Niamh O’Laoghaire

Director, Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Markham ON

NIAMH O’LAOGHAIRE [nee-iv olera] has over twenty years experience in the Canadian heritage sector. With a Ph.D. in Fine Art she was a faculty member at McMaster University (1991-1999) teaching Western and Canadian art history from the 18th Century through to the 1990s. While there, she was a member of the McMaster University Museum of Art’s Acquisitions Committee, tasked with spending the $15 million Levy Bequest to create a collection for the University and Hamilton Community.

After opening her own gallery, SCAM Contemporary Art, she was appointed Director of the University of Toronto Art Centre (UTAC) in 2001. For the next dozen years she directed all UTAC functions: artistic and curatorial direction; exhibitions; educational & public programs; finances, publications; human resources; marketing, and facilities. While there, UTAC mounted over 100 exhibitions of varying scale, the majority originating in-house, and received three Ontario Association of Art Galleries “Best Exhibition of the Year” Awards.

After a brief stint as Director/Curator of the John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, Ms. O’Laoghaire joined the Varley Art Gallery of Markham as Director. Named for founding member of the Group of Seven, F. H. Varley, the gallery is located in historic Unionville, where Varley spent the last dozen years of his life.

Service to the profession includes presidency of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO), 2007-9 and participation on the Executive Committee of the University and College Art Gallery Association of Canada (UCAGAC).