Director’s Biography

Terry Graff is Director/CEO and Chief Curator of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. One of Canada’s foremost curators and respected senior administrators in the visual arts, he has also distinguished himself as a highly accomplished visual artist, art writer, educator, and gallery director. 

He has served as Executive Director/CEO of three major public art galleries in three different parts of Canada: the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (2003-2008); Rodman Hall Arts Centre, St. Catharines, Ontario (2000-2003); and Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (1993-2000). In addition, he has served as director of the artist-run Struts Gallery, Sackville, New Brunswick, and as Education Curator for the Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario; he has taught visual arts as a high school art teacher in Ontario and New Brunswick; and has taught drawing and sculpture for the Department of Fine Arts at Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick.

Born in Cambridge (Galt), Ontario, Graff received his B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, and B.Ed in Visual Arts from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. He studied Fine Art at the Doon School of Fine Arts, Doon, Ontario, and received a diploma in Fine Art from Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology, London, Ontario. He also pursued graduate work in art history, media arts and art education at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, received a postgraduate diploma in Fine Art from the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Masstricht, the Netherlands, and holds a M.A. in Art Education from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Graff has curated over 150 exhibitions, written an extensive number of articles, catalogues, and books on a wide range of contemporary and historical artists and art subjects, and conducted numerous lectures and workshops. As a visual artist, he has been the recipient of several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as major sculpture commissions. His art has toured regionally and nationally in numerous one-person and group exhibitions, and is included in many public and private collections across the country, including the Canada Council Art Bank and the Canadiana Fund at Stornoway.

Graff has received several awards in recognition of his various cultural contributions across Canada, including the Fanshawe College Distinguished Alumni Award; The Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan (Official Honour of the Crown recognizing individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Province of Saskatchewan); the Christina Sabat Award for Art Criticism in Atlantic Canada sponsored by the Sheila Hugh MacKay Foundation; Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Museums in Canada and to the Activities of the Canadian Museums Association; and two eagle feathers from the Mi’kmaq First Nation for his work in promoting the art of aboriginal artists. A tireless advocate for the centrality of art in people’s lives and as an essential ingredient for the health and well-being of communities, he has served as Chairman of several boards, including ArtsAtlantic Magazine, the Friends of the Mi’kmaq, and the Museums Association of Saskatchewan, and as a board member of two of New Brunswick’s artist-run centres, Struts Gallery and Gallery Connexion.