The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has named Eunice Bélidor its new curator of contemporary art, making her the first, full-time Black curator in the institution’s 161-year history.
“This is something that happens in all the institutions I go through,” Bélidor told the Montreal Gazette. “Wherever I have been hired before, it always sends that message (of change), because I’m usually the first Black person holding that position.”
The Montreal native has established herself over the past decade as a gifted independent curator, writer, and researcher in the city and beyond. She has developed exhibitions in Toronto and Berlin and since 2019, has served as director of FOFA Gallery at Concordia University in Montreal.
A recipient of the 2018 Hnatsyshyn Foundation’s Emerging Curator Award, Bélidor’s projects include “IGNITION 16” (2020), an online show organized with Michèle Tériault at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery at Concordia University; “Over My Black Body” (2019), co-curated with Anaïs Castro at the Galerie de l’UQAM at the University of Quebec in Montreal; and “Future Memories” (2016) and “Code: Body” (2018), presented as part of Montreal’s HTMlles Festival, a platform for digital arts created by women, trans, and gender non-conforming artists.
“This opportunity will allow me to pursue my work of supporting artists and promoting Quebec and Canadian contemporary art in Montreal, Canada, and abroad,” Bélidor said in the Gazette interview. MMFA is Canada’s largest and most popular art museum, with over 1 million visitors in 2019.
In a statement, chief curator Mary-Dailey Desmarais said that Bélidor’s “experience coupled with her interest in stimulating dialogue and in focusing on themes and discourses that are too often marginalized make her a tremendous asset for the MMFA.”