When Stephen Borys, executive director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery came to Winnipeg he did so intending to put down roots here.
He's wasted no time making his mark, bringing one of the most talked about art shows in the country to our fair city - 100 Masters
But when he's not curating giant, centennial-celebrating exhibits, Borys also tries to carve out some reading time. The challenge is, after moving so many times, he has around 100 boxes of books to get through, which explains whey he usually has several on the go at once.
Borys says he moves easily between
fiction and nonfiction, current events and biographies, poetry and
prose, professional publications, or whatever his son is
asked him to take us on a spin through his current reading pile:
We never had a television growing up (and we still don't) so reading was always a big part of our daily life at home. In fact I can't think of a time in my life without books - and I always have a book or two on the go.
Books are in the living room, kitchen, bedroom and study, and they travel with us on business, pleasure and vacation. This goes for my wife, Hazel, the managing principal of a town planning firm, and our eight-year old son, Roman, who has already built up his own library.
Reading at the end of the day with our son (and sometimes in the morning) is a daily ritual in our household. And we usually manage to find time on the weekend to settle in with a coffee and books (and newspapers) close by.
"No More Play" by Michael Maltzan (Hatje Cantz)
From an international pool of 65 prospective architectural teams across 15 countries Michael Maltzan was the unanimous choice of the WAG's architect selection committee for the design of the new Inuit Art and Learning Centre.
Through a strong belief in architecture's role in cities and landscapes, Maltzan has succeeded in creating new cultural and social connections across a range of scales and programs.
He remains committed to the creation of progressive, transformative experiences in design that chart new trajectories for architecture, urbanism, and the public realm.
In his book No More Play: Conversations on Urban Speculation in Los Angeles and Beyond,
Michael has a series of conversations with artists, architects, writers and planners about the life and fabric of Los Angeles - as a city, metropolis, community and place.
As Michael looks at the Inuit project at the WAG in the heart of Winnipeg, his work in the inner city of Los Angeles has great resonance.
"Louis I. Kahn and the Yale Center for British Art: A Conservation Plan" by Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee (YC British Art)
Louis Kahn's Yale Center for British Art happens to be one of my favourite museum buildings in the United States, and every visit I've made to the Yale University campus has ended with a trip to the YCBA.
I am also very interested in the intelligent maintenance and restoration of North America's great modernist buildings (including the Winnipeg Art Gallery designed by Gustava da Roza), and so the recent renovation of the YCBA was of great interest to me.
Aside from the period and new photography of the building and spaces featured in Louis I. Kahn and the Yale Center for British Art: A Conservation Plan
by Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee, the commentary on the original building project as well as the renovation was well written and presented.
By the end of it, I found myself wanting to plan a trip to Yale just to see this great building again, and am thinking it would be good to take the WAG's new architect, Michael Maltzan, along for the tour.
"Elizabeth The Queen" by Sally Bedell Smith (Random House)
Dating back to my student days and my participation on the Royal Collections Studies Program at Windsor Castle, I have always has a fascination with the monarchy, particularly Canada's royal family.
The recent biography on Queen Elizabeth II by Sally Bedell Smith
is one of the best. Not only does Elizabeth the Queen
provide a solid historical account of Elizabeth's reign, it gives us personal glimpses into the personality and private life of this extraordinary woman.Stephen Borys gives an illustrated talk, retracing his trip across Canada during which he was planning the largest exhibition in the WAG's history - on Sunday May 26 at 2 p.m. at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Related: Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrates its centennial with 100 Masters