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For Joan and Martin Goldfarb, art has always been a major passion and a significant part of their lives. Now they are on a mission to help others find their own passion through art by contributing $5 million to build a new art gallery on Keele Campus.

Named after the visionaries who first conceived the project, the new Joan and Martin Goldfarb Art Gallery of York University will solidify York University’s commitment to visual arts.

“We hope the gallery will be a gathering place for people from all walks of life and different backgrounds,” said Joan Goldfarb. “We hope it will inspire the general community to learn about visual arts and visual language.”

Martin Goldfarb echoed his wife’s sentiments, adding: “York will be a place for people to come and experience art, as well as share ideas with their colleagues and professors.”

“This gift will provide funds to build and establish the Joan and Martin Goldfarb Art Gallery of York University, which will create a focal point for the celebration of visual art to the benefit of communities within and beyond our campuses, ” said Rhonda L. Lenton, president and vice-chancellor of York University.

The visionary couple’s previous investment in York’s visual art totalled $4.5 million in support of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design. This previous gift established the Joan and Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, which gave students a place to hone their skills, connect to each other and the world around us, to reimagine the future.

But now, the Goldfarbs’ motivations behind this gift are deeply personal. Having been involved in visual arts since they were young, they know the power that art has.

“Art is everywhere,” said Martin. “It allows for creativity, new ways of expressing yourself, and new ways of thinking.”

“Art is something that everybody can experience,” added Joan. “But the commonality of visual language provides an opportunity to make the world a better place for everyone.”

The University will leverage the Goldfarbs’ contribution with an additional $3 million toward the new gallery.

“I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Joan and Martin for their significant contributions that will strengthen and expand York’s leadership in the artistic and creative communities,” said Lenton.

The new Joan and Martin Goldfarb Art Gallery of York University will be headed by Jenifer Papararo, newly appointed director/curator.

York welcomes additional philanthropic partners to support the Joan and Martin Goldfarb Art Gallery of York University.