The FOREMAN ART GALLERY of Bishop’s University is a space for thinking and producing knowledge about contemporary art and its relation to the global and local communities we share. The Gallery strives for excellence as it researches, exhibits, and documents contemporary art by emerging and mid-career professional artists in innovative curated contexts. These exhibitions are presented with the objective of provoking public debate on cultural and social issues for an expanding audience that includes our local University community, a larger art community within Quebec and Canada, as well as broad and diverse general and virtual audiences.
The Foreman Art Gallery's COMMUNITY ART LAB positions itself on the cutting edge between art, education, and community development with the goal of exploring how these worlds collide and interact with one another. Through its interventions, satellite activities, and public events, the Laboratory stimulates exchanges and discussions in order to disrupt the hierarchy of knowledge and to enrich community life.
The Foreman Art Gallery shows the work of professional visual artists in innovative ways, focusing on themed exhibitions. These include: Social Currents (group exhibitions on current issues); New Voices (highlighting emerging artists); Carte Blanche (regional themes); New Publics (exhibitions ofr targeted audiences) and community-based exhibitions (participatory projects). Since 1998, the Gallery has also produced an annual exhibition showcasing the work of Bishop’s University Fine Arts graduates.
The Foreman Art Gallery’s mandate is to:
• Present annually: three major exhibitions by professional emerging and mid-career artists, three Videotank solo exhibitions by mid-career and well established Canadian and international artists, one community-oriented exhibition programmed through the Community Art Lab, and one graduating exhibition.
• Foster a climate conducive to excellence, intellectual inquiry and reflection about contemporary Canadian and international art, while providing visitors who are unable to travel to major metropolitan Canadian centres with the opportunity to view the work of artists who challenge their perception of art and life.
• Host lectures by visiting artists, art historians, historians, curators, and faculty members as well as guided tours and workshops.
• Develop educational initiatives which provide viewers with the interpretative tools that stimulate curiosity while facilitating a greater understanding of the thematic undercurrents of its exhibitions.
• Provide services to English and French visitors alike by presenting guided tours and workshops in both languages, as well as producing bilingual publications.
• Fulfil the multiple role of contributing to the education of students while meeting the needs of the community in general.
• Publish catalogues, booklets, posters etc. in order to document and develop research initiatives on Canadian and international art
Since 1998, over 50 bilingual exhibition booklets and 15 exhibition catalogues have been produced. Of these are noteworthy examples: Irene F. Whittome: Conversation Adru (winner of a Graphika prize, 2007); Denyse Thomasos: Epistrophe (winner of a Graphika prize, 2007); and At the Crossroads of Art and Medicine (winner of a Graphika Prize 2009).