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New Year’s Art Resolutions for 2016


We asked some notable artists, curators, writers and gallerists what they’d like to see and do, or not see and do, in 2016. Here’s what they told us.

I’d like to stop seeing cute woodland creatures in art. Anybody’s art. – R.M. Vaughan, writer

I would like to see artists stop talking about their practice and concentrate on the actual performance. – Geoffrey James, artist

I’d love to STOP seeing ANYTHING all male or all white. – cheyanne turions, curator

My resolution has been the same for many years: I will continue to advocate and work to see contemporary Indigenous art shown in every institution in this country and beyond! And will continue to push these institutions to hire Indigenous Curators & Cultural workers. – Lori Blondeau, artist and curator

​I’d like to look at more exhibitions and attend less openings, meet less people who see with their ears and more who honour artists by engaging in dialogue about the art they’ve experienced rather than the jpegs they’ve seen. – Jessica Bradley, curator and gallerist

This year I’d like to be less judgmental/dismissive/cynical, and more open/patient/curious when viewing art, but I think I made the same resolution back in 2010 so I realize this may not happen. – Erdem Taşdelen, artist and writer

I’d like to start being more honest in my work, allowing real experience to be more transparent and available to viewers. I’d like to see more exhibitions by senior female artists happen in ALL scenes, cities and genres. I’d like to see more female artists as contenders and winners in art prizes regardless of age. For some women, art careers are sometimes stalled by parenthood. We need to be conscious of this and take active steps in changing age discrimination. – Jeanie Riddle, artist and gallerist

I’d like to see more female artists showing consistently at large institutions in Canada. There are so many great female artists in Canada, who deserve to be shown, and they come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. In the business and entertainment worlds, many studies show how organizations that actively engage women at all levels of their operations, products, and services, are far more successful than those who don’t. Trudeau knows it’s 2015—why aren’t we seeking to be thought leaders in the same way? (Side note: please don’t interpret this as a call for the Canadian art world to be some kind of moral compass, because I don’t mean for it to sound that way.) – Jennifer Matotek, curator

In my work I’m going to punch more and worry less about it. Doosh, doosh. – Sook-Yin Lee, artist, filmmaker and broadcaster

I’d like to stop watching Scandinavian crime drama. – John Zeppetelli, curator

I am not going to use the word “experiment” anymore at university lectures. I am going to get really good at changing the subject at art cocktail parties. As an experiment this year, I am going to try to not use any similes, I am going to be in the moment. I am going to try to not argue about movies with family and friends for a few months, I will just ask questions. I will only argue, more clearly, on the internet. I will never again argue about the internet. – Margaux Williamson, artist

I promise to pay more attention. – Jenifer Papararo, curator

I resolve to keep being being surprised when artists I admire agree to show in our space; to continue to refer to Ottawa as a “Cultural Galapagos” (some weird stuff is happening here in isolation);  to wait for the big art fairs to become even more absurd so that future me looks super smart for not getting sucked in (now where did I put that Papier 16 application?); to not be too concerned about selling work; to ignore that annual Facebook post that portrays art-gallery owners as greedy tycoons sitting on stacks of money and taking advantage of artists. (Are you kidding? Who has that kind of storage? I convert the stacks of money into gold bars to save room.) – Danny Hussey, gallerist

I’d like  to see some more wild colours at art events. Less black! Fun! – Rob Sobey, philanthropist

I’d like to develop a nimbler and more nuanced vocabulary for writing about art. – Jon Davies, writer and curator

I’d like to see artists say no more often, myself included. – Joshua Schwebel, artist

To help worlds meet. – Chantal Pontbriand, curator

Last night, a friend and I ran through the list of every museum we haven’t been to, every gallery we’ve never visited, every piece of art that is a subway ride away that we constantly say “next time next time next time.” And then we promised each other we’d be better in 2016, that we would see it all and learn everything and form opinions and if we had to drink a lot of complimentary white wine at openings to do so then that was just the price we’d have to pay. I feel very confident in our determination to succeed. – Haley Mlotek, writer

I’d like to practice silence from time to time. But not all the time. – Peggy Gale, curator

More diverse, inclusive, accessible institutions! Thinking and acting on this everyday. – Shaun Dacey, curator

Tune out the noise. – Daniel Faria, gallerist

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Eva Lewarne says:

I ditto what Jeanie Riddle, artist and gallerist said…more older female artists shown and eligible for awards…

Christopher Hayes says:

I will continue to make art that is better than my artist statement.

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