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Creative Minds: Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity

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May 11, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

Join Lead Curator Gerald McMaster  (Plains Cree and member of the Siksika First Nation, Saskatchewan, Canada) in conversation with artists Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Iñupiaq and Athabascan, Alaska, United States) and Couzyn van Heuvelen (Inuk, Nunavut, Canada).

Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity explores the ways in which Indigenous contemporary artists take on issues of climate change, globalized Indigeneity, and contact zones in and about the Arctic and the Amazon during a time of crisis. The featured artists have their origins in these places, and their works embody politics of resistance, resurgence, and ways of knowing and being in relation to the lands that are the source of their knowledge and creativity.

About the Presenters

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Couzyn van Heuvelen is an Inuk sculptor and installation artist originally from Iqaluit, NU. Based in southern Ontario, van Heuvelen’s artistic practice focuses on fusing Inuit art history and traditions with contemporary materials and technologies. Van Heuvelen’s use of unconventional materials and fabrication processes, combined with elements of Inuit culture, mirrors his own process of exploring how traditional practices continue to influence his everyday life.

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Sonya Kelliher Combs is an Iñupiaq and Athabascan multidisciplinary artist based out of Anchorage, Alaska. Through visual art, community engagement, curation, and advocacy, Kelliher-Combs works to create opportunity and feature Indigenous voices and the work of contemporary artists who, through their work, inform and encourage social action. Her personal mixed-media visual art focuses on the changing North and our relationship to nature and each other. Traditional women’s work has taught her to appreciate the intimacy of intergenerational knowledge and material histories.

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Gerald McMaster is a curator, artist, and professor, and currently holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University (Toronto), where he is also Director of the Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge. Widely published, his awards and recognitions include the 2001 ICOM-Canada Prize for contributions to national and international museology; 2005 National Aboriginal Achievement Award; Officer of the Order of Canada; and Honorary Doctor of Letters from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design and the University of Saskatchewan. He was awarded the 2022 Governor General’s Arts Award in Visual and Media Arts for Outstanding Contribution.

About Creative Minds

The Creative Minds series hosts community leaders and creatives to respond to current events, exhibitions on view, or artworks in the Gallery. Through conversation, music, poetry, or movement, these events aim to provoke new ideas, explore the unexpected and create more understanding for everyone involved.

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