A program of Nations by Artists
Wednesday, March 30, 4pm–8pm
4pm–5:45pm: Artist Roundtable
University College, UC 179
In-person by registration. Register here.
Online on Art Museum’s YouTube channel. No registration required.
6pm–8pm: Closing celebration for Nations by Artists
University College, University of Toronto Art Centre
No registration required. This event will not be live-streamed.
This roundtable brings together Toronto- and New York-based artists and activists Decolonize This Place, Alan Michelson, Susan Blight, and Jolene Rickard in a discussion about artist-led strategies for reclaiming suppressed histories and relations on stolen land. The panel will explore the overlap between art-making, public space intervention, and the archive, starting the conversation in the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe sovereignties in Tkaronto / Gichi Kiiwenging (Toronto), and drawing connections to the global context of colonialism. Moderated by Nations by Artists co-curators Mikinaak Migwans and Sarah Robayo Sheridan.
Following the roundtable, join us for an informal closing celebration for Nations by Artists at the University of Toronto Art Centre. Grab copies of artist-produced posters, books, zines, and other ephemera; listen to concluding remarks by the exhibition curators and the executive director/chief curator; and see the exhibition one last time before it closes on Saturday, April 2.
This event is co-presented by the Art Museum; the Department of Art History; and The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design Proseminar Speaker Series MVS.
About the Speakers
Decolonize This Place (DTP) is an action-oriented collective based in New York City that uses cultural institutions as platforms to amplify the demands of decolonial social movements. Facilitated by MTL+, DTP consists of over 30 collaborators, grassroots groups, and art collectives that seek to resist, unsettle, and reclaim the city. Their contribution to the Nations by Artists exhibition is an in-gallery movement space with materials for study and action. For this conversation, we welcome five MTL+ facilitators: Amin Husain, Nitasha Dhillon, Amy Weng, Marz Saffore, and Crystal Hans. Decolonize This Place joins the roundtable as guests of the Department of Art History, University of Toronto.
Alan Michelson is an internationally recognized New York-based artist, curator, writer, lecturer, and Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River. His socially engaged, site-specific art practice is grounded in local contexts and informed by the retrieval of repressed histories. Sourcing from both Indigenous and western culture, he works across painting, sculpture, photography, sound, video, glass, and stone. His work Blanket Refusal in the Nations by Artists exhibition brings the spirit of the original treaties back into the frame of Haudenosaunee-settler relations, and demonstrates the continuities between wampum and the written word.
Susan Blight (Anishinaabe, Couchiching First Nation) is an interdisciplinary artist working with public art, site-specific intervention, photography, film, and social practice. Her solo and collaborative work engages questions of personal and cultural identity and its relationship to space. As part of the The Ogimaa Mikana Project, she worked to restore Anishinaabemowin place-names to the streets, avenues, roads, paths, and trails of Gichi Kiiwenging (Toronto). For the Tree Protection Zone project on Hart House Commons, Blight made one of the construction hoardings into an experiment in public space intervention using biodegradable stickers and the Anishinaabemowin language. Blight is Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts & Science.
Jolene Rickard (Tuscarora Nation) is an artist, curator, and associate professor of the History of Art and Visual Studies and director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program at Cornell University. She is a recipient of a Ford Foundation Research Grant and is conducting research in the Americas, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia toward a new journal on Indigenous aesthetics, and has a forthcoming book on Visualizing Sovereignty. Her family history, as well as her scholarship and art, is tied to a deep legacy of Haudenosaunee traditional governance and a longstanding (and ongoing) practice of anticolonial resistance.
Moderated by Nations by Artists co-curators Mikinaak Migwans and Sarah Robayo Sheridan.
Co-presented with the Department of Art History and The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design Proseminar Speaker Series MVS.