The MacKenzie Art Gallery is Saskatchewan’s oldest public art gallery. The MacKenzie serves a senior leadership role as the only provincial organization with the mandate and facilities to address an encyclopedic range of visual art and culture. Purpose-built and maintained to Class A Museum standards, the permanent collection spans 5,000 years of art with nearly 5,000 works.
We receive ongoing funding from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, Sask Culture, City of Regina, University of Regina and the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Currently our revenue is generally balanced between grants and donations (which includes sponsorship and events) with a small portion from earned revenue.
The MacKenzie Art Gallery was founded on the collection of its namesake, Norman MacKenzie (1869–1936), who bequeathed his collection to the University of Saskatchewan (Regina College), now the University of Regina. Opening in 1953, the MAG became independent of the University, moving into our current facilities in 1990 but retaining a partnership with support from the University of Regina.
The MacKenzie arguably has a longer and deeper history of championing Indigenous art as contemporary art than any other non-Indigenous institution in the world (another early notable exhibitor of contemporary Indigenous art is the Vancouver Art Gallery). In 1975, the late Bob Boyer curated 100 Years of Saskatchewan Indian Art 1830-1930 (often cited as the first exhibition in a public art gallery to present customary/traditional Indigenous art as fine art), and in 1982 Robert Houle curated the historically significant, New Work by a New Generation. Since then the MAG has presented nearly 100 exhibitions dedicated to Indigenous art.
This activity has continued over the years, with the appointment of Lee-Ann Martin (Mohawk, Tyendinaga Territory) as the first Indigenous Head Curator at a public art museum, and the continued appointment of Indigenous curatorial staff including Pat Deadman (Mohawk, Tuscarora Territory), Michelle LaVallee (Ojibway, Chippewas of Nawash unceded First Nation), Janine Windolph (Atikamek Cree/Woodland Cree, James Bay Treaty), John G. Hampton (Chickasaw and mixed European), and Curatorial Fellow Felicia Gay (Swampy Cree and Scottish ancestry). The Gallery recently received a major donation of approximately 1,000 works by Indigenous artists from collectors Thomas Druyan and Alice Ladner of Yellowknife. In 2016 the MacKenzie mounted Across the Turtle’s Back: The Kampelmacher Memorial Collection of Indigenous Art to highlight this historic donation, featuring 245 artworks.
The MacKenzie’s commitment to engage people in transformative experiences of the world through art reaches far beyond the Gallery’s doorstep; our programming extends throughout Regina and across Saskatchewan. For 50 years, the MacKenzie as undertaken Provincial Outreach including travelling art exhibitions and educational programs to schools and public libraries throughout rural and northern Saskatchewan. These touring exhibitions were installed for several days at a time, providing a prolonged forum to engage with and discuss a wide range of topics around the viewing and making of art. More recently, the gallery has embraced new technologies to expand this reach through virtual tours and programs.