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Press Releases

April 11, 2014
BC's Premier Visual Arts Prizes on April 15: Audain Prize, VIVA Awards

March 20, 2014
Out of Sight makes meaningful connections among recent acquisitions

March 18, 2014
Major Acquisition: photographs by Harold Edgerton and Eadweard Muybridge

March 3, 2014
Myfanwy MacLeod, or There and Back Again uncovers new meanings in iconic popular culture

February 25, 2014
Three decades of powerful photographs by Edward Burtynsky at the Vancouver Art Gallery

February 21, 2014
Lawren Harris: Canadian Visionary exhibition an insight into the artistic evolution of the Group of Seven founding member

February 18, 2014
Edward Burtynsky donates 34 works to the Vancouver Art Gallery's Permanent Collection

February 6, 2014
Art Moves: Vancouver Art Gallery's Art Auction takes place on February 15, 2014

February 3, 2014
Celebrate the Month of Emily Carr in February with special $10 admission and complimentary art prints

January 30, 2014
Celebrate BC Family Day at the Gallery - free for children aged 12 & under

January 21, 2014
Charles Edenshaw Travels to the National Gallery of Canada and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

January 17, 2014
Final week of KIMSOOJA Unfolding at the Vancouver Art Gallery

January 14, 2014
FUSE: The PuSh Festival Edition Unites Visual and Performing Arts

January 9, 2014
Five Architectural Firms Short-Listed for the Design of Vancouver Art Gallery's New Home in Downtown Vancouver

December 17, 2013
Free admission every Sunday for children aged 12 & under, supported by Visionary Partner: the Diamond Foundation

December 11, 2013
Unparalleled Vigour and Power in Canadian Art–Emily Carr: Deep Forest opens December 21st

December 4, 2013
The Audains Donate Rare Emily Carr Self-portrait to the Vancouver Art Gallery

Archives

The Director


Biography

Kathleen S. Bartels
Director, Vancouver Art Gallery


The Vancouver Art Gallery is Canada's fourth largest visual art museum that collects, originates, presents, and tours a broad range of historical and contemporary exhibitions. Kathleen Bartels has led the Gallery through a period of unprecedented growth and, in 2011, marked 10 years of leadership as the Director of this 80-year-old organization.

In the last decade, the Gallery has welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors, including 400,000 schoolchildren. Under Bartels' leadership, the institutional endowment has seen a fifty-fold increase from $200,000 to more than $11 million and the number of individual Gallery donors has grown by more than 240%. At the same time, the organization's earned revenues have increased from $1.6 million to $6.3 million annually. The Gallery's permanent art collection now includes more than 10,262 works, approximately 4,000 of which were acquisitions under Bartels' leadership.

Bartels' artistic direction has resulted in a significant transformation in the program, melding a dynamic mix of contemporary and historical exhibitions that bring the best of the art world to Vancouver and the best of Vancouver to the world. Through such ground-breaking exhibitions as Brian Jungen (2006), KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Video + Video Games + Art (2008), Andreas Gursky: Werke/Works, 80-08 (2009), Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall (2010), and Ken Lum (2011), the Gallery has heightened its international reputation in the contemporary art community. Outstanding historical exhibitions have become another Gallery hallmark, including such original presentations as Raven Travelling: Two Centuries of Haida Art (2006), Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art: Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum (2009), Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man (2010), presented in a suite of dynamic Olympic programming, and the monumental Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art (2011), the most comprehensive exhibition of surrealist art ever presented in Canada. In addition, Ms. Bartels has co-curated three Gallery exhibitions, Kai Althoff (2008) and Anthony Hernandez (2009) and Kerry James Marshall (2010), with artist Jeff Wall, with a fourth exhibition, Martin Honert, scheduled for the summer of 2012. In 2009, the Gallery opened OffSite, the Gallery's outdoor exhibition space in the heart of Vancouver that offers a rotating program of innovative public art projects.

Education and public programs have also witnessed significant change and expansion in the last decade, a result of much closer collaboration with arts organizations, artists and educational institutions. With enhanced family programming, parents and youth are provided with the innovative Weekly Family Programs at the Gallery every weekend, as well as the fun and immersive Family FUSE Weekends held three times annually. The Gallery's highly successful, adult-orientated nighttime party, FUSE, continues to be THE place to see-an-be-seen in Vancouver with Live performances in the Gallery spaces, DJs, eclectic tours and unexpected surprises.

Bartels has received many awards during her distinguished career. She was named one of Vancouver Magazine's "Power 50" most influential leaders for seven consecutive years and was honoured with the prestigious Hadassah-WIZO "Women of Achievement" award. She is a member of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation Board, the Vancouver Foundation's Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, and the Public Affairs Committee of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). Bartels proudly carried the Olympic Torch for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. In 2011, she became a Canadian Citizen, along with her husband Brian and son Nicholas.

The Gallery plans to construct a new building of approximately double the size of the current facility. With final confirmation pending of a city-owned site in downtown Vancouver, early lead funding of $50 million from the Province of British Columbia and private pledges totalling more than $40 million towards the estimated $300 million project---all prior to the launch of a public capital campaign---the Vancouver Art Gallery is well on its way to realizing this vision.