Photo of Aylan Couchie
Photo of Aylan Couchie
Aylan Couchie
Sessional Instructor
Faculty of Art
(705) 331-1000

Area(s) of Expertise

Contemporary Sculpture, Installation Art, Contemporary Indigenous Art (First Nations), & Issues of Appropriation, Public & Site-Specific Art


Aylan Couchie is a Nishnaabekwe interdisciplinary artist and writer hailing from Nipissing First Nation. She is a NSCAD University alumna and received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design at OCAD University in where she focused her thesis on reconciliation and its relationship to monument and public art. Her written, gallery and public works explore the intersections of colonial/First Nations histories of place, culture and Indigenous erasure as well as issues of (mis)representation and cultural appropriation. She’s been the recipient of several awards including an “Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture” award through the International Sculpture Centre and a Premier’s Award through Ontario Colleges. She serves as the Chair of Native Women in the Arts and currently lives and works from her home community of Nipissing First Nation in Northern Ontario.


2018 MFA, Interdiscliplnary Art, Media and Design, OCAD University
2016 BFA, Sculpture/Fine Arts, NSCAD University
2015 Fine Arts Advanced Diploma, Georgian College
2012 Art & Design Fundamentals Certificate, Georgian College

Professional Experience

Presentations, Artist Talks, Symposia

2019, Re:place: An Inquiry, panelist, UrbanSpace Gallery, Toronto, ON
2018, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective: Global Discussions, panelist, Pjilita’q Mi’kmaki: L’nuite’tmukl tan wejkuwaql naqwe’kl International Gathering, Halifax, NS
2018, Indigenous Placemaking: Making city sites places of reconciliation, panelist, Innovations in Creative Space and Placemaking, Artscape in assoc. w/ World Cities Culture Forum and City of Toronto, Toronto, ON 
2018, The Dynamics of Urban and Rural Arts in Ontario, panelist, CPAMO Gathering, Toronto, ON
2018, Post-Reality NDN Art: Disrupting Indigenous Art and its Cannon, presenter, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Tenth Annual Meeting, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
2018, The Labour of Being Studied/The Labour of Refusing to be Studied, speaker, University of Toronto
2018, “Aylan Couchie Guest Artist Talk” Nipissing University, North Bay, ON
2017, “Indigenous Tattoo Resurgence Panel,” Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings, moderator, Native Women in the Arts, Onsite Gallery, Toronto, ON
2017, “social media disruptor,” Art & Activism, panelist, Native American Art Studies Association Biennial Symposium, Tulsa, OK
2017, “glu-it: forcing Inuit art into settler creations,” Questioning the Artist: Indigenous and non-indigenous strategies and practices, panelist, Native American Art Studies Association Biennial Symposium, Tulsa, OK
2017, “Resilient Women Must Sing,” Pop Up Speaker, AGO: First Thursdays, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

Related Experience

2018, Delegation member, World Cities Culture Forum Leadership Exchange, (Topic: Indigenizing Urban Spaces through Public art/landscape) City of Toronto exchange with Sydney, Australia
2018, Mentor, Indigenous Curation Grant, White Water Gallery, North Bay, ON
2018, aabaakwad Global Indigenous Gathering Lead Coordinator, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
2018 , Jessie Oonark (works from the permanent collection), Curator, Bovey Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
2018, #callresponse Social Media Writer-In-Residence, Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga, ON
2018, Researcher, Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental exhibition, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
2018, Groundworks Indigenous Art Intensive, Residency, UBC Kelowna
2018, Cultural Appropriation Workshop facilitator, Lambton-Kent District School Board
2018, Delegation member, Canadian Embassy invitation and tour of Washington & North Carolina National Galleries, Washington DC
2018, Curatorial Intern, Indigenous Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON 

Selected Exhibitions

2018, Land Is Where Your Feet Touch the Ground, Onsite Gallery/A Space Gallery/Critical Distance Gallery, Toronto, ON
2018, From Food To Monument: Northern Retellings, Quest Art, Midland, ON
2018, Settling in Place, MacLaren Art Gallery, Barrie, ON 
2018, GradEx, Ada Slaight Gallery, Toronto, ON
2018, “very fine people on both sides” – MFA Thesis Exhibition, OCAD University Graduate Gallery, Toronto, ON
2018, Ice Follies 2018, Lake Nipissing, North Bay, ON
2017, Tonight’s Special: Bannock, Mille-Feuille and Berries, Nuit Blanche, Toronto, ON
2017, Course Credit, OCAD University Graduate Gallery, Toronto, ON
2016, Humanalia, OCAD University Graduate Gallery, Toronto, ON
2016, Wake the Town and Tell The People, Mana Contemporary, Chicago, IL
2016, The Mush Hole Project, Woodlands Cultural Centre, Brantford, ON
2016, Wake the Town and Tell The People, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ
2015 , Off The Hook 2015, MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, ON
2015, 21st Annual ISC Outstanding Student Achievement Awards in Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
2015, Know|Sense, Double Door Studios & Gallery, Anten Mills, ON

Awards \ Grants

2018, Ontario Arts Council Indigenous Arts Award Nominee 
2018, Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Interdisciplinarity Award, OCAD University, Toronto, Ontario
2017, Arthur Lismer Award for Academic Excellence, NSCAD University, Halifax, NS
2016, 2016 Premier’s Award Recipient, Recent Graduate, Ontario Colleges
2015, Barbara Laronde Award, Native Women In The Arts, Toronto, ON
2015, Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, International Sculpture Center, Hamilton, NJ

Selected Publications

Publications as Author/Contributor


“The ‘Site-Specific’ art and politics of Aylan Couchie”, Anishinabek News, February 2018
Talking Art with Aylan Couchie, The Roundtable Podcast hosted by Wayne K. Spear, January 2018
2017 Graduation Catalogue, NSCAD University, Halifax, NS
“A Day in the Life” with Anishinaabe Artist Aylan Couchie, Toronto Guardian, April 2017
“Double win for Georgian alumnae at Premier’s Awards Gala”, Georgian News, November 2016
“Anishinaabe artist receives nomination in Recent Graduate category of the Premier’s Awards”, Anishinabek News, October 2016
“Wake the Town and Tell the People”, Suzanne Seesman, Mana Contemporary, 2016
“New Art: Aylan Couchie” Annual Artist Feature, The Coast, February 2016
“Birch bark plane one of eight art pieces by NSCAD students installed at Halifax airport”, Metro News, December 2015
“2015 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards”, Sculpture Magazine, October 2015
“Aylan Couchie’s piece chosen to adorn Pratt Homes building”, Barrie Examiner, September 2015

Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

Chair, Native Women in the Arts, Toronto, ON

Public Art Jury for Creative City Campus, Toronto, ON

Fine Arts Advisory Committee, Georgian College, Barrie, ON