Farewell to AGSC Director Heather Benning
I’m writing to share the news that as of September 2nd, I will be leaving the role of Director at the Art Gallery of Swift Current to take up the position of Program Consultant with the Sk Arts (Saskatchewan Arts Board). While I’m very excited about this new opportunity with Sk Arts, I will continue to be grateful for my time working with the AGSC. I’m proud of everything we accomplished during my tenure with the Gallery. We have substantially expanded community engagement through a successful membership drive and increased community programming by offering popular art classes. It’s a point of personal pride that our summer art camps are always booked months in advance, and I’ll miss all the fun we had together!
I am confident that I have established a strong foundation for the AGSC’s long-term success. We have modernized all the AGSC spaces, creating offices for our three main administrative staff, and we now appropriately catalogue the City’s art collection through the Museums Association of Saskatchewan. In addition to improvements to the AGSC’s physical environment, we have changed the AGSC’s organizational governance. We developed a 5-year strategic plan, introduced clear and transparent policies and procedures for the AGSC, and revamped the Gallery’s website. Having grown up on a farm in rural Saskatchewan, I personally understand the value of bringing art and art education to rural and remote communities. To that end, while at the AGSC, I co-developed “Creative Care” art classes to serve people residing at the long-term care facility in Swift Current. In 2019, with artist Shon Profit, AGSC won a Residency Grant followed by a Project Grant, which enabled us to expand the program to include long-term care facilities in Maple Creek, East End and Shaunavon. “Creative Care” continues to find other sources of funding and offers classes to this day. Also, during my time as Curator and Director, the AGSC has partnered with and developed community-engaged arts education programs with the Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre, Dories House, Southwest Homes, and the Grand Couteau Heritage and Cultural Centre in Shaunavon. We also provided arts education programs in the communities of Gull Lake, Success, Pennant, Abbey, Shaunavon, Eastend, Hazlet, Herbert, and Cabri.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to the community of Swift Current and to my wonderful co-workers at the AGSC and the City of Swift Current. In my new role, I will continue advocating for underserved communities, rural artists and arts education.
– Heather Benning
We wish Heather all the best in her new position, and we will miss her dearly at AGSC.
There will be a come-and-go farewell held at the Art Gallery of Swift Current on 411 Herbert St E. for Heather on
Wednesday, August 31st from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.
Everyone is welcome to attend!