After a national search, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) has announced the appointment of Seema Hollenberg as Head of Curatorial.
Currently Senior Exhibitions Manager at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC), Hollenberg will assume her WAG post on March 2, 2015. Reporting to the WAG Director & CEO, the Head of Curatorial oversees the Gallery’s collections and exhibitions portfolios, and manages the Museum Services department.
Hollenberg brings over 20 years of museum experience in leading and managing complex mixed-media exhibitions and permanent galleries at three major Canadian art museums: the NGC, Ottawa; Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto; and the Glenbow Museum, Calgary. She has worked primarily as a senior exhibitions manager and developer, guiding multi-disciplinary creative teams in the production of exhibitions in visual and media arts, archaeology, and natural history. She has also carried out curatorial work in the fields of Indigenous art and Asian art.
At the NGC, Hollenberg oversees in-house exhibition projects and teams, manages the NGC@Partners outreach program for NGC@WAG and NGC@AGA, and has also managed the Gallery’s national On Tour travelling exhibitions program, which was one of the largest touring programs of its kind in the world.
“Seema Hollenberg’s exemplary work in exhibitions and collections management is complemented by her curatorial practice and research interests,” says Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “With her extended tenure at three leading Canadian art museums, she has acquired a solid and enlightened understanding of curatorial, collections, and conservation needs, while conceptualizing exhibit content, interpretive structure, as well as spatial, graphic design, and production needs. These wide-ranging skills will be a huge asset in her role as Head of Curatorial at the WAG – and I believe this is an excellent fit for the Gallery right now.”
As a former curator, Hollenberg has a strong background in the areas of Indigenous cultures (particularly First Nations and Inuit) and the art and sculpture of South Asia, on which she has written and lectured for exhibitions in Toronto and Calgary. She spent several years collaborating with the Blackfoot-speaking communities of Southern Alberta as Curator of Ethnology at the Glenbow from 1994-99, and as part of a residency among the Blood and Peigan during her graduate research. Hollenberg’s experience as an ethnologist allowed her to gain valuable knowledge and collaborate with Indigenous communities for museum collections acquisitions, display, and care.
“The WAG is a dynamic, creative, and ambitious leader of the arts and art discourse locally, nationally, and internationally,” comments Hollenberg. “It has been my privilege these past few years to collaborate on the NGC@WAG partnership. I am delighted to join the remarkable team at the WAG and very much look forward to participating more fully in the Gallery’s diverse curatorial interests and engaging exhibition program.”
Hollenberg holds a Masters of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Interior Design from the University of Manitoba. Her graduate thesis focused on cultural patrimony and identity, specifically the movement to repatriate sacred objects from museums by First Nations communities of Southern Alberta. She has lectured widely on museology, museum studies, and curatorial topics, and has contributed at national conferences in the arts and culture fields. She has participated in many leadership and management symposia, and is the recipient of several regional and national exhibition development and design awards for her exhibitions management work at the ROM and the Glenbow.
Report courtesy of Winnipeg Art Gallery.