Indigenous Art Intensive
UBC Okanagan’s Indigenous Art Intensive offers an educational series of courses, lectures, art shows, and opportunities to create art. It features a series of world-renowned speakers, a variety of related undergraduate and graduate credit courses, and a group of resident artists who will be working to create a new body of work.
The Indigenous Art Intensive features a series of world-renowned speakers, a variety of related undergraduate and graduate credit courses, and a group of resident artists who will be working to create new works. The 2021 Intensive broadly engages the theme Site/ation, connecting to place through Indigenous territoriality, being grounded in land, voice and language, reconnecting to/nurturing traditions, and beyond.
The Intensive offers an immersive experience of undergraduate and graduate courses in Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Art History and Visual Culture, and Indigenous Studies, along with panel conversations, keynote addresses, art exhibitions and performances, readings, and various additional events and fieldtrips throughout – some planned, some impromptu.
The Indigenous Art Intensive is a unique program that brings international and national Indigenous scholars, curators and artists together on campus to interact with students in a residency context. Visiting artists will participated in a series of keynote presentations and artist panels once a week throughout May and June.
For a full list of artist talks, panel discussions and keynote presentations, visit the Indigenous Intensive blog.
2021 Keynote Speakers
Dr. Jolene Rickard is a visual historian, artist and curator interested in the intersection of Indigenous knowledge and contemporary art, materiality, and ecocriticism with an emphasis on Hodinöhsö:ni aesthetics. Jolene is on the editorial board of American Art, a founding Boardmember for the Otsego Institute for Native American Art and an advisor to GRASAC-The Great Lakes Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Culture. Jolene is a 2020 Fulbright Research Scholar at McMaster University, ON, CA, an Associate Professor in the departments of History of Art and Art, and the former Director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program 2008-2020 (AIISP) at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Jolene is from the Tuscarora Nation (Turtle Clan), Hodinöhsö:ni Confederacy.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity.
Working for two decades as an independent scholar using Nishnaabeg intellectual practices, Leanne has lectured and taught extensively at universities across Canada and the United States and has twenty years experience with Indigenous land-based education. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba and teaches at the Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning in Denendeh.
Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (born in 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon) is an independent curator, author and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and is the artistic director of Sonsbeek20–24, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands. He is artistic director of the 13th Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography in Mali in 2021. Ndikung was the curator-at-large for Adam Szymczyk’s Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany in 2017; a guest curator of the Dak’Art biennale in Dakar, Senegal in 2018; as well as artistic director of the 12th Bamako Encounters in 2019. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. He was a recipient of the first OCAD University International Curators Residency fellowship in Toronto in 2020 and is currently a professor in the Spatial Strategies MA program at the Weissensee Academy of Art in Berlin.
2021 Visiting Arists
Kite is an Oglala Lakota performance artist, visual artist, and composer, a PhD candidate at Concordia University, Research Assistant for the Initiative for Indigenous Futures, a 2019 Trudeau Scholar, a 2020 Tulsa Artist Fellow, and a 2020 Women at Sundance x Adobe Fellow. Her research is concerned with contemporary Lakota ontologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance practice.
Camille Georgeson-Usher is a Coast Salish / Sahtu Dene / Scottish scholar, artist, and writer from Galiano Island, British Columbia which is the land of the Penelakut Nation. Usher completed her MA in Art History at Concordia University and is currently a PhD candidate at Queen’s University. In addition to her academic work, she is the Executive Director of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective and has worked as an arts programmer in a variety of arts institutions in both Quebec and Ontario. She has artwork currently exhibited in Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts; is on the curatorial team for MOMENTA 2021; sits on the boards of Artspace in Peterborough and the Toronto Biennial of Art; and finally, is a teaching fellow at Queen’s University.
Christine Howard Sandoval is an interdisciplinary artist of Obispeño Chumash and Hispanic ancestry. Her work challenges the boundaries of representation, access, and habitation through the use of performance, video, and sculpture. Howard Sandoval makes work about contested places, such as the historic Native and Hispanic waterways of northern New Mexico; the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site in New York; and an interfacing suburban-wildland in Colorado.
Inuvialuk artist Maureen Gruben employs intimate materiality as she disassembles and re-combines disparate organic and industrial elements. Polar bear fur, beluga intestines, and seal skins encounter resins, vinyl, and bubble wrap, forging critical links between life in the Western Arctic and global environmental and cultural concerns. Gruben holds a BFA from the University of Victoria. She has exhibited regularly across Canada and internationally and her work is held in national and private collections. Born and raised in Tuktoyaktuk, she has a tacit knowledge of Arctic land and the rich but increasingly precarious resources it offers for both survival and creation.
Scott Benesiinaabandan is an Anishinaabe( Obishikokaang First Nations) intermedia artist that currently works in experimental image-making and sonic materials. Scott’s current research interests are intersections of artificial intelligence and Anishinaabemowin, Scott has completed international residencies at Parramatta Artist Studios in Australia, Context Gallery in Derry, North of Ireland, and University Lethbridge/Royal Institute of Technology iAIR. Scott has completed residencies with Initiative for Indigenous Futures and AbTec in Montreal. Benesiinaabandan has completed an MFA in photography at Concordia University and is currently working out of his hometown of Winnipeg where he is an artist-in-residence at Abijijiwan New Media Lab (2021).
Madeline Terbasket (they/them) is a two-spirit Syilx, Ho-Chunk, Anishinaabe performing artist that explores themes of cultural identity and mental health in their work. Madeline began making films as a teenager in their home territory of the Similkameen Valley in the South Okanagan. They attended six summer sessions at the Gulf Island Film and Television School. Madeline was in the Acting for Stage and Screen program at Capilano University. They discovered a passion for clowning and stand-up. They express their comedy by telling traditional Okanagan coyote stories. In 2017, Madeline was in šxʷʔam̓ət (home) with Theatre for Living, directed by David Diamond. In 2018, they toured BC and Alberta with the production. In 2019, Madeline was awarded a STORYHIVE Indigenous Storyteller Edition grant to make their film “q’sapi times”. They were also selected to be a TEDx speaker at Kelowna’s TEDxYouth @ DoyleAve. Madeline Terbasket is reimagining traditional stories with their physical comedy and vulnerability.
Peter Morin is a grandson of Tahltan ancestor artists. He has now lived away from his home territory for most of his life, but like his ancestors who have walked on the land, he carries Tahltan knowledge, ideas and history with him wherever he is. Every step along the way, Tahltan knowledge has guided his researching, dreaming, learning, making of the past twenty years of artistic and curatorial practice. Morin began art school in 1997, completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver in 2001 and his Masters in Fine Arts in 2010 at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan. Initially trained in lithography, Morin’s artistic practice moves from printmaking to poetry to drum making to button blanket making to installation to beadwork to performance art.
Past Visiting Artists
Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize).
Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian Taino writer, artist, and land-based educator from Denendeh (NWT) and Pond Inlet, NU. She also belongs to a Dené Sųłine family and a strong lineage of storytellers/leaders on all three sides who have raised her to be close to the land.
Mariel Belanger , MFA alumna from UBCO, is dedicated to contributing in the growth of interdisciplinary performance arts as a method to engage Indigenous community, language, culture and act as a bridge to society telling stories of our time.
Lacie Burning is a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) multi-disciplinary artist and curator raised on Six Nations of the Grand River located in Southern Ontario. They work in photography, video, installation, and sculpture.
RYAN! Elizabeth Feddersen b.1984 Confederated Tribes of the Colville (Okanogan /Arrow Lakes /German /English) is a mixed-media installation artist who specializes in interactive and immersive artworks that invite audience engagement.
Whess Harman (they/them pronouns) is mixed race, trans/non-binary queer/2SQ artist from the Carrier Wit’at Nation. Their on-going work includes beadwork and DIY strategies around punk aesthetics creating the “Potlatch Punk” series.
Eli Hirtle is a nêhiyaw(Cree)/British/German filmmaker, beadworker, and curator born and raised on Lekwungen territory (Victoria, BC). His practice involves documenting and creating work about Indigenous cultural resurgence, language revitalization, and identity.
Candice Hopkins is a writer, a curator and a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation. Her practice explores the intersections of history, contemporary art and indigeneity.
Jaimie Isaac is a Winnipeg-based curator and interdisciplinary artist, member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Treaty 1 territory of Anishinaabe and British heritage. Her research focus is on Indigenous Curatorial Praxis, and methodologies in decolonizing and Indigenizing.
Dr. Michelle Jack is syilx/Okanagan of the communities snpintktn (Penticton, BC) and nisɬpícaʔ (Omak, WA). An Abstract Image Maker/Scholar who investigates the physical, mental, spiritual, and material.
Pekuakamiulnuatsh originally from Mashteuiatsh on the border of lake pekuakami, Soleil Launière lives and work in Tiöhtià:ke (Montréal). Multidisciplinary artist combining voice, movement and theatre through performance art.
Tanya Lukin Linklater’s work centres knowledge production in and through orality, conversation, and embodied practices, including dance.
Peter Morin is a Tahltan Nation artist, curator, and educator. Morin’s practice-based research investigates the impact zones that occur when Indigenous culture-based practices and Western settler-colonialism collide.
Suzanne Morrissette is a Métis artist, curator, and writer from Winnipeg. Her research takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigate 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.
Audie Murray is a multi-disciplinary artist that works with various material including beadwork, textiles, repurposed objects, drawing, performance and video. She is Métis from Regina, Saskatchewan, treaty 4 territory.
Marianne Nicolson is an artist activist of Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations and Scottish descent. he is trained in traditional Kwakwaka’wakw forms and culture and contemporary gallery and museum based practice.
Lindsay Nixon is a Cree-Métis-Saulteaux curator, award-nominated editor, award-nominated writer, SSHRC doctoral scholarship recipient and McGill Art History Ph.D. student.
Sheldon Pierre Louis, a member of the Syilx Nation, is a multi-disciplinary Syilx Artist. Sheldon’s ancestral roots have influenced his works in painting, drawing, carving, and sculpting.
Anne Riley is an Indigiqueer multidisciplinary artist living as an uninvited Slavey Dene/Cree/German guest from Fort Nelson First Nation on the unceceded Territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlí̓lwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations.
Erin Sutherland works as an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, Augustana. Her P.h.D. in Cultural Studies from Queens University focuses on Indigenous curatorial methodologies and Indigenous performance art.
Arielle Twist is a Nehiyaw, Two-Spirit, Trans Woman that creating to reclaim and harness ancestral magic and memories. She is an author and multidisciplinary artist.
Billy-Ray Belcourt (he/him) is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is a PhD student in the Department of English & Film Studies at the University of Alberta. He is a 2016 Rhodes Scholar and holds an MSt in Women’s Studies from the University of Oxford and Wadham College. His research interests stretch from queer, trans, and feminist studies to ethics to decolonization.
Carlos Colín was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. As a Latin American artist, one of Colín’s primary focuses are the concepts of baroque in the Latin American region, mostly in Mexico, how this is reflected and affected by elements and patterns since colonial times, and how we can see these baroque manifestations in the XXI century in Mexico and abroad.
Ryan Feddersen Confederated Tribes of the Colville (Okanogan /Arrow Lakes /German /English) is a mixed-media installation artist who specializes in interactive and immersive artworks that invite audience engagement. She was born and raised in Wenatchee, WA.
Tarah Hogue is a curator, writer, and uninvited guest on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories/Vancouver, B.C. where she has lived since 2008. Her work engages collaborative methodologies and a careful attentiveness to place in order to decentre colonial modes of perception within institutional spaces.
Liz Howard was born and raised on Treaty 9 territory in northern Ontario and is of mixed European and Anishinaabe descent. She received an Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction from the University of Toronto and an MFA in Creative Writing through the University of Guelph.
Jaimie Isaac is of Anishinaabe and British descent and is member of Sagkeeng First Nation. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia and a BA in Art History with an Arts and Cultural Management Certificate from the University of Winnipeg. Her MA thesis was titled, “Decolonizing curatorial practice: acknowledging Indigenous cultural praxis, mapping its agency, recognizing its aesthetic within contemporary Canadian art.”
Steven Loft is Mohawk of the Six Nations with Jewish heritage and is a curator, scholar, writer and media artist. He is the Director, Indigenous Arts at the Canada Council for the Arts. His research focus is in Indigenous art and aesthetics.
Dylan Miner is a Wiisaakodewinini (Métis) artist, activist, and scholar. He is currently Director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Associate Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University.
Caroline Monnet is a multidisciplinary artist from Outaouais, Quebec. Her work has been programmed in exhibitions and festivals internationally.
Julie Nagam is the Chair in the History of Indigenous Art in North America this is a joint appointment with the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Meghann O’Brien is a Northwest Coast weaver from the community of Alert Bay, BC. Her innovative approach to the traditional artforms of basketry, Yeil Koowu (Raven’s Tail) and Naaxiin (Chilkat) textiles connects to the rhythms and patterns of the natural world and creates a continuity between herself and her ancestors.
taisha paggett is a dance artist whose individual and collaborative interdisciplinary works re-articulate and collide specific western choreographic practices with the politics of daily life in order to interrogate fixed notions of queer black embodiment and survival.
Ryan Rice is a Mohawk of Kahnawake, Quebec received a MA in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York, graduated from Concordia University with a BFA 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.
Natalie Robertson (Ngāti Porou, Clann Dhònnchaidh) is a photographic and moving image artist and Senior Lecturer at AUT University, Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). Much of Robertson’s practice is based in Te Tai Rawhiti, her East Coast Ngati Porou homelands. Here, her focus is on her ancestral Waiapu River and the protracted catastrophic impacts of colonization, deforestation, and agriculture.
Sarah Shamash is a Vancouver based media artist and PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Studies program at UBC. Influenced by cinema, her experimental projects typically explore identities and geographies as personal, political, feminine, and dynamic, while critiquing and subverting fixed, colonial, and hegemonic demarcations of the body, territory, and space.
Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Tłı̨chǫ Dene from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. He is author of a number of books including children’s books, short fiction, novels and graphic novels.
Olivia Whetung is anishinaabekwe and a member of Curve Lake First Nation. She completed her BFA with a minor in anishinaabemowin at Algoma University in 2013, and her MFA at the University of British Columbia in 2016. Whetung works in various media including beadwork, printmaking, and digital media.
T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss’ diverse heritage includes Skwxwu7mesh, Sto:lo, Irish-Métis, Hawaiian, and Swiss. An artist, she has extensive experience producing various formats of media art for almost 30 years and works as an ethnobotanist with traditional training by Indigenous elders.
- Jeannette Armstrong
- Monika Kin Gagnon
- Chris Creighton-Kelly and France Trepanier
- Shawn Wilson
- Linda Tuhiwai Smith
- Graham Smith
Indigenous Tattoo School
- Instructors: Dion Kaszas, Amy Malbeuf, Jordan Bennett
- Guest mentors: Dean Hunt, Nahaan, Pip Hartley (NZ)
- Participants: Amberley John, Sheldon Piere, Louise Danika Nolte, Jerry Evans, Maani Oakes, Ippiksaut Friesen
- Jordan Wheeler
- Maria Hupfield
- Jason Lujan
- Elle-Maija Tailfeathers
- Jake Chakasim
- Jules Koostachin
- Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes
- Wendy Red Star
- Léuli Eshraghi
- Jaimie Isaac
Other visiting artists, curators, researchers
- Alex Janvier
- James Luna
- Jennifer Robinson
- David Garneau
- Annie Ross
- Mariel Belanger
- Madi Stine