Peggy Gale

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Born in Guyana, Peggy Gale came to Canada at an early age. She studied art history at the University of Toronto and the Universit‡ degli Studi (Florence, Italy), graduating from UofT with an honours B.A. in 1967. She worked at the Art Gallery of Ontario from 1967 to 1974, briefly in the audio-visual library and then as Education Officer, where she was responsible for originating and coordinating all lectures, concerts, films, performance events, etc. She was Assistant Film and Video officer at the Canada Council 1974-75, then returned to Toronto to work as Art Metropole's first Video/Film Director 1975-79. For the next two years she was Executive Director of A Space in Toronto and from 1985-87 was Special Projects Coordinator for Art Metropole. Peggy Gale has also worked since 1974 (full-time since 1981) as an independent curator and writer/critic, on contract to institutions both in Canada and abroad. She was Canadian commissioner for the XIV Bienal Internacional de S„o Paulo (1977) and for the XII Biennale de Paris (1982), and curator for performance works at OKanada in Berlin (Akademie der K¸nste, 1982-3). She has been active as well as a speaker, lecturing on video and contemporary artists' media issues at numerous colleges and universities, as well as in panels and conferences at Graz (Austria), Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon, Tokyo, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. In 1989 she was Curator in Residence at the Western Front in Vancouver, and presented Electronic Landscapes at the National Gallery of Canada; she was also a commissioner for the Third International Video Biennale in Fukui City, Japan. She was a member of the curatorial group for the first Biennale of the Moving Image at Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno in Madrid (1990), and co-curator (with Akihiko Morishita) of the exhibition Northern Lights at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, 1991. For TV Ontario in 1994, she was curator and on-screen host for a ten-programme series by Canadian artists, Video Art Vidéo, in collaboration with National Gallery curator Jean Gagnon and producer Robin Cass. Later the same year she was a jury member for the 40th International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany. Gale has published extensively since the mid-seventies, especially in Parachute magazine (Montreal) and Canadian Art (Toronto). She has edited three books in Art Metropole's By Artists series, and contributed essays to such books as Art, Artists and the Media (Graz, 1978), Performance and Multi-Disciplinarity: Post-Modernism (Montreal, 1981), Video By Artists vols. 1 and 2 (Toronto, 1976, 1986)Vidéo (Montreal, 1986) and Mirror Machine: Video and Identity (Toronto, 1995). Her texts have appeared as well in a significant number of museum catalogues, the most recent being John Massey (Art Gallery of Hamilton, 1994). A collection of her essays entitled Videotexts was published in 1995 by Wilfrid Laurier University Press and The Power Plant; most recently, she edited Video re/View: The (best) Source for Critical Writings on Canadian Artists' Video in collaboration with Lisa Steele, published in 1996 by Art Metropole and Vtape in Toronto. Peggy Gale has participated in juries and advisory committees for the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council on numerous occasions; she has also served two six-year terms on the Contemporary Collection committee of the Art Gallery of Ontario. A contributing editor of Canadian Art magazine since 1986, Gale has been a member of the International Association of Art Critics for some years.