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Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery facts for kids

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Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
Belkin Art Gallery.jpg
Exterior of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
Former name UBC Fine Arts Gallery
Established 1948; 75 years ago (1948)
Location 1825 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Type Art Gallery
Architect Peter Cardew

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia on the campus of the University of British Columbia. The gallery is housed in an award-winning building designed by architect Peter Cardew and opened in 1995. It houses UBC’s growing collection of contemporary art as well as an archive containing more than 30,000 objects related to the history of art in Vancouver.

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery mounts 4 to 7 exhibitions of art per year by nationally and internationally known artists, and works from the collection are showcased annually in a thematic exhibition. The Belkin Art Gallery also creates small scale traveling exhibitions for circulation within Canada, and collaborates on large scale international exhibitions. The gallery's mandate includes research, publication, and a program of screenings, performances, and lectures by artists, scholars, curators and critics.

Since 2003, new outdoor works have been installed on campus by artists Rodney Graham, Jamelie Hassan, Myfanwy Macleod, and Edgar Heap of Birds. A self-guided tour of outdoor art on campus can be downloaded from the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery website. The gallery and campus have outdoor sculpture and have been reported on as part of Vancouver's public art scene. Exhibitions have included artworks by indigenous artists.

Admission to the gallery is free. An estimated 13 percent of the gallery's collection is from female artists and an edit-a-thon was launched at the gallery to create articles on more of those women on Wikipedia in 2017.


The UBC Fine Arts Gallery was founded in 1948 in a basement section of the Main Library on the University campus. The Fine Arts Gallery was the only venue in the Vancouver region that focused exclusively on contemporary art. The gallery rose in national status during the 1960s and 1970s by presenting innovative work by artists who were establishing Vancouver on the international art scene.

Until 1994, the gallery was used only as an exhibition space; afterwards, it began to house and administer the University Art Collection. On June 14, 1995, the Fine Arts Gallery was rededicated as the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and opened its new facility at 1825 Main Mall.

Permanent Collection

Wood for the People by Myfanwy MacLeod, 2002

The Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery is home to the works of such artists as Roy Arden, Carol Conde, Rodney Graham, Judith Lodge, Al Neil, Skeena Reece, Karen Azoulay, Joyce Wieland, and Rebecca Belmore.


The gallery also houses a permanent archives. The largest collection in the archives is the Morris/Trasov Collection, which holds thousands of items relating to artists Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov.

Select Exhibitions

From 2017 to 2019, curator Lorna Brown curated a four-part series of exhibitions under the title of Beginning with the 70s, an ongoing research and archival project examining the generative potential of the era. The exhibitions include GLUT, Radial Change, Collective Acts, Hexsa'am: To Be Here Always which exhibited artists such as Christine D'Onofrio, Marianne Nicolson, Althea Thauberger, Alexandra Bischoff, Gathie Faulk, Anne Ramsden, Elizabeth Zvonar, Kate Craig, Carole Itter, Dana Claxton, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Gutai, Laiwan, Siku Allooloo and the Salish Weavers Guild.

In September 2020, the Belkin hosted Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts curated by Candice Hopkins and Dylan Robinson. This show also exhibited at The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, BC. Artists exhibited in Soundings included Raven Chacon, Sebastian De Line, Camille Georgeson-Usher, Maggie Groat, Kite, Germaine Koh, Cheryl L'Hirondelle, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Cristóbal Martínez, Peter Morin, Ogimaa Mikana, Diamond Point, Lisa C. Ravensbergen, Heidi Aklaseaq Senungetuk, Greg Staats, Olivia Whetung, and Tania Willard.

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