidence runs until August 27, 2016.

Art Gallery of Regina photo by Rob Bos Art Gallery of Regina photo by Sabrina Cataldo

Art Gallery of Regina photo by Sabrina Cataldo                     Art Gallery of Regina photo by Rob Bos

Hours:

Mon to Thurs: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fri and Sat: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sundays

MacKenzie Art Gallery (3475 Albert Street)

The MacKenzie Art Gallery is our largest public gallery, featuring exhibitions of contemporary and historical art from Saskatchewan, Canada and around the world. Going to the MacKenzie is a great way to spend an afternoon. There are a number of exhibitions going on at any given time, along with activities for people of all ages, not to mention one of the best gift shops in the city! (Gallery members get 10% off!)

Two of the exhibitions that caught our attention were Theo Sims: The Candahar (running April 30 to September 25, 2016) and Tammi Campbell: Abstraction and Empathy (April 30 to September 5, 2016). The Candahar is a meticulously hand-crafted recreation of the interior of a historic Belfast pub (including working beer taps), right in the middle of the gallery. The best part is that the space is being used for regular artist talks and events – every Thursday evening, visitors are invited to the pub to engage with guest bar hosts from our local community. Check out the MacKenzie website for more.

Abstraction and Empathy is, at first, a bit confusing. Why are there corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap and tape hanging on the gallery walls? Isn’t that what the art is supposed to be wrapped in? It isn’t until you read the labels beside the art very carefully that you realize that the “cardboard”, “bubble wrap” and “tape” are all made out of acrylic paint. You have to see it to believe it, and even then, you probably won’t. There are a multitude of signs reminding people not to touch the art, which is not surprising. It’s really hard not to! But we’ll take the artist’s word on this one and keep our hands in our pockets.

Tammi Campbell, Monochrome with bubble wrap and tan packing tape (detail), 2016 Photo courtesy of MacKenzie Art Gallery website  MacKenzie Gallery photo by Chad Mario 2

Tammi Campbell, Monochrome with bubble                   MacKenzie Gallery photo by Chad Mario wrap and tan packing tape (detail), 2016  Photo courtesy of MacKenzie Art Gallery website

Hours:

Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tues: Galleries closed Thurs: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sun: 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.