A look at Kelowna Art Gallery Director Nataley Nagy

from okanaganlife.com by laurie

Popular perception may rate taking in an art exhibition right up there with getting a root canal, but that doesn’t phase the new exec director of the Kelowna Art Gallery. Making art accessible to the community is a prime goal for Nataley Nagy.

Taking on the role of executive director for a major regional institution like the Kelowna Art Gallery (KAG) means a lot more than looking at pretty pictures. Along with aesthetics, Nataley Nagy’s job involves marketing and politics.

A transplanted easterner she arrived in Kelowna just last year. “It only sunk in about six months ago that I live here,” says Nataley, who came to KAG from the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto.

Taking the Kelowna positition could be seen as a step down from a major museum in the country’s largest city, but for Nataley it was an opportunity to return to her roots in purely visual arts.

“I was always interested in visual art but the Textile Museum is really fascinating because it’s home to a large amount of ethnographic material dealing with many, many different cultures. We had more than 12,000 artifacts. But it is more a museum-type of operation than a gallery. We did do contemporary art shows in order to excite contemporary art viewers. But I really did want to come back to Canadian contemporary art and Kelowna was a really perfect opportunity.”

The KAG job also gave Nataley the chance to leave the big city, which she wanted to do, and to try out the west. “I’m really quite an eastern person. I’m from Montreal, but I wanted to try something completely different. This was a great opportunity to come back into contemporary Canadian art with a collecting institution that has potential for a lot of growth.”

Nataley likes to be a change maker and sees this as a perfect place to do it. “There’s a fantastic team working here. Plus, I have a fantastic board of directors. The gallery, over the years, has cultivated a number of community members who are really committed to increasing its profile and being relevant to the community.”

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