Welcome to the Van Ginkel Art Gallery, representing the paintings (and prints) of Calgary artist Paul Van Ginkel. To celebrate 30 years as a professional artist, Paul chose to acknowledge this significant milestone by opening his own gallery. After searching Calgary for the perfect location, he chose Inglewood which bears the distinction of being Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood (and in 2014 voted Canada’s “Greatest Neighbourhood”), having been established adjacent to Fort Calgary in 1875. The founding of the community was led by Major John Stewart, Acheson Irvine and James Macleod, including the development of 9 Ave. S.E. (formerly named Atlantic Avenue, where our gallery is located). Originally known as East Calgary or Brewery Flats, the community was not officially given the name ‘Inglewood’ until 1911, when it was named after the nearby homestead established by Col. James Walker. Today, Inglewood is a vibrant, eclectic and ever-evolving arts and culture-filled district with more than 100 shops, galleries, boutiques and eateries attracting locals and tourists alike. The community is also home to the Calgary Zoo, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Bow Habitat Station, Inglewood Wildlands Park, Harvie Passage and the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery. Over the decades, it has developed an inimitably eclectic vibe, born from the marriage of old and new. Like tall aged trees, century-old houses still stand along its sidewalks, rooted in their historical significance in the birth of the city. A vibrant arts community with a slew of restaurateurs who have made it one of the city’s fine-dining hot spots. The City of Calgary declared Inglewood a Special Heritage Character Area in January 1991.
The Van Ginkel Art Gallery is located in the historic Blow Block. David C. Blow, a building contractor who constructed The Blow Block in 1911, was born in Mountain, Ontario in 1868. He came to Calgary in 1903 and remained until his death in a duck-hunting accident in October 1931. We underwent extensive upgrades on the space (which also has Paul’s private studio in the lower level), however, remained focussed on showcasing and “celebrating” the historical character of the building.