Art Gallery of Alberta

Panel Discussion


Making Histories: Artists, Museums, Places

Featuring: David Garneau, Anthony Kiendl, Mary-Beth Laviolette and Anne Whitelaw
Moderated by Catherine Crowston, AGA Executive Director / Chief Curator

Saturday, May 17, 1:30 pm
Ledcor Theatre, Lower Level
$15 / $8 AGA Members
Free for Ultra and Curator’s Circle Members and Artist Patrons
Purchase tickets >

This panel will be structured as a speculative conversation about how the history of art in Canada is written, what and who determines this: academies, institutions, curators, artists, collectors, critics? How do artists respond, and what changes are possible over time? Between them, the four participating speakers—David Garneau, Anthony Kiendl, Mary-Beth Laviolette and Anne Whitelaw—have a wide and diverse range of experience, from curatorial work (both institutional and independent), art historical and critical writing as well as artistic practice. All have been based in Western Canada for much of their careers, and they will provide insight into how geography and context can factor into these questions.


David Garneau

David Garneau (Métis) is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. He is a painter of road kill and drive-by landscapes, Métis themes, maps, comics, and quilts. He is also a curator and writer most interested in the collision of nature and culture, metaphysics and materialism, and in contemporary Indigenous identities. He has curated large group, two-person and solo exhibitions and written numerous catalogue essays and reviews. He has recently given talks in Melbourne, Adelaide, New York, San Diego, Sacramento, Saskatoon, and keynote lectures in Sydney, Toronto, Edmonton and Sault Ste Marie. Garneau is currently working on curatorial and writing projects featuring contemporary Indigenous art and curatorial exchanges between Canada and Australia, and is part of a five-year, SSHRC funded curatorial research project, “Creative Conciliation.”

Anthony Kiendl

Anthony Kiendl is a writer, curator and Executive Director of the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan. Born on Long Island, New York, Kiendl grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he was Executive Director of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) from 2006 to 2013. Previously he was Director of Visual Arts at The Banff Centre from 2002 until 2006, and was Curator of the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina from 1997 to 2002.

Kiendl has curated numerous projects including, with Catherine Crowston, the Alberta Biennial in 2005. He also co-curated, with Bruce Grenville, Komar and Melamid: Canada’s Most Wanted and Most Unwanted Paintings, the first survey of Canadian likes and dislikes in art in 1999. In 2011 he was curator of Contour: Biennale of the Moving Image in Mechelen, Belgium. In 2007 he was Leverhulme Visiting Research Fellow at Middlesex University, London, UK.

He studied at Concordia University, Montreal and School of Visual Arts, New York. Kiendl has published and lectured internationally; and has co-organized panel presentations for Tate Modern, Tate Britain, and Art Brussels.

Mary-Beth Laviolette

Mary-Beth Laviolette is an independent curator, art writer and public speaker. Since 1982, the Edmonton-born writer has worked extensively in the visual arts. She is the author of An Alberta Art Chronicle: Adventures in Recent and Contemporary Art and is the co-author of Alberta Art and Artists: An Overview. Recent exhibitions include Alberta Mistresses of the Modern: 1935-1975 at the Art Gallery of Alberta and a large survey of 1960’s art in Calgary for Glenbow Museum. With Ruth Burns, she also co-curated an exhibition of Bryon Harmon’s photography currently on display at the Art Gallery of Alberta. In addition, her third book, A Delicate Art: Artists, Wildflowers and Native Plants of the West was published in 2012.

Anne Whitelaw

Anne Whitelaw is associate professor of Canadian art and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Art History at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research examines the intersections of art historiography and cultural institutions in Canada, with a particular focus on practices of exhibition and collecting as a means of understanding the formation of nationhood. Whitelaw has published extensively on the display of Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada, on the integration of aboriginal art in national museums; and on Canadian art historiography. She is co-editor with Brian Foss and Sandra Paikowsky of The Visual Arts in Canada: The Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2010). Whitelaw’s current research includes a book on the relationship between federal cultural institutions and art galleries in Western Canada, and an exploration of the work of women’s volunteer committees in North American museums.