--L’Imagier Art Centre introduces new steering team, board hires-in from around the country
Ready to build upon past success and elevate to another level in the future, L’Imagier Art Centre has announced the arrival of its new team – featuring a dynamic trio of ladies with diverse artistic, professional and native backgrounds. According to a press release issued by the art gallery on November 24, Leonore-Namkha Beschi will take the reins as its new director, alongside Amélie Rondeau as Program Coordinator, and its Administrative coordinator and welcoming agent will be Marguerite Ingenito.
Boasting a Master’s degree in Visual Arts and Art History from the University of Strasbourg in France, Beschi, has more than a decade of professional experience in the arts in the Middle-East, and North America, most recently working as curator of interpretation and engagement at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Originally from Montreal, Rondeau has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Art History from Concordia University, with experience in research, project management and cultural event planning in several organizations in Canada, including the Fondation de la Place des Arts. With a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at the Dominican University College in Ottawa, and a diploma in visual arts at the CEGEP de l’Outaouais, Ingenito joined the gallery full-time in September.
Having already been associated with L’Imagier in different capacities for around a year, Rondeau has also worked as program interpreter at the Canadian Museum of History. Initially hired during the summer, she explained that the announcement was intended to officially start the beginning of a new chapter for the organization, after recently turning the page on its former director Marianne Breton’s long-time tenure. “We’re going in a new direction,” Rondeau said.
Noting that Breton’s team made exemplary progress in building the centre into what it is today – a high quality gallery promoting professional artists and providing free exhibits for the community – Rondeau admitted that the new team has a notable reputation to hold up. But, with Beschi in charge and plenty of creative ideas to go around, she believes the team has more than what it takes to maintain and even elevate the gallery’s status in the community while always staying true to its mandate. “For sure, we want to keep up the good work,” Rondeau said. “But the idea is to really pursue what has been done and improve our visibility, our activities and programming.”
Both relatively new to the region, Rondeau believes she and Beschi have what it takes to bring something different to the gallery that locals will still enjoy. Just a few weeks into her new job after moving here from Alberta, Beschi said she’s quickly taken a liking to the region. Excited to keep discovering new things, she added that she’s mostly thrilled about the new challenge that lies ahead off her.
Highly impressed by the gallery upon first glance, Beschi said the more she found out about it, the more it interested her to get involved. “When I saw the building, I saw the potential right away,” Beschi said. “It’s very well located, completely renovated; it’s very inviting and there’s a real family aspect to it.”
For Beschi, the gallery’s main mission for the time being, besides finding ways to safely connect with the community during the pandemic, is to elevate its level of popularity to eventually make a name for itself internationally, while supporting local artists and their work. Although the gallery remains temporarily closed due to COVID-19, Rondeau said the new team looks forward to reopening to the public as soon as it’s safe to do so – hopefully in the spring of 2021 – with an exhibition that everyone can appreciate. “We’re working very hard on programming for next year,” Rondeau said. “We’re trying to organize activities or artistic displays that can be accessed by the public even if our doors stay closed.”