University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts & Science, 2014 Year in Review

Photo: Brian Summers

Sara Angel wants Canadian artists to be famous for much longer than 15 minutes — she wants them to become household names. That’s why the PhD candidate and Trudeau Scholar created Art Institute Canada, an organization devoted to disseminating and promoting Canadian art history.

The institute’s pilot initiative is the Canadian Online Art Book Project, a series of e-books celebrating artists less familiar than the Group of Seven and Emily Carr, all freely available in both French and English on the institute’s website at Current e-books include a critical biography of London, Ontario painter Jack Chambers written by U of T art history professor Mark Cheetham. Other experts are lined up to contribute texts on more Canadian artists and Angel aims to publish six to 10 books annually to have 40 titles in place by Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. She also hopes to introduce a lecture series that connects Canadian art history to contemporary issues as well as feature online art exhibitions curated by museum and gallery professionals.

“Canadian artists have crafted vital testimonies of our country’s unique identity,” said Angel. “They have created an aesthetic record of our existence, our hopes and failures, our diversity and our interconnectedness. To know them and their work is to know ourselves.”