Have You Met...April Dean?

Meet April, Gallery Manager in the Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Arts.


Have you met April Dean, Gallery Manager in the Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Arts? Spend a few minutes getting to know her a little better.

What is your first U of A memory?

I remember my first Art History 101 survey course — it was my first time in a course in a large lecture theatre with what felt like a hundred other students. I could sit in dark rooms looking at images of art and listening to lectures from historians all day! It was very formative.

What’s something your coworkers don’t know about you?

I’m still quite new in this role so probably a lot of things! I enjoy good systems and logic, but because I’m an artist, I will always be the person to point out when a system doesn’t or perhaps shouldn’t apply to a given or particular scenario. I don’t like “rules”, it’s just my nature. And also I love racoons.

What’s your favourite distraction?

Gardening. Although at this point it is not a distraction, it is a lifestyle. I have a “I’d rather be gardening” mug and the sentiment could not be more true. I live for May through September.

If you were enrolling in one course, program or degree right now, what would it be?

Almost anything in the Department of Human Ecology in the Faculty of ALES — Material Culture in particular. And Earth Sciences! I love learning about weather; it’s both fascinating and observable.

What’s a weird pet peeve you have?

This question feels like a trap! Maybe when people bring food and drinks into an art gallery? Yes, I know your coffee has a lid on it, and yet, when you make wild hand gestures because the art is so exciting, the likelihood of you sloshing coffee on the floor, the walls or the art is still pretty high.

You can invite anyone — alive or dead, real or fictional — to dinner. Who would it be?

bell hooks. I was first introduced to their writing in a Pedagogy Seminar in grad school. Teaching to Transgress: Education as The Practice of Freedom is a text I come back to over and over. I expect they would be an incredible dinner guest and I would love to continue learning from them over a meal.

If you could see any live performance tomorrow, what would it be?

I have tickets to see Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill 25th anniversary tour in July! Colour me old, but I’m pretty thrilled about it and I will be singing along.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Don’t worry so much about what other people say, think or do. You have big ideas and plans — shoot for the stars. There is time for all the things you want!

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

Espresso. But it has to be good.

What three words describe your U of A experience?

Challenging, rewarding, thought provoking (sorry that’s four words, I told you I don’t like rules).

About April

April Dean recently joined the Fine Arts in the Faculty of Arts as the Gallery Manager in January 2022. She is a visual artist living in Treaty 6 territory. She holds a BA with distinction from the University of Alberta (2008) and in 2012 was granted a Master of Fine Arts Degree from NSCAD University. Dean’s work was recently featured in borderLINE the 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Alberta. She served as the Executive Director of the Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists (SNAP), a non-profit and artist-run centre between 2012–2022.