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News / June 28, 2018

News in Brief: A $7-Million Art Export Push, and More

Freshly revealed Frieze list has a couple of Canadian exhibitors—news that dovetails with the federal government’s announcement of a revitalized art-export program
Gathie Falk <em>196 Apples</em> 1969–70 Courtesy the artist / photo Teresa Healy, Vancouver Art Gallery Gathie Falk 196 Apples 1969–70 Courtesy the artist / photo Teresa Healy, Vancouver Art Gallery

Canadian Art Abroad

There’s some Canadians on the newly released Frieze list. Ninety-year-old Vancouver artist Gathie Falk will be the focus of a solo Spotlight-section booth brought to the London fair by Equinox Gallery, which is also located in Vancouver. Showing at Frieze in the Focus galleries section will be Cooper Cole of Toronto. (Artnews)

The federal government is going to invest millions in cultural exports. “Ottawa is getting ready to invest $125 million over five years for the Canadian arts by increasing existing budgets for domestic programs, expanding the eligible sectors that can receive money and by helping artists export their work internationally, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said Tuesday,” the CBC reports. At a Montreal announcement, Joly said that specifically $7 million would go to, as CBC puts it, “a new program called Creative Export Canada, which will help domestic artists find foreign buyers and audiences for their work.” Joly says the funding helps restore efforts cut by the previous Conservative government. (CBC)

Megan Rooney is part of the new Serpentine Nights lineup. London’s Serpentine Galleries has announced the program for this year’s Park Nights, its annual series of experimental, interdisciplinary commissions in the Serpentine Pavilion designed by Frida Escobedo. The Toronto-raised, UK-based Rooney will use the pavilion on September 14 “as a site for storytelling, filling it with movement, words and sound. SUN DOWN MOON UP, a performance about a group of female magpies that invade Mount Athos, explores metaphors of nature, the human subject and the boundaries of a forbidden space.” (e-flux)

Comings and Goings

Gillian Siddall is the new president and vice-chancellor of Emily Carr University. Starting on September 1, Siddall replaces Ron Burnett, who has been with Emily Carr University since 1996. In the meantime, she will be wrapping up her current work as vice-president academic and provost at OCAD University in Toronto. “My hopes for the new position are many,” Siddall tells Canadian Art in a phone interview. “One of the reasons I’m excited about going to Emily Carr is their strategic plan identifies a number of priorities that are important to me as well.” (Canadian Art)

Becky Welter-Nolan at is the new executive director at Visual Arts Nova Scotia. Welter-Nolan replaces Briony Carros, who this spring to work at Arts Nova Scotia. An artist and administrator, Welter-Nolan received her BFA from NSCAD University in 2011, and worked at Visual Arts Nova Scotia as programming coordinator until 2015. Since then, she has worked at Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery and the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia. She is currently a co-director of Hermes Artist-Cooperative and has served on the boards of NSCAD University, Eyelevel Gallery, and the Halifax Crafters Society. She will begin in July. (press release)

Canadian Photography Institute announces 2018 research fellows. Each research fellow is awarded up to $10,000 “to pursue projects that advance research on the history and criticism of photography.” They are also granted access to the National Gallery of Canada’s many staff, research facilities and labs. The recipients are Lori Alexander, who will examine the work of five Indigenous photographers; Hilary Dow, who will explore the role of women in photography; Martha Langford, who will research a comprehensive history of photography in Canada; Karla McManus and Andrea Rutkauskas, who will research Between Friends / Entre amis, a gift from the Canadian government to the United States at the time of its bicentennial; Marjolaine Poirier, who will research stereoscopic views of Quebec City and Montreal in the 1800s; and Audrey Sands, who will research Lisette Model. (press release)

Awards and Honours

Fifteen artists have been named finalists for the RBC Canadian Painting Competition. The winner, to be announced on September 18, will receive $25,000 and a residency at Banff Centre for the Arts. Two honourable mentions will each receive $15,000, and the remaining 12 finalists will receive $2,500 each. The finalists are: Amanda Boulos, Keiran Brennan Hinton, Krystle Coughlin, Sarah Davidson, Angela Fermor, Karine Fréchette, Stephanie Hier, Ally McIntyre, Emmanuel Osahor, Lauren Pelc-McArthur, geetha thurairajah, Kizi Spielmann Rose, Joani Tremblay, Tristan Unrau, and Joy Wong. (Canadian Art)

Nadya Kwandibens wins 2018 Ontario Arts Council Indigenous Arts Award. The award, created in 2012, celebrates the work of Indigenous artists and arts leaders who have made significant contributions to the arts in Ontario. Anishinaabe photographer Kwandibens received the prize on June 24. In turn Kwandibens selected Mohawk photographer Melissa General as this year’s emerging laureate. (press release)

Phoebe Greenberg has become an Officer of the Order of Quebec. The honour notes activities that have had in international impact. In 2007 Greenberg launched DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art. This was followed in 2012 by the opening of the Phi Centre. Also receiving honours at the June 22 ceremony at the Officer level was dancer Paul-André Fortier, and, at the Chevalier level, filmmaker Xavier Dolan and architect Serge Viau. (press release)

Edmonton Arts Awards honour Gillian Willans and Billy-Ray Belcourt. Painter Willans won the Eldon & Anne Foote Edmonton Visual Arts Prize, while poet and scholar Belcourt received the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize. Each receives $10,000. (Edmonton Journal)

Mariana Muñoz Gomez wins 2018 PLATFORM Photography Award. the annual award includes a solo exhibition at the Winnipeg gallery, as well as $1,500, darkroom access and a one-year membership to PLATFORM. “As an immigrant living in Canada, I attempt to address my identity as both a diasporic ‘other’ and settler,” Muñoz Gomez said in a release. “Through my art practice, I aim to address colonialism and its impact on racialized and Indigenous people in the Americas.” (press release)

Museum Milestones

The Art Gallery of Ontario is set to reopen the J. S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art. The newly reinstalled space will debut to the public July 1. “The co-curators of the centre say it will present works by contemporary Indigenous artists and Canadian legends in a way the gallery has never seen before: in conversation with one another,” says a Canadian Press report. The project is the work of curators Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik; each artwork will be accompanied by texts in English, French and Anishinaabe. (Canadian Press/CTV)

The 40th Anniversary of Kamloops Art Gallery is coming. On July 14, the gallery will celebrate with an event that includes the exhibition “Through the Memory Atlas: 40 Years of Collecting.” The show looks at the gallery’s collecting history and is curated by Jen Budney, Roger Boulet, Susan Edelstein, Adrienne Fast, Andrew Hunter, Charo Neville, Jordan Strom and Tania Willard. (Kamloops Art Gallery)

Controversies and Questionable Behaviours

One of Canada’s best-known arts high schools is under fire for racist incidents. The principal of the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Peggy Aitchison, is transferring to another school after, as CBC reports, she was found “compiling a list of black students and circulating it to teachers in November of 2017.” Students and parents at the school say that harsher consequences and investigations are needed. One parent is in the process of filing a human rights claim against Aitchison and the Toronto District School Board over the list. (CBC Toronto)

Chagall is back at the National Gallery of Canada, but questions remain. On Saturday, after heated public debate about its fate, Marc Chagall’s La Tour Eiffel (1929) went back on view at the National Gallery of Canada. But while many are glad to see it back, not everyone believes the questions raised around its December 2017 deaccessioning, and May 2018 withdrawal from a Christie’s auction, have been resolved. “In my opinion, the story isn’t over. I’m really glad to have it back…but this whole thing was really mismanaged,” says Bryna Cohen, a former gallery worker who started a petition to fight the Chagall’s deaccessioning this spring. (Canadian Art)