Galerie Sans Nom (GSN) was created in 1977, amidst controversy. Graduating students at Université de Moncton’s Department of Visual Arts had been denied an exhibition by the administration, who felt the proposed content was inappropriate. GSN was thus created to reflect trends that did not fit elsewhere. On November 13, 1979, GSN was officially established as a cooperative. It filled a pressing void and became a laboratory for the exploration of all disciplines of contemporary visual arts. Salle Sans Sous (penniless room) was created in 1982, allowing GSN to also support and exhibit the work of emerging artists.
As the single Acadian infrastructure dedicated to presenting Canadian contemporary art, GSN is now responsible for three exhibition spaces and its programming includes new practices in various disciplines including visual arts and media arts.
Over the past thirty years, GSN has gained wide recognition by hosting artists from all regions of Canada and from the United States, Latin America, Europe and Japan, as well as presenting Acadian art across the country and abroad through numerous travelling exhibitions, including Expo Quinze, Itinéraire 12 and Géographie du regard, and public art events such as Leurre juste. In its work as a resource centre for contemporary Acadian art production, GSN takes part in large-scale projects and events that contribute to the development of the Acadian community and the advancement of the arts in Canada.
Since the end of the 1980s, GSN has its headquarters at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, joining some thirty other cultural organizations and artist studios as one of Canada’s most remarkable cooperatives. GSN also cultivates a broader and more diversified audience by organizing exhibitions in non-dedicated settings and in cooperation with other groups. GSN is an avid supporter of artists’ initiatives and is active in a variety of disciplines as it strives to meet the changing needs of a diverse community in a fast-growing urban environment.
Located in Moncton, New Brunswick, GSN has a diverse membership that includes francophone and anglophone artists as well as artist of other cultures, mostly from New Brunswick but also from Quebec, Newfoundland-and-Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. The centre is particularly concerned with providing support to emerging and next generation artists and ensuring their integration and participation. While its communications are in both official languages, Galerie Sans Nom enhances contemporary francophone and Acadian culture and participates in its presentation at the national level.
GSN is affiliated with associations of artist centres and arts organizations, including AARCA: The Association of Artist-Run Centres from the Atlantic, and the national Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones (AGAVF), to better represent its community on the public scene and at various levels of government.