The Atlantic Symposium: New Directions for Art Writing




April 19th – 21st, 2013
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Keynote Lecture on Art Writing by Sylvie Fortin
Friday April 19th at 7 pm
Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Admission is $5, or free for symposium registrants, students and the unwaged.

Sylvie Fortin is former Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of Art Papers, an international art magazine based in Atlanta Georgia, and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Day-long Symposium on Art Writing
Saturday April 20th, NSCAD University

Tickets: $40 regular / $25 for students and the unwaged.

Symposium sessions will be held in the NSCAD, Bell Auditorium, 4th Floor, at 5163 Duke Street, from 9 am to 4:30 pm.


Advance registration is required, and includes admission to Friday’s keynote lecture, Saturday’s symposium sessions, a reception Saturday evening, and a tour of Halifax galleries on Sunday. To register, go to For further information contact

Session Schedule:

Each session will consist of a series of presentations by invited writers, editors, and curators, followed by a conversation between presenters and symposium participants.

9:00 – 10:30

Art Criticism and the Ecology of Art

Why do we (not) write art criticism? This panel will consider how art criticism fits into the ecology and economics of the art world.

10:45 – 12:15

Existing Models for Art Writing

In this session, each speaker will address how different kinds of publications, including newspapers, web publications and print magazines, each operate. Editors and publishers will do a show-and-tell of how they make money and where it gets spent.

1:15 – 2:45

Professional Practice for Writers

This session will cover different kinds of writing, including exhibition texts, catalog essays, reviews, interviews, profiles, columns, and features. How does one establish oneself as a writer? What are the different relationships that artists, galleries and writers each have with publications and how do writers avoid conflicts of interest? What different venues are available to writers, what is the role of research, and how does one write for different audiences?

3:00 – 4:30

Alternative Models for Art Writing and Publishing

Invited speakers discuss their top ten innovative models for art writing and publishing. Guests will also look at alternative models for generating revenue, and ways of publishing without it.

6:00 – 9:00 pm

Reception at The Khyber Centre for the Arts, 1588 Barrington St.

Publications and Printed Matter Showcase:

There will be a publications and printed matter showcase, throughout the symposium, in room D241.

Gallery tour organized by Visual Arts Nova Scotia

 Sunday April 21st:

11:00am                           Start Gallery Tour: Halifax Seaport  

11:00am – 11:30am        Mary E Black Gallery  pandemonium diary: Bob Morouney 

                                           and Seeds Gallery Kate Walchuk: Good Shape

11:30 am                          BOARD BUS* Go to eyelevel gallery         

11:40am – 12:00pm        eyelevel gallery – Robert Hengeveld

12:00 – 12:15pm               Go to Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) Art Gallery                           

12:15pm – 12:50pm         MSVU Art Gallery  Steve Higgins: New Work

12:50 – 1:10pm                  Go to Dalhousie Art Gallery

1:10pm – 1:45pm              Dalhousie Art Gallery Pierre Dorion

1:45 – 1:55pm                    Go to Saint Mary’s University (SMU) Art Gallery

1:55pm – 2:30pm              SMU Art Gallery  Jinny Yu and Don Andrus: Cadenza

2:30pm – 2:45pm              Go to Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) 

2:45pm                               GALLERY TOUR ENDS at the AGNS David Askevold: Once Upon a Time in the East

*The gallery tour is free of charge to all registrants of The Atlantic Symposium. Seating is limited on the bus, please email to confirm your place.

Symposium Presenters:

Ray Cronin is Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. He is the author of several catalogue essays, as well as numerous articles for Canadian and American art magazines. He has also worked as a visual arts columnist for several Atlantic Canadian newspapers, and in 2000 was recipient of the Christina Sabat Award for Critical Review in the Arts.

Sylvie Fortin is an independent curator, critic, editor, and art historian who seeks  to operate as a cultural decontamination agent. She has worked as Editor-in-Chief  and Executive Director of Art Papers, an international art magazine based in Atlanta Georgia, Curator of the 5th Quebec City Biennale, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Ottawa Art Gallery, Program Coordinator at la chambre  blanche in Quebec City, and a long-term collaborator with OBORO in Montreal. Her critical essays and reviews have been published in catalogues, anthologies, and periodicals across the Americas and Europe, including Artforum, Art Press, C Magazine, Espace, Fuse, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art and Parachute. She is currently Curator of Contemporary Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where her curatorial research looks into hospitality and the existence of something like a non-aligned aesthetics.

Lizzy Hill is an internationally published writer and editor, who has contributed to publications including Canadian Art, This Magazine and Halifax’s alternative weekly, The Coast. She is a columnist for The National Gallery of Canada’s online magazine (, the editor of Visual Arts News and the Halifax correspondent for Akimblog.

Richard William Hill is Assistant Professor of art history at York University and an independent critic and curator. Hill’s essays on art have appeared in numerous books, exhibition catalogues and periodicals. He has a long association with the Canadian art magazine Fuse, where he was a member of the board and editorial committee and remains a contributing editor. He is currently working on a book on the question of agency in the art of Jimmie Durham.

Mike Landry is Arts & Culture Editor at the Telegraph-Journal, New Brunswick’s provincial newspaper, and founder of Things of Desire, a national online art magazine. He has been writing about visual art since 2008 and has worked for Visual Arts News, The Coast and The Walrus. He lives in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Amish Morrell is Director of Programs at C The Visual Art Foundation and Editor of C Magazine. He is also Special Lecturer in Visual Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga and has written for publications including Art Papers, Ciel Variable, Fuse Magazine, History of Photography and Prefix Photo. He has also organized exhibitions and public art projects in Inverness County Cape Breton, including The Frontier is Here, works about landscape and identity by contemporary Canadian and international artists, and Nightwalks with Teenagers, by Mammalian Diving Reflex.

Gabrielle Moser is a writer and independent curator. She regularly contributes to, and her writing has appeared in venues including ARTnews, Canadian Art, Fillip, n paradoxa, and Photography & Culture. She has curated exhibitions for Access Gallery, Gallery TPW, the Leona Drive Project and Vtape. She is a PhD candidate in art history and visual culture at York University, where she also teaches.

Leah Sandals is a professional writer and editor based in Toronto, and online editor at Canadian Art magazine. Her writing has appeared in Art Newspaper, Flash Art, Sculpture, Border Crossings and C Magazine. Her work has also been published in newspapers including the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.
The Atlantic Symposium is organized by C The Visual Arts Foundation and Visual Arts Nova Scotia, with funding from The Canada Council for the Arts and the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. C The Visual Arts Foundation and Visual Arts Nova Scotia are grateful for additional organizational support from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, NSCAD University, the Anna Leonowens Gallery, the Atlantic Provinces Art Galleries Association (APAGA) and the St. Mary’s University Art Gallery.

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