Kristy Trinier

Top 40 Under 40 2016

Photography Curtis Comeau

Age: 37

Job Title: Curator, Art Gallery of Alberta

Why She’s Top 40: She is a passionate advocate of art in Edmonton and an internationally exhibited artist.

Unexpected Hobby: I run Publication Studio Edmonton, an art-book press, out of my home studio.

Growing up in the small, resource town of Whitecourt, Kristy Trinier had little access to the arts. She indulged her fascination with books, correspondence art classes and occasional art exhibitions elsewhere. But it was enough to guide Trinier to her calling.

She left town as an adult to pursue art, studying in Victoria, B.C. before heading to the Netherlands for a master’s degree in sound and public art. After a few years studying and exhibiting in Europe, Trinier returned to Alberta in 2006 to work at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity as a proposal writer. The next year, she was took up a post as the inaugural public art director for the Edmonton Arts Council (EAC). 

Her primary responsibility: creating a Public Art Master Plan for the city that would ensure the creation of new art and the maintenance of existing art. “I arrived and there had been a policy in place for a long time, but it hadn’t been revised or updated,” she says. “And there were a lot of artworks that needed care. Edmonton is a complicated physical environment for artworks.” Trinier led a project to create a registry for public artworks, advocated the city for consistent funding for public art and pushed for more diverse commissions.

She continues to champion art and artists as curator at the Alberta Gallery of Art and is completing her PhD in cultural studies at a Swiss university. Trinier also helped organize Edmonton’s first Nuit Blanche (an all-night contemporary art event) last year and hosts salon-style art exhibitions in her home studio. “I know how hard it is to be an artist and I want to work to support that where I can, in the choices that I make, personally or professionally,” she says.

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