Felicia Mings will join the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) as the gallery’s new curator. Mings comes to the AGYU from the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was the academic curator in the Department of Academic Engagement and Research.
A key aspect of Mings’ curatorial practice is interpreting and presenting modern and contemporary art of Africa and the African diaspora, as represented by two recent exhibitions she co-curated for the Art Institute of Chicago: “Malangatana: Mozambique Modern,” 2020, and “The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anti-Apartheid Poster,” 2019. Mings co-edited the accompanying exhibition catalogues. The Medu catalogue includes writings by herself and other key contributors such as Antawan I. Byrd, Khwezi Gule, and Ashraf Jamal, among others. During her tenure at the Art Institute of Chicago, Mings provided leadership on several initiatives that fostered new approaches to training emerging museum professionals and artist and student engagement with the museum’s collection, including the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program (2014–20) and the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund project “Curatorial Practice, Equity, and Exchange: A Dialogue Between Cape Town and Chicago” (2018–19).
Mings joins the AGYU’s curatorial team in the role of curator on April 12. She will work with Jenifer Papararo, and in collaboration with all AGYU curatorial staff. Mings’ focus on the intersections of curatorial practice and community-based arts education will be essential in AGYU’s evolution.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to Toronto at this time in my career and this transformative moment in the AGYU’s history,” says Mings. “It is an honour to join an institution that has long been invested in questions of how we can bring people together through contemporary art, to advance dialogue on global issues, histories, and ideas, with an eye toward their resonance with local communities. I look forward to contributing to the vibrant art community in Toronto and Canada more broadly.”
Mings’ accomplishments include independent exhibitions and educational programs such as “Intimate Encounters, Blanc Gallery,” 2018; “Body and Soul,” the Gene Siskel Film Center, 2015; “What We All Long For,” SAIC’s Student Union Galleries 2014; “Fine Color,” a series of short films for the Chicago Home Theater Festival, 2014; and the “Youth Film Club” at the Rebuild Foundation’s Black Cinema House, 2013. Mings has also been a part of the inaugural teams at The Council of Educators of Toronto and Nia Center for the Arts, both non-profit organizations working to enhance socio-economic opportunities for youth, and, respectively, educational attainment and access to the arts.
Born and raised in Canada, Mings earned her MA in visual and critical studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her honours BA in art and art history from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College.