Art history with the Khyber and Eyelevel Gallery

Two galleries spend their birthdays digging through the archives.

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Good advice from the Khyber archives
  • Good advice from the Khyber archives

Light up the candles and grab the champers because two artist-run centres are celebrating significant birthdays with archive shows. Older sister Eyelevel Gallery, who donated their archives to Dalhousie University several years ago, created an extensive online archive of exhibitions (eyelevelgallery.ca), going back to 1974’s Peggy's Cove Syndrome, in their first location on Upper Water Street. Even if you’re not an art fan, it’s a cool way to look at Halifax’s history.

The Khyber Art Society is marking their 15th anniversary with the archive exhibition, No Money Down, referring the society’s original name. “We’re putting the archives to good use, and so they’ll see the light of day,” says exhibition organizer and KAS board member Wes Johnston. Faced with “institutional memory loss and a high level of turnover and burnout”—-an occupational hazard for all low-funded non-profits—-the show of posters, letters and other ephemera is also a reminder of all the group has achieved, in terms of artistic output and political wrangling through the years. Many big-shot artists like Kelly Mark, Sandy Plotnikoff and Emily Vey Duke were involved back in the day when all three floors of the iconic building were full of art, parties and music.

Currently the Khyber board is waiting for word back from HRM and TCI Management Consultants, who are making recommendations on the future of the Khyber building and whether KAS will be in that spot for their 20th birthday. In the meantime, celebrate the past starting with Friday’s reception at 7:30pm. Show runs until March 31.

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