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The Art of Freedom

A Group Exhibition by Burns Visual Arts Society

Exhibition Date

October 1 – November 20, 2021



ASA Gallery: Main

222 – 1235 26 AVE SE,

Calgary, AB T2G 1R7 – Map


Hours of Operation

Wednesdays to Saturdays, 10am – 4pm

Promotional collage courtesy of the artists.


Most Canadians have not experienced the horrors of war: the waste of human life and the loss of the dreams of ordinary people during times of conflict. Our exhibit consists of works that celebrate fanciful flights of freedom; talismans that are symbols of life, death, hope, respect, memory, and resilience; tributes to all who seek freedom and rise above the challenges of war and tragedy. These themes are explored in a multiplicity of media and in a contemporary way.

This exhibition would like to create a dialog between historical and contemporary concepts of freedom.


The Burns Visual Arts Society of Calgary was founded in 1979. It is the oldest continuous artists’ cooperative in Canada with a mandate focused solely on providing affordable working studio space to professional artists in Calgary.

The Burns Visual Arts Society and its name originate in Calgary’s historic Burns Building located downtown on 8 Avenue SE. When the Burns Building became part of the Performing Arts Centre, the Burns Visual Arts Society moved into the Neilson Block (downtown) where they stayed for nearly two decades. We moved into our current location in Ramsay in 1998.

For the past forty-two years the Burns Visual Arts Society has been home and creative haven for some of Alberta’s finest artists, craftspeople, and cultural contributors. A rich, diverse portfolio of mediums and skills have been practiced and perfected within its walls: sculptors, painters, photographers, jewelry, fiber, performance, and installation artists have honed their skills to produce significant cultural and artistic work within the walls of the Burns.

There are currently 17 studios at the Burns Visual Arts Society hosting 19 artists. There has been a waiting list for BVAS studios for some time, a reminder of the indispensable resource Burns Visual Arts Society provides to Calgary artists.

Beyond the valuable benefit of providing affordable studio space, members of BVAS foster an underlying commitment to engage with community. There are few chances for the public to see where art is created or to view an artist’s tools and works in progress. BVAS facilitates face-to-face interactions between artists and the community through a variety of initiatives, including mentoring, private visits, and visits from post-secondary students; two annual events are offered including the yearly Studio Stomp, and the very popular East Side Studio Crawl, an annual arts festival created to highlight and spotlight the talents of artists working in the industrial southeast communities of Calgary, where studio rents are more affordable for artists with a variety of studio needs. In this way, BVAS connects beyond its own history.

For more info, please visit Burns Visual Arts Society


Liz Sullivan ASA

Bev Tosh ASA

Cindy Giesbrecht

Joan Packham

Maria Muszynski

Jo-elle Breit

Cecilia Gossen ASA

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