©2007 Art Gallery of Ontario
Photo: Christina Gapic
The AGO is at a critical juncture in its transformation. With the creation guiding principles that will help shape our operations in 2008 and beyond, we’re fulfilling the promise of that transformation: New Art, New Building, New Ideas, New Future.
The goal of these guiding principles, according to AGO director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum, is to unambiguously put the visitor experience front and centre, to move from a conventional ‘presenting’ model to a more ‘catalytic’ model of public engagement in art.
Over time, the principles will guide our planning — from a welcoming host to an educational research institution. The principles are already alive in our reinstallation plans for 2008.
As French painter Marcel Duchamp said in 1957, “While the artist may shout from all the rooftops that he is a genius, he will have to wait for the verdict of the spectator.” The AGO will be listening.
AGO Guiding Principles
Diversity: Our programming will recognize and reflect diversity by: engaging artists and audiences from a full spectrum of demographic and cultural groups; encouraging the exhibition of diverse artforms; encouraging multiple meanings and interpretations of art and related issues; and recognizing a variety of teaching, learning and communication styles.
Responsiveness: As a learning organization, our programming will be responsive to our
communities by: creating and responding to indicators that measure visitor experience; listening to community input and feedback to incorporate needs and desires into programming.
Relevance: Our programming will be relevant to our communities by: supporting visitors to make personal connections; facilitating and supporting a mix of voices; having the flexibility and agility to identify and make connections to emerging social issues through art.
Forum: Our programming will provide a forum for active dialogue by: building and sustaining relationships based on mutual trust and respect with all constituent groups; sparking formal and informal debate about art and related issues: encouraging spontaneous interaction and generating multiple strategies for interpretation; confronting issues of importance.
Creativity: Our programming will reflect and inspire creativity by: encouraging imagination and contemplation related to art experiences; making new connections between the familiar and the unfamiliar; fostering art making; and encouraging experimental and experiential engagement with works of art and their accompanying bodies of knowledge.
Transparency: Our programming will contribute to transparency by: increasing understanding of what art museums and their professionals do and why; representing art as not only a finished product but also as a process; demonstrating the breadth and scope of the AGO; and being accountable to all our constituents.