Category Archives: News and Events

Cultural Fabric

Cultural Fabric

Craft Council of British Columbia
1386 Cartwright Street, Granville Island
Thursday, August 23, 2018 ― Thursday, October 04, 2018

Brenda Crabtree
Gaye Fowler
Kajola Morewood
Michelle Sound

Indigenous artistic expressions continually  shift in response to cultural circumstances and facilitates the reinvention and re-interpretation of traditional practices. This exhibition challenges notions about how Indigenous art is created and perceived, with works ranging from a variety of artistic disciplines and materials including, fur, hide, wool and cedar.
This exhibition is curated by Brenda Crabtree and draws from the work done at the Aboriginal Gathering Place, Emily Carr University of Art & Design.


Oneself, and one another

Oneself, and one another

Lita Fontaine, Whess Harman, Meagan Musseau, Rhayne Vermette
Curated by Jennifer Smith
6pm Friday 20 July 2018
The aceartinc. & National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition’s Indigenous Curator In Residence, invite you to the opening of Oneself, and one another.
Funded by The Winnipeg Foundation.The blanket use of the word ‘Indigenous’ can eclipse the incredible diversity within Indigenous cultures across Turtle Island. Oneself, and one another is an exploration of this and the inter-identities of Indigenous artists in Canada. Each of the four artists creates work about their own distinct culture, interests and lives. What we discover is how non-homogenity is itself a defining feature of Indigenous culture, a means of working together, and a source of great power.The great power brings together four artists, who independent of each other explore ideas of gender, multiple cultural identities, tradition, age, territory, the Dakota Nation, the Metis Nation, the Mi’kmaq Nation, Lake Babine Nation, environmental issues, history, punk culture, decolonization, the lives of artists and Indigeneity. Together the artists form an exhibition that places their Indigeneity at the centre, but makes room to celebrate each difference and explore how combined each difference strengthens each other.

Whess Harman is a queer, mixed-race, trans/non-binary artist, born in prince rupert, BC in 1990 and is a member of the Lake Babine Nation. Their work uses multi-media strategies in print, text and illustration to address issues of representation and memory. Whess completed a BFA at emily carr university in 2014. They have attended residencies at the banff art centre in 2014 and 2016 and at plug-in ICA in winnipeg in 2017. On-going work in includes beadwork and DIY strategies around punk aesthetics creating “Indigenous Punk” jacket series, as well as text based wheat-pasting projects.


Contemporary Art Gallery: Jeneen Frei Njootli

Jeneen Frei Njootli
my auntie bought all her skidoos with bead money
July 13–September 16, 2018
Opening July 12 7pm
Contemporary Art Gallery

Jeneen Frei Njootli’s solo exhibition in the B.C. Binning Gallery, my auntie bought all her skidoos with bead money, speaks to refusals, belongings, loss and love, through a new and deeply personal body of work. Its propellant is a series of cultural belongings which are not, in fact, on view: hand-sewn beadwork gifted to Frei Njootli by the women of her family. On first entering the gallery, visitors encounter four large-scale sheets of steel leaning against the walls and floor. Upon their surfaces we catch fugitive impressions left by the beads, which have been pressed into the artist’s skin and then transferred, by way of grease prints, from her skin to the steel. As they inhabit the gallery’s atmosphere over time, the steel plates gradually respond to their environment and, depending upon humidity and temperature fluctuations, the spectral floral patterns might approach the viewer or recede from view, as though of their own volition.

A member of the self-governing Vuntut Gwitchin Nation, Frei Njootli’s practice is both invested in and materially tethered to that community, its way of life and the beings that support it. Her relationship to the matter with which she works is not abstract but defined by her lived experience in the far North. Moving between media, she considers the nature of her culture’s belongings (she rejects the term “artifacts”) as they are entangled with ancestral memory, contemporary community and care. She navigates their complex relationships to her own impermanent body and to the continued consumption of Indigenous people’s histories, labour and knowledge. In her actions and interventions, she asks repeatedly of herself and her audiences: Who or what is the sender? Who or what receives?

At the back of the gallery is a new video work commissioned by CAG for this exhibition. A single take, played forward and then in reverse in an endless, seamless loop, records the slow appearance of an expansive panel of floral beadwork impressed upon the artist’s bare back. Projected at a scale echoing that of the steel sheets, Frei Njootli’s skin — which exceeds the boundary of the image — becomes an expansive, slowly undulating field. Almost imperceptibly, the patterned impressions emerge, as though produced by the skin itself.


Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: how do you carry the land?

Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: how do you carry the land?
with Corey Bulpitt, Roxanne Charles, Navarana Igloliorte, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Haruko Okano and Juliane Okot Bitek

July 14 to October 28, 2018
Vancouver Art Gallery
Members Opening July 14, 7pm

Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: how do you carry the land? is a dialogue between two artists, presented via their individual and collaborative performances. Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin’s work begins with their respective positions as a Japanese diasporic woman and a Tahltan First Nation man, reflecting on the ways in which their bodies and experiences are inscribed by colonialism. Grounded in explorations related to the land, Goto and Morin ask how cultural knowledge and history inform the human experience of place and our perceptions of others.

Drawing on their ancestral cosmologies, Tahltan Nation knowledge and Japanese philosophy and linguistics, the artists attend to the specificities of working between cultures, across Indigenous territories, and within arts institutions. Through this work, the artists create spaces that are inclusive of their mothers, ancestors and others whose voices and presences are often marginalized. In this spirit, the exhibition also includes commissioned works by several artists, including Corey Bulpitt, Roxanne Charles, Navarana Igloliorte, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Haruko Okano and Juliane Okot Bitek. Some of these works will be activated by or respond to performances occurring over the exhibition’s duration. In gathering a multiplicity of voices, Goto and Morin’s work can be seen as creative assemblages, configurations of being in relation to the world that challenge us to envision ways of building interconnected futures.

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Tarah Hogue, Senior Curatorial Fellow, Indigenous Art
Cover image: Cultural Graffiti in London, 2013
documentation of performance
Courtesy of the Artist
Photo: Dylan Robinson


Alumna Jeneen Frei Njootli Named One of Five Finalists for the 2018 Sobey Art Award


The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada have announced the five finalists for the 2018 Sobey Art Award, and we’re thrilled to share news that alumna Jeneen Frei Njootli (’12) is among them, representing the West Coast and Yukon. The other finalists are Joi T. Arcand, Jordan Bennet, Kapwani Kiwanga and Jon Rafman.

The Sobey Art Award is the preeminent annual prize for Canadian artists 40 and under. The award celebrates some of Canada’s most exciting young artists and provides significant financial recognition. This year, a total of $240,000 in prize money will be awarded: $100,000 to the overall winner, $25,000 to each of the four shortlisted artists, and $2,000 to each of the remaining twenty longlisted artists.

Jeneen Frei Njootli is an interdisciplinary artist, co-creator of the ReMatriate Collective and a member of Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation who has been living and working as an uninvited guest on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, Sto:lo and Tsleil­Waututh territories for a decade. She uses mixed media, sound-based performances, textiles and installation work to explore history embedded in cultural materials, geopolitics and the politics of Indigenous art. For her recent Media Arts Residency at the Western Front in Vancouver, she hosted a free workshop on how to create and update Wikipedia pages for Indigenous women artists. The 2017 recipient of the Contemporary Art Society Vancouver Artist Prize, she has exhibited at the Fierman Gallery in New York, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Vancouver Art Gallery among others. After graduating from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2012, Frei Njootli completed her MFA at the University of British Columbia in 2017.

Juror’s Statement
Melanie O’Brian on Jeneen Frei Njootli

Jeneen Frei Njootli’s interdisciplinary practice engages her cultural history and personal experience through performance, sound and installation. Her Gwich’in territory (Old Crow, Yukon) and culture are taken up in her approach to land and social networks, and her work interrogates the histories of her materials, their relationship to trade, ceremony, politics and the body, particularly her own. For example, she has made instruments using caribou bone and antler – animals key to Gwich’in culture and survival – sonifying the materials in performance with contact microphones, which are then played through effects and loop pedals to bring them to life as language. Njootli has written: “As Indigenous peoples, we are tied up in the spectacle of history, not only the Americas, but globally.” Her evolving, self-reflexive artistic methodologies critically expand a cultural understanding of this country, and how this spectacle, along with other histories, marks and shapes bodies and traditions.

Established in 2002, the Sobey Art Award aims to promote new developments in contemporary Canadian art and provide opportunities for artists, bringing them national and international attention. By choosing one nominee from each of the five regions of Canada, the Sobey Art Award provides visibility and financial support to young Canadian contemporary artists, while also offering an opportunity to exchange ideas and to learn about different artistic and curatorial practices from across the country. The work of all five finalists will be featured in a group exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada October 3, 2018 – February 10, 2019.

The 2018 Sobey Art Award Gala takes place November 14 at the National Gallery of Canada. On this special evening, artists, curators, donors and other members of the Canadian art world gather to celebrate the shortlisted artists and announce this year’s winner of the Sobey Art Award.

Previous Emily Carr alumni recipients include Jeremy Shaw, Brian Jungen, and Nadia Myre.

Our congratulations to all!


Sobey Longlist

Two members of our Aboriginal ECU community have been longlisted for the 2018 Sobey Art Award, the preeminent prize for Canadian artists 40 and under. Celebrating some of this country’s most exciting young artists, the award provides significant financial and professional recognition.

And this year, the Award has doubled — with a top prize of $100,000 issued to the winner and $25,000 to each of the four finalists. The remaining longlisted artists will each receive $2,000.

Join us in congratulating:

Jeneen Frei Njootli (2012)

Krista Belle Stewart (2006)

The finalists – one from each region in Canada – will be announced on May 29.Past award recipients include ECU alumni Jeremy Shaw, Brian Jungen, and Nadia Myre.

Jeneen Frei Njootli is an artist (Vuntut Gwitchin) and co-creator of the ReMatriate Collective, who has been living and working as an uninvited guest on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, Sto:lo and Tsleil­Waututh territories for a decade. In her interdisciplinary practice, she uses media such as performance, sound, textiles, collaboration and workshops.

For her recent Media Arts Residency at the Western Front in Vancouver, she hosted a free workshop on how to create and update Wikipedia pages for Indigenous women artists. In 2017, Frei Njootli was the recipient of the Contemporary Art Society Vancouver Artist Prize, and in 2016, she won the William and Meredith Saunderson Prize for Emerging Artists. After graduating from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2012, Frei Njootli completed her MFA at University of British Columbia in 2017.
Photo: Emmanuel Etti


Krista Belle Stewart’s work engages with the complexities of archival material through processes that allow for both intimacy and coincidence, as well as for the atemporal meeting of actors across time. Working with video, photography, design, ephemera and textiles, Stewart straddles the gaps between personal and institutional histories through transparent mediation.

Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal; Plug In ICA, Winnipeg; House of World Cultures, Berlin; International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York; Mercer Union, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery, Artspeak, and Western Front, Vancouver; and Esker Foundation, Calgary. Born in Kamloops, Stewart is a member of the Upper Nicola Band of the Okanagan Nation and lives and works in Vancouver. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and an MFA from Bard College.
Photo: Maegan Hill-Carroll


Tsema Igharas: Emily Award Recipient

The annual Emily Award Program recognizes the outstanding achievements by members of the alumni community whose creative pursuits in the arts, media and design have brought honour to the University.

Tsēma Igharas (formerly Tamara Skubovius) is an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the Tahltan First Nation. She uses Potlatch methodology to create conceptual artwork influenced by her mentorship in Northwest Coast Formline Design at K’saan (2005/06), her studies in visual culture and time in the mountains. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2011) and graduated from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program at OCADu showing her thesis work, LAND|MINE that connects materials to mine sites and bodies to the land. Tsēma has shown and performed in various places in Canada, and internationally in Chiapas, Mexico; Asheville, USA; and Santiago, Chile.


Fringe CAT 3

Rebecca Belmore to receive Honorary Doctorate

Each year the Honorary Doctorate Degree Program celebrates and recognizes the commitment, dedication, and service of individuals who are distinguished by their significant contributions and sustained creative and philanthropic achievements in their areas of expertise.

Rebecca Belmore studied at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) from 1984–1986. Belmore is a multi-disciplinary artist whose works evoke the connections between bodies, land, and language and are firmly rooted in the political and social realities of Indigenous communities. Since 1987, Belmore has exhibited her work at national and international venues. Her solo shows include: Rebecca Belmore: Rising to the Occasion, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC (2008);The Named and the Unnamed, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (2002); and Fountain (2005) at the 51st Venice Biennale.

Her group exhibitions include: Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, Niigata Prefecture, Japan (2015); Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Art Museum, New York (2007); Land, Spirit, Power, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON (1992); and Creation or Death: We will Win, Havana Biennial, Cuba (1991).

Belmore was a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2013, the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award in 2009, and an Honorary Doctorate from the Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2005.



Lacie Burning: Capture Festival

Capture Photography Festival Participation
Reflection Series
Apr 14 – May 12, 2018
Gam Gallery
110 E Hastings St (at Columbia)

Lacie Burning is an emerging Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Onondaga (patrilineal) artist and curator raised on Six Nations of the Grand River located in southern Ontario. They are a multidisciplinary artist who works in photography, performance, installation, print, and sculpture. Burning is currently studying in the Visual Fine Arts program at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver. Having come from a culturally and politically grounded upbringing, their work focuses on politics of Indigeneity and identity from a Haudenosaunee perspective. More recently their practice has revolved around questions of Indigenous resistances, land issues, and haunting.

Burning’s work has been shown extensively in Vancouver and Ontario. In 2016, they were invited to participate in the Mush Hole Project at the Mohawk Institute, a former residential school that their family attended. Burning co-curated, along with scholar June Scudeler, Unsettling Colonial Gender Boundaries for the 2017 Queer Arts Festival. This exhibition commissioned new media works by Thirza Cuthand and Chandra Melting Tallow and also included past work by Kent Monkman and Raven Davis. They have also hosted QAF’s Art Salon, talking about the themes of Adrian Stimson’s UnSettled exhibition with Stimson and artists George Littlechild and Dayna Danger. Their 2012 work Story Time was critically acclaimed by Canadian Art in 2013 for their participation in NE:ETH: Going Out of the Darkness.

Burning currently sits on the executive board of directors for Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival (VIMAF) as Secretary and also sits on the programming committee. They have worked extensively with youth, including with Urban Native Youth Association as a program assistant and youth leader for Overly Creative Minds as well as a volunteer with Child & Family Services as a primary prevention assistant in Ohsweken, Ontario.



Levi Nelson | 2018 IDEA Art Award Winner

Third year Visual Arts painting major Levi Nelson’s quadriptych, Biology, has won the 9th annual IDEA Art Award and a $5,000 cash prize.

Founded in 2009, the IDEA Art Award is open to current Emily Carr students and alumni who have graduated within the last three calendar years and places the winning pieces in different areas of Vancouver General Hospital or UBC Hospital as part of that facility’s permanent collection.

Nelson received an Honourable Mention in last year’s IDEA Art Award competition, placing second overall. After hearing back from the jury, Nelson was determined to win the following year. And win he did.

“We are thrilled to have this work in our collection,” says Jim O’Hara, IDEA Art Award Juror and Vice President of Leadership Giving at the VGH + UBC Hospital Foundation.

Hailing from the Lil’wat Nation, Nelson fuses the contemporary with traditional North West Coast art to magnificent effect. Created with oil paint, Biology is a true representation of art that keeps on giving. It is impossible not to be taken by the vibrant colours and bold movement in the piece, the playful but deliberate use of line and shape. It is an immersive experience. Nelson’s work will grace the Surgical Day Care Waiting Room in the Koerner Pavilion at UBC Hospital and will infuse the space with dynamism. His aim was to “create a painting that a person could really lose themselves in. A work of art that doesn’t reveal itself completely, but at each glance offers something new to be discovered…built on awe, contemplation, meditation, and getting lost in one’s thoughts until the Doctor calls your name.”

Congratulations to Levi Nelson for this fantastic achievement. Biology is sure to lift the spirits and captivate the imaginations of patients for years to come.