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Meet Dr. Audrey Hudson

Our new Richard & Elizabeth Currie Chief, Education & Programming shares a few of her favourite artworks from the AGO Collection.

Audrey Hudson

Audrey Hudson, image courtesy of AGO.

The AGO recently appointed Dr. Audrey Hudson as the new Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chief, Education and Programming. Hudson was promoted from her position as Associate Curator, Early Childhood & School Programs. Since 2017, Hudson has led AGO strategies on school programs, delivered innovative early childhood programs and developed and increased partnerships with Taking ITGlobal, the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) and the Urban Indigenous Education Centre/Toronto District School Board.

The AGOinsider invited Hudson to share a bit of her story through three of her favourite works in the AGO Collection.

La Seine à Chatou, Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Hudson: La Seine à Chatou, by Renoir, is nostalgic for me. I studied visual art at secondary and undergraduate levels. When I saw it at the AGO, it took me back to my first visit to Paris, France at age 16, where I visited the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and picniced by the Seine river. Much of the curriculum was and still is based in European art. When we studied Impressionism, Le Seine à Chatou by Renoir was always included. I admire the intensity and determination of Impressionist painters, considering the exquisite capture of light, close layers of colour and tonal values to enliven landscapes. This piece not only transports me back to my studies but also takes me to an art-filled energetic Paris in the 19th century where I imagine Renoir and Monet painting together near the Seine by sunset, with red wine and baguettes by their sides.

La Seine à Chatou

PierreAuguste Renoir, La Seine à Chatou, c. 1871. Oil on canvas, Overall: 46.7 x 56.1 cm. Purchase, 1935. © Art Gallery of Ontario. 2304.

Attachment for a Costume, Owo Kingdom, Yoruba Peoples

Hudson: This past February (2019) I programmed a family event to celebrate Black Creatives during Black History Month. An element of my programming included working with emerging spoken word artists to respond to works of art in the AGO Collection. My intent was two-fold: First, I wanted to provide these young people an opportunity to visit the Gallery to deeply consider works of art; and second, I wanted them to accentuate their creativity and carve out a space to see themselves represented. When one of the young people chose to activate this piece in the Frum Collection of African Art, I was intrigued and amazed at how she converged works of antiquity and newness. It exceeded my expectations and made me so proud. This convergence culture is a testament to the agility and freedoms that empower young people to create and provided me with a nuanced gratitude for th Collection.

Owo Kingdom, Yoruba peoples, Attachment for a Costume

Owo Kingdom, Yoruba peoples, Attachment for a Costume, c. 1600-1700. Ivory with applied coating, Overall: 14 x 11 x 6 cm. Gift from the Frum Collection, 1999. © Art Gallery of Ontario. 99/454.

The Wisdom of the Universe, Christi Belcourt

Hudson: I could meet with this piece everyday and still see something different. The endless dots of wise colours, the accuracy of the living organisms, the detailing of life and the massiveness of this painting are admirable to think about our relation to the land and environment. The most joy I get is seeing school groups gather in front of this piece, hands raised high, in discussion with Art Educators about biology, ecosystems, Indigenous worldviews, flora, fauna and so much more. For me, it is most inspiring to witness this exchange of knowledge and sheer engagement with young people. 

Christi Belcourt, The Wisdom of the Universe

Christi Belcourt, The Wisdom of the Universe, 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 171 x 282 cm. Purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014. © Christi Belcourt 2014/6.

You can see all these works and more at the AGO Thursdays through Sundays.

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