Lianne McTavish’s new book Defining the Modern Museum (published by the University of Toronto Press) explores the history of the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, as well as other organizations in Canada, the United States, and Europe, to challenge assumptions about what a museum is, what function it serves, and who partakes in its ongoing formation. In particular, McTavish focuses on the culture of exchange ‘between museums,’ linking economic, educational, and other interests. She has undertaken extensive archival research in order to study such themes as the commodification of museums, museums and entertainment, and the professionalization of museum workers, which are currently debated in scholarship devoted to critical museum theory and museum practice.
Josée Aubin Oullette is one of ten artists to receive a prestigious Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award. After completing her BFA in the University of Alberta’s Art and Design department in 2007, Oullette relocated to Scotland where she continued to pursue her education. In 2012 she completed her Masters of Fine Art, Interdisciplinary Studio Practice, at the Glasgow School of Art. Ouellette has exhibited locally through Nextfest, the Works Festival and ArtsHab. From 2007–2010, she worked as the Visual Arts Curator for Nextfest and created many self-organised art projects under the name of Institute Parachute, such as The Portable Festival of Portable Art (2007–2010) and Cabinet Gallery (2007–2009).
For the last four years Blue Skys studios have provided an ideal working space for recent U of A Art and Design graduates. Blue Skys is currently the studio home of MFA graduates Kim Sala, Brenda Christiansen, Scott Cumberland, Lindsay Knox and Alma Visscher. Along with earlier tenants Sherri Chaba, Anna House and Yan Geng, these artists have found this a perfect home base where they can develop viable post graduate art practices and extend the camaraderie and artistic dialogue from their student days.