Michelle Jacques - Chief Curator

As an undergraduate student at Queen's University, I first studied biochemistry and psychology before deciding that if I was going to have to go to work every day, I wanted to go somewhere fun. I decided that place was an art museum, so I transferred into the art history department. I followed that up with graduate studies at York University in Toronto. I've never regretted changing my career path. Working at an art museum isn't quite the kind of fun that my 20-year-old self envisioned but it's always interesting and challenging.

I moved to Victoria after working at the Art Gallery of Ontario for nearly twenty years. At the AGO, I organized many exhibitions of historical and contemporary art and had a particular interest in exploring the global relevance of local art and artists. I'm Toronto born and bred, but this isn't the first time I've been enticed by a coastal city - I lived in Halifax for a few years when I worked at the Centre for Art Tapes, an artist-run centre focused on the production and presentation of media art.

When I was interviewed for my current position, I was asked if I had any hobbies. I said "Sure! I write for various art magazines and books; I've taught art history, curatorial studies and art writing at a number of post-secondary institutions; and I volunteer on various boards and committees in the cultural sector." I was told that those aren't really hobbies, so I said that I also enjoy travel, reading and going to films. That answer seemed more satisfactory. I didn't point out that I read books about art, go to films about art, and travel to look at art.  


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