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News in Brief: Candice Hopkins at Documenta, Art Multiplex on Toronto Waterfront, George Gund III at the VAG

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

Earlier this week it was announced that Canadian curator Candice Hopkins will join the curatorial team for the upcoming Documenta 14, which opens in Kassel, Germany, in June 2017. Originally from Whitehorse, Hopkins has held curatorial positions at the Banff Centre’s Walter Phillips Gallery, Western Front in Vancouver and the National Gallery of Canada, where she co-curated the critically acclaimed 2013 exhibition “Sakahán: International Indigenous Art.” Hopkins was co-curator of the 2014 SITElines biennial in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is currently chief curator at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe. Also on the Documenta 14 curatorial roster is Monika Szewczyk, whose lengthy bio includes an early stint as assistant curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The former industrial lands located along Toronto’s downtown shoreline took another step toward revitalization this week with the announcement that OCAD University, not-for-profit urban development organization Artscape and real-estate developer the Daniels Corporation will team up in a new creative hub located on the eastern waterfront. Known as Daniels Waterfront—City of the Arts, the mixed-use residential/commercial/creative redevelopment will include a satellite OCAD campus specializing in digital research, a co-working facility and entrepreneur centre run by Artscape and an as-yet-to-be-announced public art commission supported by two-thirds of a $3 million dollar donation from Daniels Corp. Plans are also in the works for a state-of-the-art School of Design administrated by George Brown College.

The Vancouver Art Gallery has bolstered its already significant collection of Northwest Coast Indigenous art and artifacts with the official announcement on Thursday of an unexpected bequest of works from the collection of the late American businessman and philanthropist George Gund III. The selection of 37 objects includes historical works dating as far back as 700 AD by Haida, Heiltsuk, Inuit, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-shah-hulth, Nuxalk and Tlingit artists, as well as contemporary works by Ken Mowatt, Norman Tait, Bill Reid and Robert Davidson. According to a gallery press release: “Remarkably, his [Gund’s] interest in the Vancouver Art Gallery was unknown to the staff.” An exhibition of the Gund donation, curated by senior VAG curator Ian Thom, opened on September 26 and continues to January 31, 2016.

Momentum continues to build behind the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s planned Inuit Art Centre with a $950,000 grant announced on Thursday from local community-support organization the Winnipeg Foundation. Designed by Los Angeles–based architect Michael Maltzan and Winnipeg’s Cibinel Architects, the four-level, 400,000-square-foot addition to the gallery’s current location will house the WAG’s world-leading 13,000 piece collection of Inuit artworks alongside temporary exhibition spaces, programming and research facilities and artist studios. Construction on the Inuit Art Centre is projected to begin in late 2016, with an opening date tentatively scheduled for 2018.

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston announced this morning that it has received a grant of more than $260,000—the largest single government funding in the gallery’s history—from the Department of Canadian Heritage. The funds will be used toward the development of “Drawing from the Past: North Baffin Drawings, 1964,” a major touring exhibition of Inuit drawings organized by Queen’s University National Scholar and Curator of Indigenous Art, Dr. Norman Vorano. The exhibition is set to open at the gallery in 2017.

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