Linda Grussani, an art historian and Indigenous art curator, was originally focused on an economics degree. But she was influenced by her heritage – her mother is from the Algonquin Anishinabe community of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and her father was a builder from northern Italy – to channel her passion for art into two Carleton University degrees. She received an honours BA in Art History in 1999 and a master’s degree in Canadian Art History in 2003.
During her years on campus, she was very involved with the Carleton University Art Gallery, where she held the roles of research assistant and Inuit art curator, curating four exhibitions and co-curating a fifth.
“Positioned in the nation’s capital, the MA program provided me with ample opportunity to apply the strong theoretical basis learned in the classroom through practical experiences that have proved invaluable to my past and current places of work,’’ says Grussani.
She worked in the curatorial department of the National Gallery of Canada for nearly 12 years before becoming the director of the Aboriginal Art Centre at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada for three and a half years.
Grussani recently joined the Canadian Museum of History on an Interchange assignment, serving as curator of Aboriginal Art. She is also working towards her PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. Her area of research focuses on the history of Aboriginal art and artistic expression, with an emphasis on exhibitions. Grussani is not new to the museum – she is also a 2001 graduate of the museum’s Aboriginal Training Programme in Museum Practice.
“Each year I look forward to returning to campus to attend the excellent programming at the Carleton University Art Gallery and the stimulating talks held regularly within the Art History Department,” she says. “Carleton University remains part of my extended family.”