Edmonton welcomes a new stainless steel and glass home for the arts.
The torqued silhouette of the new Art Gallery of Alberta may at first glance seem out of place among the blocky towers of downtown Edmonton. But the museum, designed by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout, actually embraces the province’s long summer days and epic winters. The 100-foot-high stainless steel ribbon that slithers around the building recalls the shimmering northern lights, and where it meets the glass atrium it traps ice in beautiful sunlit patterns—the “snow cone,” staffers call it.
Inside, visitors will find an eye-teasing doubleheader this summer: the “impossible structures” of printmaker M.C. Escher, whose precisely rendered stairways and cities defy physical laws; and the phantasmagorical 18th-century prison etchings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Something lighter? The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons celebrates pop culture with 165 cels and drawings, including Porky Pig’s debut. Take a break in Zinc, the gallery’s airy, ultramodern restaurant. (780) 422-6223, youraga.ca .
Illustration courtesy Art Gallery of Alberta 2010/Robert Lemermeyer 
This article was first published in July 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.