For curating art exhibitions that engage our senses and challenge our thinking
Job Title: Curator, Art Gallery of Alberta
As a curator of one of Canada’s largest art galleries, Lindsey Sharman feels a keen responsibility to do her job well. After all, the exhibitions she chooses for the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) have the potential to influence important cultural conversations.
“Artwork is like a lens — or maybe a kaleidoscope — allowing us to peek into a whole different world,” says Sharman, who hails from Saskatchewan. As a curator, her ultimate goal is to “allow other people to see different points of view,” which is why she looks both locally and internationally for artists with diverse voices.
Five years into her AGA role, Sharman says her general approach to curation hasn’t changed, but she’s increasingly drawn to pieces that, unlike traditional visual art, engage more than one sense. In recent years, she’s curated an exhibition with Alberta artist Cindy Baker and Saskatchewan artist Ruth Cuthand that included a hot tub in the gallery that visitors could actually use (literally, “immersive”). Another exhibition with Edmonton artist Curtis Santiago included a dance floor.
But she’s most proud of last year’s exhibition, Scents of Movement, Scents of Place, which targeted the olfactory system and earned her the Canadian Museum Association’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2023. “[I’m drawn to] art that engages not only our minds but our entire bodies and all our senses.”