Few public galleries in Canada can boast a history that dates back to 1907 and fewer still can credit a community-based enthusiasm for visual art for their very existence. From its inception, the Brandon Art Club provided a consistent array of classes in drawing, painting and art history for Brandon and the southwest Manitoba region. In addition, it regularly exhibited work by its members.
By 1959, the learning, practice and appreciation of art and craft had evolved to such an extent that a permanent space for studios and exhibition was established and renamed the Brandon Allied Arts Council.
In 1989, after a lengthy capital campaign a permanent building to house a “real” art gallery/studio was renovated on Princess Street and again re-christened the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.
Finally, in 2000, the AGSM was moved to the recently vacated Eaton’s building attached to the Town Centre Mall. The new 23,000 square foot space was renovated with municipal, provincial, federal, and private sector funds to accommodate a 4300 sq. ft. environmentally controlled exhibition space, a community access gallery and 6 discipline specific learning/production studios.
The AGSM remains steadfastly rooted in the community that built it, growing together in complexity and diversity. Simply, the AGSM remains committed to promoting and nurturing the visual arts in Brandon and southwest Manitoba through outreach, education and exhibition.