OAG is pleased to announce the hiring of our new Senior Curator, Rachelle Dickenson. As Senior Curator, Rachelle will fill a key programming position to help our team create exhibitions, acquisitions, publications, partnerships and discursive opportunities for historical and contemporary art and artists. She brings experience and an understanding of international, national and regional art practices that explore regionally rooted, and globally relevant, discourses.
Rachelle is of British, Irish and, through her paternal Grandfather, Red River Métis descent. Having learned about her Métis ancestry as an adult, she is guided by decolonial and Indigenous methodologies and the arts and academic communities of which she is part. She brings experience in community outreach, exhibition development, acquisition planning, public interpretation and project management. Rachelle holds a PhD from the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University and continues to link with the academic community, as an instructor of curatorial studies, Indigenous and white settler art histories and critical museology at York University, NSCAD University and Carleton University.
Most recently, Rachelle was co-curator of the ambitious global exhibition Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu Continuel at the National Gallery of Canada, along with Greg Hill (Senior Audain Curator) and Christine Lalonde (Associate Curator), where she also had the role of Associate Curator in the Indigenous Art Department. As an independent curator, scholar and consultant, her practice engages with relationships and distinctions between white settler and Indigenous art histories, pedagogies and curatorial practices in Canadian art exhibition and educational institutions, in support of relevant, respectful, responsible and reciprocal BIPOC and white settler arts collaborations. Some highlights of experience include: the ongoing doctoral and collaborative exhibition project Curating Intimacies: The Ace Truelove Collection and Decolonial Practice with Odawa Artist Barry Ace and Settler Designer Earl Truelove; exhibition and collection development as Curator at Global Affairs Canada; project manager and research associate for Artist and Scholar Deanna Bowen (Concordia University); Reading the Talk with Lisa Myers (The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 2013); and a number of catalogue essays and articles. Among Rachelle’s forthcoming exhibition projects is DI/Investment: Leah Decter co-curated with Carla Taunton at The Reach, Abbotsford, BC in Fall 2022
At the OAG, Rachelle joins a dynamic and experienced exhibition programming department, including Catherine Sinclair (Deputy Director, Chief Curator), Rebecca Basciano (Curator), Jennifer Gilliland (Collections Manager), Wahsontiio Cross (Assistant Curator, Touring Indigenous Projects), and Meghan Ho (Exhibition and Interpretation Coordinator). Together, we work to help to further OAG’s priorities with local, national and international artists and communities to continue to create spaces of collaboration that will nurture existing relationships as well as forge new partnerships for cultural making, knowledge creation and reciprocity.