New leadership for the Art Gallery of Guelph
In the spring of 2016, the Board of Trustees of the Art Gallery of Guelph (AGG) announced the appointment of Dr. Shauna McCabe as the gallery’s new Director. McCabe took up her position August 1, 2016. Her selection followed an international search facilitated by global recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson.
Former Executive Director of the Textile Museum of Canada (TMC), McCabe brings a depth of art museum management and academic expertise to the AGG, with more than 15 years experience as an arts administrator, as well as professor and Canada Research Chair at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick.
“We are thrilled she is joining our team,” said Rebecca Graham, University of Guelph’s Chief Information Officer and Chief Librarian and Chair of AGG’s Board of Trustees. “Shauna’s background in art, museum, and educational settings, as well as her accomplishments in innovation and engagement, provide an important blend of aspirational and operational direction.”
McCabe is credited with raising the profile and engagement of Toronto’s Textile Museum of Canada, which she joined in 2010. During her six-year tenure, attendance and generated revenues doubled through landmark exhibitions such as Marimekko, With Love and Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol, strategic partnerships and investment expanded, the TMC undertook its first major capital renewal and cemented its digital leadership with award-winning platforms that extended the museum’s impact beyond its walls.
Previously, she was Director of The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Senior Curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Prince Edward Island. In 2007, she was appointed Canada Research Chair in Critical Theory in the Interpretation of Culture, leading interdisciplinary research and practice at Mount Allison University where she was also Associate Professor.
McCabe completed a PhD at the University of British Columbia, an MA at Simon Fraser University, and a BA at McGill University.
One of Canada’s premier public art galleries, the AGG is supported through a partnership of the University of Guelph, City of Guelph, and Upper Grand District School Board. In making the announcement, Graham thanked Dawn Owen, AGG’s Curator for Contemporary Art, for serving as interim acting director. She also thanked search committee members and community partners for their participation.
Established in 1978 as the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, the gallery was renamed the Art Gallery of Guelph in 2015. More than 50,000 people visit the gallery each year. Guelph’s first and leading public gallery, the gallery’s collections represent over three centuries and more than 9,000 pieces, including specializations in Inuit art and contemporary Canadian art. Renowned for its exemplary exhibitions and public programming, the gallery is home to the Donald Forster Sculpture Park, the largest outdoor sculpture collection at a public art gallery in Canada.