Northern Wilds Magazine
Penelope Smart was recently appointed as the new curator of Thunder Bay Art Gallery. | SUBMITTED

New curator appointed to Thunder Bay Art Gallery

Thunder Bay Art Gallery recently announced the appointment of Penelope Smart as curator. Smart holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University (Toronto) where she received the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies.

With family ties to Red Lake, ON, Smart is returning to the Northwest with valuable expertise as both a curator and writer. She has held curatorial positions at The Art Gallery of Ontario, MULHERIN galleries (Toronto/New York) and Eastern Edge Gallery (St. John’s, NL). Her writing has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, n.paradoxa, and a variety of artist publications and exhibition catalogues.

“I see the contemporary curator as someone who is acutely aware of her discipline as a contested one. I strive to make exhibitions and texts that are thoughtful and sensitive to the social, cultural and economic consequences at stake,” said Smart.

“I feel honoured and humbled to learn from and help celebrate an art collection of immense beauty, meaning and power. To step into the curator role at a time of transition for the Gallery and for contemporary Canadian and Indigenous art in my home region is very exciting.”

“Penelope has already expressed sensitivity to our permanent collection and the exhibitions that provide meaning in our community,” said director Sharon Godwin. “With her passion for collaboration and mentorship, we are very much looking forward to the contributions Penelope will make to the Art Gallery.

For close to 45 years, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery has been sharing the experience of visual art with the community. The Gallery hosts over 20 exhibitions annually, drawing from its Permanent Collection, borrowing touring exhibitions, showcasing contemporary Indigenous and regional artists.

The Gallery continues with its ambitious plan to move to the waterfront on Lake Superior where we can expand our positive engagement with other galleries, community organizations, and people of all ages in celebrating visual art.

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