Young Canada Works 2017 Archives Assistant explores exhibition records

Thanks to a Young Canada Works 2017 grant, we are delighted to host Andréa Tarnawsky as our Archives Assistant this summer. Andréa joins the Archives from the iSchool@UBC, where she is completing a Dual Masters in Archives and Library Studies. She has previously worked in municipal and special collections archives and is thrilled to be working in a fine art context for the first time.

“I have been discovering many compelling exhibitions from the 1980s-1990s, just after the Gallery moved to Hornby Street. One of my favourite aspects is learning about artists I admire, such as Gathie Falk and Douglas Coupland, and also happening upon new artists and perspectives, while ensuring long term preservation of the exhibition records.”

As Archives Assistant, Andréa’s job involves examining boxes of records, arranging and enclosing them in acid-free folders for long-term preservation, and updating the finding aids to enable better access to the Gallery’s exhibition history. Andréa has so far processed records for more than 300 exhibitions from 1983 to the mid-1990s.


“The records concern the exhibitions themselves, such as lists of works and documentation about artists and lenders. But what fascinates me is the correspondence –  letters of the staff, curators, and artists – that really tells the story of the community and the ethos of the Gallery during that time in its history. I hope my work will allow more people to discover the many stories within the Gallery’s exhibition archives.”


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