The Business of Art: An Alumni Panel Discussion
On the 2nd of November 2018, the Graduate Union of Students of Art hosted an alumni panel featuring Corrie Jackson, Angelica Demetriou, Carol-Ann Ryan, Elisa Coish and Christine McLean. The event was well attended by Faculty, Graduates and Undergraduates. Following individual presentations by Jackson and Demetriou, questions were directed to the panel and moderated by Rhiannon Vogl, a PhD student within the Department of Art with an extensive background in curatorial work. An audience question and answer session closed the panel event, followed by a short reception. Corrie Jackson, senior curator within the Royal Bank of Canada’s Curatorial Department, presented some of the complex problems involved in curating for corporate institutions. Jackson fielded questions from the audience regarding the distinction between curating for public, private or corporate institutions, noting the role that duration plays in the selection of pieces for a corporate working environment. Jackson also discussed a variety of criteria for assessing the value of acquiring new pieces of art for a corporate collection. Angelica Demetriou, Co-Founder and Partner of curatorial and collection management consultancy K+D, discussed the extensive cataloging system that her firm provides for existing collections, as well as the role that art advisors play in collaborating with architects to establish the location of art pieces in corporate spaces prior to building completion. Carol-Ann Ryan, Elisa Coish and Christine McLean, all members of the K+D team, joined Demetriou in fielding questions on how their experience at the University of Toronto had played a formative role in their career trajectory. Carol-Ann Ryan in particular emphasized the strong connections she had made and maintained as a student of the Visual Studies program at the University of Mississauga. Many audience questions were related to issues of curatorial freedom when working in a corporate environment, the career path of individual panel members, and the steps necessary throughout undergraduate and graduate study to pursue this line of business.