The Board of Directors is thrilled to announce Katie Belcher as incoming Director/Curator of Access Gallery. Currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Belcher will join Access full-time in October. In the interim, Belcher will work with the gallery and board part-time as she completes several exciting projects on the East Coast.
As Artistic Director of Eyelevel since 2013, Belcher has led the organization through a dramatic period of transition from brick and mortar gallery to spaceless programming, while concurrently embracing a commitment to risk-taking anchored in reflexive analysis about the purpose of the artist-run centre and Eyelevel’s mission, mandate and history. Access is especially excited to be stewarded by Belcher following a phase of considerable growth and rigour in artistic programming and publications under Kimberly Phillips’ direction. The board is grateful for Phillips’ many critical contributions to the organization. We look forward to Belcher building on this strong foundation, and to her exploring conditions of emergence through the lens of her curatorial interests and insight.
In prioritizing an artist-initiated approach, Belcher’s curatorial practice seeks to engage audiences in critical discourse through casual settings. An example of one such initiative was Food for thoughts (2016 & 2017), a project investigating the format of the artist’s talk; where lively exchanges between artists and audience occurred through the intimate setting of a shared meal. From 2008-2012 she was Program Coordinator at MSVU Art Gallery where, with Ingrid Jenkner, she curated Somewhere along the line (2009), Beneath the Surface (2010), Dirt, Detritus, and Vermin (2011) and Soft (2012). Also a practicing artist, Belcher’s recent artistic projects include FEATHERS (Studio 21, Halifax, 2017), and In times furrows (Queen Street Studios, Belfast, 2013). In 2012 she was awarded Canada Council’s studio at the Cité internationale des arts (Paris, France).
As President of Atlantis (the Association of Artist-Run Centres from the Atlantic), Belcher has been an active member of the steering team of upcoming Flotilla (Charlottetown, September 2017), the first transnational gathering focused on nomadism and contemporary artist-run culture to be hosted in Atlantic Canada. She is Treasurer of the board of the national Artist-Run Centres Collectives Conference (ARCA) and is a founding director of HERMES, a non-profit commercial artist’s cooperative.
Of settler ancestry, Belcher grew up on unceded Algonquin territory outside of Ottawa, Ontario, and is currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. She is keen to learn about the geographic and cultural context of Access’ location in Chinatown, on the traditional, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Belcher is thrilled to be stepping into a new coastal community, surrounded by rigorous creative and curatorial practices.
As she connects with Access’s core supporters and community, the board is confident that Belcher will further develop the gallery’s dynamic trajectory by generating artistic initiatives with exciting new reach and impact. Please join us in welcoming her to Access Gallery.
Established as an non-profit artist-run centre in 1991, Access Gallery is platform for emergent and experimental art practices. We enable critical conversations and risk taking through new configurations of audience, artists, and community. For more information visit accessgallery.ca
Access Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and BC Gaming, the City of Vancouver, the Hamber Foundation, the Burrard Arts Foundation, the Contemporary Art Gallery, NSB Reederei, and our committed donors, members and volunteers.