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News in Brief: Research Finds Support for the Arts, Shary Boyle Wins Gardiner Museum Sculpture Competition, Douglas Udell Gallery Closes

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

Arts Stats 2016, a public survey commissioned by Toronto Arts Foundation, found that there are “high levels of support for the arts in Toronto.” Some 91% of Torontonians believe that the arts benefit them personally; 71% think that the arts reflect the city’s diversity; 87% feel that the arts can create a sense of community and 94% support the idea of art in public places. While the survey generally found support for the arts, it also revealed that 90% of Torontonians encounter barriers when accessing art, including the cost of admission, a lack of knowledge about art events, a lack of arts programming in their neighbourhood and poor transit options.

Galleries West reports that Douglas Udell Gallery’s Edmonton location, which has been in operation since 1968, has closed. At one time, the Douglas Udell Gallery had three locations: the recently closed Edmonton flagship, as well as locations in Calgary and Vancouver, which closed in 2009 and 2014, respectively. The gallery exhibited work by artists including Gerhard Richter, Jean Paul Riopelle, William Kurelek, Jack Bush and Annie Pootoogook. The gallery’s director, Douglas Udell, will continue to work as a private consultant.

Shary Boyle has won the Gardiner Museum Ceramic Sculpture Competition. Her winning proposal, Vessel, is a 7-foot-tall visibly restored vase mounted on a pair of bronze legs. Boyle’s work was selected by a jury consisting of artist Douglas Coupland; Gaëtane Verna, director of the Power Plant; Michael Prokopow, associate dean of OCAD University; Kelvin Browne, the Gardiner’s CEO and executive director; and Meredith Chilton, the Gardiner’s chief curator. Boyle’s work was selected from a group of finalists including Christopher Reid Flock and Sin-Ying Ho, Linda Swanson and Paul Holmquist and Brendan Lee Satish Tang.

The Vancouver Art Gallery turned 85 this week. The gallery first opened on October 5, 1931, in an Art Deco-style building “constructed on a 132-by-66-foot site on Georgia Street donated by the City of Vancouver, several blocks west of where the Gallery now stands.” After opening, the gallery received some 112,000 visitors in the first six months of operation, when exhibitions of the permanent collection, organized by founder H.A. Stone and Charles Hepburn Scott, director of the Vancouver School of Art, were on view. To celebrate the milestone, the gallery is hosting a social-media campaign this week, and encouraging visitors to share memories of the gallery.

John G. Hampton, executive director of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, has been appointed the first adjunct curator at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. Hampton was previously the Aboriginal Curator-in-Residence at the museum from 2014 to 2016. Before joining the AGSM, Hampton was the artistic director of Trinity Square Video in Toronto for three years, and the curator at Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum in Regina.

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