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Arts and education patrons create remarkable legacy with new arts and cultural facility

Photo of Ken Lum's artwork Untitled(Ed).
Ken Lum, Untitled(Ed), 1984, C-print on coloured Plexiglas. SFU Art Collection. Gift of E.M. Gibson Inc., 2008,. Photo: Blaine Campbell

As dedicated members of the SFU community since its earliest day, Marianne Gibson and the late Edward Gibson have inspired many through their passion and leadership in education and the arts.

Now, with a visionary gift from the Marianne and Edward Gibson Trust and family to establish the SFU Art Museum at the Burnaby campus, they will help to enrich the cultural landscape of Metro Vancouver for generations to come.

The SFU Art Museum will be a teaching museum, creating interdisciplinary learning and research opportunities for SFU students as well as offering important exhibitions, community outreach and partnership with other institutions and organizations. The dynamic 12,000-square-foot facility will enable students, scholars and the public to gain an appreciation and understanding of modern and contemporary art—and signifies an extraordinary legacy for the Gibson family.

Edward Gibson joined SFU as a charter faculty member in 1965 and served as associate professor of geography and associate of the School for the Contemporary Arts and of the Natural Resources Management Program. He was director of the SFU Gallery from 1986 until his retirement in 1997. During his tenure, the value of the SFU Art Collection rose to $2.5M from $387K. He authored a report that advocated for an art museum like the one now in development.

The SFU Art Museum, slated for completion in 2022, will illustrate the cultural diversity of British Columbia and beyond, allow the SFU Art Collection to expand, and increase the SFU Galleries’ reach through progressive exhibitions and engaged public programming.

“My father began teaching to share his passion of cultural geography and the arts,” says Walter Gibson, son of Marianne and Edward Gibson. “The museum will help perpetuate this tradition and share with future students the importance of learning to see through the arts. It represents the culmination of his vision for arts both at SFU and within the Canadian landscape.”

The Gibsons’ significant support combines a capital gift and legacy gift.