As an art educator, art gallery director and educator, curator, arts administrator, consultant and facilitator, Virginia Stephen has been engaged in a rich career of facilitating the engagement of people of all ages with art in formal and informal learning situations. Stephen’s own art practice underlies her education practice.
Virginia has over 40 years of experience in the arts, museum, heritage and education sectors. She was Deputy Director (Head of Programs – Exhibitions, Education and Public Programs, Curator) at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Executive Director of the Edmonton Art Gallery; Executive Director of Liberal Studies Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta and on the faculty of the Arts and Cultural Management program at McEwan University. She was a creativity facilitator for the Leadership Development Program at The Banff Centre. As an artist, she is a painter, works in mixed media and is a fibre artist.
Actively engaged in volunteer leadership in her profession and in the community, she has served on the boards of the Canadian Museums Association, the Canadian Art Gallery/Museum Educators, the Edmonton Arts Council (chair), the Alberta Premier’s Council on Culture, the Edmonton Heritage Council (chair), the Edmonton Design Committee, and the board of artist run centres and community arts organizations in Edmonton and Nova Scotia.
Stephen has an MA in Visual and Performing Arts Education and undergraduate degrees in both Art History and Arts Education, is a graduate of the Getty Museum Leadership Institute and has studied studio practice at Emily Carr College of Art and Design, the Banff Centre (where she has had 2 residencies), Red Deer College, and St Lawrence College.
After 15 years in Edmonton Virginia has returned to Nova Scotia to live, make art and consult in Lunenburg.