Canadian Art: Art in 2017 – A View from Turtle Island

Featured Image: Seven Sisters. Mike MacDonald

The year was an exciting one for Indigenous art in so-called Canada—likely somewhat propelled by the Canada Council’s newly created funding stream for Indigenous art. I can’t think of another period—outside of 1992, the 350th anniversary of the birth of Montreal and 500 years since Columbus did not discover America—when Indigenous art was this dynamic. This year was host to a diverse group of new voices for Indigenous art, an array of artists and curators who established themselves as strong leaders and key figures in this new wave of contemporary Indigenous art. Joi T. Arcand, Dayna Danger, Asinnajaq, Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter, Becca Taylor, Tsēma Igharas, Jeneen Frei Njootli and Lacie Buring come to mind, to name only a few. Is what Tanya Harnett told me true—are we witnessing the emergence of a seventh wave in Indigenous art within so-called Canada? Whatever this moment is, it’s adamantly feminist; run by women, gender variant and sexually diverse peoples; and entrenched in values of care and reciprocity.

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