Normand Biron (1946 – )
Born in 1946 in Quebec, Normand Biron did his university studies in literature at Laval University (Quebec), then at the University of Aix-en-Provence (France) and the University of Haute Bretagne (France), as well as studying ethnopsychoanalysis at l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris, where he lived from 1970 to 1984.
As a journalist and author, between 1970 and 1980, he interviewed more than 300 writers and artists worldwide for cultural programs of Radio Canada and for articles in specialized journals. From 1980 to 1984, he was in charge of public relations at the Canadian Cultural Center in Paris. From 1970 until today, he has been a lecturer alternating between the University of Montreal, Laval University (Quebec), Concordia University (Montreal) and the University of Quebec in Montreal.
Since 1988, he has been Commissioner for International Cultural Relations and for the Award of Excellence of the Department of Culture of the City of Montreal. From 1975- 2001 he was a member of several juries, including the Canada Council for the Arts, the International Festival of Films on Art, the Albert Dumouchel Award, the Francophone Games in Morocco, the Montreal Biennale, the National Award for Monumental Art in Mexico, the Biennale of Young painting in Bolivia, and the Alexandria Biennale of Mediterranean Countries.
He has published three books of essays: Paroles de l’Art, Montreal, Québec/Amérique, 1988; L’artiste et le critique et L’art peut-il s’écrire ? (1975-2000), Montréal, Liber, 2000 ; and L’œil énamouré. Préfaces, mélanges et postiche, Montréal, Liber, 2001. He wrote prefaces for numerous exhibitions and published widely, including in Le Devoir, where he was the art critic for four years. He also wrote for La Nouvelle revue d’esthétique (Paris), Vie des Arts, le Cahier des Arts Visuels, Espace, and Liberté. As guest curator, he has curated several exhibitions in museums, including the Museum of Printing in Lyon (France). He has lectured widely in Canada and abroad.
He has received numerous awards including the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Republic (2006), the Médaille du mérite from the Jacques Cartier Centre (France), and a medal of honor from the Great Library of Alexandria.
Member of AICA since 1975, he was its President from 1991 to 2000. He was also an International Vice President of AICA (1991 to 1995). Since 2001 he is President Emeritus of AICA-Canada.
Ken Carpenter (1939 – )
KEN CARPENTER was born in Cabri, Saskatchewan, in 1939 and was educated at the universities of Toronto (B.A.), California (M.A.) and London (Ph. D.).
He taught at York University from 1964 to 2013, where his main subjects were art history and criticism. Carpenter was Chair of the Department of Visual Arts from 1996-2000. He has received awards for excellence in teaching from both the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and the Faculty of Fine Arts of York University.
He has been guest critic at the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshop, has organized a number of exhibitions on artists such as Jack Bush and Sir Anthony Caro. He has published five books and exhibition and almost 100 articles on contemporary art in encyclopaedias, scholarly journals and art magazines such as Abstract critical, Art in America, Art International, Border Crossings, Canadian Art, Canadian Aesthetics Journal, Canadian Encyclopaedia, Dictionary of Art, Journal of Canadian Art History, RACAR (Canadian Art Review/Revue d’Art Canadienne), Studio International and Vie des Arts. Ken Carpenter has served on a number of museum boards and for nine years was President of AICA-Canada, the Canadian Section of the International Association of Art Critics. He was nominated AICA – Canada President Emeritus by his peers.
Virgil Hammock (1938 – )
Born in Long Beach, California, in 1938, Virgil Hammock has been a Canadian citizen since 1973. He studied at the San Francisco Art Institute where he graduated with a BFA in 1965. After serving as a photographer in the US Army, he continued his studies at Indiana University where he obtained a M.F.A in 1967. He immigrated to Canada after being appointed to the Fine Arts Department of the University of Alberta in 1967. From 1968 to 1970, he was Assistant Professor of Art, also acting as Director of the University of Alberta Art Gallery and Museum. Later, as Associate Professor of Art at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, from 1970 − 75, he became Director of Exhibitions at the University Gallery 1.1.1, from 1970 − 1973. In 1975, he moved to Sackville, New Brunswick to become Professor of Fine Arts and Head of the Department of Fine Arts at Mount Allison University where he taught until 2004. He was also acting Director of the University’s Owens Art Gallery in 1988 and 89.The University nominated him Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts in 2005. Deeply involved in his community, Professor Hammock was a member of the New Brunswick Arts Board from 1996 − 2002, and of the New Brunswick Foundation for the Arts in 1999. Virgil Hammock was President of the University’s Art Association of Canada between 1973 − 79.
Professor Hammock has also been fully involved in art criticism since 1968 when he became the art critic for the Edmonton Journal. He is the author and co-author of several art books and artist monographs. He also published numerous articles in Canadian and international journals and magazines, particularly art magazines. He is, since 1973, the Atlantic provinces correspondent for Vie des Arts where he regularly publishes. His published articles and commentary can be found at http://virgilhammock.com.
A member of the editorial board of Vie des Art (1973 − 80), Artfocus (1990 − 2011), and Artsatlantic (1999 − 2004), Professor Hammock is currently Adjunct Curator at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick and has already curated several exhibitions for the gallery. Recent publications include The Circle Completed in Redeemed: Restoring the Lost Free Ross Mural, UNB Art Center, University of New Brunswick (2013) and In Plain Sight, Off the Grid, Beaverbrook Art Gallery (2014).
A member of AICA Canada since 1973, Virgil Hammock was a member of its board from 1975 to 2014 and was twice elected President between 1977 − 80 and 1987 − 91. He was also Vice-President of the AICA International board between 1987 and 90. He was nominated AICA-Canada President Emeritus in 2014.