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Meet Dr. Gerald McMaster

Dr. Gerald McMaster’s practice in contemporary art, critical theory, museology and Indigenous aesthetics — as an artist, curator and researcher — is about always providing an Indigenous perspective. “I feel that not only is it historically lacking but in this country it would go without saying that the Indigenous perspective is critical to understanding art, history and culture,” he says. 

 

Dr. McMaster was named Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice in 2016, and describes it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do the research he has longed to do. “This position is allowing me the opportunity to focus on important questions about the consequences of creative cultures coming in contact with each other,” he says, explaining that projects address these questions from different historical perspectives and on multiple platforms: text; exhibitions and online. 

 

At this phase in the research, he’s leading the organization of mountains of material in preparation for analysis. He’s also forging relationships with various international scholars, museums and Indigenous communities, and negotiating with national and international institutions to present the work. 

 

This year he has curated a retrospective exhibition of the works of the late Sarain Stump for the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. He is also curator for the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. In the fall of 2017, he co-curated The Faraway Nearby: Photographs of Canada from the New York Times Photo Archives at the Ryerson Image Centre. Also in 2017, he organized an international conference titled “The Entangled Gaze: Indigenous and European views of each other” that was jointly sponsored by OCAD U and the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

 

Dr. McMaster describes his curatorial practice as collaborative. “I feed off the exchange of ideas and approaches of others, as much as I would hope my collaborators do as well,” he says. During his over 30 years as a curator, Dr. McMaster worked in two national museums, in Ottawa and Washington, DC, and in a major Canadian gallery. He brings those experiences, together with that of his extensive writing and public presentations, to the classroom: “From such experiences I have gathered many stories and have met many people that I believe all contribute to the knowledge I can pass onto younger students.” 

 

“I remember as an art student so many years ago when one art teacher wrote an evaluation of me; he said I was a ‘sponge.’ In other words, he saw in me an eagerness to learn as much as I could,” Dr. McMaster says. “Because we have so much access to everything, this is something I would encourage in all students, because you never know when you will intellectually draw upon such knowledge and experience. I believe OCAD U is an ideal place for students to take these life-long steps.” 

 

Find out more: https://www2.ocadu.ca/bio/gerald-mcmaster 




Dr. Gerald McMaster’s practice in contemporary art, critical theory, museology and Indigenous aesthetics — as an artist, curator and researcher — is about always providing an Indigenous perspective. “I feel that not only is it historically lacking but in this country it would go without saying that the Indigenous perspective is critical to understanding art, history and culture,” he says. 

 

Dr. McMaster was named Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice in 2016, and describes it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do the research he has longed to do. “This position is allowing me the opportunity to focus on important questions about the consequences of creative cultures coming in contact with each other,” he says, explaining that projects address these questions from different historical perspectives and on multiple platforms: text; exhibitions and online. 

 

At this phase in the research, he’s leading the organization of mountains of material in preparation for analysis. He’s also forging relationships with various international scholars, museums and Indigenous communities, and negotiating with national and international institutions to present the work. 

 

This year he has curated a retrospective exhibition of the works of the late Sarain Stump for the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. He is also curator for the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. In the fall of 2017, he co-curated The Faraway Nearby: Photographs of Canada from the New York Times Photo Archives at the Ryerson Image Centre. Also in 2017, he organized an international conference titled “The Entangled Gaze: Indigenous and European views of each other” that was jointly sponsored by OCAD U and the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

 

Dr. McMaster describes his curatorial practice as collaborative. “I feed off the exchange of ideas and approaches of others, as much as I would hope my collaborators do as well,” he says. During his over 30 years as a curator, Dr. McMaster worked in two national museums, in Ottawa and Washington, DC, and in a major Canadian gallery. He brings those experiences, together with that of his extensive writing and public presentations, to the classroom: “From such experiences I have gathered many stories and have met many people that I believe all contribute to the knowledge I can pass onto younger students.” 

 

“I remember as an art student so many years ago when one art teacher wrote an evaluation of me; he said I was a ‘sponge.’ In other words, he saw in me an eagerness to learn as much as I could,” Dr. McMaster says. “Because we have so much access to everything, this is something I would encourage in all students, because you never know when you will intellectually draw upon such knowledge and experience. I believe OCAD U is an ideal place for students to take these life-long steps.” 

 

Find out more: https://www2.ocadu.ca/bio/gerald-mcmaster 

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