The Organization of American States (OAS) AMA | Art Museum of the Americas, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Permanent Mission of Canada to the OAS proudly announce the donation of 150 artworks by modern and contemporary Canadian artists to the OAS AMA permanent art collection. The generous donation of the Canada Council for the Arts is part of OAS AMA programming marking the 150th anniversary of the confederation of Canada.
Earlier this year, the three aforementioned organizations presented Punctured Landscape at the AMA, kicking off commemorations of Canada’s sesquicentennial. The exhibition highlighted themes of democracy, human rights, sustainability, security and national historical narratives. These moments range from celebratory milestones to difficult moments in Canada’s history, with particular attention paid to Indigenous issues. The partnership among these institutions aims to foster art as a tool of cultural diplomacy and increase international awareness of important Canadian artists.
The acquisition of the first large body of Canadian artworks into AMA’s collection further invigorates its mission as a museum dedicated to showcasing the arts of OAS member countries.
Among the 150 works on paper, by 99 artists, including 7 Indigenous artists, each of Canada’s ten provinces and one Canadian territory are represented. The works were produced between the late 1960s and the early 1980s. Each print is a duplicate print of works that will remain in the Art Bank collection. Notable and award-winning artists in this collection include Rita Letendre, Daphne Odjig, Claude Tousignant, Pierre Ayot, General Idea, Ken Danby, and Michael Morris.
AMA’s mission is largely informed by the promotion of contemporary artists of OAS member countries. AMA is part of the OAS’s Secretariat for Hemispheric Affairs, and its work is based on the principle that the arts are transformative for individuals and communities, as visual components reflecting the four pillars of the OAS: democracy, human rights, security and development. AMA promotes the core values of the OAS by providing a space for cultural expression, creativity, and learning AMA’s work advances the inter-American agenda, drawing on the arts to showcase a constructive vision of the future of the Americas via local and hemispheric cultural exchange. This is achieved in part through exhibitions of artists whose work addresses social and political issues.
The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national public arts funder. It champions and invests in artistic excellence so that Canadians may enjoy and participate in a rich cultural life. In 2016-17 it allocated $196 million dollars towards artistic creation and innovation through grants, prizes and payments. It also conducts research, convenes activities and works with partners to advance the sector and help embed the arts more deeply in communities across the country. It is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future for Canadians. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental and outreach programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.