Brian Smylski - Arts and Culture Wall of Fame
In 1990, Brian became the Curator and later Executive Director of the Niagara Falls Art Gallery. He was a
passionate promoter of the arts who believed that art should be available to all. He believed that an
introduction to, and an appreciation of art should begin with children. Brian organized many arts programs and his staff continues to provide classes for all ages both at the gallery and in schools throughout the region.
These programs became popular and in high demand, not just in Niagara Falls but also in St. Catharines, Welland, and other areas.
Brian received an Honours B.A. Degree from Brock University in 1981. He served as Curatorial Assistant at Rodman Hall Arts Centre, 1984-1990, was owner/publisher/editor of several regional arts journals and
newspapers, and was editor of Brock University Press from 1980 to 1984. He presented many guest lectures at Brock University and at the National Gallery of Canada, in addition to contributing to numerous exhibition catalogues. Brian served on the city's Arts and Culture Committee for well over ten years, the Arts Education Niagara Committee, the Board for the Niagara District School for Performing Arts, the Carousel Players Theatre Board, as well as other committees and boards. His calm advice and counsel were always appreciated.
The gallery has become a unique art education and exhibition facility. With the support of the Board of
Directors, he instituted policies and procedures, rationalized and enhanced the Gallery's collections and collecting policies, and ensured a vibrant education program. Brian's greatest achievement and enduring legacy is the Niagara Children's Museum, where children of all ages will have a more fulfilling life because they have the opportunity to learn about art and enjoy it.
Brian was just fifty-three years old when he died on March 6, 2011, but he accomplished so much and left a lasting legacy.