WAG Hires Jaimie Isaac as Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art
Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 6, 2017: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jaimie Isaac as Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art. Over the past two years, Isaac served as the Gallery’s Aboriginal Curatorial Resident, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Isaac’s work supports the WAG mission to help people see and experience more through art with a special focus on Canadian and Indigenous arts. She will continue to develop exhibition programming and partnerships with local organizations and Indigenous communities; and acquire contemporary and Indigenous art for the WAG collection.
During her residency Isaac curated four exhibitions: We Are On Treaty Land, Qua’yuk tchi’gae’win: Making Good, Boarder X, and, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant. Exhibition topics ranged from considering the treaties, recalling the residential school experiences, concepts of reconciliation and the TRC’s calls to actions, acknowledging the land and culture through surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding. She started an Elder’s Council and an Advisory Committee for her role in the curatorial residency and partnered with organizations, Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR).
Isaac led the WAG’s participation in the Decolonizing Lens film series, featuring free screenings co-organized by the NCTR and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Manitoba. In spring 2017, Isaac was a contributing author to PUBLIC 54 Indigenous Art: New Media, an interdisciplinary journal with a core focus on visual art. She is also a member of the WAG’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, formed to provide leadership and counsel in the development and planning of WAG exhibitions, education, community outreach, partnerships, and programming within an Indigenous context. Isaac is co-curating with Dr. Julie Nagam Insurgence/Resurgence, the Gallery’s largest exhibition of Indigenous art to date, which opens September 22.
• Of Anishinaabe and British heritage, Isaac is a member of Sagkeeng First Nation on Treaty No. 1 Territory
• She holds a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia and a BA in Art History and an Arts and Cultural Management Certificate from the University of Winnipeg
• Jaimie served as co-faculty for the Wood Land School at Plug In Summer Institute and guest lectured for various universities
• Isaac is a founding member of The Ephemerals Collective, an all-female Indigenous arts collective, nominated for the 2017 Sobey Award
• She was part of the Canada Council for the Art’s Indigenous delegation at the 2017 Venice Biennale
• Isaac was recently named a finalist for the Winnipeg Arts Council’s 2017 Making a Difference Award
• Her published essays appear in: Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years and The Land We Are Now: Writers and Artists Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation
• She has served on juries and committees, and volunteered on the boards of Urban Shaman Gallery, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, National Indigenous New Media Coalition, and Aboriginal Music Manitoba Inc.
• The Winnipeg Art Gallery is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and holds the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
In her short time so far at the WAG, Jaimie Isaac has assembled some of the Gallery’s most thought provoking and unique exhibitions, built important new partnerships, and engaged new audiences with art. I have no doubt that she will continue to drive dialogue in our community—educating, critiquing, and celebrating the complexities of Canadian identity, Indigenous culture, and issues that motivate art production today. There is perhaps no better moment than now to analyze, document, and exhibit Indigenous contemporary art in Canada, and we are excited to continue working with Jaimie in this regard.
—Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG
Jaimie Isaac brings a dynamic way of thinking and a new perspective to the WAG's curatorial team. She has already demonstrated her ability to conceive and stage art exhibitions in original, relevant, and socially engaged ways. She offers a unique and valuable voice to the curatorial team and to the WAG.
—Andrew Kear, Chief Curator, WAG
I’m looking forward to continuing my work at the WAG supporting and promoting Indigenous and all contemporary artists. There are exciting shifts and projects happening that I’m honoured to be part of that include a multiplicity of voices and reflect a wider community.
—Jaimie Isaac, Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art, WAG
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The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate – a lens and forum – helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery and inspiration.
The WAG holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. Breaking ground in 2017, the WAG is creating an Inuit Art Centre to celebrate the art and to honour the Inuit. The Centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making. It will also house the WAG’s nationally recognized Studio art and learning program.
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