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Erinn Beth Langille is the new director of NSCAD’s Anna Leonowens Gallery Systems

Erinn Beth Langille
Erinn Beth Langille, new director of the Anna Leonowens . Gallery Systems. Photo by Keely Hopkins.

Stepping into the role of director at the Anna Leonowens Gallery Systems feels like coming home, says Erinn Beth Langille.

“I graduated from NSCAD twenty years ago. The Anna Leonowens Gallery was the first space I saw myself as an active participant in the creation of visual culture. It was where I learned to engage, be critical, and be creative all at once.” 

Erinn moves to her new position at The Anna from the Creative Entrepreneurship Lab at NSCAD, where she has been coordinator since 2021. She takes over from Melanie Colosimo, who served as gallery director from 2014 to 2023.

“I am thrilled to build on the fantastic legacy of leadership before me, and to continue working with our talented staff, faculty, and students, enriching NSCAD’s preeminent experiential learning opportunity,” she says.   

About the new director

Erinn holds a BA in Political Science from Dalhousie, a BFA (Interdisciplinary) and a BA (Art History) from NSCAD University, an MA from the University of Essex in Modern Art and Theory, and her MFA in Fiction from the University of New Orleans.

An award-winning writer and arts administrator, she has been a speaker, jury member, or board member for such organizations as White Rabbit Arts, the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, START UP CANADA, and ARTS NS, and is currently part of the Entrepreneurship and Experiential Learning Working Group Project with the Nova Scotia Government. She was the co-founder and creative director of The Lemon Tree House Residency in Tuscany, Italy from 2013-2018. She also served as the program assistant at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in New Orleans.

Her writing has appeared in Canadian Literature, Maclean’s, the National Post, Bad Day, Billie, and The Arkansas Review: Journal of Delta Studies amongst others, and she has written artist catalogue essays for Hamilton Artist Inc., Mercer Union, and TRUCK. Her ekphrasis poem, “Take Away The Bells”, a commission by the artist William Robinson, was cast as a bronze plaque and displayed at the National Gallery of Canada from October 2016 to February 2017.  

The stewardship of this system is a privilege I take very seriously’

The Anna holds a unique role in Nova Scotia as a pedagogical gallery system; very few art and design university galleries are as deeply embedded in the learning process as the Anna Leonowens Gallery Systems, which mounts over 100 exhibitions and over 70 events a year, giving emerging artists hands-on experience for what is often their first solo exhibition.

The director oversees three distinct spaces ­– the Anna Leonowens Gallery, the Treaty Space Gallery, and the Port Loggia – as well as managing the Public Lecture Series, visiting professional artists, the archive and permanent collection, and public art on campus.

“The director of the Anna Leonowens Gallery Systems plays a key leadership role at NSCAD,” says Jana Macalik, Interim Vice-President (Academics and Research) and Provost. “They shape and contribute to the creative vision of our university, they provide curatorial leadership. With our preparing for a move to the port, this is an incredibly important role.”

“Erinn’s experience and vision make her the perfect choice for NSCAD and the Anna Leonowens Gallery. Her vision for the arts will offer exciting opportunities for community engagement. I was particularly moved by her enthusiasm for the power of art to promote tolerance and understanding of all viewpoints and identities. I am very excited about the future of The Anna under her guidance.”

Erinn says she is looking forward to promoting The Anna as a hub for creative and intellectual activity in and outside NSCAD, reaching out to neighbouring cultural communities, and to activate the university’s collections as a learning resource to inspire teaching and faculty collaboration.

“The stewardship of this system is a privilege I take very seriously. The galleries, and by extension the University, are incredible platforms of expression, learning, and belonging as well as essential spaces for artists to explore justice, artistry, and community building.”

Learn more about the Anna Leonowens Gallery Systems