The OCAD University community is deeply saddened by the recent passing of alumna (1998, Criticism & Curatorial Practice) and artist/curator Katharine Mulherin.
Mulherin began to showcase the works of emerging and mid-career artists through her galleries and projects upon graduating in 1998. Her first project, BUSgallery, operated out of a storefront in Toronto’sParkdale community. She went on to open numerous galleries in Toronto and, more recently, New York and Los Angeles, including 1080BUS, BOARD OFDIRECTORS, KMLA, Katharine Mulherin's SIDESHOW, NO SHOW EXHIBITS, MULHERIN POLLARD PROJECTS and MULHERIN New York, among others. She often ran two or even three galleries simultaneously.
Mulherin’s fierce passion, keen eye and devotion to artists made her a force in the last 21 years. She had a strong hand in shaping the Toronto art community and exhibiting its emerging and mid-career artists, both within and outside Canada. She supported many OCAD University students through student exhibitions at 1080BUS gallery, as well as through the nurturing of their professional careers. Among the artists she exhibited over the years are Clint Griffin, Roberta McNaughton, Allyson Mitchell, Casey McGlynn, Nicholas Pye, Shary Boyle, Eliza Griffiths, Lisa Neighbor, Dean Baldwin, Winnie Truong, Annie MacDonell, Nancy Friedland, Kris Knight, Janieta Eyre, Mike Bayne, Dana Holst, Tiff Isza, Cecilia Berkovic, Marianne Lovink, Heather Goodchild, John Dickson, Tanya Read, Kelly Palmer, Jason Dundra, Seth Scriver, Jason Deary, David Kramer, and many more.
Mulherin began her career as an artist. She was renowned for her approach to her practice as a contemporary art project, driven by her concerns as an artist and curator. She encouraged artists to remain true to their vision, and was often able to tease out important elements lurking in the work that the artists themselves might not have seen. She was known to be free of façade and did not tolerate it in others, often responding to pretense with the sorts of questions that made it crumble. She raised two lovely young men, Jasper and Satchel, both of whom spent many hours in her galleries. She was not your stereotypical art dealer and she was incredibly successful.
Mulherin leaves her sons Jasper and Satchel, her husband Daniel “Paco” Paquette, and her siblings Jennifer, Erin and Shawn.
From Jasper Mulherin: “At her best, Katharine was full of life, ambitious and wild. We love her deeply and will keep her forever in our hearts. Her passing is a tragedy for her friends, the art community in Toronto and beyond, and for our family.”
As quoted in Now Magazine in 2001: "In my own art practice I'm much more interested in issues around human vulnerability and people messing up than I am in theoretical constructs."
Link to fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/f/fundraiser-to-support-the-mulherinpaquette-family
UPDATE: A Party For Katharine Mulherin: Friday, August 2, 4 to 10 p.m.
Posted on behalf of Katharine's family:
The outpouring of support from all of you in the wake of Katharine’s tragic passing has left us practically speechless. It is bittersweet, now, to see the depth and breadth of love and respect she inspired over the course of her brilliant, too-short life.
We will be gathering to celebrate Katharine and her incredible legacy, fittingly, on the same Queen Street West she called home, and whose face she influenced so evidently with her passion for art and culture.
The celebration will take place at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West, Toronto) on Friday, August 2nd from 4:00 pm until 10:00 pm in both the ballroom and second floor gallery. Please come and help us give this firefly the spectacular sendoff she deserves.
Let us come together to share laughter and tears, our cherished memories of Katharine from the past, our stories of the present, and our plans and dreams for the future. Let us support each other. EVERYONE is welcome. (Please share this info with friends and colleagues, including those who may not be on social media.)
There will be all the elements of a proper gallery shindig. And while it fills us with profound sadness that Katharine won’t be there to host this particular launch, it comforts us to know that she will be there in a very special corner of each and every one of our hearts.