AGSM Welcomes New Executive Director

The new Executive Director, Deirdre Chisholm stands in the Main Gallery at the AGSM.

Brandon, MB –  Deirdre Chisholm has been appointed the Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (AGSM), it was announced by the organization’s board of directors today.

Originally from Montreal, Que., Deirdre Chisholm is an artist, educator and administrator with a passion for rural arts. Chisholm holds a Masters in Fine Arts from Concordia University and is an Associate of the Ontario College of Art (AOCA). She was a recipient of a Monbushō research grant for studies in woodblock printing, papermaking and Japanese language at Kyoto Technical University.

“I am thrilled to be joining the AGSM staff and Board at this critical juncture in the organization’s strategic development to promote the integration of the arts with partnering organizations through creative activities so that we deepen participation of the experiences of emerging artists and craftspeople, Indigenous artists and new Canadians,” said Chisholm.

“The Prairies are unique, mystical and ancient, yet bursting with energy pockets. Brandon’s flourishing diverse communities offer the connections necessary to defining a public gallery’s role in the twenty-first century,” she added.

“Deirdre is a warm and enthusiastic cultural leader who has built upon the successes of each institution she has been with previously,” says Danielle Adriaansen, AGSM Board Chair and Director, Public Affairs at Assiniboine Community College. “Passionate about rural community engagement, committed to accessibility of art and supporting artists, she is well respected among her peers and colleagues.”

The search process for our new AGSM Executive Director was led by Dr. Heather Duncan, Dean of Education and Associate Vice President of Research, Brandon University and member of the AGSM board. Duncan notes, “The committee conducted an extensive search. Deirdre’s combination of experience, enthusiasm, and community engagement in the art world was an excellent fit for our gallery. We are delighted to welcome her to Brandon and to the AGSM and look forward to working with her in the future.”

Working strategically in arts education has shaped Chisholm’s museum and gallery practices in response programming with theatre and inter-disciplinary arts. With twenty-five years’ experience in municipal and non-profit cultural institutions, her administrative and artistic practices are rooted in community-based art with a focus on public co-creation.

Chisholm has held education and curatorial positions with the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Art Gallery of Peterborough. She has served on juries and committees of public art galleries and municipal cultural groups and has lectured in art history, museum studies and taught studio art at Georgian College and Fleming College.

Since 2009, Chisholm was the driving force behind the re-invigoration of the Norfolk Arts Centre in Ontario and led the renewal of core operations: education, public programs, exhibitions and secured significant investment for its heritage preservation. She stewarded the first municipal-cultural mapping of Norfolk County which helped boost cultural tourism to the region. Deirdre raised the level of programming at the Norfolk Arts Centre, and supported the development of many new cultural projects and strategic initiatives within the gallery, and throughout Norfolk County.

Deirdre Chisholm commenced her position with the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba on June 3, 2019.