2023 Schedule

2023 Indigenous Art Intensive

Schedule May 17-June 14th: 

Wednesday, June 7 
Event Link 
Artist Biographies 

 We have an outstanding program this week with two exhibition openings, noted International Indigenous scholar and authour Audra Simpson and artists and architect Tiffany Shaw Sobey award (2022) short listed artist Krystle Silverfox discussing recent works. This stellar keynote adress and artist conversation will reinforce the incredible work happening Internationally in the fields of Indigenous Studies and creative practice. 

 12:00 – 12:30 SYiLX OPENING and Curatorial Talk with Csetkwe Fortier

csetkwe (she/her/ stamiya) is a multi-gifted artist with her roots in the syilx (Okanagan) and Secwepmec (Shuswap) Nations. Holding the respect of being a sqwuy (mother to sons) stamiya (two spirit) and a traditional knowledge keeper, she mainly works in ceremony, mental health/ wellness, storytelling, performance art, song/ poetry writing, painting, illustration and most recently murals. 

 12:30 1:00 coffee break in ADM 026 
 1:00 Artist Talk: Tiffany-Shaw, Krystle Silverfox 

Moderator: Dr. Stacey Koosel (Métis) UBC Okanagan Gallery, Curator, IAI Co-ordinator 

 Join artists in discussion in advance of their exhibition opening the same evening! Invisible Forces curated by Stacey Koosel brings together Métis artist and architect Tiffany Shaw and Selkirk First Nation artist Krystle Silverfox. Revealing how invisible forces guide us through our lives, through ethereal worlds, symbolism, dimensions and the passing of time. These forces also help us navigate this earthly, corporeal existence of strained relationships between bodies and lands. The works in this exhibition delves into bodies and the land, mothers and ancestors and everywhere invisible forces are at work. 

 Also on exhibition outside the FINA Gallery, You are on Syilx Territory, showcases four syilx painters in the UBC Okanagan public art collection, David Wilson, Sheldon Louis, Coralee Miller and Manuel Axel Strain. UBC Okanagan’s acquisition policy was updated in 2020, to prioritize commissions and purchases from local Indigenous artists, to balance out the colonial context of the institution and the fact that less than 1% of the university’s art collection is by local Indigenous artists.  

 Wednesday June 7, 5pm : Exhibition Openings

Invisible Forces  

Tiffany Shaw and Krystle Silverfox  

 You are on Syilx Territory 

Coralee Miller, David Wilson, Sheldon Louis, Manuel Axel Strain  

Creative and Critical Studies (CCS) building 

June 7 – August 24 


Wednesday, June 14 
Event Link 
Artist Biographies 

 For our last program of the Indigenous Art Intensive, we are joined by scholar and curator Dr. Dylan Robison who shares his recent research and his unique approach in situating Indigenous knowledges in his work. 

 Following Robinson’s keynote presentation, artist Gabrielle Hill, who recently exhibited at La Biennale di Venezia in The Milk of Dreams will give an artist talk about her practice that explores the history of found materials, to enquire into concepts of land, property, and economy.  

 Hill’s talk will be followed by performance artist Vanessa Dion Fletcher, whose rich material practice using porcupine quills, Wampum belts, and menstrual blood reveal the complexities of what defines a body physically and culturally. 

 12:00 1:00 Keynote: Dylan Robinson 

 (Stó:lō/Skwah) artist, curator, and writer, as well as an Associate Professor in the School of Music at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies (2020), a book that examines Indigenous and settler colonial practices of listening. With Candice Hopkins, he is also the curator of Soundings, an internationally touring exhibition with Independent Curators International, that features an ever-growing number of Indigenous art scores and performances. 

 11:30 coffee break in ADM 026 
 1:30 Panel 5: Gabrielle Hill, Vanessa Fletcher  

Moderator: Tania Willard (Secwepemc and settler), Director UBCO Indigenous Art Intensive 

 Join artists Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill and Vanessa Dion Fletcher in discussing their artistic practices. Hill’s sculptural projects emerge from an interest in capitalism as an imposed, impermanent, and vulnerable system, as well as in alternative economic modes. Her works have used found and readily-sourced materials to address concepts such as private property, exchange, and black-market economies. Hill is a member of BUSH gallery, an Indigenous artist collective seeking to decentre Eurocentric models of making and thinking about art, prioritizing instead land-based teachings and Indigenous epistemologies. Vanessa Dion Fletcher is a Lenape and Potawatomi neurodiverse artist; her family is from EelūnaapèewiiLahkèewiitt (displaced from Lenapehoking) and European settlers. Her work reflects on an Indigenous and gendered body with a neurodiverse mind, Dion Fletcher primarily works in performance, textiles and video.

Completed Programs:
 Wednesday, May 17 
Event Link
Artist Biographies 

 Join us in welcoming artist Nadia Myre, hailing from Quebec this is a rare opportunity to hear Nadia Myre discuss her award winning practice. Also joining us is artist Michelle Sound whose exhibition, Aunties That Do, will open on May 19th at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art in Kelowna, BC. 

 12:00 – 1:00 Keynote: Nadia Myre 

Nadia Myre is an interdisciplinary artist and Algonquin member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. As exemplified by seminal works such as Indian Act (2002), The Scar Project (2005-2013), and A Casual Reconstruction (2015), Myre explores the politics of belonging by positioning it within a framework of Indigenous resistance and resilience.  

1:00 1:30 coffee break in ADM 026 
 1:30 Artist talk: Michelle Sound  

Moderator: Dr. Stacey Koosel (Métis) UBC Okanagan Gallery, Curator, IAI Co-ordinator 

 Artist Michelle Sound is a Cree and Métis artist, educator, and mother. She will share about her recent work and upcoming exhibition (opening May 19th), Aunties That Do. She is a member of Wapsewsipi Swan River First Nation in Northern Alberta. Her mother is Cree from Kinuso, Alberta, Treaty 8 territory and her father’s family is Métis from the Buffalo Lake Métis settlement in central Alberta. She was born and raised on the unceded and ancestral home territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.  

 Wednesday, May 24 
Event Link 
Artist Biographies  

This week’s panel focuses on Interior Salish contemporary artists, UBCO’s Indigenous Art Intensive is a leader in showcasing Interior Salish specific artists, ideas and practices.  

12:00 – 1:00 Keynote: Dion Kaszas 

Dion Kaszas is a Nlaka’pamux cultural tattoo practitioner and a leader in the revival of Indigenous tattooing in Canada. He has been tattooing professionally since 2009 and started the revival of Nlaka’pamux tattooing in 2012. Dion travels to National and International events, conferences, and tattoo festivals representing Nlaka’pamux and Indigenous tattooing in Canada. Dion’s passion for tattooing extends beyond his artistic work into the successful completion of his Master’s degree in Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. His continued area of research is Indigenous tattooing, focusing keenly on the revival of Indigenous peoples’ tattooing practices, using Indigenous and Creative research methodologies. 

1:00 1:30 coffee break in ADM 026 
 1:30- 2:00 Artist Talk, Kristabelle Stewart, 

Moderator: Tania Willard (Secwepemc and settler), Director UBCO Indigenous Art Intensive 

Krista Belle Stewart is a citizen of the Syilx Nation. She works primarily with video, photography, sculpture, and performance, drawing out personal and political narratives inherent in archival materials while questioning their articulation in institutional histories.  

 Wednesday, May 31 
Event Link 
Artist Biographies 

(New Program Alert!)Decolonial Aesthesis, Intuiting the Archive

Dr. Mique’l Dangeli PHD in conversation with Tania Willard, Assistant Professor UBC Okanagan, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies

 As part of the Critical Image Forum the Indigenous Art Intensive presents a discussion with Dr. Mique’l Dangeli and Tania Willard UBCO, that engages both research, practice and intuitive approaches to archive within an Indigenous context. Dangeli‘s masters thesis on Tsimshian photographer Benjamin Alfred Haldane, and his portrait studio in Metlakatla in 1899, was included as a chapter in Sharing Our Knowledge: The Tlingit and Their Coastal Neighbors, published by the University of Nebraska Press. Willard’s work in archive explored Secwépemc agency in the physical anthropology collection of the Museum of the American Indian (NY). Willard and Dangeli respectively employ Indigenous language, archival interventions and creative practice to explore our relationships to a history of photography often about but not by Indigenous people’s. Dangeli’s work in dance and her PhD in Northwest Coast art further connects cultural dance and ancestral belongings often housed in museum collections. Willard’s work continues to delve into the abrasiveness of historical photography and the unjust and colonial histories it frames. 

This week’s Indigenous Art Intensive Program includes an inaugral Open Studio Day in the Creative and Critical Studies (CCS) building at UBC Okanagan. Come and visit artist studios and engage in conversation and visiting methodologies with Indigenous Intensive artists in residence. Participating artists include Mariel Belanger, Peter Morin, Tsēmā Igharas and Krista Belle Stewart. 

12pm-1pM: Decolonial Aesthesis, Intuiting the Archive
1-1:30 break
1:30 Panel 3: Mariel Belanger, Peter Morin, Tsēmā Igharas 

Moderator: Tania Willard (Secwepemc and settler), Director UBCO Indigenous Art Intensive 

 Join us in engaging conversation with artists Mariel Belanger (PhD candidate Queens University) whose research explores ethnographic historical documents and recordings to map the archives for family specific song, story and lived experiences of the Syilx people at the Head of the Lake. Mariel’s research centre’s identity through the lens of Indigenous ways of knowing and being in the world, customary law, Indigenous feminism, smi7may7 Syilx performance theory, intersectionality, the effects of being ‘half’ and exploring how cultural identity is rebuilt through oral history and performance practice.  Continuing with more Indigenous performace theory Peter Morin is a grandson of Tahltan Ancestor Artists. Morin’s artistic offerings can be organized around four themes: articulating Land/Knowing, articulating Indigenous Grief/Loss, articulating Community Knowing, and understanding the Creative Agency/Power of the Indigenous body.  

 And giving perspective on the Tāłtān Matriarchy, artist Tsēmā Igharas uses strategies of care and resistance to create work that connects materials to mine sites and bodies to the land. This practice cites her Indigenous mentorships, Potlatch, studies in visual culture, and time in the mountains. 

 Open Studios  3:00 pm – 5:00 pm CCS Building, UBCO 

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