KINGSTON — The city is set to unveil a new exhibition venue for cultural and artistic works.
The new Market Wing Cultural Space at City Hall is to open to the public on Saturday.
The renovated 230-square-metre space formerly housed staff in the cultural services department. They were moved out to make room for what is expected to become the focal point of the city’s cultural department.
“Residents have asked that the city rethink how we interpret local history to reflect greater equity, diversity and inclusion by broadening the range of histories and stories that get shared, and with a particular focus on presenting Indigenous history and culture,” cultural director Colin Wigginton said in a news release earlier this week.
“This new space will provide new opportunities to look at the past, present and future with a critical eye, and combine history and the arts in ways that bridge these two sectors to highlight Kingston’s diverse cultural heritage — natural, tangible and intangible — alongside the local arts ecology and creative industries.”
The cultural space is to enlist the help of an Indigenous curator, who is to guide the creation of a permanent Indigenous installation.
The opening exhibitions include Ontario Street: Brewers, Bakers and Boiler Makers, 1830-1970, a collection that had previously been on display at the PumpHouse Museum, and Then & Now, an exhibition that brings together three emerging and three established artists who created interpretations of well-known images of the city.
“What is really special about this space is we are able to integrate both the heritage and the arts sides,” city curator Melissa Cruise explained.
The renovation, budgeted for about $140,000 and planned to stay within existing capital and operating budgets, had been in the works since 2017 and is meant to provide a venue to host art programming and act as a complement to other existing art spaces.