Director's Message: Winter 2021

Photo of Shirley Madill, a smiling woman with long black hair wearing a white collared shirtthe heart of a community

As an artist and audience-centered institution, we, at KWAG, begin the new year with a continued commitment to our community. By embracing art as a means to engage our imaginations, challenge our perceptions, and inspire change, the Gallery, together with creatives across many platforms, promotes cross-cultural dialogue and fosters mutual understanding and respect. We believe that our public art gallery should exist at the heart of a community. 

The exhibition, Deanna Bowen: Black Drones in the Hive and the conversations we encourage through our programs express who we are. The labels we put on the wall are not just words to read; they are expressions of the values we hold, intended to give context to the art that is being shown and unearth its deeper meaning for our viewers. Bowen’s commitment to anti-racist issues shows in her search for a new and revolutionary language of art that illuminates specific historical moments in our community. 

Art museums must be participants in framing the issues that impact our communities. We must reflect on how narratives and images are received to create robust and sustainable programming. And we must take the time we need to get it right. Our exhibitions and programs for 2021 will bring that inherent value of the work to bear, in the most effective way possible, on our current issues and challenges. This is, after all, the role of an art museum—to create the space and the impetus for these very dialogues, and to celebrate artists in doing so.

Happy New Year, everyone.  I look forward to welcoming you back at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery someday soon.