January 31, 2010

I've been having a bout of writer's block. I have photos. I have stories. But every time I sit down to write nothing really happens so I haven't been pushing it. Tonight I was inspired to blog. We went to an opening party for the newly renovated Art Gallery of Alberta. We took the train. It was fabulous!

A local philanthropic family, the Pooles, donated early on in the project with the caveat that the gallery be accessible and connected to the train. One short walk up the street and we were on the train sheltered from the cold. Once we got to our stop we came up the stairs and saw this wonderful entrance to the gallery. Up some more stairs and the party was in full swing.

I generally love a party. Those that are convenient to get to are even better. Having a few glasses of bubbly and a martini isn't a problem when you don't have to drive or pay for a cab! I was very impressed with the scale of the party. The space is great, spirits were high, and there was just a seriously good vibe.

There were beautiful floral arrangements.

And delicious food was served on this biodegradable party ware. And not just your regular cheese and crackers (though, those were good too). We're talking mac n' cheese topped with pulled pork and truffled mushrooms.

Lots of wine and blush bubbly.

People checking out the party from the stairs.


Me and Shafraaz test out the seating up in the members lounge.

View of the stairs from upstairs.

An illuminated wall.

There was a bar outside where you could get snow cones! Let's just say it was ironic. The patio was beyond freezing, but we still popped out to get icy treats. Strawberry and kiwi. Yum.

Even the bathrooms are shiny and new!

I didn't realize we would be out so long. I wore sparkly black Shellys for the walk to the train and stair climbing, but I brought my real shoes for the party. Luckily my flats are small enough to fit in my coat pockets. After several hours of standing, walking, chatting, eating, whatever... these babies needed a rest.

The first thing I said when I got to the party was that I actually felt like I was in a big city. Nice looking people, great conversations, tasty food, new friends, a fantastic new building and Karsh, Goya, and Degas. What a killer night. It's nights like this that make me feel proud and excited to live in Edmonton.


MamaVee said...

sounds wonderful and fun.

And again let me say thank you for giving me this other view of Edmonton. Ben's relatives have only shown me the Mall and the wonderful community center ( which we did spend all day at this year. ice skating-indoor play gym - swimming and water park- lunch- indoor play gym)

perhaps on our next visit you can give us tips on places to go with and without the kids!

Fiona said...

Isn't the Art Gallery Awesome?? My husband did work with his company on it and the families got a sneak peek a month ago to see what was done before they added all the artwork and finishing touches.

miss sarah said...

Mama - Edmonton's got a lot of potential. Depending on who you hang out with there are a variety of stomping grounds to enjoy:) If you're ever here, you know you have to get in touch...

Fiona - The place is fab. I know nothing is perfect and a lot of people have their opinions on the building, the new visual identity, etc... but I'm just excited that it is done and ready to enjoy. AND accessible by train. Man, talk about convenient.

AGA - yay!

gardener said...

Was at the party too. Edmonton should be proud, great vibe and great shows especially the Cardiff Miller pieces.

judith said...

Can't wait to stroll over to the AGA during lunch breaks once in a while! That fascinator looks fantastic on you, it was perfect for the occassion. Thanks for coffee, I had a wonderful Dexter is so adorable!!
P.S. Bruce says he might be able to get a deal on a Brompton for me this Spring!

misssable said...

I LOVE the soundscape exhibit on the top floor. When the slavic mens voices were singing I was running around to all the speakers to find out which voices were which! I got a membership so I'm definitely going back to check out the whole show since they only showed 10min of it and I heard it's supposed to be 30 min!

m e l i g r o s a said...

that looks like an awesome museum. Really like that V-dress you have on :D seems very comfy.
Which reminds me I should hit up some museums soon.
cheers ;-) meli

Chris C said...

The most important question is this:

Do the motion-sensitive faucets (and presumably hand dryers, toilets, urinals, and potentially soap dispensers) work?

Or do you have to bend over and smash your hands into the back of the sink to get a trickle of water to come out? Flush once or twice before you're done? Give up and dry your hands on your pants?

dagmara said...

I've been having Miss Sarah withdrawal. It was terrible. I'm so glad it's over.

tricotmiss said...

I love the new space! So excited it's finally done. The Karsh exhibit is my favourite of the ones on now.

The educational spaces in the basement look great too. I loved taking classes at the gallery when I was a kid and the new space looks so are going to love working there. And a dedicated bus stop right outside the door. Perfect.

We need more philanthropists to insist on transportation connectivity!! :)

miss sarah said...

gardener - the Cardiff Miller was on the 3rd floor?

Judy - Yay on the brompton! Coffee was great for me too, except now I'm terrified of having a teenage son one day.

Sable - we'll have to go again one of these days and we'll take Dexter. I really liked the sound installation too. I stood on the non-chairs side of the room with my heels off because my feet hurt.

Meli - Yah, I love that dress! Got it a few weeks ago and have been wearing it a lot. It's just wearing a gigantic sweater.

Chris C - From what I could tell all the facility hardware was functioning properly. There was one toilet that didn't flush, but otherwise everything was in perfect working order.

dag - Thanks, you make me feel loved. I can feel myself getting inspired again!

Trictomiss - You liked the Karsh? Just wait until you see my next post!

Morgan said...

Looks fantastic! I'm an AGO member, though regrettably haven't had enough time to get in very often since the reno.
Love your photos and always look forward to hearing your thoughts on what makes a space work, on what makes a region vibrant (not just livable).

Ilona said...

Ohhhh I am green with envy you got to go to the opening of the new and improved Art Gallery of Alberta! I may be an artist but I still have to wait until all the opening hoopla is over so I can get into the exhibits...sigh.

So awesome

placesiremember said...

Oh! I would love to see the new art gallery!!

I don't know if you remember I had emailed you awhile back, but I still follow your blog, now that I'm "back" in Sweden. Now that I ride everyday, even in -25C, I've grown to love almost every minute of it! (I'm pretty horrible at updating my blog though.) Really liking and hoping for the cycling movement to get bigger in Edmonton.

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