Professor of History and Theory of Art and Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts

2002, Ph.D. Art History and Theory, University of Essex, U.K.
1998, M.A. Critical Museology, University of Sussex, U.K.,
1996, B.A. Honors, History and Theory of Art and Design, U.W.I.C., U.K.

100 Laurier Ave. E., Room 301

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3739

Work E-mail: cjeffery@uOttawa.ca

Celina Jeffery


Celina Jeffery is a curator, writer and associate professor of Art History and Theory at the University of Ottawa. Recent research projects include Preternatural (2011-12) at venues across Ottawa, Canada; Hold On, co-curated with Avantika Bawa at Gallery Maskara, Mumbai, 2011; Afterglow (featuring Ghada Amer, Alfredo Jaar and Bill Viola, amongst others) in Lacoste, France, 2007, and Wangechi Mutu: The Cinderella Curse at the ACA Gallery, Atlanta, USA, 2007. She is the co-editor with Gregory Minissale of Global and Local Art Histories (2007) and editor of the new anthology, The Artist as Curator, published by Intellect (2015). She is a founder and editor of Drain Magazine, A Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture, www.drainmag.com. Her new project, Ephemeral Coast, www.ephemeralcoast.com is the recipient of a SSHRC Insight Grant.

Ongoing Research

Ephemeral Coast is an experimental forum in an exhibition setting, bringing together artists, writers and climate change experts to explore how curating can advance consideration of climate change. Curating is my primary methodology; my position is that curating can be a critically informed creative research process, giving rise to new kinds of aesthetic experience and routes of knowledge that are socially networked and impactful. I am using the idea that the exhibitions themselves are a catalyst – both in terms of inputs and outcomes, for reinserting the cultural specificities and values of climate change in regional coastal settings.

Courses taught

  • AHL1000 Arts for a Changing Planet
  • ART6973 – The Work of Art in Context/ L’oeuvre mise en contexte théorique
  • ART3170 – Modern Art and the Crisis of Representation
  • ART3171 – Art, Utopia and the Avant-garde
  • ART3180 – Art after Modernism 
  • ART3344 – Museum Studies and Artistic Practice
  • ART4119 – Curating for contemporary art
  • ART4115 – Contemporary Art and Spirituality

Selected publications

2015: Jeffery, C., The Artist As Curator, (Ed.), London: Intellect Press.

2014 : Jeffery, C. ‘On Transformation in the Work of Sylvia Safdie’, Prefix Photo, Prefix Institute of  Contemporary Art: TO, Fall Issue, 30 : Object Lessons

2014: Jeffery, C. Ephemeral Coast, S. Wales, Brooklyn, NY: punctum books, 64 pages, illus.

2013: Jeffery, C. ‘To See a World in A Grain of Sand: Wolfgang Laib and the Aesthetics of Interpenetrability’, Religion and the Arts, 17 (57-73) Ed. Loren Lerner.

2013 : Jeffery, C. ‘Anne Katrine Senstad : Universals’, in « The Metamorphoses of the Virtual - One Hundred Years of Art and Freedom”, Ed. Roberta Semeraro,55th International Art Exhibition La Beinnale di Venezia 2013

2013, ‘The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie by Eric Lewis and “Amzrou/Morocco” at Joyce Yahouda Gallery’, Border Crossings, Vol. 32, No. 4. 

2013, ‘Natural Motif: Lorraine Gilbert and Natasha Mazurka’, Border Crossings, Vol. 32, No. 4.  Special Venice Issue: Vol. 42, No. 2.

2012: Jeffery, C. Editor of ‘Supernature’ issue of Drain, A Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture, www.drainmag.com  

2012: Jeffery, C. ‘Carbon 12: Art and Climate Change – Cape Farewell’, Black, Drain Magazine: A Journal of Art and Culture

2011: Jeffery, C. Preternatural, featuring essays by curator Celina Jeffery and Levi R. Bryant. Punctum : New York

2011: Jeffery, C. ‘Marie Jeanne Musiol: Black Holes’, Prefix Photo,Prefix Institute of   Contemporary Art: TO, Spring Issue

2009: Jeffery, C. ‘I Am Not Here: Identifying Contemplation in the Cool Spaces of Contemporary Art’, Drain Magazine: A Journal of Art and Culture, www.drainmag.com, ‘Cold’ Issue,Vol. 6, No.1, September 

2007:      Jeffery, C. and Minissale, G., Global and Local Art Histories,(Eds.), (Newcastle)

Selected exhibitions

2014: Ephemeral Coast, S. Wales featuring Julia Davis, Stefhan Caddick, Gemma Copp and Fern Thomas, Mission Gallery, Wales, UK. 14 June - 03 August 2014

2011-2012: Preternatural: a multi-venue exhibition in Ottawa, Canada 

Marie-Jeanne Musiol (CA), Mariele Neudecker (Ger./UK), Anne Katrine Senstad (Nor/USA), Sarah Walko (USA) and Andrew Wright (CA)

Adrian Göllner, (CA), 10th-17th Dec., 2011

Avantika Bawa, (Ind.) 7th-19th Jan., 2012

Anne Katrine Senstad, 29th Jan. – 17th Feb. 2012

Shin Il Kim, (Kor.) 4th Jan. – 7th Feb., 2012 

2011, Jeffery, C. and Avantika Bawa, Hold On, (Marek Ranis, Satellite Bureau, Mansoor Ali, Josh Smith, Stuart Kheeler), Gallery Maskara, Mumbai, India, June/July 

2009, Jeffery, C. Vestiges: An Exhibition of MFA work from the University of Ottawa, Galerie   Donald Brown, Montreal, Canada, March 

2007, Jeffery, C. Afterglow, (featuring Ghada Amer, Patrick Blanc, Maja Godlewska, Hervé Half, Ju Yeon Kim, Alfredo Jaar and Bill Viola),SCAD Lacoste Campus and Galleries, France, Summer 

2007, Jeffery, C. The Pulse of the Earth: Lorella Abenavoli, Pei Ling Chan Gallery, SCAD, Savannah, USA, July 

2007, Jeffery, C. Wangechi Mutu: The Cinderella Curse, Atlanta College of Art Gallery (ACA)/SCAD, Atlanta, USA, May 

2007, Jeffery, C. and Minnissale, G. Lines of Flight (featuring Rafael Lozano Hemmer, Thomson and Craighead, Peter Horvath and David Crawford), Winner of Curatorial Competition to represent Leonardo Education Forum at CAA. Hunter College, NYC. Feb.

Awards and Achievements

  • Canada Council, Assistance to Professional Independent Critics and Curators, 2011
  • Finalist, Capital Educator’s Award, 2010
  • Winner, Leonardo Educator’s Forum (Curatorial), CAA, New York, 2007

Fields of Interest

  • Theory and Practice of curating
  • Contemporary art globalization and systems of navigation
  • Inter-disciplinary perspectives on climate change and environmental responsibility
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