May 26, 2020, Toronto, ON—The Art Museum at University of Toronto is delighted to announce that Mikinaak (Crystal) Migwans will be joining the team as Curator, Indigenous Contemporary Art. Migwans was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Indigenous Contemporary Art in Canada in the Department of Art History in the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto.
Migwans brings a diversity of curatorial and academic experience to their role at the Museum. A multimedia artist by training, Migwans has expanded their work to include research, teaching, curation, and community engagement. An Anishinaabekwe of Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation, Migwans has focused their work on reclaiming Anishinaabe artistic practices and legacies from the archives of colonial institutions. Exploring Anishinaabe art and crafts in museum collections through the lens of critical theory, Migwans addresses questions of object repatriation, culturally sensitive exhibition and the politics of place-making, particularly in land-based art.
Migwans is expected to receive their PhD from the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University in the fall of 2020 with a dissertation on the natural fibre weaving traditions of the Great Lakes. They have worked with the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts & Culture at Carleton University, the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation in M'Chigeeng First Nation and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
Regarding their appointment, Barbara Fischer, Executive Director at the Art Museum writes: "I am so very thrilled that Mikinaak Migwans will be joining the Art Museum's curatorial team as part of their appointment to the Department of Art [History]. Their critically engaged research interests will greatly enrich the presence of Indigenous artistic practices and histories in our program, in the city, and beyond. I am especially looking forward to their insightful, land-based approach to ways of knowing and its potential for other ways of making place and shaping new relations—through exhibitions and collections—between the Art Museum and students, faculty and wider public."
Read the full institutional media release on the Art Museum at University of Toronto website.