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Mercer Union Appoints New Director of Exhibitions & Publications

Irish curator and writer Georgina Jackson has been appointed the director of exhibitions and publications at Mercer Union in Toronto. She is due to begin her position in late June.

Jackson replaces outgoing director of exhibitions and publications Sarah Robayo Sheridan, who has been appointed curator of exhibitions at the Power Plant.

Jackson was previously exhibitions curator at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, where she co-curated an exhibition on Tacita Dean. She has also worked with artists such as Brian O’Doherty, Brian Griffiths, Adam Chodzko and Ulla von Brandenburg.

Jackson has also been a project curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and co-curated a special project for the 2nd Moscow Biennale. At the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, she was a curator-in-residence, and she recently completed a PhD on the changing terms of the exhibition and the political in large-scale international group exhibitions.

Mercer board chair Lee Henderson, who led the recruitment effort, said that he is excited about the appointment.

“[Georgina] comes to us with an impressive track record of contemporary curation, and as a new arrival to Toronto (and to Canada) she brings a fresh perspective to local, regional, and national cultural production,” Henderson said via email. “I know Georgina’s especially looking forward to facilitating and contextualizing projects by Canadian artists.”

Henderson also said that Mercer Union will continue to “connect Toronto artists and publics with a range of international practices and discourses.”

Jackson—who has never actually been to Canada as of yet—says that she was partly prompted to apply for the position after hearing positive things about Mercer and Toronto from Dublin artist David Beattie, who had a show there in 2010.

“I’m interested in meeting a lot of [Canadian] artists and becoming more aware of their practices, which seem incredibly rich from afar,” she said in a phone interview.

Jackson says the energy of Canadian artists she has met abroad also intrigued her. She worked with Ian Wallace during his 2006 exhibition in Dublin, and she expresses excitement about the work of Shary Boyle and Gareth Moore, among others.

During her time as a curator in residence at the Mattress Factory, she says, she became aware of the potentials of being a curator who is new to a city.

“One of the things I would prioritize is working closely with artists and doing large solo exhibitions—I see that as being a key aspect to an artist’s practice,” she says. She is also “fascinated” by the energy of artist-run spaces.

Jackson’s first project for the space will likely debut in 2014.

This story was updated on April 22, 2013, at 11:34 a.m. with comments from Lee Henderson. It was also updated on April 22, 2013, at 4:35 p.m. with comments from Georgina Jackson.

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