The Marianne and Edward
Gibson Art Museum
North Courtyard, view from Blussen Hall South facade, view from First Peoples' Gathering House East facade, view from Burnaby Mountain Transit Hub

In early 2025 Simon Fraser University will open a new, purpose-built art museum on Burnaby Mountain

The Marianne and Edward Gibson Art Museum draws inspiration from SFU’s deep commitments to creative experimentation, collaboration, and meaningful engagement. Open and informal in design, the Gibson will welcome everyone—students and faculty, children and their families, committed art supporters and newcomers to the visual arts.

Presenting critically-engaged and research-driven work by contemporary artists, this new visual art facility will extend SFU Galleries’ current suite of programmes, creating new opportunities for artist-led learning and cross-disciplinary exploration. The Gibson will also house the SFU Art Collection, an invaluable and actively growing resource of over 5,800 works of art, unique in its capacity to trace the complex social and cultural life connected to this region, and always open to new inquiries.

The Gibson will stand on the unceded and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səlilwətaɬ, and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Nations. Acknowledging that all the activities of SFU Galleries unfold on colonized Indigenous land is a recognition that settler colonialism is an ongoing structure. It is also a commitment to support the capacity of art to unsettle these conditions.

Our programs are always free of charge and open to all.

gallery interior
South Gallery, with SFU Art Collection works by Roy Kenzie Kiyooka. From left to right: #2 – Ottoman; # 2 Haida; #2 Corinth; #2 Iberian, 1971; #2 - Polynesian. All screenprints, 1971. Gifts of Toronto Dominion Bank, 1998.

A courageous vision for learning with art

Marianne and her late husband Dr. Edward Gibson shared a belief in art’s capacity to ignite curiosity and build more inclusive communities.

Joining the university as a charter faculty member in 1965, Dr. Gibson was Director of SFU Gallery from 1986 to 1997. For over three decades, he was fiercely dedicated to students, ideas, and the evolving culture and landscape of the West Coast.

Developing an art museum that creates space for diverse communities to learn, connect, and grow together was part of Marianne and Dr. Gibson’s courageous vision for art and culture at SFU.

Marianne and the Gibson Family Trust’s visionary commitment to support the creation of the Gibson Art Museum will give countless students, scholars, and members of the public a place to encounter and learn from dynamic examples of modern and contemporary art for generations to come.

A transformative project like this does not come to fruition without tremendous dedication and support. We are profoundly grateful for the leadership and generosity of SFU’s donor community, whose passion and enthusiasm have made the Gibson Art Museum possible.

SFU and the Gibson Family Trust also extend heartfelt thanks to those who have made the Gibson a reality through generous contributions of one million dollars or more, including: the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, the Tuey Charitable Foundation, and an anonymous donation to honour Andrew Petter, SFU president emeritus.

Gallery interior
Marianne and Edward Gibson. Courtesy Marianne Gibson.
Edward Gibson and students at SFU
Edward Gibson holding class outdoors on the steps of the Academic Quadrangle. Courtesy SFU Archives.
Gallery interior
Bookshop, with view into Djavad Mowafaghian Forum. Commissioned mural, Francisco-Fernando Granados, puntos suspensivos. 2023. Digital drawing, dimensions variable, 2023. Courtesy the artist.

“Dr. Gibson’s former students remember him stressing that the work of challenging accepted paradigms demands bravery, creativity, and collaboration. His convictions have fueled our commitment to create a new kind of visual arts facility—one that manifestly reimagines what an art museum can do, and for whom it exists.”

— Kimberly Phillips, SFU Galleries Director
View of museum entry through window
View through the East Façade windows into the Djavad Mowafaghian Forum. Commissioned mural, Francisco-Fernando Granados, puntos suspensivos, 2023. Digital drawing, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.
Gift shop
North Gallery, with SFU Art Collection works. From left to right: Althea Thauberger, Ecce Homo, 2011, metallic digital chromogenic print. Gift of the artist, 2015; Sandra Hanson, Mountain View (Coal), 2003, photograph. Purchase, 2006; Sandra Hanson, Mountain View (Wood Fibre), 2003, photograph. Purchase, 2006; Sandra Hanson, Mountain View (Sulphur), photograph. Purchase, 2006; Stan Douglas, Guilty, 1950, 2013. Digital fibre print mounted on dibond aluminum. Gift of Fiona Bowie, 2020; Arni Haraldsson, Canterbury Place, Phase II, British Properties, West Vancouver, B.C., 1994. Chromogenic print. Gift of the artist, 2001; Allyson Clay, Double Self-Portrait, 2001. Chromogenic print on dibond aluminum. Gift of the artist, 2015; Samuel Roy-Bois, Relatively Speaking, 2017. Wood, paint, glue, nails, and fabric. Gift of the artist, 2021.

Connection through Architecture

Built entirely on one level, the Marianne and Edward Gibson Art Museum extends across its site as a series of interconnected spaces. Award-winning architect Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects designed the Gibson in response to Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey’s original architectural vision for SFU’s Burnaby Mountain campus, which strove to foster intellectual ingenuity through horizontal, interdisciplinary connectivity.

Accessibility and Inclusion

SFU Galleries approaches accessibility and inclusivity as a living commitment. All elements of the Gibson’s development—from physical design to organizational priorities to digital presence—are informed by the perspectives of individuals with many different lived experiences, abilities, and backgrounds.

A Destination for Community

The Gibson will be the first facility of its kind available to our immediate Burnaby Mountain community, which includes an elementary school, three early childhood learning centres, and a diverse and growing multigenerational residential population of over 6,000 people.

Immediately adjacent to Burnaby Mountain’s main transit hub and steps away from the anticipated new gondola—which will carry as many as 3,000 people per hour up Burnaby Mountain—the Gibson will join its neighbouring buildings, the Trottier Observatory and the new First Peoples' Gathering House, to help define a dynamic, accessible new cultural destination at SFU.

A Place for People

The Gibson’s 12,000 square feet of galleries and program spaces—which include an art studio, courtyard, salon, and forum—have been designed in recognition of the evolving ways in which communities engage with culture. As such, the Gibson’s spaces have been created for people as much as for works of art. With a hearth at its core, the Gibson will become SFU’s living room: a warm and welcoming place to find one another and learn together.

Museum entry looking down hall
View from East Welcome Desk through to Salon. SFU Art Collection works, from left to right: Ken Lum, Untitled (Ed), 1984. Chromogenic print on coloured Plexiglas. Gift of E.M. Gibson, Inc., 2008; Enn Erisalu, White Sweep, 1991. Mixed media on canvas. Gift of Ron Aloni, 2022. Partially visible at right: commissioned mural, Francisco-Fernando Granados, puntos suspensivos, 2023. Digital drawing, dimensions variable, 2023.

Explore The Gibson