HARCOURT HOUSE ARTIST RUN CENTRE
GALLERY / OFFICE HOURS:
Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Sundays & Statutory Holidays: Closed
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre is an Edmonton-based thought leader and direction-setting public visual arts institution and art education centre that boldly develops, presents, and interprets the art and design of our time. Our mandate is to enable transformative experiences by connecting art and design with local and global communities, and by providing affordable studio facilities to local artists.
Harcourt House is operated by Where Edmonton Community Artists Network (W.E.C.A.N.) Society, a registered not-for-profit, charitable organization, in support of artistic endeavours that are essential to a healthy community.
Since its inception in 1988, Harcourt House has established itself as an open, viewer-friendly forum for the best in Canadian contemporary visual/new media arts, architecture, and design in the context of international art. It carries out this mandate by providing art exhibitions and art education programs of the highest caliber in support of the local arts community and Edmonton’s diverse audiences.
In addition, Harcourt House comprises the single largest community of visual arts studios in Alberta by providing 42 affordable and sustainable studio facilities to artists, as well as exhibition and art education facilities, thereby creating an environment of artistic vibrancy and community spirit that cannot be matched anywhere else in Western Canada, and possibly in the whole country.
As a cultural cornerstone in Edmonton for over 30 years, Harcourt House has engaged generations of Albertans and visitors with a remarkable connection between art, culture, and the world around us.
Art of Today • For the People of Today • In the City of Today
THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Committed to art, artists, and audiences • Fiscally responsible and sustainable • Striving for excellence • Accessible, collaborative, respectful, and ethical • Tolerant, inclusive, and diverse • Relevant to local and regional communities.
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre sprang from the efforts of Where Edmonton Community Artists Network (W.E.C.A.N.) Society whose beginnings are rooted in the drama of the devastating tornado that tore through Edmonton on Friday, July 31, 1987. “Black Friday”, as it is known, was the worst natural disaster in Alberta in recent history and one of the worst in Canada.
In September 1987, Brian Clark, Indigenous sculptor originally from Fort McMurray, and Lorraine Noel, an employee of the City of Edmonton’s Recreation and Culture Department, organized the “Artists for Tornado Relief” art auction. They assembled the art of more than 100 visual artists and staged an auction that was held less than six weeks after the “Black Friday” tornado. It raised approximately $15,000, which was distributed by the Red Cross.
The energy generated from this auction became the foundation for a strong community of artists. The participants wanted to sustain the spirit of the event and formed Where Edmonton Community Artists Network (W.E.C.A.N.) Society in December 1987, with Jim Painter as the Society’s first President of the Board. Shortly after, they were successful in securing Harcourt House Building with the assistance of the Alberta Ministry of Public Works as a home for the group. Harcourt House Artist Run Centre was open to the public on September 5, 1988.
Over the years, Harcourt House has been home to hundreds of artists. For many visual artists from Alberta, Harcourt House has been a launching pad for their artistic careers. Many of the “Alumni” from Harcourt House have excelled nationally and internationally as exhibiting artists. Others have gone on to work in academic institutions to offer their mentorship to the next generation of progressive creators and critical thinkers.
Two noteworthy Harcourt’s tenant artists are: Barbara Paterson, who conceived and produced at Harcourt House the Famous Five statue on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and Robert Sinclair, RCA, CSPWC, who maintained a watercolour studio at Harcourt House while teaching at the University of Alberta for over twenty years.
The W.E.C.A.N. Society / Harcourt House Artist Run Centre respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 Territory, traditional land and gathering place of the Cree, Nitsitapi/Blackfoot, Nakota Sioux, Dene, Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Métis, and Inuit.
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre extends our gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. We gratefully acknowledge the support of The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Edmonton Arts Council, The City of Edmonton, Edmonton Community Foundation, Edmonton Heritage Council, and Days Inn.