The grunt gallery has announced long-time program director Glenn Alteen will retire in May 2020 after a whopping 36 years in the position.
Alteen built the gallery into a cultural force on the city's scene, launching the artist-run space in 1984 and developing it into a respected hub for exhibitions, projects, publications, talks, and performances. from the beginning, the aim was to support artists who often worked in isolation and to give them the chance to exhibit work that might otherwise go unrecognized.
The gallery initially focused on presenting LGTBQ and Indigenous art, both communities it continues to showcase, but has broadened its scope to include a diverse array. More recently, it's made headlines as a force behind the Blue Cabin Residency and the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen. Grunt gallery’s volunteers have made many of the past exhibitions available in an online archival database called The Activation Map. In 1995 it moved into its own new space at 350 East 2nd Avenue.
Just under a year ago, Alteen took a Governor-General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. At the time, his nominator, curator, artist, and writer Lorna Brown, said in the press statement: "Glenn Alteen has spent his career building a community through the consistent, respectful and ethical inclusion of artists, curators and cultural workers from diverse backgrounds. He has insisted on establishing – in grunt gallery – an artist-run centre that is more about artists than objects.”
The program director job call went out today, with more information at grunt's website.
A yearlong transition period is aimed at creating a seamless change, the grunt having incorporated a Management Transition Reserve Fund into annual budgets since 2016 for a succession plan.