Their vision is to establish the KOAC as a contemporary arts gallery and centre that includes a botanic sculpture garden, wetlands, woods sanctuary and Pavilion to house Harry and Katie’s extensive collection of contemporary painting and sculpture.
KOAC is to be an art in nature destination for experiencing art. Objectives include promoting contemporary art through exhibitions, fostering creativity, research, lectures, symposia, workshops and residencies.
Harry and Katie’s reason for the legacy a fulfilment for a lifetime as artists enabled by family, friends and the art community at large.
Harry and Katie both believe in giving back to the community that has enabled and supported their careers as teachers and artists. Hence the establishing of the KOAC and the donation of their property, residence, studios, personal artwork, art collection and endowment.
For Harry & Katie, studio space became a problem because of changes in their studio practice; for Katie, Stu Hart’s carriage house, for Harry, his garage / studio, both were lacking the space and services for their work, so they decided to build on the acreage in Springbank that they had acquired in 1973.
The residence completed in 1978 was originally designed with 2 studios but Katie’s welding became a problem, a separate sculpture studio was built in 1988 this was followed by another studio for Harry in 1998 when he embarked on a series of large scale paintings that were too large for his studio in the residence.
KOAC was incorporated in 2007 and received Canada Revenue Agency approval as a charitable society in 2010. This enabled the Centre to proceed with more detailed planning for the improvements to the Infrastructure, wetlands and Pavilion.
Currently the KOAC has embarked on a $2,500,000 fundraising drive for the Pavilion.
On completion, the Centre will become a legacy for Springbank, Calgary, Alberta and beyond for the general public and future generations of contemporary artists.