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November 7, 2002 Gallery gets a $2-miilion endowment



Clarence Bayne and Julie Boivin

The secret’s out . . . Professor Clarence Bayne, who heads the DIA/DSA unit in the John Molson School of Business that will house the new Bruno J. Pateras Graduate Award in Arts Administration, chats with guide Julie Boivin. In the background are Carolyn Renaud, chair of the Gallery’s fundraising committee, and Lillian Vineberg, chair of the Board of Governors. The striking artwork is Une reine, 700 mâles et 26,426 ouvrières, 2002, by Thérèse Chabot.

Photo by Vincenzo D’Alto

by Barbara Black

Friends of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery found out they really had something to celebrate when they met for a 10th anniversary brunch at the gallery last Sunday.

Rector Frederick Lowy made a surprise announcement that a $2-million endowment fund will be established to put the gallery on a firm financial footing and undertake new projects.

One million dollars was raised by the Rector’s Cabinet through the combined efforts of the Max and Iris Stern Museums Legacy, Abe and Harriet Gold, Avi Morrow and the board of the Gallery, and this amount was matched by the Concordia University Foundation.

As a result, the Gallery has the assurance that it can pursue its multifaceted mandate to collect, research, conserve, exhibit and educate, all in the name of Canadian art.

Collector and Concordia benefactor Leonard Ellen, who lent his name to the gallery when it moved into the main floor of the J.W. McConnell complex in 1992, was particularly moved by the announcement.

Helaine Kliger, who heads the gallery’s advisory board, told guests at the brunch that the gallery’s buzzword will no longer be “Montreal’s best-kept secret,” the ironic name of the current show, but “Montreal’s most happening gallery.”

Until now, a single person has filled the dual roles of curator and director of the Gallery (currently, Lynn Beavis). However, a search is now in progress for a director. This will be followed by a search for the Max Stern Curator, and a third position will be created, that of art education coordinator.

For four years, the Gallery has had an educational internship program based on a Canada Council grant and offered in conjunction with Concordia’s Department of Art Education.

The Ann Duncan Award for the Visual Arts, named in honour of a Gazette art critic, is given annually to a fine arts student to fund their tuition and give them museum experience in a gallery setting.

To this will be added the Bruno J. Pateras Graduate Award in Arts Administration, which will provide a gallery internship in the John Molson School of Business. The award was established by Abe and Harriet Gold to commemorate Pateras, an alumnus and Montreal criminal lawyer.

The roots of Concordia’s art gallery go back to 1962, when space was allocated in the Henry F. Hall Building for modest holdings of art. Since then, a significant collection has been built up, thanks to the discriminating work of successive curators and directors, including Edwy Cooke, Donald Andrus, Sandra Paikowsky and Karen Antaki.

The Ellen Gallery now has a rich collection of Canadian art — historical (pre-1945), modern (circa 1945 to 1970) and contemporary — and is considered the leading university museum in the field.