2 août 2005

Situation at The Rooms  

to PShelley, pm, mapr

5:25 pm (11 minutes ago)
August 2 2005

Re: The dismissal of Gordon Laurin, Director, Provincial Art Gallery
Division, The Rooms

To the Board of Directors:

I am an individual artist currently working in Montréal, QC, though I
will very soon be re-locating to Saint John, NB, and I am writing to
express my profound concern over recent occurrences at the Art Gallery
of Newfoundland and Labrador.

As a professional stakeholder in the cultural industries in the
Maritimes (I studied at NSCAD, worked at an ARC for three years where
I came to know Gordon both personally and professionally, and am
returning to the Maritimes to start a new gallery), I have been
patiently waiting for The Rooms project to get off the ground. I was
relieved in April 2004 after waiting 15 months for the professional
directorship of the gallery to be reinstituted. I was especially
relieved at the June 29th opening of the facility after I waited an
additional year for the gallery's professional and community programs
to begin.

As an artist and a cultural professional, it is important to my career
that a gallery director has the community's cultural and professional
interests at heart and that they have professional credibility in the
national cultural context. In Mr. Laurin's limited time in this
position, he demonstrated these qualities.

I have lost all confidence in the Board of Directors and CEO of The
Rooms Corporation and would like to see some of the larger
organizational issues addressed. I demand that you, The Board of
Directors, seek an outside third party to mediate in this situation,
overseeing two processes: 1. The restructuring process of The Rooms
Corporation that appears to be underway; and, 2. Human Resource
mediation in this conflict between Dean Brinton, CEO and Gordon
Laurin, former Art Gallery Director, the second gallery director to be
dismissed from the facility since the province took ownership in
January 2003.

As a professional in this growth industry, I am deeply embarrassed by
the apparent lack of vision and professional know-how at The Rooms
Corporation. This reflects badly on us all.


Chris Lloyd

cc. The Honourable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, The
Honourable Paul Shelley, Minister, Department of Tourism, Culture and

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