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OAG says Goodbye to Deputy Director, Chief Curator, Catherine Sinclair 

October 20, 2023

Catherine Sinclair. Photo : Lindsay Ralph

As Deputy Director, Chief Curator Catherine Sinclair prepares for a move to the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) to become their new Director, Exhibitions, Conservation and Production, the OAG pays tribute to her 18 years with our organization.  

OAG is committed to growing careers in the arts, and Catherine’s professional experiences through the trust of important women leaders such as Alexandra Badzak, have shaped where she is today. OAG is now excited to see her join the senior management team at the NGC where she will take on new challenges, and remain a close connection for Ottawa-Gatineau artists and the OAG. 

Please join us for a toast to her contribution to the Ottawa-Gatineau artist community on Thursday, October 26th from 5-7pm. 

She first joined our organization as a curatorial intern while she was pursuing her Masters in Canadian Art History at Carleton University. Former OAG Director, Mela Constantinidi, then hired her in 2006, as the first Resident Curator of the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art. She later assumed greater responsibility through the support and trust of OAG’s current Director and CEO, Alexandra Badzak, who promoted her to Senior Curator in 2013. In the past 10 years since then, Catherine has grown into a valued arts leader at the organization. In 2019, Alex expanded her leadership role to her current position of Deputy Director, Chief Curator, and she has since provided a key link between Collections, Curatorial and Learning and Engagement.  

Over the years, I have come to have a deep respect for Catherine’s curatorial practice and her ability to garner collegial and community input and support for OAG’s vision. We are grateful for her incredible commitment to the OAG and know that we have a good friend at the NGC! 

-Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO 

As a curator, Catherine has created over fifty exhibitions of both historical and contemporary art at the OAG, covering all areas of artistic practice, including a range of artists, mediums, time periods, and themes. Solo retrospective exhibitions of established artists have become her specialty with most recent example being the highly successful Norman Takeuchi: Shapes in Between – A Retrospective (co-curated, 2023. Other prominent exhibitions have included Àdisòkàmàgan/Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes/We’ll all become stories (co-curated, 2018), as well as the Canadian Heritage-funded, provincially-touring exhibition, Alma: The Life and Art of Alma Duncan (1917-2004) (co-curated 2014-16). Catherine’s work has had an impact on the OAG’s Permanent Collection, including its statistical analysis for representation, as well as the support of acquisition of significant purchases of work by contemporary artists including nichola feldman-kiss and Caroline Monnet, as well as donations from artists’ estates including Ghitta Caiserman, Ken Lochhead, and Gerald Trottier to name a few. Over the years, she has promoted the work of Ottawa-Gatineau artists by presenting at the University Art Association Conference (UAAC) and the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG, now Galeries Ontario Galleries); publishing in The Journal of Curatorial Studies (2018, co-author) and esse arts + opinions (2019); and engaging with international curators through the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation Engagement Program for International Curators (2017-2019 and 2021-22). 

OAG wishes her the very best! 

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