OCAD University has appointed Francisco Alvarez as Executive & Artistic Director, Galleries System beginning September 26, 2016.
Alvarez has extensive experience in the arts, heritage and cultural sectors, most recently as Executive Director with Heritage Toronto, where he developed and implemented a new strategic plan with the goal of transforming programming to attract more diverse audiences. Prior to this role, he was Managing Director of the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum, where he oversaw the production of more than 25 exhibitions, including David Hockney and El Anatsui.
“With his personal passion for contemporary art and design, profound commitment to diversity and significant museum and heritage management experience, Mr. Alvarez will be instrumental in strengthening OCAD U's national and international reputation as an innovative cultural hub in downtown Toronto. He will also help to foster a deep culture of stakeholder engagement, including among students and faculty,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University.
OCAD U’s growing Galleries System is made up of a number of spaces on and off-campus, including the Student Gallery, the Ada Slaight Gallery, the Graduate Gallery and Onsite Gallery, OCAD U's experimental curatorial platform and professional gallery. Through innovative programming, Onsite Gallery stimulates art, design and digital media research, creation, exhibition and dialogue that brings together and activates the wider public and university communities.
With support from the De Gasperis Family and the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at Canadian Heritage, Onsite Gallery is moving into a new location at 199 Richmond St. W. where it will exhibit a curated selection of the university’s permanent collection of paintings, drawings and prints by faculty and students. Among its key works are significant canvases by G.A. Reid, J.W. Beatty, J.E.H. Macdonald, Fred Haines, Jack Bush, and David Bolduc.
OCAD U offers undergraduate and graduate programs in curatorial studies and a Tier One Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture & Curatorial Practice.
"I'm very excited to join OCAD U as Director of the Galleries System. I look forward to working with the university's outstanding faculty and students, and the national art, design and new media communities, to create compelling exhibitions and events that celebrate innovation and creativity. My first priority will be preparing for a successful opening of the new Onsite Gallery in June 2017."
This past year, Mr. Alvarez served as a member of the Advisory Group for Ontario's first Culture Strategy. He holds BFA and MBA degrees from York University.
The university is grateful to Peter Milligan and Dorene Mccaulay for their generous support of the Galleries System at OCAD U.