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News / May 13, 2016

News in Brief: MAC Renewal Project, Guelph Gallery’s New Director, New Canada Council Art Bank Acquisitions

This week, the MAC’s renewal project was funded in Montreal, Dr. Shauna McCabe joined the Art Gallery of Guelph and Canadians won at US design awards.
Dana Claxton, <em>Headdress</em>, 2015. Photo: Brandon Clarida; Linda Grussani; Dr. Shauna McCabe. Dana Claxton, Headdress, 2015. Photo: Brandon Clarida; Linda Grussani; Dr. Shauna McCabe.

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal announced this morning that heritage minister Mélanie Joly has committed $18.85 million towards the museum’s major renewal project. The province of Quebec will match this funding, as confirmed by culture and communications minister Hélène David. These two contributions fulfill the renewal project’s funding goals, meaning that the project will proceed. The renewal includes a doubling of the exhibition gallery space, improved visibility and direct access from the Place des Festivals and Place-des-Arts metro station.

Dr. Shauna McCabe, currently the executive director of the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto, will be joining the recently rebranded Art Gallery of Guelph as director on August 1, 2016. Before joining the Textile Museum of Canada, whose attendance rates and generated revenues doubled during her tenure, McCabe was director of the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in Newfoundland and Labrador, and senior curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Prince Edward Island.

Linda Grussani has been hired as the Canadian Museum of History’s Indigenous art curator. The hire marks a return to the institution for Grussani, who worked at the museum 15 years ago as an intern, before moving on to the National Gallery of Canada and managing the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Department’s art collection. Grussani’s appointment has been met with relief: there were discussions that the CMH’s collection would be acquired by the National Gallery, and the Indigenous curatorial position was unfilled for two-and-a-half years after previous curator Lee-Ann Martin’s departure.

Three Canadian artists were recognized at the National Design Awards, presented by the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Architect Moshe Safdie, who moved from Israel to Montreal in the 1950s and is now based in Boston, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement in the field of design; Toronto designer Bruce Mau was awarded with the Design Mind prize; and Geoff McFetridge won an award for Communication.

The Canada Council Art Bank announced their first major acquisition in over two years: seven pieces of Indigenous artwork. The acquisition includes works from Barry Ace, Sonny Assu, Jordan Bennett, Dana Claxton, Amy Malbeuf and Adrian Stimson included in the purchase. The Art Bank has approximately 17,500 works, making it the largest collection of contemporary Canadian art in the world.