358 Gordon Street
N1G 1Y1
Phone: 519 837 0010

Macdonald Stewart Art Centre

The Macdonald Stewart Art Centre is a public art gallery which annually presents 15 exhibitions of contemporary and historical art and craft drawn from regional, national and international sources. A major thrust of the program is to provide a rigorous, in-depth presentation of contemporary art practice in Canada and to feature the 4000 piece University of Guelph and Art Centre collections which cover 300 years of Canadian art. Specializations within the collections are contemporary art, contemporary Inuit drawings and outdoor sculpture in the adjacent Donald Forster Sculpture Park.
The collections contain more than 4,000 works and represent a 300-year survey of Canadian Art with some international works, notably prints. The collection comprises the University of Guelph Art Collection on permanent loan and the Art Centre holdings. Approximately 15 exhibitions are mounted each year, of which 80% are organized by the Art Centre staff. The Centre’s education programming is planned to serve adults, students and children.

 Permanent Collection Highlights (5)

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Permanent Collection

A permanent resource of the Art Centre is the University of Guelph Art Collection of over 3,000 works focusing on three centuries of Canadian and international art works. The Macdonald Stewart Art Centre Collection features work by recognized regional and national artists. A major thrust of this collection is to provide a rigorous, in-depth survey of contemporary art practice in Canada.

The Donald Forster Sculpture Park:
In 1983 the Art Centre grounds were developed into the Donald Forster Sculpture Park to be used for permanently sited sculptures, temporary installations of large-scale pieces and an outdoor activity space for events like children’s art classes. This on-going project features work by 31 artists. The outdoor sculpture collection is enhanced with landscaping elements such as paved areas, lighting, berms, and plantings appropriate to the design of the park and siting of individual works. The objective is to acquire sculptures which represent the best work being produced in Canada while including some examples of historical works. The Sculpture Park is a unique tourist attraction for the city and region and an important educational resource for area educational institutions. Six commissions have been funded with the generous support of du Maurier Arts Ltd. The Art Centre Volunteers have also contributed to the development of the Sculpture Park through raising art acquisition funds. This outstanding venue for permanent sculpture by Canadian artists ranks among the best and most diverse sculpture parks in Canada.

The Art Centre also houses an internationally recognized collection of Canadian Inuit Art. The objective is to build a definitive col...+ [ Read all ]


Kenojuak Ashevak and Contemporaries
Continuing to July 29

Previous Exhibitions

Shakespeare - Made in Canada:
Contemporary Canadian Adaptations in Theatre, Pop Media and Visual Arts
Featuring: Finding the Bard in Contemporary Portraiture
A Good Block: Stratford Festival of Canada
Possible Worlds - Designing for Shakespeare in Canada
Visions of Shakespeare / Re-visions of Canada:
Canadian Adaptations of the Shakespeare Project
The Sanders Portrait: This Is the Face of the Bard
January 11 to June 10, 2007

Dawn Matheson: Tongues in Trees
A Sound Installation
January 11 to June 10, 2007

Ryan Price ...draw while...
September 28 to November 30, 2006

Contemporary Painting from Chongqing
A New Exhibition Of 40 Paintings By Artists From Chongqing, China
September 20 to November 5, 2006

Beyond the Frame
September 20 to November 18, 2006

Threadworks: The Garden Party
A special project of the Ontario Network of Needleworkers in collaboration with the Wellington County Museum & Archives
June 6 to July 9, 2006

Nuvisavik: The Place Where We Weave
Inuit Tapestries from Arctic Canada
A travelling exhibition produced by the Canadian Museum of Civilization
May 9 to July 9, 2006

Holly Ward: the Relay
May 4 to 21, 2006

Exhibitions (5)

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Forthcoming exhibitions

Annie Dunning: Air Time
June 16 to July 8

Nicolé Vogelzang: Landfill
June 23 to October 7

Recent Acquisitions
June 23 to July 29


Admission by donation (suggested admission: adults $4, seniors $2, members free).

Opening hours

Open hours for the Art Centre, the Gallery Shop/Art Sales and Rental: Tuesday through Sunday, 12:00 (noon) - 5:00 p.m.
Open evenings for scheduled events and mornings for pre-arranged group tours.
Closed statutory holidays. Open by appointment Mondays and August.

Getting there

To reach the Art Centre from the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway (Highway #401):
Exit north onto Wellington County Rd. #46 (Brock Road), continuing north into the city of Guelph where #46 turns into Gordon St. Continue north the intersection of Gordon St. and College Ave., just north of the University of Guelph. The MSAC is located on the northeast corner of this intersection. Parking is accessible on north side of building, off Gordon Street.

Free Parking behind the building.


Gallery Shop/Art Sales & Rental – Offering contemporary jewelry in silver, glass and semiprecious stones by Erin-Blythe Reddie and porcelain, stoneware and earthenware by Kerslake Pottery (Roger Kerslake and Heather Driver-Kerslake). The Gallery Shop also features outstanding pottery, blown glass, wood, and metalwork by regional artists. A wide range of paintings and works on paper are for sale and rent.
Proceeds from the Gallery Shop/Art Sales and Rental are used to sponsor art acquisitions for the Art Centre’s permanent art collection.

Museum internal and external photos (2)

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News and events


School Tours
Guelph’s Public Art Gallery and Sculpture Park presents twelve different exhibitions annually of contemporary and historical art featuring regional, national, and international artists. Exhibition and sculpture park tours are led by volunteer docents and Art Centre staff for elementary and secondary school students. Tours are generally 1 to 1 1/4 hours in length and are designed to suit the teacher’s learning requirements and age group.
The objective of the tour is to contribute to the school curriculum though active student participation in viewing and discussing original art works. The Art Centre tours have been planned in consultation with the Board of Education consultants to follow the Ontario Curriculum for Visual Arts, Language, and Native Studies.


Summer Art Camps
Week-long, full-day camps (9 am–4 pm) for 7–12 year-olds
Art camp instructors Jennet Clayton and Alison Little invite your child to have fun with art! Our summer camps give young artists an opportunity to look at and talk about art in a gallery setting. This year, we’ll be looking at famous artists and the periods of art history they influenced, through hands-on activities in a variety of media such as sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, video, and/or performance. Individual and group projects will be created in the indoor art studio and outside in the sculpture park. At the end of each session, we invite family and friends to attend an art exhibition set up by our campers featuring the art works that they’ve created throughout the week.

Please see the website for full details


We hope to make the art gallery visit a full educational experience useful to not only art students, but to students of any discipline. During a tour at the Art Centre, our docents (tour guides) discuss the historical context of artworks, how objects are made and what artists might have been interested in while making them. While touring the Art Centre, patrons are actively engaged using comparative analysis, group discussion and question and answer formats.


Membership benefits include:
MSAC Newsletter
Invitations To Openings
Lecture Series
Discounts on Art Classes and
Gallery Shop Benefits
Access to Art Rental Services
Reciprocal Privileges With Other
Ontario Galleries