It was Hunter Lewis, an English professor at the University in 1940, who first suggested the idea of buying paintings to decorate the walls of Brock Hall and making them into a start of a collection, which students could add to in the following years. From the beginning it was decided that the collections should be of the best available works from Canadian artists, providing an exciting group of paintings as well as a historical record.
Decisions regarding assessment of the major directions taken by artists and groups of artists in Canada, as well as what pieces are selected and bought, were made by students who formed the Art Collection Committee, and for many years B.C Binning, head of the fine arts department of the University, acted as a non-voting chairman.
With the opening of the new Student Union Building in January 1969, the Brock Hall Art Collection was moved to the new SUB Art Gallery. Then in 1982 the Art Gallery was moved to the south west corner of the SUB, and high security storage for the collection was built.
Presently the collection consists of 67 pieces. This includes an extensive variety of paintings and sculptures from the 20th century and into the 21st century. Most recently the gallery has purchased Roy Arden’s work “Development #1,” and a piece by up and coming artist Adam Harrison.
The Art Collection Committee consists of UBC students in various faculties and is formed in the beginning of September. The Art Gallery Commissioner chairs the committee, and this past year we have gone back to consulting the fine arts department when making purchasing decisions. The committee is in charge of purchasing new pieces, maintenance, and curating the annual Art Collection show.
If you are interested in becoming part of the Art Collection Committee please contact the Art Gallery Commissioner at email@example.com