This post was most recently held by Mary Reid, who was at the WAG from 2004 to 2011. Reid is now gallery director/curator at the University of Manitoba School of Art.
Butler is known for a multidisciplinary practice that includes producing his own collages and drawings—often critically aimed at art-world mores and marketing—as well as producing events such as collage parties and running a commercial enterprise, the Other Gallery. As an artist, Butler was included in the WAG’s recent survey of Winnipeg art, “Winnipeg Now.” He also initiated the experimental school Reverse Pedagogy that began at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2008 and travelled to several locations, including Venice and Ireland.
The WAG says Butler, who was born and raised in Winnipeg and is currently living in Montreal where he is completing an MFA at Concordia University, will be responsible for expanding its collection of regional, national, and international contemporary art.
“It is my belief that artists should play an integral role in the direction and vision of museums,” Butler said in a release. “I envision the WAG playing the role of a hub, not only for the community but for the greater art world. I am confident we can make contemporary art more accessible to a broader audience. I want Winnipeggers to feel welcome at the WAG, to feel that it is their gallery in which they can gather and experience art.”
“As both artist and curator with an accessible approach to contemporary art curating and discourse, Paul adds a very valuable perspective to our curatorial team,” says WAG chief curator Helen Delacretaz. “I am sure we will see a dynamic programming shift as relates to display, content, interpretation, and events. Paul is able to fundamentally understand the positions of both maker and viewer, empathizing with both the position of creator and the interpreter. His appointment marks a new direction for us at the WAG, and the curatorial team is excited about this development.”