The Art Gallery of Guelph (AGG) is getting a new director. Shauna McCabe, currently the executive director of the Textile Museum of Canada, begins Aug. 1.
McCabe has spent more than 15 years as an arts administrator, and is a former professor and Canada Research Chair at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick.
“We are thrilled she is joining our team,” said Rebecca Graham, U of G’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 and leadership.”
Graham chaired the search committee for the new director, which included board member Prof. John Kissick, School of Fine Art and Music. “I am very impressed by Shauna’s extensive experience as a leading voice in Canada’s visual arts community,” he said. “I look forward to her continued advocacy as she guides the AGG to its rightful place as a national centre of excellence for curating and public engagement.”
The AGG is run under a partnership among U of G, the City of Guelph and the Upper Grand District School Board.
In making the announcement, Graham thanked Dawn Owen, AGG’s curator for contemporary art, for serving as acting director during the past couple of years. She also thanked search committee members and community partners for their participation.
McCabe is credited with raising the profile and public engagement of Toronto’s Textile Museum of Canada, which she joined in 2010.
Previously, she was director of The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in Newfoundland and Labrador, and a 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 at Mount Allison, where she was also an associate professor.
McCabe completed a PhD at the University of British Columbia, an MA at Simon Fraser University and a BA at McGill University. She attended the Getty Leadership Institute in 2012.
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, it houses more than 8,500 pieces, including Inuit and Canadian art spanning three centuries, and runs educational programming. The gallery is home to the Donald Forster Sculpture Park, the largest outdoor sculpture collection in Canada.