Ron & I received the sad news that our good friend and independent curator and writer, Bob McKaskell died on June 30, 2020. ago from cancer. He was living between Port Dover, Ontario and Oaxaca, Mexico. While in Oaxaca he decided to study Spanish and he had just initiated a program of curating exhibits of Oaxacan artists in his apartment located in the centro historico of Oaxaca. Ron and I had the pleasure of enjoying time with Bob in Oaxaca and shared in his enthusiasm for the vibrant cultures of Mexico. He was a great cook, an excellent gardener and his pursuit of knowledge was startling wide-reaching. Anyone who knew Bob, understood that his sometimes stubborn nature contributed to his ability to intensely focus in a very particular and detailed way to whatever subjects grabbed his interest.
Bob taught Contemporary Art History for many years at Western University. He was a huge supporter of both Canadian and international artists and had a commitment to challenging art practices including conceptual art, performance works and independent artists' projects. While in London, he was involved in programming at The Embassy Cultural House, the Forest City Gallery, Museum London and the McIntosh Gallery. He was one of the curators at the Windsor Art Gallery and offered his home so that I could create an off-site installation Boutros Al Armenian/Mediterreanen Modern in 1997. He also worked at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary where he built strong friendships and made contributions to the arts community across Canada.
I have so many fond memories of my time with Bob - especially close to my heart is the survey exhibition he curated Embassy Cultural House - 1983 - 1990 at Museum London in 2012.
Happy to be part of this two-person exhibit with Soheila Esfahani which opened at the Campbell River Art Gallery in British Columbia on July 9, 2020. The exhibit runs until September 2, 2020.
This exhibition, curated by Jenelle M. Pasiechnik, presents sculpture and installation practices that communicate aspects of Arabic and Iranian culture in a Canadian contexts. The exhibit presents the translation of culture which occurs across international boundaries.
I have had the opportunity to work with Soheila in previous exhibitions and it is always a pleasure to see our shared sensibilities and connections in our work.
This innovative and timely mapping project has been launched with contributions by visual artist, writer and curator Jeff Thomas. Jeff is Indigenous curator in residence at Museum London awarded through a grant from the Ontario Arts Council.
Jeff is co-curator with Patrick Mahon of the “GardenShip and State” Project upcoming in September 2021 at Museum London.
Over the years I have been involved in numerous projects with Jeff and am so pleased that he will have a continuing connection with our community in London on the Deshkan Ziibi.
Congratulations to Jeff and all who have contributed to this Residential Schools Land Memory Atlas - working towards truth and reconciliation.