About Esker Foundation
Esker Foundation is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Siksika, the Piikuni, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina, and the Iyarhe Nakoda First Nations. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. Esker Foundation extends sincere appreciation for the opportunity to live and learn on this territory in respect and gratitude.
Esker Foundation is a privately funded contemporary art gallery located in Calgary, Canada. As a leader in the Calgary arts community, Esker Foundation connects the public to contemporary art through relevant, accessible, and educational exhibitions, programs, and publications. The gallery reflects on current developments in local, regional, and international culture; creates opportunities for public dialogue; and supports the production of groundbreaking new work, ideas, and research. Founded in 2012 by Jim and Susan Hill, Esker Foundation is a new model for institutional relevance, curatorial focus, and audience engagement. Admission is free. The gallery is barrier-free.
Esker Foundation programs three exhibition changes per year for the fall, winter, and spring/summer seasons. Read about upcoming exhibitions here.
The Project Space
In addition to the main exhibition space on the fourth floor of the Atlantic Avenue Arts Block, Esker Foundation hosts the Project Space at street level. As a vital alternative exhibition venue, the Project Space aims to engage the community by increasing the presence and accessibility of contemporary art. The Project Space program invites emerging and established artists to develop new, responsive exhibitions that directly address the neighborhood and explore important contemporary issues.
Exhibitions in the Project Space can be viewed day and night, seven days a week, and are on display for approximately three months, for a total of four exhibition changes a year.
Esker Foundation’s exhibition programming is developed by a curatorial team rather than through unsolicited proposals or submissions.
Esker Foundation does not rent the gallery space for any external events, programs, or exhibitions.
Volunteering at Esker Foundation
Volunteers are vital to the work we do. Thanks to dedicated individuals, whose involvement in our exhibitions, programs, events and more is so integral to our success, Esker Foundation has a strong and vital volunteer program. Our volunteers are all ages, come from all backgrounds, and are enthusiastic about sharing their valuable time and skills with us. If you are interested in volunteering, please email [email protected] or complete this online application, thank you.
444, 1011 – 9th Avenue S.E.
Inglewood, Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2G 0H7
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1 (403) 930 2490
+1 (403) 930-2493
Elizabeth Diggon is a Calgary-based curator, writer, and instructor. Prior to joining Esker Foundation, Diggon worked with institutions including the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston; the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery; and the Glenbow Library and Archives, Calgary. Her writing has been published in the Journal of Curatorial Studies, the Journal of Canadian Studies, as well as in exhibition texts for the ODD Gallery, Dawson City; the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, and the Union Gallery, Kingston.
Diggon holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University, Kingston. Her dissertation examined the mobilization of art as a means of cultural diplomacy in the Canadian context from the mid-to-late twentieth century.
+1 (403) 930-2496
Working primarily in wood, Doug Haslam employs traditional and contemporary techniques to create furniture and sculptural forms that are informed by his personal interaction with nature, architecture, and culture. Recent solo and group exhibitions include: Robin Wood’s Cores Recycled (2012-13), The Center for Wood Art, Philadelphia; Alberta House, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics; Boxes (2010), Tu Gallery, Edmonton; Skee-doo (2008), Gallery 809, Calgary; Containment (2006), Mendel Gallery, Saskatoon; and Cabinets of Curiosities, a major group exhibition co-organized by the Furniture Society and the Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, which travelled to galleries and museums across the United States from 2003-2006.
Haslam currently sits as President of the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation, and as a board member with the Southern Alberta Woodworkers Society. He is also an advisor for Selkirk College’s Fine Woodwork program and Red Deer College’s Series program. Haslam is a Governor of the Registry with the Aeolian Recreational Boundary Institute artist collective.
+1 (403) 930-2499
Jill Henderson previously held the post of Marketing and Communications Manager at the Contemporary Art Gallery for 9 years. Prior to this previous positions include working for leading international non-profit art organizations and artists for over twenty years in the roles of communications, marketing, and education.
Henderson was co-founder of Free Parking, an artist-run gallery project in downtown Toronto, a board member of Mercer Union, as well as curator of several independent exhibitions and projects. She is a lifetime member of Art Metropole.
Henderson graduated from Glasgow School of Art, Scotland with a Masters in Fine Art in 1993 and a BFA in 1991. International exhibitions of her art work and curatorial projects have been held at the ICA, London; The Power Plant, Toronto; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Transmission Gallery & Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland; Art Metropole, Toronto; MoMA PS1, New York City; Catalyst Arts, Belfast; Hales Gallery, London, UK; Angelus Novus, Antwerp; Brasilica, Vienna; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; Overgaden, Copenhagen, Lothringer13 Halle, Munich; Manif d’art 2, Quebec City; The Americas Society, New York City; The New Gallery, Calgary; Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver; and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver among others.
Nominated for a Louis Comfort Tiffany award, she has received numerous awards from The Canada Council, The Scottish Arts Council and The Ontario Arts Council. Her work is also in the collection of The Robert McLaughlin Museum in Oshawa, Canada and the National Gallery of Canada as well as in numerous private collections.
+1 (403) 930-2494
Naomi Potter is the Director/Curator of Esker Foundation in Calgary. Over the last sixteen years she developed numerous curatorial, artist, and residency projects in Canada and Central and Eastern Europe. From 2009-2011, she was curator of Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre where she produced solo projects and exhibitions with many artists including: Anthony Burnham, Geoffrey Farmer, Melanie Gilligan, Brian Jungen, Ragnar Kjartansson, Silke Otto-Knapp, and Ron Terada. More recently she has worked to develop solo projects at Esker Foundation with Peter von Tiesenhausen, Cedric Bomford, Cynthia Girard, Mia Feuer, Colleen Heslin, and Etienne Zack, to name a few. In 2003, Potter was awarded a year-long Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) artist residency in Istanbul, and from 2003 to 2007 was co-director of the international artist residency program at CESTA in the Czech Republic. In 2015 she was a guest of both the Australian Arts Council and British Council International Curatorial Visit programs. Potter holds a BFA from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and an MFA in sculpture from Concordia University, Montreal.
Coming from a diverse background in the arts, corporate, government, and aviation sectors, Parisa Radmanesh is interested in building and strengthening community through the arts.
With volunteer experience at the University of Toronto Art Centre, Museum of Inuit Art, Toronto, and children’s literacy programs in Calgary, Toronto, and London, Radmanesh is invested in community development. She also currently participates on an advisory committee for WordFest in Calgary. Radmanesh holds a BA in Art History from the University of Toronto.
+1 (403) 930-2497
Prior to joining the Esker team, Shauna Thompson was Curatorial Assistant at the Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre. Recent curatorial projects include Celia Perrin Sidarous: Les Choses (2013), The Banff Centre; Karlheinz Stockhausen: Tierkreis Music Box Project (2011), Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff; and Status Update (2010), Doris McCarthy Gallery, Scarborough.
Thompson has worked with the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and YYZ Artists’ Outlet, both in Toronto, as well as the Art Gallery of Mississauga. She holds a master’s degree in Curatorial Studies from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in English from the University of Guelph. She sat on the Board of TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary from 2015-2019.
+1 (403) 930-2492
Eva Verity is an arts producer and facilitator who has led artistic projects and programs with local communities (children, youth, refugees and senior citizens) in more than 30 cities in Canada and around the world, including the US, UK, Australia, Asia, and Europe. From 2008-2018, she was the Director of Creative Production for performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex and continues to work with the company as a Young Mammals mentor. Eva has volunteered with SummerWorks Performance Festival, Myseum, ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is the creator of the intergenerational podcast series Strange and Familiar and Wisdoms and her illustrations have appeared in Broken Pencil Magazine, at the AGO as part of Mammalian’s artist residency, in the production Promises to a Divided City presented by The Theatre Centre and at YYZ Artists’ Outlet as part of A Survival Guide to the City. She holds a Master’s degree in Art History from York University.