Remai Modern names Head of Exhibitions & Collections/Chief Curator

Curator and writer Michelle Jacques, born in Toronto to parents of Caribbean origin (hailing from Grenada), has been named Remai Modern’s Head of Exhibitions & Collections/Chief Curator. [Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon, province of Saskatchewan, Canada.]

Michelle Jacques — a curator with more than 20 years’ experience at institutions including the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV) — has been named Remai Modern’s Head of Exhibitions & Collections/Chief Curator.

Most recently, Jacques was Chief Curator at the AGGV, where she was responsible for guiding a curatorial and education program that linked contemporary practices, ideas and issues to the gallery’s historical collections and legacies.

“We are delighted that Michelle is joining the Remai Modern team. Her extensive experience with Modern and Contemporary art, especially her work in collection development and reinterpretation, will be a huge asset to the museum,” said Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh, Remai Modern’s Co-Executive Director and CEOs. “She also brings a wealth of experience in working in and with diverse communities, an increasing focus as we move into Remai Modern’s next chapter.”

This senior-level position is responsible for directing Remai Modern’s exhibitions team. She will lead program areas including collections, conservation, exhibitions, research, publications and performance. She will direct the museum’s programming strategy and oversee planning of the museum’s long-term exhibition calendar. Jacques will also provide leadership and direction to Remai Modern’s collection development and acquisition plans, among other duties.

“I am thrilled to be joining Remai Modern at this moment in its evolution,” said Jacques. “The team, the collection, the building and the community seem so full of energy and potential, and the opportunity to find the magic at the nexus of these components is what I love most about working in museums.”

Jacques will begin at Remai Modern in February 2021. 

About Michelle Jacques

Curator and writer Michelle Jacques was born in Toronto to parents of Caribbean origin who immigrated to Canada in the 1960s. She was raised on Dish With One Spoon Territory, and began working in art museums shortly after completing her graduate work at York University, where her research focused on thinking about Canadian Modernism through the lenses of feminism and critical race theory.

In 2012, she moved to Lekwungen Territory, to take up the post of Chief Curator at the AGGV. While at the AGGV, she facilitated projects with numerous contemporary artists; co-curated major retrospectives of the work of Canadian artists Anna Banana and Jock Macdonald; created exhibitions that offered critical entry into the work of local legend Emily Carr; and developed installations that used the AGGV’s collection to evoke cross-temporal and cross-cultural conversations.

Prior to moving west, Jacques held various roles in the Contemporary and Canadian departments of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; was the Director of Programming at the Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax; and taught courses in writing, art history and curatorial studies at NSCAD University, University of Toronto Mississauga and OCAD University.

Jacques’ community service has included board membership with Fuse Magazine, Mercer Union, Feminist Art Gallery (all in Toronto), Open Space (Victoria), and currently, Vtape (Toronto). In 2019, Jacques was appointed the inaugural Vice-President, Inclusion and Outreach on the board of the Association of Art Museum Curators, a New York-based organization that aims to support and promote the work of museum curators around the globe by creating opportunities for learning, collaboration and professional development. [. . .]

About Remai Modern

Remai Modern is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Traditional Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respects to First Nations and Métis ancestors and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon. The museum is committed to affirming the powerful role that art and artists play in questioning, interpreting and defining the modern era.Open since October 2017, Remai Modern is the largest contemporary art museum in western Canada and houses a collection of more than 8,000 works, including the world’s foremost collection of Picasso linocut prints. [. . .]

For full post, see https://remaimodern.org/press/media-releases/remai-modern-names-head-of-exhibitions-collectionschief-curator

As Peter Jordens points out, this 2007 article (“We’re going to stay up all night”) specifies that Ms. Jacques’ parents hail from Grenada. [“Ms. Jacques said, ‘When my parents moved here from Grenada, Kensington Market was the place where you could find food. The Jewish market here was the next best thing to home, so the Jewish community and the Caribbean communities became these odd bedfellows.’” See https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/were-going-to-stay-up-all-night/article694522

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