Maria Hupfield

Assistant Professor
T 905-569-3749

Maria Hupfield
MFA, Sculpture, York University (2004)
BA, Honors with Distinction, Art & Art History Specialist, Aboriginal Studies Minor, University of Toronto (1999)
Degree, Art & Art History, Sheridan College (1999)

Maria Hupfield is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Digital Arts and Performance and a Canadian Research Chair in Transdisciplinary Indigenous Arts. An alumni of UTM, Hupfield has been at the cutting edge of art and public engagement for many years, from her early work as founder of 7th Generation Image Makers, Native Child + Family Services of Toronto, forging partnerships with the Art Gallery of Ontario, Charles Street Video, and ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, and the Toronto Indigenous community to recent collaborative performances with musicians and artists including her commission of five multimedia projects for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche (2017).

Hupfield was awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation prize for outstanding achievement by a Canadian mid-career artist (2018). Her first major institutional solo exhibition The One Who Keeps on Giving was a production of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, in partnership with Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge; Galerie de l’UQAM, Montréal; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax; and the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris (2017-18).

Her work has shown in New York at the Museum of Arts and Design, BRIC, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian; represented Canada at SITE Santa Fe (2016), and travelled nationally across Canada with Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (2012-14). Recent performances include Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Para\\el Performance Gallery in Brooklyn, and Gibney Dance.

Hupfield is a Guest Curator, Artist of Color Council Movement Research at Judson Church Fall 2019/Winter 2020 Season. Her upcoming solo Nine Years Towards The Sun opens at the Heard Museum, Phoenix December (2019). Together with her husband artist Jason Lujan she co-owns Native Art Department International.

My work exists at the intersection of Anishinaabek cultural knowledge and Western based art practices. Previously based in Brooklyn for the past 9 years, I am Canadian like my settler father and Anishinaabe like my late mother, as well as an off-rez citizen of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario. My strategies to disrupt and deconstruct colonial spaces transform institutional models of trust building and strengthen Indigenous peoples in our homelands resourcefully through art. My commitment to art based practices expands conversations on North American Indigenous bodies that crossover the Nation State borders of Canada and the United States of America. I view Indigeneity as mobile from multiple positions to free it from reductive singular readings. My projects position Indigenous arts as a technologically advanced and active living presence across time and into the future, expanding and contracting from the local to the global. — Maria Hupfield

Current Research Projects
Hupfield’s five-year research program in Indigenous Digital Arts and Performance is grounded in her transdisciplinary art practice and collaboration while prioritizing an increased understanding of the world through hands-on experience and direct dialogue with others. It seeks to change the way that universities are accountable to Indigenous people; it models new ways of connecting with Indigenous communities through arts-based practices; and it establishes respectful ongoing relationships with Indigenous peoples and land.

Hupfield’s research program has three components: 1) Community Medicine Garden; 2) Indigenous Creation Studio; 3) Living Archive. Each space will both constitute and facilitate the development of creative work grounded in Indigenous oral traditions and the natural world. Hupfield’s research will move traditional and digital art from the land to the classroom and into virtual space. She is dedicated to dynamic scholarship that probes the development and maintenance of good relations with land and within communities. The projects will model accountable collaboration with Indigenous peoples grounded in non-competitive community building, social practice art, wellness, Indigenous knowledge, land sovereignty, and LGBTQ2+ inclusivity, especially for Indigenous trans and queer people of color, and two-spirit folx. Hupfield aims to build networks of awakened solidarity, fueling the movement for resurgence, decolonization, and reclamation of Indigenous homelands in North America.