Visual Arts

Explore your limits

Visual Arts at Banff Centre offers exceptional programs for professional artists, curators, and art critics and researchers. Visual Arts also supports, develops, and presents contemporary art through the Walter Phillips Gallery.

Our residency programs provide the time, studio space, facilities, feedback, and engagement with peers and faculty to hone your artistic development. Our thematic and self-directed programs encourage experimentation and exploration of ideas, theory, and process.

The Walter Phillips Gallery is committed to the production, presentation, collection, and analysis of contemporary art. The gallery houses the Banff International Curatorial Institute which focuses on programming and publications exploring curatorial research, pedagogy and practice, visual art criticism and writing.

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Visual Arts Programs

Thematic residencies bring participants together to create, discuss, and develop artistic research and projects around a specific theme. Through peer interaction, conversation, independent studio work, formal lectures, collective activities, and studio visits from visiting faculty and guests, participants gain new ideas and insights that can be applied to the thematic exploration of their work.

Self-directed residencies like the Banff Artist in Residence (BAiR) program are designed for participants to focus on their practice in a supportive environment. Participants are encouraged to cultivate new directions in their work, experiment with production techniques, and self-direct their research, activities, and time. Participants may attend talks, exhibitions, and performances by visiting artists as well as receive studio visits from program guests. Depending on the nature of your program and project, participants have access to an individual studio 24 hours a day as well as access to outstanding art production facilities and knowledgeable staff.

Practicum programs offer practical hands-on training, mentorship, and experiential learning opportunities for aspiring artists, curators, and museum and gallery practitioners. Our practicum programs are currently on hold. 

Visual Arts Related


Barbara Spohr Memorial Award 

The Walter Phillips Gallery awards the biennial Barbara Spohr Memorial Award to Visual Arts residency alumni working in photography. The prize of $6,000 CAD in value goes toward supporting the recipient in developing new work through the completion of a second residency at Banff Centre. Learn more.

Visual Arts Stories

Truly an awe-inspiring special place where I was free to focus on my creativity and my well-being. I will never tire of the inviting mountains and relaxing ambiance of the town. I feel privileged and blessed to have come here. This experience has elevated my understanding of my artist practice with the support of everyone and the wonderful staff who were exceptionally kind.

Dana Edmonds, Emerging BAIR, 2021

Banner Image Credit: August Klintberg, Meet me in the woods, 2010. Coated aluminum and reflective vinyl signs. Glyde Hall and the Ken Madsen path. Commissioned for the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. For additional information about the work please visit Walter Phillips Gallery.  

Contact Us

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