The Art Canada Institute is launching an illustrated book series devoted to Canadian artists.


“There’s never been a book series on Canadian artists,” says Sara Angel, the institute’s founder. « This is the first one. No museum or institution – public or private – has embarked on such an initiative to bring this country’s visual culture to a broad audience. Until now.”


Angel says many Canadians have never heard of many of the country’s leading artists.


“The artists featured in this series help us comprehend how our country has evolved – and figure out where we want to go next. These books are essential to that understanding.”


The first two books in the series are Shuvinai Ashoona: Life & Work, by Nancy G. Campbell, and Greg Curnoe: Life & Work, by Judith Rodger.


Ashoona is an internationally acclaimed third-generation Inuit artist who has upended conventional ideas about art and life in the Far North. In January, she was awarded the $50,000 Gershon Iskowitz Prize for her outstanding contributions to Canadian art.


Curnoe worked in London, Ont., in the 1960s and 1970s.


The institute is a non-profit educational initiative based in Toronto.


The ACI has been producing free digital art books on its website in English and French since 2013, and last year boasted nearly a million readers and growing. Among the 30 artists already featured in the ACI online library are Tom Thomson, William Kurelek, Molly Lamb Bobak, Robert Houle, Françoise Sullivan, and Emily Carr. The ACI has received many requests since its inception for a tactile version of its digital content.


The ACI was established in 2013 at the University of Toronto to make Canadian art history a contemporary conversation. Its print publication imprint is called the Canada Art Library. Four print publications, including one on an Indigenous artist, will be released annually under this imprint.


About the Art Canada Institute

The Art Canada Institute (ACI) is a non-profit research organization based at Massey College, University of Toronto. Its Canadian Online Art Book Project—a program that since 2014 has released over 30 books, all available free of charge in both French and English—publishes on key topics in Canadian art history. The ACI is the only national institution whose mandate is to promote the study of an inclusive, multi-vocal Canadian art history to as broad an audience as possible within Canada and internationally.


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