On our visit to Alberta earlier this month, between trips to Spruce Meadows, Okotoks, and the local tack and feed shop we found time to visit the Leighton Art Centre which sits in the picturesque countryside somewhere between Okotoks, Millarville, Black Diamond and Calgary. The skies ranged from clear to large cumulonimbus clouds and there were heavy rain showers in the area, but thankfully it avoided us while we were there.
The gallery is named for A.C. Leighton (1901-1965), a British-born painter who first came to Canada in 1924 to work for the CPR, painting promotional pieces for the railway as well as personal works. He later became the head of the Alberta College of Art.
Beyond its permanent collection telling the story of Leighton and his wife, Barbara, the Leighton Art Centre focuses on works by Alberta artists. The current exhibition features a work by Peter von Tiesenhausen called “Sanctuary,” which he describes as a “physical drawing” of monumental proportions, installed on a ridge a short walk from the centre, overlooking the valley and mountains to the west. I won’t attempt to explain the work, but you can read about it here. Needless to say, the backdrop for the work is stunning.