Vancouver Art Gallery chief curator Daina Augaitis will leave post at end of year

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      One of the guiding hands at the Vancouver Art Gallery over the past two decades plans to bid adieu at the end of this year.

      Daina Augaitis has been the gallery's chief curator and associate director since 1996.

      In that role, she has curated many solo exhibitions of prominent local artists, including Ian Wallace, Brian Jungen, Geoffrey Farmer, Marianne Nicholson, Stan Douglas, Douglas Coupland, and Paul Wong.

      She's also cocurated many exhibitions showing the work of artists such as Rebecca Belmore, Bharti Kher, Charles Edenshaw.

      “I am very proud to have worked with a talented and dedicated team to elevate the gallery’s curatorial work as a leading visual art institution, with an international reach and a strong local impact,” Augaitis in a VAG news release.

      VAG director Kathleen Bartels said in the same release that Augaitis "has been instrumental" to many successs.

      "We are so grateful for her significant contributions to the gallery’s curatorial program, for her commitment to artists, and her curatorial rigour, which is internationally recognized," Bartels stated. "She has forged an important foundation as we work towards the establishment of the new Vancouver Art Gallery.”

      On behalf of the VAG, Daina Augaitis accepted a gift of Rodney Graham's artwork from BMO Financial Group CEO Bill Downie (centre) and BMO senior vice president Joanne Gassman (right).

      Augaitis also has admirers in the local media.

      Georgia Straight visual arts critic Robin Laurence called Augaitis "an outstanding curator of both local and international art".

      "What I would like to add is how accessible and accommodating she has been to the media," Laurence said. "It must get tedious touring us through new exhibitions month after month and year after year. But she always projects immense enthusiasm for the art on display. I also deeply appreciate the knowledge and insights she has shared with me."