Alumna Shelley Niro wins Scotiabank Photography Award

Image of three women with ornate hair and jewelry
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

OCAD U congratulates Shelley Niro (AOCA 1990) on receiving the seventh annual Scotiabank Photography Award. The prestigious Scotiabank Photography Award includes a $50,000 cash prize, a solo Primary Exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre during the 2018 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, and a book of the winner's work to be published and distributed worldwide by renowned art book publisher, Gerhard Steidl.

Niro joins an exclusive group of artists who have been honoured with the Scotiabank Photography Award that includes Suzy Lake (2016), Angela Grauerholz (2015), Mark Ruwedel (2014), Stan Douglas (2013), Arnaud Maggs (2012) and Lynne Cohen (2011).

Niro was selected from a group of three finalists, which also included Raymonde April and Donigan Cumming, by a jury composed of pre-eminent ‎members of the Canadian arts community.

A member of the Turtle Clan of the Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) Nation, from the Six Nations of the Grand River territory, near Brantford, Ontario, she has demonstrated her dedication to producing art that contributes to Indigenous identity in Canada.

Niro creates complex visual experiences in a variety of media, including beadwork, painting, photography and film. Her work has been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, and she has received considerable attention for her films.

Known for challenging conventional, colonial representations of Aboriginality with directness and humour, Niro crafts and retells Indigenous narratives by drawing on lived experienced, as well as themes of identity, self-determination and liberation.

An OCAD University alumna, Niro also studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts and received her MFA from the University of Western Ontario. To view some of Niro’s work, please visit her website.