Museum of Art presenting works by eight Indigenous artists

June 8, 2017

McMaster's Museum of Art is presenting Coyote School, contemporary works by eight mid-career Indigenous artists, curated by Rhéanne Chartrand, that will be on display from June 8 to August 19, 2017.

The artists being featured are Joi Arcand, Sonny Assu, Jason Baerg, Jordan Bennett, Christian Chapman, Amy Malbeuf, Meryl McMaster, Bear Witness (a.k.a. Ehren Thomas).

These artists acknowledge the influence of senior Indigenous artists on the development of their own artistic practice. Through their art and their written stories we learn that influence comes in many forms; familial and kinship bonds, formal or informal mentorships, and artistic inspiration.

“My previous curatorial project, Unapologetic: Acts of Survivance, was my chance to pay respect to senior Indigenous artists who broke down barriers and paved the way for a younger generation of artists and curators like me,” says the curator Rhéanne Chartrand. “With Coyote School, I invited eight Indigenous artists, all highly accomplished in their own right, to reflect on how senior Indigenous artists have influenced their own artistic practice.”

“My goal with both exhibitions is to make plain the continuity in Indigenous art, and not simply in terms of artistic output, but more with regard to how the current generation is carrying forward the Trickster spirit, enACTing survivance in their own way.

“The work of (re-)presenting and (re-)imagining Indigenous identity is never complete; it is work Indigenous peoples have done and will continue to do as we reclaim who we are and assert our rightful place with creative, social, and political spheres.”

This is Rhéanne Chartrand’s second curatorial project at McMaster Museum of Art. Her first, Unapologetic: Acts of Survivance was on view earlier this year. It presented the notable works from the 1980s by eleven foundational contemporary Indigenous artists, many directly referenced by the younger artists in Coyote School.

Rhéanne Chartrand is the Aboriginal Curatorial Resident at the McMaster Museum of Art, a position made possible by the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost, McMaster University.  She is a curator and creative producer based in Toronto, Canada. Chartrand has worked with numerous galleries and cultural organizations including Art Gallery of Mississauga, OCAD University, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, Aboriginal Pavilion at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, and the National Museum of the American Indian (DC).

There will be an opening reception Thursday, June 8, from 6-9 p.m.
6:30 p.m. Opening remarks by Elders and the exhibition curator
7 p.m. Musical performance by Jeremy Dutcher, an operatic tenor and composer who blends his Wolastoq First Nation roots into his music.