Heritage sign honours Gushul Studio 0
Joni MacFarlane photo The Crowsnest Pass Heritage Initiative unveiled a new heritage sign on April 5 at Blairmore s Gushul Studios. Many members of the community were on hand to help celebrate this unique historical resource of the Crowsnest Pass. Left to right: Fred Bradley with the Crowsnest Pass Heritage Initiative, Mayor Bruce Decoux and Dean Dr. Desmond Rochfort, from the University of Lethbridge s Faculty of Fine Arts.
Long a treasured part of Crowsnest Pass history and a creative inspiration, the Gushul Studio serves as an important resource for both the Crowsnest Pass and the international artistic community.
So it was fitting that on a spring day in the Rockies, this important institution was honoured with a heritage sign to recognize its architectural and historical significance.
Fred Bradley with the Crowsnest Heritage Initiative welcomed members of the community to the event on April 5. Special guests Dean Dr. Desmond Rochfort, University of Lethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts, and Mayor Bruce Decoux unveiled the latest plaque in a series of outdoor interpretive heritage signs and kiosks throughout the municipality.
Built in 1902, the Gushul Studio was moved from the former town of Lille in 1918 and by 1928 all photographic work was done out of the Studio. By 1945 Thomas Gushul, a prolific and pioneering Canadian photographer and his wife, Lena, lived and worked at the Studio.
In the early 1980s it was restored and registered as a historic resource by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.
In 1988 the Studio was transferred to the University of Lethbridge and today, the Department of Art, Faculty of Fine Arts conducts a competition selection process for artist and writer residencies through the Gushul Residency Program.
At a reception inside the Studio following the unveiling, Dean Rochfort said the University of Lethbridge considers the Gushul Studio to be their "ambassadorial residence" and believes it to be a "great way of taking the message out to the international community". U of L has actively embarked on a program to attract artists from around the world, he added, and the historical plaque "puts us further on the map".
Other special guests included Katherine Wasiak, University of Lethbridge Manager, PR/Communications, and current artist in residence Kazuko Kizawa from Japan.
Guests were treated to a musical selection during the reception by violinist Shelly Groves from Groves Music.