Posted on : Wednesday, March 13, 2013


The Board of Directors of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery announced today that Marilyn Smith, Executive Director, will retire from the gallery in mid-July. Board President Johnna Kubik states "Marilyn has played a pivotal role in the growth and development of SAAG. Her legacy is the gallery’s strong business foundation, developed through various of her initiatives which included the gallery branding project, strategic planning, and creation of the fund development position to name a few. Under her guidance SAAG has expanded its audience, sponsorships, and reputation. Marilyn has been a tireless champion of the gallery, advocating to ensure that SAAG receives the recognition and resources it deserves. She has also been a mentor to the gallery staff, helping them to develop their skills and achieve their professional development goals.”

Succeeding Smith is Ryan Doherty who will take on the position of Director/Curator on July 13. Doherty joined the staff of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery as Curator in 2008 after receiving his Master of Arts degree from the Centre for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York. Doherty completed his undergraduate degree with a focus on curatorial studies at the University of Lethbridge in 1997. Recently Doherty has served as a juror for two of the country's most important awards for contemporary art, the Sobey Art Award in 2011 and 2012, and the upcoming 2013 RBC Canadian Painting Competition. “Ryan’s curatorial skill, the respect he has earned in the field of contemporary art, and his demonstrated commitment to SAAG’s mandate make him amply qualified to take on the position of Director/Curator,” comments President Kubik.

Danielle Tait will move from her current portfolio as Director of Development & Communications to Associate Director overseeing the administrative functions of the gallery and in charge of Finance and Fund Development. A graduate of the University of Lethbridge Faculty of Management Tait has progressively moved through the organization taking on positions of greater responsibility since she joined the staff in 2008.  Assistant Curator Christina Cuthbertson, who has been an integral part of the SAAG team since receiving her BFA from the University of Lethbridge in 2005, will take on more curatorial responsibilities with an expanded role in the development of exhibitions and public programming.

Marilyn Smith states: “Working at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery has been such an honour.   Building on the vision of former Directors and Boards, I have been proud to contribute to the gallery’s legacy of excellence in cultural programming, our devotion to contemporary artists and their practice, and our commitment to engaging the communities in which we live and work.  I have every faith that the new SAAG team lead by Ryan will take the gallery forward with a continued dedication and enthusiasm for realizing our mandate through creative and innovative means that reflect the perspectives of the world around us.”