OCAD University is pleased to announce that it has commissioned artist Couzyn van Heuvelen to create permanent artwork that will embed Indigenous presence within the historic George Reid House.
Recently longlisted for the Sobey Art Award, van Heuvelen is an Inuk artist born in Iqaluit, Nunavut, living in southern Ontario. His work explores Inuit culture and identity, new and old technologies, and personal narratives. He holds a BFA from York University and an MFA from NSCAD University.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with OCAD U,” says van Heuvelen. “I will be creating a series of carved stone slabs which respond to Inuit stonecut printmaking and will highlight the associated studio processes. The work will call attention to Inuit art making, and contribute to making an Indigenous presence visible at the university."
“Van Heuvelen’s work will draw from the rich cultural history born from the establishment of printmaking co-ops in the North that catapulted Inuit art into global appreciation,” says Ryan Rice, Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD U. “The work acknowledges Inuit art history, a significant component of Canada’s national identity, and represents the unique studio process and practice that OCAD University affords.”
In February, the university issued a call to Indigenous artists and designers to submit proposals for artwork to be permanently installed in the refurbished George Reid House, the first campus for what was then the Ontario College of Art. The building is undergoing renewal as part of the university’s Creative City Campus project, and funded by the Government of Ontario (through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Capital Support Program and the Government of Canada through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (through the Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario).
A jury of six reviewed the submissions:
- Ryan Rice – Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture
- Bonnie Devine – Associate Professor
- Gerald McMaster – Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice
- Brian Porter –Two Row Architect
- Duke Redbird – Elder
- Aylan Couchie – IAMD Graduate student
Van Heuvelen will work with members of the jury throughout the summer, with the final artwork set to be officially unveiled in Fall 2018.