Crystal Mowry, Curator, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
Crystal Mowry is a practising artist and also Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. Her art has been shown at the McMaster Museum of Art, the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto, among other venues.
One thing that stands out from art school was just how much I learned from the other students. Perhaps it was just being in a studio with others, but you felt you were figuring things out together. I don’t think you can get that in a place that’s not an art school or art department. Now, in my own practice, I tend to blur the boundaries between artist and curator.
As an artist, I’m project-oriented, responsive to a particular site or curatorial premise. And the curatorial projects I do are often collaborative, a tendency that came out of that school experience. For example, in one case I proposed a project idea, but the details of the finished show came out of a lot of conversations. In other cases, I’ve commissioned new works from artists and helped artists work through projects from beginning to end. I’m interested in witnessing all those stages of creation, of opening the gallery to all those possibilities. It’s great to be able to share unexpected parts of the creative process with artists and the public. To me, that’s the basic function of a gallery.
Originally published in Canadian Art Magazine, Winter 2009 print edition