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A new vision for Canadian art at the AGO

October 3rd, 2017

Photo: Samuel Engelking, NOW Magazine

Did you hear? Last week we re-named our Canadian art department and appointed two curators to new positions. Now called the department of Indigenous and Canadian Art, the AGO has named Georgiana Uhlyarik its Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art (previously Associate Curator of Canadian Art) and Wanda Nanibush its Curator, Indigenous Art (formerly the Assistant Curator of Canadian and Indigenous Art).

Beside the name changes, what does this all mean?

The department of Indigenous and Canadian art will build upon the strength of the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art, the Sarick Collection of Inuit Art and the Gallery’s renowned collection of art ranging from historic to contemporary, with a strengthened commitment to Indigenous art, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The team will continue to focus on bringing Canadian and Indigenous art to the world, adding to the successes achieved when presenting Emily Carr at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and David Milne at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil.

Georgiana has been a member of the Gallery’s curatorial department since 2004, with a specialty in women artists of the Americas. Her most recent contributions to the AGO include the successful exhibitions Georgia O’Keeffe, Rita Letendre: Fire and Light, Introducing Suzy Lake and the upcoming Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry.

Wanda has been working with the AGO for three years (two as an independent curator and one as a permanent staff member), and her promotion recognizes her outstanding contributions to our exhibition program including Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 and Rita Letendre: Fire & Light. In this new role, Wanda will lead the AGO’s strategic direction as a leading presenter of Indigenous art. She is currently working on an AGO exhibition of works by Gershon Iskowitz Prize-winning artist Rebecca Belmore, set to open in 2018 (and it’s not one you’ll want to miss).

Together Wanda and Georgiana are set to make some exciting and meaningful changes. We’re happy to make a firm commitment to giving Indigenous art and culture their proper place in relation to Canadian art – we can’t wait to see what these two do!

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