Doris McCarthy Gallery 10-min Outreach Strategizing

[Heather Hart’s interactive exhibition where you attach a piece of  sticky gold paper while making a wish.]

Ann MacDonald, the director and head curator of the Doris McCarthy Gallery and associate professor of visual arts and curatorial studies at UTSC, Her job entails overseeing the operation of the gallery, researching and publishing in the academia, financial management, developing audience and secure funding, curating exhibition, establishing liaison and advocating for art community, just to name a few. Her goal is to not only create opportunities for students to be actively engaged in the gallery space within school but also serve and educate the public sector accordingly.


Followed by the short talk with the Ann, we gathered at the lounge and started a micro-research session on outreach strategies that tailor to the diverse demographic of Scarborough.


Cultural Access Pass is a program initiated by the Institution of Canadian Citizenship. During first year of citizenship, newcomers are encouraged to participate and connect with arts and cultures, history and nature of Canada. Pass holders enjoy discounted rates at major attractions including art galleries, historic sites and national parks. DMG is currently a partner with the ICC, however, the site is at the lower end of appraisal of aesthetic.

[Comparison of Doris McCarthy Gallery on the left and Aga Khan Museum on the right]


With emphasis on the interactive elements, specific strategies that are more responsive from youth includes social media video contest, viral marketing, integration into school’s arts and cultural curriculum such as black history month and school initiated cultural tours.

Elder-“Connect and Engage”

Bring people in the gallery in always the hardest part. So instead of drawing them(bus tours from retirement homes to the venue) to the gallery, we suggested to bring the experience to them. DMG could start with bringing at least one piece of art work with the permission of the artist and setting up a workshop at elderly home. The event can be added to the existing arts programming they already have and expand on that. Elders will be invited to compose story, collage, rhythms and encouraged to incorporate their own experience and interpretation to the art work. We also proposed that DMG could look into the four closest community centres in Scarborough area including Port Union Community Recreation Centre, Heron Park Community Centre, East Scarborough Storefront and Curran Hall Community Centre. Nonetheless, Scarborough also has a higher percentage of  Afro-Caribbean group, which it would be worth creating programs that tune to the ethnic group.



[Taken from Doris McCarthy Gallery Website

“Northern Oracle is an ambitious rooftop installation that emerges from the floor of the gallery, and is accompanied by a series of mixed media drawings. Through her work, Heather Hart considers Black histories, access to ownership, taking up physical space, and the significance of having a place to call home.  Visitors will be able to access both the rooftop and its floor level attic, while further contemplating and enacting upon the corollary of these vantage points. The “Oracle”, located in the attic, is the heart of the work and is a site-specific shrine where visitors may leave behind offerings.

Northern Oracle will provide a performative area, a locale for demonstration of power, influence, and direction where the idiom, “shout it from the rooftop” will be made literal. Throughout the exhibition, the space will be activated by performances, lectures and workshops.


Heather Hart is a visual artist who works in a variety of media including interactive and participatory installation, drawing, collage, and painting. Her work has been included in a variety of publications and exhibited worldwide including at the Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia, PA), the Gantt Center (Charlotte, NC), The Brooklyn Museum and the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. She studied at Princeton and received her MFA from Rutgers. Born in Seattle, Hart now lives and works in Brooklyn.


2 thoughts on “Doris McCarthy Gallery 10-min Outreach Strategizing

  1. You’ve put so much effort in this post! Even including all these external links. The short length of the writing portion and variety of content in this post makes it so engaging!


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