New cu­ra­tor at gallery

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/entertainment -

Ju­lian Cox has been ap­pointed chief cu­ra­tor of the Art Gallery of On­tario, the or­ga­ni­za­tion an­nounced Thurs­day.

The Bri­tish art vet­eran will also be­come the gallery’s sec­ond deputy di­rec­tor, join­ing Ali­cia Van­der­meer, deputy di­rec­tor and chief ad­vance­ment of­fi­cer.

Cox re­places for­mer chief cu­ra­tor Stephanie Smith, who left the gallery in Oc­to­ber 2016.

He has 25 years of mu­seum ex­pe­ri­ence and is cur­rently the chief cu­ra­tor and found­ing cu­ra­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy for the Fine Arts Mu­se­ums of San Fran­cisco.

He’ll start his ten­ure at the AGO in Jan­uary 2018.

Cox’s ap­point­ment comes af­ter last month’s de­par­ture of An­drew Hunter, who had served as the AGO’s Cana­dian art cu­ra­tor since May 2013.

In a Toronto Star col­umn last week, Hunter said he left his job be­cause he was wor­ried “about an in­sti­tu­tion wa­ver­ing in its com­mit­ment to make space for new voices.’’

Hunter ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment that art in­sti­tu­tions aren’t pro­gress­ing quickly enough in their at­tempts to be more in­clu­sive, es­pe­cially when it comes to Canada’s In­dige­nous com­mu­nity.

In the piece, he said the AGO is “an in­sti­tu­tion that re­mains (like so many oth­ers in this coun­try) bur­dened by, and seem­ingly com­mit­ted to, a deeply prob­lem­atic and di­vi­sive his­tory de­fined by ex­clu­sion and era­sure.’’

In an in­ter­view with The Cana­dian Press last week, AGO di­rec­tor Stephan Jost said he agreed with Hunter that the art world needs to try harder to be ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple of colour,

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