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07.26.16 – AGO names Wanda Nanibush its first curator of Canadian and indigenous art

Daniels Faculty alumna Wanda Nanibush (MVS curatorial studies 2012) was recently appointed the Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) inaugural assistant curator of Canadian and indigenous art. Since graduating from the University of Toronto, Nanibush — who is Anishinaabe-kwe, from Beausoleil First Nation near Penetanguishene, Ontario — has seen success as a curator, educator, community organizer, and activist focused on First Nations culture and issues. As part of her position at the AGO, she will be working closely with Andrew Hunter, curator of Canadian art.

“Wanda was someone I felt would come in and be themselves, and be confident and be critical,” Hunter told Toronto Star in an interview earlier this month. “She’ll bring expertise and knowledge to everything we do.”

Last year, the Ontario Association of Art Galleries named KWE, an exhibition of work by Rebecca Bemore that Nanibush curated at U of T's Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Monographic Exhibition of the Year. According to the exhibition listing, "KWE delves into the complicated and fertile relationship between Indigeneity, art, and colonization. Kwe is the Anishinaabe word for woman and is a term of respect and is used to mark out a deeply personal exhibition."

“The curatorial choices were astute; the ‘body’ was present in a number of ways,” said the jury of the exhibit. “It was a well-executed and dynamic installation.”

Nanibush’s first show at the AGO, titled The Toronto Project: Tributes and Tributaries,  will open September 28, 2016. Co-curated with Andrew Hunter, the exhibition will “reflect on Toronto as a cultural space, its experimentation, its cultural diversity and possibility.”