6 Indigenous Women Artists We’re Excited to Have on Campus
We're always pleased to welcome prominent Indigenous artists to campus as faculty and presenters for our arts programs. From video art, to spoken word, to printmaking, and music, these inspiring artists are creating beautiful contemporary work across disciplines. Here are six amazing Indigenous women artists and thinkers we’ve recently welcomed or look forward to welcoming to campus soon.
Known and celebrated internationally for her throat singing, the Juno and Polaris Music Prize winner will join us as faculty for our Literary Arts program, Spoken Word. The program seeks to help spoken word artists take their “creation, production and performance skills to the next level.” Having toured all over the world performing, Tagaq is no stranger to wowing a crowd using only the power of her voice. The Inuk artist from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut’s expertise and passion will undoubtedly bring this residency to the next level.
Quebec visual artist and an Algonquin member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation Nadia Myre is faculty for the Indigenous Visual and Digital Arts residency. She won the prestigious Sobey Art Award in 2014, and her work has been shown in many international exhibitions, including in the National Gallery of Canada. Myre is also the inaugural recipient of the Walter Phillips Gallery Indigenous Commission Award at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, where she received an award of $20,000 to support the creation of a new work. The work, tentatively titled Living with Contradiction, is a two-channel video that explores the challenges and issues that contemporary Indigenous artists and arts professionals face working within a global Indigenous paradigm.
Visiting Artist Lisa Myers is a Port Severn-based Anishnaabe artist and independent curator. Her series of five prints Traintracks from Sault Ste. Marie to Espanola is currently on display in the Walter Phillips Gallery as part of the 40th anniversary exhibition, No Visible Horizon. The prints depict the journey her grandfather took when he escaped residential schools, and is printed with her now-signature blueberry ink. Myers herself recreated the journey with family members in 2009. She also had a related piece called “Rails and Ties,” published in the exhibition’s companion publication.
The AGO’s first curator of Indigenous Art is lead faculty in our Literary Arts program Future Narratives: Contemporary Indigenous Artistic Practice. The program is a space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers to critically discuss the “future narratives” of Canada upon its 150th anniversary, while taking Indigenous contemporary thought into consideration. Aside from being a curator, Nanibush is an educator who has taught doctoral courses on Indigenous history and politics. But this program is a look forward. As Nanibush said herself, “Art takes us into the future.”
Artist, historian and curator Jolene Rickard is a faculty member for the upcoming Visual and Digital Arts program, Indigenous Art Journal which “will provide a platform for emerging and experienced Indigenous writers to contribute to the critical dialogue around global Indigenous visual arts practice.” The program will explore concepts like sovereignty, which Rickard herself explores in a forthcoming book on Visualizing Sovereignty. She is currently a recipient of a Ford Foundation Research Grant.
Winnipeg-bred Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Iskwé is another powerful on-stage voice to be reckoned with. The singer, of Cree/Dene and Irish roots, was a guest artist here on campus supporting the Indigenous Arts program, Re(Claim), including presenting a public performance alongside participants. Re(Claim) was an interdisciplinary music program where Indigenous artists from all over performed an original new short work that ‘reclaims’ the era of silent films and moving images made about Indigenous peoples. She was named one of the Top 10 Artists to Watch in 2016 by CBC.