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News / October 11, 2018

News in Brief: $1 Million to the Inuit Art Centre and More

Also: announcing the EDAA award winner, remembering Pierre Théberge, and tracking multiple job shifts for curators and critics
A rendering of the new Inuit Art Centre, which will be attached to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and is due to open in 2020. Photo: Facebook/Winnipeg Art Gallery. A rendering of the new Inuit Art Centre, which will be attached to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and is due to open in 2020. Photo: Facebook/Winnipeg Art Gallery.
A rendering of the new Inuit Art Centre, which will be attached to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and is due to open in 2020. Photo: Facebook/Winnipeg Art Gallery. A rendering of the new Inuit Art Centre, which will be attached to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and is due to open in 2020. Photo: Facebook/Winnipeg Art Gallery.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery announces a $1 million gift to the Inuit Art Centre. The gift came from Doug and Louise Leatherdale on October 5. The WAG Inuit Art Centre will be home to “the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art on earth,” says a release. Set to open in 2020, the new 40,000-square-foot, four-storey centre is a $65 million initiative including “exhibition spaces, a glass-enclosed visible art vault, a conservation facility, art studios, a two-level interactive theatre, classrooms, and more.” (press release)

Winner announced for the Emerging Digital Artists Award. On October 4, Anna Eyler was announced the winner of this year’s EDAA at Trinity Square Video in Toronto. Eyler won for her video animation PAN/PAN. The artist receives $5,000 and a spot in Trinity Square Video’s 2019 Themed Commission program. Eyler is currently an MFA candidate in sculpture and ceramics at Concordia University in Montreal. The other finalists—Emily Hamel, Alvin Luong, Xuan Ye, and Shaheer Zazai—each receive $1,000. An award exhibition continues at TSV until October 13. (Akimbo)

Pierre Théberge has died. On October 5, Pierre Théberge, director of the National Gallery of Canada from 1998 to 2009, died after a long illness, says a release. From 1986 to 1997, Théberge also served as director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In the 1960s and 1970s as a young curator at the National Gallery, “he organized landmark exhibitions of Guido Molinari, Greg Curnoe, N.E. Thing Co., Michael Snow, and Joyce Wieland,” adding works to the gallery collection as well. Decades later, while he was gallery director, the NGC acquired Louise Bourgeois’s massive spider sculpture Maman, which now stands outside the gallery entrance, and Janet Cardiff’s popular and evocative Forty-Part Motet. (NGC press release, Le Devoir, Connaissance des Arts)

An iconic piece of Vancouver public art may be overshadowed by development. The piece of public art is Ken Lum’s East Van Cross, which was installed roughly eight years ago. As CBC Vancouver reports, “About a year-and-a-half ago, Lum says a developer called him seeking his blessing to move the piece or place it on top of an office tower. While Lum said he appreciated being consulted, he could not endorse the plan. Lum said he later received emails from the city about a development and he responded with his concerns about how a tower would block people’s views of the glowing cross from some angles.” East Vancouver resident Marc Lindy is concerned Lum’s wishes aren’t being respected and is continuing to raise the issue with the city. (CBC Vancouver)

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art has hired a new director and CEO. On October 1, Allison Andrachuk began her new job at the gallery. Andrachuk is formerly the director of Tides Canada Initiatives, “where she was responsible for program strategy and operational oversight of a range of Indigenous, environmental and social programs across Canada,” says a gallery release. “Prior to her tenure at Tides Canada, she was the manager of operations and public programs at the Contemporary Art Gallery.” Her hiring follows a six-month search. (press release)

Doctors will soon be able to prescribe visits to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts announced Thursday that as of Nov. 1, physicians who are members of Médecins francophones du Canada will be able to send patients on visits to the MMFA, allowing patients, accompanied by caregivers or family members, to enjoy the health benefits of a free trip to see some art,” reports the Montreal Gazette. “The museum says the one-year pilot project is the first such initiative in the world.” (Montreal Gazette)

The Toronto Star’s art critic is headed to the Boston Globe. After a decade at Canada’s largest national newspaper, Murray Whyte is headed to the USA. Raised in Calgary, Whyte has won a National Newspaper Award in Canada for his work. At the Globe, he fills the spot left by Sebastian Smee from when Smee moved in fall 2017 to the Washington Post. (Boston Globe)

Jeff Wall has opened his first exhibition in Luxembourg. The exhibition “Jeff Wall: Appearance” opened October 5 at Mudam and consists of 27 large-format photographs, providing “an overview of his work from the end of the 1970s to today,” says a release. Also: “A large body of recent photographs is presented for the first time in a museum setting in Europe.” An international symposium on Wall’s work will take place at the museum on November 23. (e-flux)

There are a new interim executive director and a new curator at Centre A. The new interim executive director is Yun-Jou Chang, “a writer, translator, project administrator, and community engagement specialist… Since 2012, she has been a core member of Cinevolution, a community-engaged arts organization committed to exploring migrant narratives and fostering intercultural dialogue through film and media arts based in Richmond,” says a release. The new Centre A curator, Godfre Leung, is “a Vancouver-based curator, critic, and art historian. He holds a PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester. Prior to joining Centre A, he was associate professor of art history at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.” The hires are prompted by the departure of Tyler Russell, who spent five years with the organization. (press release)

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is welcoming expansion ideas from the public. “The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria as it exists today is a modestly-sized art museum that was built when Victoria was a much smaller, quieter place,” says a release. On October 20, the AGGV is opening Brainstorm, an “interactive project space” that invites the public to share ideas about the future of the museum. The space will be open until February 2019. (emailed press release)

The Khyber Centre for the arts has hired a new program coordinator. From here on out, Bria Cherise Miller will oversee the CARE project, “a new framework focused on the development and sharing of new community-centric workshops and the facilitation of collaborative and formative artistic programming,” says a release. CARE is created in partnership with South House Sexual & Gender Resource Centre and supported by the NS Culture Innovation Fund. Miller, says the release, is “a Yarmouth-born self-identified Queer, Black Scotian, interdisciplinary visual artist, musician, and graphic facilitator.” (press release)

The shortlist for the Ontario Association of Art Galleries Awards has been released. “With over 230 nominees, from 34 public art galleries in 20 cities across Ontario, the shortlisted nominees are judged in eleven major categories for artistic merit and excellence,” says a release. “The categories include: Exhibition, Curatorial Writing, Art Writing, Public Program, Education, Art Publication, Design, Partnership, Lifetime Achievement, Colleague and Volunteer.” The award winners will be announced November 19 at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. (emailed press release, shortlist link)

In case you missed it: Assault charges have been brought against a Guelph artist and art professor, with students signing a statement in support of the alleged victim. The Royal Alberta Museum houses an important new permanent exhibit on residential schools developed in conjunction with an Indigenous Advisory Panel. And a legacy of abuse by a famous Austrian artist is surfaced in a Canadian premiere film at the long-running Rendezvous with Madness festival on mental health and the arts. (Canadian Art)

Leah Sandals

Leah Sandals is a writer and editor based in Toronto. Her arts journalism has appeared in the Toronto Star, National Post and Globe and Mail, among other publications, and her creative work has been published in Prism, Room and Freefall. She can be reached via