Curating in the Haze of Empires

OAAG Presents New Conference For Curators: Curating In The Haze Of Empires, November 4 - 6, Toronto


I will be speaking about my work uncovering and animating the history of slavery on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 9am at the Gladstone for the Curating in the Haze of Empires conference presented by OAAG.


OAAG Presents New Conference: Curating In The Haze Of Empires, November 4 – 6, Toronto

THREE DAY CONFERENCE (November 4 to 6, 2014)


“Art museums and public art galleries are a fundamental link between artworks and Canadian audiences. They are recognized as institutions that collect, preserve, present and interpret works of art from the past and the present. In doing so, these institutions give shape to the meaning and value of works in the visual arts, locating these works within a critical and historical context.” – Canada Council for the Arts

(Toronto)… Registration is now open to art gallery curators, directors, artists, writers, art historians, educators — as well as conspiracy buffs and reenactors — to a new conference about curating art in the context of Ontario’s regional histories organized by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.

Curating in the Haze of Empires takes place from November 4 to 6, 2014 at the historic Gladstone Hotel in downtown Toronto, 1214 Queen Street West.

Thirty curators, gallery directors, artists, writers and educators will present illustrated talks on their current or recent art exhibitions, art research, or passion projects that take as their subject events from Ontario’s past.

Speakers and topics confirmed to date include:

  • Debra Antoncic, Associate Curator, Riverbrink Art Museum, on curating today in the legacy of Queenston, Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Alicia Boutilier, Curator of Canadian Historical Art, Agnes Etherington Art Centre
  • Tobi Bruce, Senior Curator, Canadian Historical Art, Art Gallery of Hamilton on curating Into the Light: The Paintings of William Blair Bruce (1859-1906), an exhibition that marks the 100th anniversary of the Art Gallery of Hamilton
  • Bonnie Devine, installation artist and curator, on the historical significance of the three treaties signed between 1795 and 1814 that were the focus of her art work in the exhibition The Tecumseh Papers
  • Virginia Eichhorn, Director & Chief Curator, Tom Thomson Art Gallery and Bishop House: Museum, Archives & National Historic Site, asking the question Painting: Is it Craft?
  • Faith Hieblinger, Executive Director, on programming artist Homer Watson’s house and gallery in Kitchener
  • Linda Jansma, Senior Curator, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, on serendipity and discovering new work in curating Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form
  • Camille Turner, visual artist, on her recent residency and research into enslaved peoples in Ontario
  • Peter Vronsky, writer and historian, on the Canadian Volunteer Monument, erected in 1870 in memory of those who fell in Limeridge

“Over the course of three days, the order of speakers and layering of ideas and events at the conference riffs off of a chronicle of Ontario’s many histories and art histories prior to 1967, Canada’s centennial year,“ says Demetra Christakos, the association’s executive director.

“We were intrigued by the series of historical anniversaries of nation-building milestones adopted last year as part of the funding priorities for the Museums Assistance Program in Canadian Heritage,” she added. “Do these national historic events pertain not only to key dates in Ontario’s past but also to the development of the visual arts and public art galleries across our own province?”

Speakers have also been invited to present their ideas about the regional public art gallery’s contribution to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of contemporary art practice and curating — for its many audiences — through the quality and significance of its institutional exhibitions and curatorial research.

Many of Ontario’s public art galleries themselves serve as historical markers in their own communities as well as actively figuring in their regional art histories. The conference will provide a sort of genealogy of the development of the visual art gallery across Ontario.

The Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) is a charitable arts service organization serving Ontario’s dynamic public art galleries as valued and essential centres of art and learning. OAAG’s membership includes 105 public art galleries and not-for-profit visual arts organizations across the province.

OAAG’s professional development programs serve emerging, mid-career and senior visual arts professionals working in and with Ontario’s art museums and public art galleries.

Funding for this professional development program was received in part from the Government of Canada through the Museums Assistance Program.

Conference Registration Deadline: October 30, 2014 (Early bird October 15, 2014)

All access pass:
$290 OAAG Members ($275 Early Bird)
$350 General ($325 Early Bird)
$135 Students ($100 Early Bird)

Daily access passes may also be purchased.

Register by emailing or calling (416) 598-0714.

More information at

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