The Art Gallery of Golden (AGOG) open its doors in 2007 as part of a promise made by Kicking Horse Culture to the community.
Originally, the art gallery resides within the walls of another office in town, but the people of Golden spoke, and Kicking Horse Culture listened. Residents and artists wanted a dedicated space to show their work and sell items.
Thus, the art gallery was born. Art transformed the walls of a new downtown space, but it wasn’t long before the gallery moved to where it resides today.
Renovations to the building at 516 9th Avenue N. incorporate work from local architects, craftspeople, designers, and donations from businesses to make it the hub of creativity it is today.
The gallery and gift shop is a “true reflection of our western mountain culture… direct from the artist to you,” said Bill Usher, executive director of Kicking Horse Culture.
Owned as a social enterprise by Kicking Horse Culture and the Golden District Arts Council, AGOG runs the business from 40 per cent of sales made on art sold. The other 60 per cent goes to the artist.
“There had been a long0standing desire to have a dedicated gallery in town,” Usher explained. “It was one of Kicking Horse Culture’s promises.”
Sales made at AGOG benefit the approximate 95 artists who sell their work at the location. Additionally, the art gallery exhibits nearly 12 showings of individual or collaborative work each year.
Painters, potters, soap makers, honey, clothing, cards, and more are available from across the Columbia Valley at the gallery and gift shop. Usher says 95 per cent of the art inside the gift shop comes from the Valley, and 55 per cent of that is made locally in Golden. The reason for this is to provide partnerships with other galleries and gift shops for the artists.
“It’s kind of a reciprocation. It gives opportunities for our artists to be represented and sold in those galleries,” he said.
As time goes on, artist’s work changes as their styles and expertise change, so often there is a changeover in what is available in the store.
“It has given a lot of people in our Valley here the opportunity to grow with their work,” Usher said.
Kicking Horse Culture organizes live music shows and theatrical performances throughout the year. Most recently, the Live Kicks lineup was announced, bringing in 11 shows between October to April.
The art gallery is presently exhibiting Child’s Play, an interacting showing of art by Natasha Smith.
The Art Gallery of Golden is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.