Suzanne Morrissette

Suzanne Morrissette is a Metis artist, curator, and writer from Winnipeg. She received a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art & Design in 2009 and an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University in 2011. In 2017 Morrissette completed her PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University, which took an interdisciplinary approach to probe the historical lineage behind contemporary perceptions of Indigenous political knowledge in mainstream North American society, particularly those which characterize resistance to state powers as aggressive or anti-progress.

Onsite Gallery Opening draws more than 1000!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in front of gallery
Monday, September 18, 2017

On Saturday, Sept. 16, OCAD University’s flagship professional gallery, Onsite, threw its doors open to the public for the first time at its new location, 199 Richmond St. W. Over a thousand visitors toured the gallery and celebrated at the outdoor street party, featuring Indigenous performers including Long Branch, Charlena Russell and DJ Classic Roots. The party was MC’d by Amanda Parris, host of CBC Arts program Exhibitionists.

The gallery’s two powerful inaugural exhibitions are raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015) curated by Ryan Rice, Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD U, and For This Land: Inside Elemental featuring 2Ro Media: Jackson 2bears and Janet Rogers. The exhibitions are on display through December 10, 2017.

Elder Duke Redbird opened the event with an Indigenous land acknowledgement. Member of Parliament Adam Vaughan (Spadina-Fort York) and City Councillor Joe Cressy made remarks before the ribbon-cutting, joining President Sara Diamond and Francisco Alvarez, the Dorene and Peter Milligan Executive Director of OCAD U’s Galleries System, who spoke about the importance of Onsite both to the OCAD U community and to the residents of Toronto.  

Onsite Gallery gratefully acknowledges that its construction is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at Canadian Heritage; the City of Toronto through a Section 37 agreement with Aspen Ridge Homes. Gallery furniture is provided by Nienkämper.

raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000 – 2015) is produced with the support of the Collection of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, courtesy of the Indigenous Art Centre; Our Children's Medicine program and its HigherMe youth hiring platform; the Canada Council for the Arts; the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council; the Indigenous Visual Culture Program at OCAD University; and the Delaney Family Foundation.

For This Land: Inside Elemental is presented with community partner imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and supported by Nexus Investment Management.

 

 

Indigenous Methods & Knowledge Workshop with Kevin Myran

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Kevin Myran is the coordinator at the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre and runs “Little Embers,” a program which educates students on Anishnawbe culture and perspectives through the art and experience of storytelling. Drumming and storytelling will support the student creative process by deepening their self-awareness and connection to their own artistic voice, while fostering respect for ritual and community. Kevin is from the Dakota First Nation of Birdtail Manitoba. He is the father of seven children, and he has one grandchild. Kevin is a First Nations drummer, dancer, and pipe carrier.

Venue & Address: 
RM 510, 205 Richmond St. W.
Email: 
gradstudies@ocadu.ca
Cost: 
Free!
Monday, September 18th 4:00-5:00pm, RM 510, 205 Richmond St. W. Kevin Myran is the coordinator at the Toronto Council Fire Nativ

COYOTE SCHOOL

Coyote School Exhibition
Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 11:00am to Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 5:00pm

COYOTE SCHOOL
June 8 – August 19, 2017

Curator:
Rhéanne Chartrand, Aboriginal Curatorial Resident, McMaster Museum of Art

Artists
Joi Arcand, Sonny Assu, Jason Baerg, Jordan Bennett, Christian Chapman, Amy Malbeuf, Meryl McMaster, and Bear Witness aka Ehren Thomas

Coyote School presents contemporary works by eight mid-career Indigenous artists who acknowledge the influence of senior Indigenous artists on the development of their own artistic practice. Through their visual and verbal stories, we learn that influence comes in many forms; through familial and kinship bonds, through formal and informal mentorships, and through artistic inspiration. Whether literal and visible or conceptual and covert, the influence of senior Indigenous artists on current and future generations of Indigenous artists is not taken for granted, but rather, held up, acknowledged, and honoured.

As Tricksters in training, this exhibition asserts that these eight artists continue to push the boundaries of the institutional spaces carved out for them by senior Indigenous artists by committing their own acts of survivance in ways that further disrupt and subvert colonial narratives. These artists continue to claim space(s) to negotiate Indigenous futurities by (re-)presenting Indigenous identity and (re-)imagining Indigenous creative potentialities in new and provocative ways.

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Opening Reception: Thursday, June 8, 6 – 8 pm
6:30 pm Opening Remarks by Elders and the exhibition Curator
7 pm Musical Performance by Jeremy Dutcher, an operatic tenor and composer who blends his Wolastoq First Nation roots into his music

Admission is Free. Light Refreshments will be served.

Coyote School is on view June 8 – August 19, 2017.

Coyote School is the second curatorial project of Rhéanne Chartrand, Aboriginal Curatorial Resident, to be presented at McMaster Museum of Art.  The first, Unapologetic: Acts of Survivance, presented earlier this year, included works from the 1980s by eleven foundational contemporary Indigenous artists. Together, Coyote School and Unapologetic: Acts of Survivance foreground continuity in Indigenous art and honour the interpersonal relationships that buttress the Indigenous art community.

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About the Curator

Rhéanne Chartrand (MMSt, Hons. BA) is a Métis curator and creative producer based in Toronto, Ontario. She has spent the past six years creating interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary exhibitions, showcases, and festivals for organizations such as Harbourfront Centre, OCAD University, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, the Aboriginal Pavilion at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, and the National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, DC). Currently, Chartrand serves as the Curator of Indigenous Art at McMaster Museum of Art located in Hamilton, Ontario.

Unapologetic is the first of two interrelated exhibitions of Indigenous art curated by Rhéanne Chartrand. The second exhibition, Coyote School, will be on display from June 09 to August 26, 2017 and will feature works by emerging and mid-career Indigenous artists who cite influence via artistic inspiration, mentorship or familial connection to the eleven artists presented in Unapologetic. The intent of Coyote School is to acknowledge and respect the contributions that senior Indigenous artists have made to personal and collective Indigenous artistic practices.

Venue & Address: 
MCMASTER MUSEUM OF ART; Alvin A. Lee Building; McMaster University
Website: 
https://museum.mcmaster.ca/about/news/coyote-school-exhibition-highlights-8-contemporary-indigenous-artists/
Cost: 
Free

Art Intersections Meetup with Adrienne Crossman and Thirza Cuthand

Adrienne Crossman and Thirza Cuthand
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 6:30pm

Adrienne Crossman and Thirza Cuthand are two artists who are breaking down barriers in their media artwork. They will each present their work as part of the Mobile Experience Lab's Art Intersection Meetup, a place for artists, moving image-makers, gamers and technologists who are experimenting with art-related digital content and how the moving image is presented in a connected world. Digital culture, social media and networks encourage new ways of storytelling, image making, idea sharing and collaboration. This Meetup celebrates artists and innovators who are embracing change leading the next wave of creativity.

Art Intersections Meetup is a meeting place for artists, moving image-makers, gamers and technologists who are experimenting with art-related digital content and how the moving image is presented in a connected world. Digital culture, social media and networks encourage new ways of storytelling, image making, idea sharing and collaboration. This Meetup celebrates artists and innovators who are embracing change leading the next wave of creativity. 

About Adrienne Crossman:

Adrienne Crossman is an artist, educator and curator. She holds a BFA in Integrated Media and a Minor in Digital and Media Studies from OCAD University. She has completed residencies in Syracuse, NY, Montréal, Windsor, and Artscape Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands. Her practice involves the manipulation and deconstruction of digital media and popular culture in order to create new artifacts through formal re-interpretations. In the pursuit of creating a queer aesthetic, Crossman's work is concerned with the exploration of non-normative and non-binary spaces, while attempting to locate queer sensibilities in the everyday. Adrienne is currently an MFA candidate in Visual Art at the University of Windsor.

Website: adriennecrossman.com

Instagram: @fakechildhood

About Thirza Cuthand: 

Thirza Jean Cuthand was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and grew up in Saskatoon. Since 1995 she has been making short experimental narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, youth, love, and race, which have screened in festivals internationally, including the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, Mix Brasil Festival of Sexual Diversity in Sao Paolo, Hot Docs in Toronto, ImagineNATIVE in Toronto, Frameline in San Francisco, Outfest in Los Angeles, and Oberhausen International Short Film Festival in Germany where her short Helpless Maiden Makes an ‘I” Statement won honourable mention. Her work has also screened at galleries including the Mendel in Saskatoon, The National Gallery in Ottawa, and Urban Shaman in Winnipeg. She completed her BFA majoring in Film and Video at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and her Masters of Arts in Media Production at Ryerson University. In 1999 she was an artist in residence at Videopool and Urban Shaman in Winnipeg, where she completed Through The Looking Glass.  In 2012 she was an artist in residence at Villa K. Magdalena in Hamburg, Germany, where she completed Boi Oh Boi. In 2015 she was commissioned by ImagineNATIVE to make 2 Spirit Introductory Special $19.99. In the summer of 2016 she began working on a 2D video game called A Bipolar Journey based on her experience learning and dealing with her bipolar disorder. It showed at ImagineNATIVE and she is planning to further develop it. She has also written three feature screenplays and sometimes does performance art. She is of Plains Cree and Scots descent, a member of Little Pine First Nation, and currently resides in Toronto.

Website: thirzacuthand.com

Instagram: @thirzac

Presented by Akimbo, Gamma Space, OCAD University and Charles Street Video. Supported by Social Science and Humanities Research Council.

logos

 

Venue & Address: 
Gamma Space Collaborative Studio 862 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1C9
Website: 
https://www.meetup.com/Toronto-Art-Video-Social-Media-Technology-Meetup/
Cost: 
free

Issues of Indigenous Curation

Issues of Indigenous Creation    

           Issues of Indigenous Curation

  • To link to the global cultures, artist work and discourses of the other (in relation to the West)
  • To create a complete bibliography of exhibits and critical essays
  • To create a library of images of art, artists, curators, exhibits, activities etc.
  • To synthesize the key ideas from the research of art, artists, curators, exhibits and activities
  • To identify key curators and their curatorial strategies

In the summer of 2016, Rhéanne Chartrand was invited by Dr. Gerald McMaster to conduct research in relation to the development of the course, Issues in Indigenous Curation. As an emerging curator, Chartrand embraced the opportunity to reexamine the Indigenous art historical record to gain a fuller sense of the emergence and development of Indigenous curatorship, and the key themes, issues, and shifts that emerged out of, or in response to, its articulation.

Issues of Indigenous creation - crowd shot

 

 

    Creator: 
    Issues of Indigenous Curation - INVC Research Centre
    Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 12:15pm

    Digital Futures & CFC Media Lab welcome Kanien'kehá:ka artist Skawennati

    Skawennati: Becoming Sky Woman
    Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 6:30pm

    Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change. Her pioneering new media projects have been widely presented across Turtle Island in major exhibitions such as Now? NOW! at Denver’s Biennial of the Americas; and Looking Forward (L’Avenir) at the Montreal Biennale. She has been honoured to win imagineNative’s 2009 Best New Media Award as well as a 2011 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. Her work in is included in both public and private collections. Born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, Skawennati graduated with a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she is based. She is Co-Director of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists and academics who investigate and create Indigenous virtual environments. Their Skins workshops in Aboriginal Storytelling and Experimental Digital Media are aimed at empowering youth. In 2015 they launched IIF, the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. www.skawennati.com

    Venue & Address: 
    205 Richmond St. W. Room 115
    Email: 
    cporemba@faculty.ocadu.ca
    Cost: 
    Free all welcome!
    Skawennati Flyer

    Nigig Artist In Residence Welcome Lunch - Neebinnaukzhik Southal

    Multic-coloured button pins on a white background
    Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

    Indigenous Visual Culture with the Faculty of Design at OCAD U welcomes Neebin Southall as our Winter 2017 Nigig Visiting Artist in Residence (February 27 - March 18).

    Welcome Lunch - Buffalo Stew and Artist Talk
    Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 12 pm - 2pm
    Indigenous Visual Culture Student Centre, Room 410, 113 McCaul at OCAD University.

    The Nigig Visiting Artist Residency, hosted by the Indigenous Visual Culture Program at OCAD University, is a program that provides an opportunity for an Indigenous artist to visit OCAD University for a 3-4 week period to focus on a short-term project and explore in a collaborative environment, issues impacting their work. The visiting artist will engage and interact with students and faculty in the capacity of mentorship, critique, lecture and a public workshop / demonstration.

    The Nigig Visiting Artist Residency supports the dynamism located in Indigenous contemporary art and design practices and is a tremendous educational opportunity for the artist and students.

    Bio

    Neebinnaukzhik Southall, a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, is a graphic designer, photographer, artist, and writer. Neebinnaukzhik means "summer evening" in Ojibwe, and marks the time when she was born. In 2011, Neebin graduated magna cum laude from Oregon State University, earning an honors BFA in applied visual arts with a minor in fine arts, through the University Honors College and OSU’s competitive graphic design program. Neebin works as the public relations and web coordinator at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and she also takes on selective projects through her small creative business Neebin Studios. She is particularly interested in graphic design as it relates to Indigenous peoples and cultures, and is passionate about promoting Native graphic designers. She writes articles for the column "Exploring Native Graphic Design" for First American Art Magazine, and manages the Native Graphic Design Project (www.neebin.com/nativedesign), where she is compiling a growing list of Indigenous designers.

    Venue & Address: 
    Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University Room 410, 113 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W1

    Ryan Rice

    Ryan Rice, a Mohawk of Kahnawake, Quebec received a Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York, graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and received an Associate of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has worked for the past 18 years within the museum/art gallery milieu at various centers including the Iroquois Indian Museum, Indian Art Centre, Carleton University Art Gallery and the Walter Phillips Art Gallery.

    Indigenous creative culture: Gerald McMaster on Indigenous art past and present, worlds seen and beyond sight

    Gerald McMaster

    Since the dawn of history, art has enabled people the world over to understand themselves, their environments and their relations with others. That “ethical” dimension of art as it is brought into being by Indigenous artists is at the heart of Dr. Gerald McMaster’s current research and exhibition.

    McMaster is a Plains Cree and a member of the Siksika First Nation. Since February 2016, he’s also been OCAD University’s Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice (the first researcher at an art and design university to be awarded a prestigious Tier-1 CRC appointment). To this position, McMaster brings decades of experience as a writer, artist and curator who has worked at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

    Indigenous creative culture

    While his official CRC title references “visual culture,” McMaster’s research in fact challenges Western society’s longstanding privileging of sight over other senses, perhaps especially in the study of art.

    “The term Indigenous creative culture suits my interests far better,” says McMaster. “When we replace ‘visual’ with ‘creative,’ we open up to a much broader spectrum of perception and expression. I have been struck, for instance, by the limitations of sight when trying to understand how past Indigenous artists took into consideration not just their material surroundings but also the unseen world. And, among contemporary Indigenous artists, I’m detecting a powerful movement to explore a wider range of sensorial experiences.”

     

     

    Making contact

     

     

    Vision, nevertheless, is an important metaphor in several of McMaster’s CRC research projects, notably one focusing on the reverse gaze. “For most of colonial and post-colonial history, it’s been a scholarly one-way street,” McMaster notes. “We’ve primarily concerned ourselves with how Europeans and their descendants saw and represented Indigenous peoples. But what happens when we turn the gaze around? How did Indigenous peoples see and depict newcomers?”

    McMaster was first drawn to this question by the discovery on Baffin Island, in the early 1970s, of a small wooden sculpture of a Nordic traveller made by an Inuit carver ca. 1250. More recently, his interest was galvanized through involvement with the AGO’s acquisition of a rare Haida sculpture from the 1860s of a European sea captain. Since then, McMaster has broadened his scope to understand and document further examples of the reverse gaze across North America and beyond.

     

     

    Arctic–Amazonia

     

     

    “I’m fascinated by phenomenology,” McMaster reveals, “and by the lens it offers for understanding the interconnections among people, land, religion, other animals, art.”

    On this topic, McMaster recommends David Abram’s The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World (1996).

    Could there be two more different regions than the Arctic and Amazonia? Separated by vast distances and subject to utterly different climate conditions, have the original peoples of those two zones anything in common?

    As McMaster and his collaborator — Dr. Iris Edenheiser of the Reiss-Engelhorn Museen in Mannheim, Germany — endeavour to tackle these and other questions, one of the issues that fascinates them is the history of European representation of both the Arctic and Amazonia as “fantastical, mysterious” places. In addition, McMaster and Edenheiser are seeking to document the material technology Indigenous peoples used to survive in those challenging environments.

    And that topic brings up a major thrust of their Arctic–Amazonia research project: “How are Indigenous artists in those regions representing one of humanity’s fiercest, most widespread threats: global climate change?”

    Cape Dorset and Papunya

    Image of African inspired mask projecting from third eye
    Geronimo Inutiq, ULU (woman’s knife), digital print on linen, 32” x 32”, edition of 7

    “The contemporary rise of ‘indigeneity’,” McMaster explains, “concerns the maintenance and expression of an Indigenous sensibility in a globalized world.” McMaster’s third CRC project — examining Indigenous artists communities at Cape Dorset (on Baffin Island) and Papunya (in Australia’s Northern Territory) — cracks open that subject by exploring the history, present and future of those “isolated” (a “southern projection”) places.

    Working with Steven Gilchrist, an Indigenous scholar from Australia, McMaster hopes to illuminate the cultural, social and political forces at play in both communities. How, in Papunya and Cape Dorset, did artists who had never been trained in conventional art schools produce works that have gained such international acclaim? And how are changing economic circumstances — regionally and in the international art market — affecting Indigenous artists and their communities?

     

     

    Indian Acts

     

     

    Image of African inspired mask projecting from third eye
    Sonny Assu, #photobomb, acrylic on panel, 40” x 84”
     

    Many threads of McMaster’s Indigenous creative culture research are woven into Indian Acts: Truths in the Age of Reconciliation, an exhibition he has curated at Toronto’s Katzman Contemporary gallery. Indian Acts draws together the works of three young Indigenous artists: Sonny Assu, Nicholas Galanin and Geronimo Inutiq (madeskimo).

    For McMaster, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s reports “made it clear that Canadian society remained surprisingly oblivious when it came to the nihilistic authority enshrined in the Indian Act.” Through the artists and works he selected for presentation at the Katzman, McMaster explores “a legacy that continues to reverberate among Indigenous peoples, both individually and collectively.”

     

     

    With thanks to Marianne Katzmann and Dario Del Degan for generously sharing the Indian Acts exhibition images used in this article.

     

     

    The art that appears at the top of this feature is Nicholas Galanin's S'igeika'awu: Ghost #002.

    Author: 
    Morgan Holmes
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