Art Committee: About Us


Become a part of the Art Committee’s exceptional history–bringing the best in Contemporary Art into the walls of Hart House, or be added to the Art Committee email list by emailing
The Art Committee has 4 sub-committees, where all the excitement occurs. Each sub-committee is headed by a chair (current U of T student), and their programming is specific to their mission.


The Acquisitions sub-committee aims to promote an awareness of local and nation-wide contemporary art practices primarily in Toronto, but also in the major art cities of Montreal, Vancouver and Halifax, bridging art historical, curatorial, collections management and museological skills in a practical and hands-on environment. The Acquisitions sub-committee is responsible for reviewing and acquiring new works for the permanent collection of Hart House with the curatorial assistance of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery. Members participate in gallery and studio visits over the course of the year to familiarize themselves with the practice of contemporary artists to help make a decision. Each member of the Acquisitions sub-committee will learn about contemporary art in a gallery setting where the functions of the gallery, including monetary and cultural value of the work, how it would contribute to the collection, and maintenance of the work will be examined.


The Arbor Room sub-committee provides exhibition programming for the Hart House Arbor Room, where members co-ordinate the exhibition and facilitate the display of the works of student artists in a professional exhibition. The Arbor Room sub-committee organizes the exhibition of student’s art in the Hart House Arbor Room, creating calls for submissions, selecting works from the submissions, and installing the works in the Arbor Room. The members of the sub-committee gain experience in curating, programming and installing a public exhibition, which also includes marketing, event planning, and therefore builds organization, teamwork, leadership and communication skills.


The Education and Outreach sub-committee is the program developing
portion of the Hart House Art Committee, connecting artists, art students, and the wider visual art community in Toronto by furthering the education of those in art, and reaching out to those with a casual interest in art. The sub-committee facilitates projects and workshops associated with the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery’s (JMB) programs, allowing students to develop professional skills in marketing and promotions, program development, communication, and teamwork. Working closely with JMB staff, the workshops (writing and publishing in art, installation, portfolio making, etc.), open forum discussions, and other programs, as well as the skills acquired allow for the experience of art business, curatorial, and programming skills. The unique and invaluable experiences that the Education and Outreach sub-committee provides furthers professional education in art, not always accessible in the classroom situation, and provides an accessible venue for those interested in but not studying art.


The Student Projects sub-committee is the site-specific installation
curatorial project of the Hart House Art Committee, fostering the means and space for one University of Toronto student to create an installation, while creating a professional curatorial experience for those involved in the sub-committee. The sub-committee works its way from a call for submissions, selection of installation piece, to implementing the final project, working closely with Justina M. Barnicke gallery staff. Over the course of the project, skills in marketing, art contracts, institutional logistics (Hart House), professionalism, and leadership are developed in this unique curatorial experience. The sub-committee learns the components of realizing an installation project, and in general a long-term project.

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Video by Olenka Szymonski (