Members Spotlight

Aileen McConnell

Curator’s Circle


HOW WE MET HER: “I was introduced to Aileen by her Metchosin neighbour, June Sohuus, who mentioned that she had a wonderful work by William Kurelek which might be suitable for our upcoming show of the artist. Aileen not only lent us this wonderful painting for the exhibition but she ended up donating it to the AGGV collection.” Jon Tupper

Q: What motivated you to become a member of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria?

A very senior and long time friend of AGGV and former neighbour who had visited our home in Metchosin asked if she might invite the Director and a Senior Curator at that time to visit us, to see our Collection.  One very snowy wintry day in Metchosin, house driveway not ploughed, they arrived and had to walk through the snow!  That was when Mary Jo Hughes was putting together the major retrospective of William Kurelek’s work which was then going to several other Canadian Galleries ( AGO Hamilton and Winnipeg).  When they saw the Kurelek they immediately decided it should be part of that travelling Show.  And so the connection was forged.  My late husband and I were happy to agree to their request and joined the Gallery, where that painting is still part of the AGGV Collection.

Q: What sparked your interest in the arts?

My mother was an artist, who lived and painted in Northern Ireland.  Usually, when I would come home after school, I would find her sitting painting.  She had a Mini and would often drive to a favourite place and settle down to paint. There are some of her pieces here at my home.  My brothers and sister all have some of her work, and a niece in Australia received one major piece as a wedding present.
Q: What exhibition/program have you recently enjoyed at the Gallery?
I very much appreciated the recent exhibition telling of the beginning and early history of The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Collection.