Saskatoon is increasingly being known as an art destination. There is speculation being bandied about that the winters in Saskatoon breed creativity. It’s a way of explaining the number of artists, writers, and just plain old creative types that inhabit the city. It theorizes that because of its cold climate, the artists of Saskatoon are forced indoors to create and alongside that, create between them a community emboldened by art. Which does nothing to dissuade the guilt I feel for cramming packages of Oreos and hours of Netflix into me the moment the weather turns slightly brisk. But it is undeniable that the arts community in Saskatoon is thriving. For the art lovers or for those who want to check out our plethora of local talent, I’ve rounded up a few of our favorite galleries in the Paris of Prairies.
SCYAP - Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Program – One part gallery, one part youth arts education program, wholly awesome SCYAP is the place to go if you want to feel badly about how talented the youth of today are in comparison to yourself. This organization is also the mastermind behind the abundance of giant art installations decorating buildings and surfaces city wide. Located in downtown Saskatoon, SCYAP holds free classes and excellent arts programs for youth.
PAVED ARTS – You know when you wander past a building and are overcome, even unconsciously, with how cool it feels? That’s the feeling I get whenever I see Paved Arts. The gallery, which is located in trendy Riversdale, is a mecca of cool. Their mandate is to provide not only production facilities for artists to create contemporary new media artworks, but also to exhibit them to an audience. PAVED ARTS blends the line between production and presentation and as an artist-run facility, they push the limit on the medium.
Wanuskewin Galleries – If you aren’t afraid to take a short drive (and are okay with the risk of running into a stuffed buffalo or two), a trip to Wanuskewin is greatly encouraged. The galleries here offer the opportunity to both connect with the past (the meeting place on which Wanuskewin is centered dates back over 6000 years), but also to connect with contemporary Indigenous art and artists. The galleries here are important because they offer one of the only spots in Canada to see the work of emerging and established artists with an Indigenous worldview.
REMAI MODERN – Any article about galleries would be remiss to neglect the crown jewel of Saskatoon’s art scene - The Remai Modern. The museum needs be seen to be believed. It was recently touted in the New York Times as a reason to visit Saskatoon in their ’52 Places to Go in 2018” list in which the city placed #18. The opening exhibition ‘Field Guide’ takes attendees through a comprehensive journey beginning with the previous Mendel collection, through to contemporary modern art in all its various mediums. The museum's collection is massive - over 8000 pieces in the permanent collection and also houses the largest most comprehensive collection of Picasso linocuts (many of which are on display!). The museum, it should also be noted, is a selfie spot we rate 10/10.