The View Gallery is a contemporary art gallery on the Nanaimo campus of Vancouver Island University, which presents all types of visual art and design, made by students, community-members, and professional artists. A non-commercial site, the gallery presents a mixture of programming and art events that range from touring exhibitions to annual showcases of student art. The View Gallery is run and staffed by faculty members and students in the Department of Art and Design, within the Faculty of Art and Humanities.
The Gallery began in 1976 as the Madrona Exposition Centre under the direction of John Charnetski, a professor of Visual Art in the Art Department of Malaspina College. The centre was operated as a non-profit society that partnered with the College faculty. In 1989, the Centre was renamed the Nanaimo Art Gallery and Exhibition Centre, operated by the Nanaimo Art Gallery Society. The name change emphasized the public nature of the gallery and its profile in the community, something that was also heightened by the opening of a second location in downtown Nanaimo. In May 2015 the Nanaimo Art Gallery Society consolidated its operations in its Commercial Street location, vacating the campus, resulting in the creation of The View Gallery, which opened its initial exhibition in June 2015. Along with presenting curated exhibitions, the View hosts special events for VIU's Media Studies, Visual Art, and Creative Writing programs.
The View Gallery is housed within Building 330 on the Nanaimo campus, a purpose-built gallery that has operated for the past forty-years. While the name has changed over the decades, the building’s function has not. Building 330 has recently been renovated in order to accommodate other Fine Arts uses. Along the View Gallery, Building 330 is home to the Theatre Department’s Rehearsal Studio, Media Studies Video Studio, Visual Art studio space, a student learning commons, and a permanent collection room. The exhibition area of the gallery comprises 1240 sq.ft. with professional lighting and wall space, suitable for all manner of art exhibitions.