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Anchor 8
Curating from Permanent Collections

One-Day Workshop for new and emerging curators and arts professionals



Monday, January 27, 2014

Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery

147 Lochiel Street, Sarnia, Ontario N7T 0B4


The workshop will explore curating from permanent collections. The morning will delve into how curators in the institution access, care for and manage works in permanent collections. The afternoon will look into how exhibitions from permanent collections are curated.Speakers come from a variety of viewpoints and are working in different sized institutions that have collections of Canadian, First Nations and/or international artworks.



Jon Davies, Associate Curator, Oakville Galleries

Patricia Deadman, Visual artist, Independent Curator and Writer

Darryn Doull, Curatorial Assistant, Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery, Sarnia

Aaron Guravich, Registrar|Consultant, Art Gallery of Mississauga

Jaime-Brett Sine, Curatorial Assistant and Registrar, Thunder Bay Art Gallery

Georgiana Uhlyarik, Associate Curator, Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario


Perspectives on Permanent Collections

Darryn Doull, Aaron Guravich and Jaime-Brett Sine will cover the groundwork of curating from collections. Panelists will examine access, care and management of permanent collections. They will discuss staff roles, institutional procedures, storage systems, databases and documentation, insurance, and accession.


Tour: On-Site Case Study

Darryn Doull will lead workshop participants on a tour through The 70s in Ontario, a current exhibition at the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery (JNAAG). He will discuss how works from the permanent collection are incorporated into the exhibition, and how works on loan from other organizations complement existing curatorial themes from the collection. He will explore curatorial decision-making processes/challenges.

JNAAG’s collection is comprised of Canadian historical and contemporary works of local, provincial and national significance. The permanent collection has over 1,100 works of Canadian art and is used as a public resource for people to come together, exchange ideas, and to grow and prosper through art.


Curating Exhibitions from Permanent Collections

Jon Davies, Patricia Deadman and Georgiana Uhlyarik will examine how to curate exhibitions from permanent collections. They will touch upon:

  • Identifying and developing curatorial themes using the permanent collection

  • Working with permanent collections of various sizes

  • Using works on loan in permanent collection exhibitions

  • Differences between curating for permanent vs. temporary exhibitions

  • Exhibition spaces for permanent collection exhibitions: in-gallery vs extra-institutional

  • Incorporating new acquisitions in permanent collection exhibitions

  • Circulating permanent collection exhibitions

  • Communications with curatorial teams

  • Thinking about annual exhibitions cycles (staff time/resources)

  • Community outreach or partnerships related to permanent collection exhibitions

  • Benefits and challenges associated with working in small, mid-sized and large institutions



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