With Fall 2020 we take a deep breath. So much has happened, and as I write this note I am filled with optimism and excitement for changes ahead.
On 23 June, an extraordinary gift from Bader Philanthropies, Inc. was announced for a revitalized Agnes, with expanded and innovative spaces to engage both university and community. In this moment, when we are even more keenly aware of the importance and the power of art, we are mindful of the responsibility and incredible opportunity that this gift provides.
As we plan for new facilities, we look forward to new leadership. Emelie Chhangur begins in October as Director and Curator, bringing critical energy and vision to the work that we do. We also look forward to a new Bader Curator of European Art, Suzanne van de Meerendonk, who will bring valued perspective to The Bader Collection and European art at the Agnes.
Last March in response to COVID-19, the Agnes closed to the public for the first time in over twenty years (since our last expansion). Focus transferred from onsite activities to online projects, as we advanced our digital programs and resources for continued audience engagement. On 7 July, we were thrilled to reopen with some restrictions and we continue to monitor public health regulations for future gathering possibilities.
This season, we present two new solo exhibitions: Shannon Bool: Modernism and Its Discontents and Chantal Rousseau: Tap Dancing Seagull and Other Stories. Both artists, in individual ways, plumb popular culture and disrupt conventional practice through intermingled media. Two further exhibitions, Rembrandt and Company and Nocturne, explore Agnes’s rich historical collections with fresh outlooks.
Our art and wellness programming is extended through a variety of activities for adults, children, youth and families, including the highly anticipated Art and Wellness Speaker Series, which moved from March. This issue of At Agnes also updates you on ongoing projects, as we deepen academic outreach through Art of Observation, expand Digital AGNES with new interactives, and strive to move forward in a good way with the Indigenous art collection.
As always, we are grateful to you, our visitors, members and donors, for your continued support and interest. Please join us for all that Agnes has to offer in these hopeful months.