How Far We’ve Come: Reflections on the Resonance of Indigenous Art from the 1980s

How Far We’ve Come: Reflections on the Resonance of Indigenous Art from the 1980s

Panel Discussion
McMaster Museum of Art
Thursday, February 9, 7 – 9 pm

Richard William Hill
Tom Hill

Gerald McMaster

Please join the McMaster Museum of Art for an evening with three leading Indigenous scholars as they discuss the influence of Indigenous art from the 1980s on current Indigenous artistic and curatorial practice. This insightful and thought-provoking discussion will be moderated by Rhéanne Chartrand, Aboriginal Curatorial Resident at McMaster Museum of Art.

This special event is presented as a complement to the exhibition Unapologetic: Acts of Survivance. Curated by Rhéanne Chartrand, the exhibition presents significant works of art from the 1980s by eleven foundational contemporary Indigenous artists. It is on view at the Museum until March 25.

Cost: Free. Attendance by RSVP.  Please RSVP by email to

Richard William Hill is Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Hill taught full-time in the Art History program at York University, beginning in 2007 and leaving as Associate Professor in 2015. As a curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, he oversaw the museum’s first substantial effort to include Indigenous North American art and ideas in permanent collection galleries. Hill’s essays on art have appeared internationally in numerous books, exhibition catalogues and periodicals. His regular column Close Readings, featuring extended reviews of contemporary Indigenous art, began in FUSE Magazine in 2013 and now continues in C Magazine. He also has a regular column at He is currently on the editorial board of the journal Third Text.

Tom Hill is a retired curator, writer, art historian, artist, actor, producer and traditional eskanye singer. He has played an influential role in the development of Aboriginal visual arts in Canada and internationally and was the First Aboriginal art curator in Canada. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada, a member for the National First Nations Advisory Committee to the Canada Council, Board member for the Ontario Film Development Corporation, Co-chair for the National Task Force on Museums and First Peoples and Board member for the Ontario Museums Association and the Ontario Arts Council. He has also served as a Board member for Kahawi Dance Theatre, Chiefswood National Historic Site and The Centre for Indigenous Theatre. He currently serves on the Canada Council. He is a recipient of the Order of Ontario, the Governor General’s award in Visual and Media Arts and an honorary doctorate from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Gerald McMaster is a curator, artist, author, and the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Studies at OCAD University. McMaster has worked at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Some of the exhibitions he has curated include: “In the Shadow of the Sun” (1989), “Indigena” (1992), “Plains Indian Drawings” (1996), “Reservation X” (1998), “First American Art” (2004), “New Tribe/New York” (2005), “Inuit Modern” (2011), and recently “Before and After the Horizon” (2014). McMaster has curated two international biennales: he was Canadian commissioner to the Biennale di Venezia (1995); and one of the Artistic Directors of the 18th Biennale of Sydney. His awards and recognitions include the 2001 ICOM-Canada Prize for contributions to national and international museology; 2005 National Aboriginal Achievement Award; Officer of the Order of Canada; and Honorary Doctor of Letters from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design.

banner image:  Jeff Thomas, Amos Keye, Iroquois, from the series Strong Hearts: Powwow Portraits, 1982; printed 2014. Collection of McMaster Museum of Art. Gift of the artist, 2014.
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About the McMaster Museum of Art
Established in 1967, McMaster Museum of Art (MMA) is a public, non-profit, university-affiliated gallery situated in the heart of McMaster University campus. The MMA, which houses the University’s internationally recognized collection of approximately 6000 art objects and antiquities, presents exhibitions and provides public programs through scholarly research and interpretation.

McMaster Museum of Art

Alvin A. Lee Building
McMaster University
1280 Main St W
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6
905.525.9140 x.23241
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Admission is Free
Museum Hours: Tue/Wed/Fri 11am-5pm, Thu 11-7, Sat 12-5

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