The Mural of the Story – Mini-Symposium

Three panels of murals
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Indigenous creative expression is gaining momentum by occupying space as murals on Toronto’s concrete walls. The city as “project space” extends beyond graffiti, postering, flag-raising and site-specific public artwork to address an Indigenous presence located across the GTA. Recent murals speak to land acknowledgement, history and honoring as means to recognize Indigenous tradition, knowledge and beauty.

The Mural of the Story brings together a panel of artists including Tannis Nielson, Philip Cote, Tia Cavanagh and Jason Baerg, who will introduce and discuss their recent mural projects and how they activate community and insert Indigeneity within the urban landscape.

The mini-symposium is supported by the Indigenous Visual Culture Program in conjunction with the winter course Language and the Land.

Panelists Bios:

Jason Baerg is an Indigenous curator, educator, and visual artist who graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Masters of Fine Arts from Rutgers University. He currently is teaching as the Assistant Professor in Indigenous Practices in Contemporary Painting and Media Art at OCAD University. For more information about his work, please visit

Tia Cavanagh, originally from the northern shores of Lake Huron in Ontario, has also lived and studied in Havelock, Norwood, Peterborough, Montreal and Toronto. Achieving her BFA at OCAD university she now studies at Trent University working on her Masters degree in Indigenous methodologies applied to art making.

Tannis Nielsen is a Métis Woman (of Saulteaux/Anishnawbe and Danish descent,) with twenty years of professional experience in the arts, cultural and community sectors, and ten years teaching practice at the post-secondary level. Tannis holds a Masters in Visual Studies Degree (M.V.S.) from the University of Toronto, an Art and Art History-Specialist Degree from U of T, as well as a Diploma in Art and Art History from Sheridan College, in Oakville, Ontario.

Philip Cote is an artist, an educator, and a Sweat Ceremony leader. A graduate of OCAD University’s Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design in 2015, Philip creates opportunities for teaching methodologies on Indigenous symbolism, language, knowledge, and history. His teaching philosophy comes from his personal experience of Active Participation and experiential learning through his work as Indigenous knowledge and wisdom keeper, and observations through land-based pedagogy.

For information –

Images courtesy of the artists


Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Room 230, 100 McCaul Street