Inside the Art Gallery of Alberta’s Refinery late night party: Edmonton’s finest tastemakers sipping cocktails on the rooftop and painting with blindfolds

Photography by Harvey Miedreich
Photography by Harvey Miedreich

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Another three months have passed and with that, a new cycle of the Art Gallery of Alberta’s late-night Refinery art parties, this time with creative director Tim Rechner at the helm.

The theme rooted itself in the latest feature exhibit running until October 14, The Automatiste Revolution: Montreal 1941-1960, which includes a collection of 60 works of art, as well as photographs, books and other ephemera documenting the history of Quebec’s Automatiste troupe, and Canada’s first truly avant-garde art movement.

Although E-town is known for its art parties, Refinery might be the biggest and boldest of them all (check out our archive), and the Saturday night summer soirée seemed to bring a new, but comparably fashionable flock of tastemakers to the scene.

Apart from the blind painting stations, fresh maple syrup toffee and installations by local Edmonton artists, my favourite part may have been the punk-rock show from Rechner’s two-man band, sKiN, which sent some not-so-typical sound waves throughout the grand building. Or, perhaps it was the fact that, finally, we had an evening warm enough to flood the rooftop terrace, sip cocktails on the balcony and feel like we’d escaped to a far off place that’d never felt a snowflake. See? A total and complete revolution.

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