Team.

Current.

Dr. Gerald McMaster

Position: Director, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair
Email: gmcmaster@faculty.ocadu.ca

Dr. McMaster has over 30 years international work and expertise in contemporary art, critical theory, museology and Indigenous aesthetics. His experience as an artist and curator in art and ethnology museums researching and collecting art, as well as producing exhibitions has given him a thorough understanding of transnational Indigenous visual culture and curatorial practice. His early interests concerned the ways in which culturally sensitive objects were displayed in ethnology museums, as well as the lack of representation of Indigenous artists in art museums.

As a practicing artist, he offered a way of staging hitherto decontextualized objects different from the traditional formats favoured by exhibition designers trained in Western traditions; instead, his was an approach that rested on Indigenous epistemologies. These early stages in developing an –Indigenous visuality led him to study concepts in visual, experiential and spatial composition. His exhibition Savage Graces (1992) challenged long held views, and played a major role in breaking down conventional barriers around where art should be practiced, while also demonstrating that art is not tied to ethnicity.

As a curator, he focused on advancing the intellectual landscape for Indigenous curatorship through the foundational concept of voice. He curated, for example, an exhibition called Indigena (1992) that brought together unfiltered Indigenous voices for the first time. Until then, non-Indigenous scholars had dominated discussions of Indigenous art, history and culture. McMaster made the point that Indigenous artists and writers were more than capable of representing themselves in articulate, eloquent ways.

Over the past 20 years, he has continued to refine the idea of voice, leading him to ask: How can Indigenous voices continue providing new perspectives on well-researched subjects such as art, history and anthropology? Throughout his career, his championing of the mainstream value of Indigenous art, among other things, has led to his being chosen to represent Canada at a number of prestigious international events. These include his serving as Canadian Commissioner for the 1995 Venice Biennale, and as artistic director of the 2012 Biennale of Sydney, and curator for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. 

Dr. Gerald McMaster

Director, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

Dr. McMaster has over 30 years international work and expertise...

Dr. Michael Rattray

Position: Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Rattray is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Wapatah under the supervision of Dr. McMaster. Before joining the centre, he was the executive editor and associate publisher at the Art Canada Institute, and the senior editor at Adbusters Magazine. He completed his PhD at Concordia University in Montreal, under the direction of Dr. Johanne Sloan. His PhD dissertation, “Functional Anarchism(s) and the Theory of Global Contemporary Art,” evaluates globalized art within an anarchist philosophical trajectory. An exhibiting artist, curator, and critic, his work on contemporary art and art history has been published or exhibited in a variety of forms. 

Dr. Michael Rattray

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Rattray is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Wapatah under the...

Natalja Chestopalova

Position: Research Project Manager

Natalja Chestopalova is part of the Ph.D. in Communication and Culture Program at York and Ryerson Universities in Toronto. Her research is informed by the study of digital media, archival aesthetics, phenomenology, and psychoanalysis, and focuses on the transformative sensory experience and multimodality in film, graphic novel medium, and theatrical site-specific performances. With the support from the Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC), she has presented at multiple Canadian and International events, including roundtables & panels on new media archives, visual storytelling, and preservation of ephemeral cultural narratives. Her recent works include papers and multimodal installations on archives-of-trauma in non-fiction graphic narratives and theoretical developments in the Lacanian concept of the voice and voicelessness. Her publications appear in the White Wall Review, Canadian Journal of Communication, Dialogue, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Sound Effects: The Object Voice in Fiction, and an essay volume on the Freudian theory of afterwardness and archives-of-feeling in comics of Alison Bechdel.
Currently Natalja is working as a researcher at the Ontario College of Art and Design University with Gerald McMaster. As part of the Indigenous Visual Culture Research Centre she is contributing to projects that actively support Indigenous talent, and promote meaningful research exchange, and contribute to the creation of living digital archives that can mobilize and centralize Indigenous knowledge.

Natalja Chestopalova

Research Project Manager

Natalja Chestopalova is part of the Ph.D. in Communication and...

Brittany Bergin

Position: Research Assistant

Brittany Pitseolak Bergin is a research assistant at Wapatah Centre, OCAD University. Raised in Southern Ontario, her family is from Kinngait, Cape Dorset. Inspired by the artists in her family and community, including her great-grandmother and namesake Pitseolak Ashoona, Brittany’s focus at Wapatah is centred in community engagement as she continues to support major projects and outreach initiatives. Her work has been integral to the success of projects such as the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art, Arctic/Amazon Symposium, Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity exhibition and publication, and Indigenizing the (Art) Museum Virtual Series. Her most recent conferences include the Frontend Conference (Munich) and Inuit Studies Conference (Montreal). 

Brittany Bergin

Research Assistant

Brittany Pitseolak Bergin is a research assistant at Wapatah Centre,...

Mariah Meawasige

Position: Research Assistant

Mariah (Makoose) is an Anishinaabe/settler and creative from the northern shores of Lake Huron. Her practice specializes in graphic design but questions the bounds of communication through illustration, sculpture, video, and performance. She created the logo for the Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge and is currently working on the centre’s visual identity. Through her love of stories and storytelling, Mariah’s body of work aims to explore temporalities and place, map memories, and build relationships.

Mariah Meawasige

Research Assistant

Mariah (Makoose) is an Anishinaabe/settler and creative from the northern...

Jananda Lima

Position: Research Assistant

Jananda Lima has recently completed a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCADU. With a background in graphic design, Jananda works in social innovation with marginalized communities through co-design. Her practice also includes exploring possible futures by systemically shifting focus away from entrenched social biases.

Jananda Lima

Research Assistant

Jananda Lima has recently completed a Master of Design in...

Na’ama Freeman

Position: Research Assistant

Na’ama Freeman is a master’s student in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice Program at OCAD University and holds a BA in History from McGill University (2018). She is interested in the intersection of art, design, and audience agency within art institutions. At Wapatah, Na’ama is a Research Assistant supporting Dr. Gerald McMaster in the Arctic Amazon Project. 

Na’ama Freeman

Research Assistant

Na’ama Freeman is a master’s student in the Criticism and Curatorial...

Pedro Portella

Position: ELAP Visiting Researcher

Pedro Portella has a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts (2001) and a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology (2014) at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. He is currently a PhD student in social anthropology at the National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was also selected as the recipient of the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program in 2021. Portella is director, photographer, editor, film curator and expert in ethnographic cinema with emphasis in Indigenous Audiovisual and Art. He worked as coordinator of audiovisual workshops for 30 indigenous groups, in Brazil and French Guiana along his career. The emphasis of his research is based on the understanding of indigenous rituals and performances as body drawings, in which gestures and choreography are natively understood as artistic and creative processes, that depend on a technical domain transmitted by supermundane beings. In his work, he shares audiovisual tools focusing on documentation as a collective method of affirming social identities. The documentation of indigenous art, by its own artists, in this context, is a liberating practice that can help first nations combat problems such as suicide and alcoholism.

Pedro Portella

ELAP Visiting Researcher

Pedro Portella has a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts (2001)...

Alumni.

Tammy Le

Position: Alumni

Tammy holds a Bachelor of Interaction Design with High Honours from Sheridan College and has lived in Toronto, San Francisco and Munich. Her thesis work focused on the challenges of caregiving and honouring the dignity of persons with dementia by documenting their care preferences. This project was awarded the RGD So(cial) Good Design Award and Purpose/Built Award for Strategic Design. She’s currently a Co-Founder and Design Director at UX Research Collective, leading all design efforts and organizing the largest UX Research Conference in North America, #UXRConf.

Tammy Le

Alumni

Tammy holds a Bachelor of Interaction Design with High Honours...

Emily Lawrence

Position: Alumni

Emily is a researcher and writer based in Toronto. She holds an MA in contemporary art history from OCAD University where her major research paper looked at Annie Pootoogook’s drawings through a lens of love. Currently, Emily works as a research assistant with Dr. Gerald McMaster on the Cape Dorset/Papunya project. She also works for the Art Canada Institute, a not-for-profit Canadian art book publisher, as a communications and editorial associate as well as an image researcher. Two titles Emily is currently assisting with include “Oviloo Tunnillie: Life & Work” and “Mary Hiester Reid: Life & Work.” Emily is also an art history teaching assistant at OCAD University.

Emily Lawrence

Alumni

Emily is a researcher and writer based in Toronto. She...

Valentyna Onisko

Position: Alumni

Valentyna Onisko is a Toronto-based artist, independent curator and art critic, and a BFA graduate in Interdisciplinary Art from NSCAD University. Onisko is completing her Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University, where her MFA thesis exhibition, There is Bread and Salt Between Us investigated ideas of subjecthood, identity, and cultural and historical entanglements through gestures of hospitality. Onisko collaborates with Nina Vincent Lannes on the research project Arctic Amazonia, led by Dr. Gerald McMaster, to explore commonalities and intersections of historical and contemporary art production in the two regions.

Valentyna Onisko

Alumni

Valentyna Onisko is a Toronto-based artist, independent curator and art...

Alana Traficante

Position: Alumni

Alana is a writer, curator, and gallery director based in Toronto, with an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University (2016). In 2015, Alana contributed to the Centre as a graduate student through coursework and related research with Dr. McMaster and returned in 2018 as a Research Assistant. Alana is now the Executive Director of Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography and an Adjunct Curator at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. She serves on the Board of Directors of Critical Distance Centre for Curators and the Advisory Board and Acquisitions Sub-Committee of McMaster University Museum of Art.

Alana Traficante

Alumni

Alana is a writer, curator, and gallery director based in Toronto,...

Rhéanne Chartrand

Position: Alumni

Rhéanne Chartrand (MMSt, Hons. BA) is a Métis curator and creative producer based in Toronto, Ontario. She has spent the past six years creating interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary exhibitions, showcases, and festivals for organizations such as Harbourfront Centre, OCAD University, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, the Aboriginal Pavilion at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, and the National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, DC). Currently, Chartrand serves as the Curator of Indigenous Art at McMaster Museum of Art located in Hamilton, Ontario.

In the summer of 2016, Rhéanne Chartrand was invited by Dr. Gerald McMaster to conduct research in relation to the development of the course, Issues in Indigenous Curation. As an emerging curator, Chartrand embraced the opportunity to reexamine the Indigenous art historical record to gain a fuller sense of the emergence and development of Indigenous curatorship, and the key themes, issues, and shifts that emerged out of, or in response to, its articulation.

Rhéanne Chartrand

Alumni

Rhéanne Chartrand (MMSt, Hons. BA) is a Métis curator and...

Alessia Rose Pignotti

Position: Alumni

Alessia is a conceptual, multimedia artist and graphic designer whose most recent artistic practice explores the notion of the creative instinct. She holds a Masters of Art (2019) from OCAD University in the Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories program, and received an Honours Bachelor of Arts (2017) from the University of Toronto in a joint program with Sheridan College. At Wapatah, Alessia is a Research Assistant supporting Dr. Gerald McMaster’s Bill Reid publication project for the Art Canada Institute.

Alessia Rose Pignotti

Alumni

Alessia is a conceptual, multimedia artist and graphic designer whose most...

Christian Siroyt

Position: Alumni

Christian Julien Siroyt is a curator and artist who graduated from OCAD University’s Criticism and Curatorial Practice MFA program in 2018.
Formerly Curator at Museum Strathroy-Caradoc in Strathroy, Ontario, Christian is co-founder of the exhibition space Cassandra Cassandra in Toronto.

Christian Siroyt

Alumni

Christian Julien Siroyt is a curator and artist who graduated...

Robyn McCallum

Position: Alumni

Robyn McCallum is Senior Manager and Curator at Scotiabank. Robyn completed her graduate degree (MDes) at OCAD University in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, through which she produced a Major Research Project exploring the state of the fine arts and culture sector in Canada, highlighting strategies to increase resiliency amongst stakeholder arts organizations. Her work with the INVC Research Centre has focused on the artists and art production from Kinngait Studios in Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

Robyn McCallum

Alumni

Robyn McCallum is Senior Manager and Curator at Scotiabank. Robyn...

Erica Manetta

Position: Alumni

Erica Manetta is an Italian art historian and promising curator currently based in Toronto. After majoring in art history and museum studies in Italy, she received an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University. Since then she has devoted her academic research on design museography, exploring ways of increasing public comprehension of art and design through curation, and on the didactic role of this practice. At the INVC Research Centre, she is contributing research towards the understanding of artist, poet, and educator, Sarain Stump, through the investigation of many aspects of his life and work. This exhibition will open at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, sometime in 2018.

Erica Manetta

Alumni

Erica Manetta is an Italian art historian and promising curator...

Karalyn Reuben

Position: Alumni

Karalyn is an urban mixed Oji-Cree German-British artist, from London Ontario. She has an Interdisciplinary BFA where she specialized in printmaking from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax Nova Scotia, in 2013. She recently finished her second BFA in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University. In furthering her knowledge base in her current studies, and in receiving teachings from her father she has come to understand concepts of Anishinaabe traditional knowledge. In the summer of 2018 Karalyn contributed to the material which is now on Wapatah’s website.

Karalyn Reuben

Alumni

Karalyn is an urban mixed Oji-Cree German-British artist, from London...

Rezvan Boostani

Position: UX Designer

Rezvan Boostani graduated from Master of Design in Inclusive Design at OCAD University with concentration on improving user experience and service delivery. Her passion to support social engagement of a larger population motivates her to engage in projects that are focused on improving experience for all.

Over the past three years, she worked with people with lived experiences of disability to improve design and produce guidelines in the area of inclusion. She worked with Akimbo Art Promotions and AccesTO on Access Visual Art project to develop an information resource platform on accessibility of art venues for users of mobility assistive devices and produce accessibility resource guide for creative spaces. Her work includes collaborations with Kawartha Centre-Redefining healthy aging to improve restaurant dining with people experiencing mild dementia and their loved ones. She also collaborated with Bridgepoint Active Healthcare Rehabilitation Hospital, where she created and facilitated co-design sessions with family members of stroke patients, healthcare providers, administrators and volunteers. The outcome of the collaboration was a proposal of design interventions and the co-creation of a streamlined Stroke transition service.

Rezvan is working as user experience designer with Wapatah Centre to facilitate and use processes that allows for contribution of diverse stakeholders.

Rezvan Boostani

UX Designer

Rezvan Boostani graduated from Master of Design in Inclusive Design...

Bryan Winters

Position: Alumni

Bryan Winters ​is a Nunatsiavut beneficiary from Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Labrador. He attended Saint Mary’s University in Halifax prior to completing the Electronics Engineering Technician Program at the Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront campus in Dartmouth, NS. This led to a career as an Electronics Maintenance Technician on the North Warning System (NWS).
After leaving the NWS, he spent time managing credit card processing accounts as a Relationship Manager for Sekure Merchants in Montreal before moving to Toronto where he was the program coordinator of the Igloo Tag Trademark Program at the Inuit Art Foundation. He is currently the Executive Director of the Toronto Inuit Association and is studying Indigenous Public Administration and Governance through First Nations Technical Institute in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and Ryerson University in Toronto.

Bryan Winters

Alumni

Bryan Winters ​is a Nunatsiavut beneficiary from Happy Valley –...

Panya Clark Espinal

Position: Alumni

Panya, AOCA (1988), MFA (2019), is a multi-media installation artist who recently completed a Masters Degree in Criticism and Curatorial Practice (CCP) at OCADU. Her practice as an artist investigates the mechanisms of cultural representation and, through site-specific installations, exhibitions and public commissions, explores questions of perception, reproduction, collection, and display. Her CCP thesis titled Between Stories: The Agency of Story and Living Ways was developed while working alongside Elín Agla, a Vernacular Culture Farmer from Árneshreppur County, Iceland. At Wapatah, Panya has contributed to writing the Bill Reid book for the Art Canada Institute, is acting as a research assistant on The Entangled Gaze project and in involved in planning a publication for the Postcommodity Collective.

Panya Clark Espinal

Alumni

Panya, AOCA (1988), MFA (2019), is a multi-media installation artist...

Meagan Veneracion

Position: Volunteer

Meagan Veneracion has recently graduated from York University with honors and a BFA in Film Production. During her studies, Meagan held a work-study position as a video editor at Mobilizing Inuit Heritage Culture (MICH) and an audio/visual research assistant (later as media director) at York Capstone Network. Upon graduation, she worked as a media designer at Learning Bird and freelanced for the non-profit organization, Teaching, and Learning in Action (TLR) as a Digital Media Coordinator. Meagan continues to explore creative roles for projects that inspire values of community and connection.

Meagan Veneracion

Volunteer

Meagan Veneracion has recently graduated from York University with honors...

Yiyi Shao

Position: Developer

Yiyi Shao has recently completed a Master of Design in Digital Futures at OCADU. Her research focuses on combining wearable technology, Augmented Reality, game design and IoT to improve shared social awareness in Mixed Reality experiences. At Wapatah, Yiyi is working as a front-end developer and contributes to deliver the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art (VPIA).

Yiyi Shao

Developer

Yiyi Shao has recently completed a Master of Design in...

Dr. Julia Lum

Position: Alumni

Julia Lum is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art at the University of Toronto. She is co-editor, with Gerald McMaster and Kaitlin McCormick, of a special issue of ab-Original: Journal of Indigenous Studies and First Nations and First Peoples’ Cultures on the theme of “The Entangled Gaze: Indigenous and European Views of Each Other.” She is also co-investigator (with Dr. McMaster and Jisgang Nika Collison of the Haida Gwaii Museum) on a SSHRC Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation Connection Grant to develop a knowledge-exchange workshop on digital collections and the art of the colonial “contact zone.” Dr. Lum earned her PhD in Art History from Yale University in 2018. In the fall of 2019 she will be Assistant Professor, Art History, Scripps College (Claremont, USA).

Dr. Julia Lum

Alumni

Julia Lum is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of...

Dr. Ayumi Goto

Position: Alumni

Ayumi Goto is a performance apprentice, currently based in Toronto, traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe, and Missisaugas of the New Credit First Nations. Born in Canada, she at times draws upon her Japanese heritage and language to creatively reconsider sentiments surrounding national culturalism, migrations, activist strategies, and land-human relations. Ayumi has made performative interventions in London, Berlin, Kyoto, and across this land presently called Canada. Alongside Peter Morin and Stephen Foster, she is a founding member of the O k’inādās Collective, which most recently facilitated a Canada Council funded six-week artist residency on Syilx territory in July 2016, to facilitate creative collaborations between Indigenous artists and artists of colour.
Ayumi has recently completed a Ph.D. in Communication Studies at Simon Fraser University, and is working as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Ontario College of Art and Design University with Gerald McMaster. The recipient of the SFU President’s Scholarship and SSHRC funding, her doctoral research examines building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities through performative engagement, presenting the notion that collective responsibility and reconciliation are practice-based. Her academic and creative works are deeply influenced by Roy Miki, Shirley Bear, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Adrian Stimson, and Peter Morin.

Dr. Ayumi Goto

Alumni

Ayumi Goto is a performance apprentice, currently based in Toronto,...

Thaís Yumi Horikawa Chaves

Position: Mitacs Intern

Thaís is an undergraduate Translation’s student at Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Brazil. She is currently learning Spanish, French, and German. She is part of a Mitacs’s program, which sponsors students from all over the world to come and research in Canada. Thaís is responsible for translating documents and information for the Wapatah team from Portuguese to English. Back in Brazil, she makes part of a research project involving Brazilian literature and its translation to English speaking countries. And she was also part of a university extension program that was focused on reading and discussing books from marginalized groups or causes.

Thaís Yumi Horikawa Chaves

Mitacs Intern

Thaís is an undergraduate Translation’s student at Universidade Federal da...

Peter Scott

Position: Alumni

Peter’s background includes business management, executive education-programming, from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Executive Programs. He holds a BFA degree (Hons) from York University, a Master’s Degree in Design – Strategic Foresight Innovation from OCAD University, and several executive education certificates from: the MIT Sloan School Entrepreneurship Program, the Wharton School of Business, the INSEAD School of Business Social Entrepreneurship Program, and the Rotman School of Management, Executive Programs, Integrative Thinking Program. His research focus includes integrative and design thinking, entrepreneurship, social innovation, social finance and Microfinance. Peter was RA for the Cree Code Talker research project and symposium in 2016 at the INVC Research Centre, and he continues to work with the INVC RC on strategic planning projects, workshops and upcoming conference in 2017. Peter has also written several blog posts at SocialFinance.ca, the Toronto International Microfinance Summit, and was a lead organizing committee member for the INTERSECTION: Entrepreneurship & Indigenous Arts Conference at OCAD University. Currently, Peter is co-founder of a social enterprise, and a freelance instructor at Sheridan College, OCAD University, and McMaster University.

Peter Scott

Alumni

Peter’s background includes business management, executive education-programming, from the Rotman...

Stefania Saraiva

Position: Research Assistant

Stefania Saraiva is currently earning a Master of Arts in Contemporary art, design, and new media at OCAD University. Her research is focused on Latin American art, particularly in relationship to dictatorships and uneven development. She is currently writing a thesis on Venezuelan art in the 1950s and 1960s. At Wapatah, Stefania is working as a research assistant to Gerald McMaster for the Arctic/Amazon project.  

Stefania Saraiva

Research Assistant

Stefania Saraiva is currently earning a Master of Arts in...

Kaitlin McCormick

Position: Alumni

Kaitlin worked closely with Dr. McMaster to develop research in support of the Indigenous Visual Culture Research Centre’s Indigenous Views of the Other project, and drafted grant materials that resulted in the award of SSHRC Insight and Connection grants in 2017 and 2018, respectively. She helped organize speakers for the Entangled Gaze: Indigenous Views of the Other conference, co-hosted by OCAD University and the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2017. Together with Gerald and Julia Lum, McCormick co-authored the introduction to the conference proceedings, published as a special issue of ab-Original: Journal of Indigenous Studies and First Nations and First Peoples’ Cultures, and authored the essay, “Frederick Alexcee’s Entangled Gazes,” which appears in that issue. McCormick received her PhD in Canadian Studies from the University of Edinburgh in 2016, and is Curator of Western Ethnology at the Canadian Museum of History.

Kaitlin McCormick

Alumni

Kaitlin worked closely with Dr. McMaster to develop research in...

Jevi Peters

Position: Alumni

Jevi is a Business Informatics B.ASc. McMaster University graduate, and studied Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (Prof. Certification) at MIT. She has worked in the IT industry over the years as an Analyst, an Ethical Hacker, Software Programmer, Research Assistant and DevOps Engineer. Hailed from a family of scribophiles, she enjoys photography, poetry and prose, and completed the study of Art & Design at the GBC School of Design graduating with honours, and Digital Media at OCAD University. Jevi is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Art in Digital Futures at OCAD University. At Wapatah, she worked on the graphic design and development of the digital and print promotional material, including posters, newsletters, flyers, business cards, website development, and event management. (jevi.me)

Jevi Peters

Alumni

Jevi is a Business Informatics B.ASc. McMaster University graduate, and...

Team Member Nina

Nina Vincent

Position: Alumni

Nina Vincent is a Brazilian anthropologist, researcher, professor, independent curator and currently works at the National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN), where she works close to communities to preserve intangible heritage and Brazilian popular/traditional culture.

Bachelor in Social Sciences at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) with exchange period at Université Paris X – Nanterre, France. She has a master degree and a PhD in Anthropology at the same institution. In 2021 she held the thesis called “ART, INDIGENOUS LAND. Paths and relations of Indigenous Contemporary Arts between worlds” (2021) addressing the emergence of a contemporary indigenous art scene in Brazil over the past decade.

Author of “Paris, Maori. The museum and its others” (2015) her Master’s dissertation published by Garamond through the Social Sciences National Association (ANPOCS) best dissertation prize granted to her in 2013. The book analyzes the visuality and curatorial proposition of some exhibitions held at the Musée Du Quai Branly, specially one curated by the Maori, indigenous people from New Zealand, exploring relations between colonialism, primitivism, arts, cultural representation, aesthetic regimes, material culture and the agency of objects.

In 2016 was the recipient of the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program scholarship that brought her to work at Wapatah/OCAD U on the Arctic Amazon project coordinated by Gerald McMaster.
She was research assistant to the collective exhibition On the path of glass beads organized by Els Lagrou at Museu do Índio, Brazil.
Has taught Anthropology of Art, Indigenous and Afrobrazillian Arts at the Art School (EBA)of UFRJ (2014) and offered workshops and classes on Anthropology, Art, and Curatorial issues at other academic and artistic institution.

She was assistant editor to the publication “Brazilian Culture Today”, from Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa, Brazil, a compilation of lectures by Brazilian contemporary artists from all fields.

Nina Vincent

Alumni

Nina Vincent is a Brazilian anthropologist, researcher, professor, independent curator...

Adrienne Huard

Position: Alumni

Adrienne is Turtle Clan of the Anishinaabekwe. Born in so-called Winnipeg, she is registered at Couchiching First Nations, Fort Frances, Ontario. Her ceremonial practices are held in Brokenhead First Nation, Manitoba. Adrienne completed her fourth year of Sun Dancing in August 2019. She is a 2012 BFA graduate from the University of Manitoba majoring in photography. In 2018, she graduated with a BFA in art history at Concordia University in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Adrienne is currently completing her Criticism and Curatorial Practice thesis at OCAD University. Her area of focus is to challenge the positioning of Indigenous art and artists within cultural institutions, and explore how to better improve these relationships to facilitate the process of Indigenous resurgence. Adrienne curated her first program of queer Indigenous/Two-Spirit short films titled Kinship and Closeness, co-presented by Mediaqueer.ca, which has toured extensively across Canada in 2018. Since then, she has developed a curatorial collective, gijiit, with co-curator Lindsay Nixon and interdisciplinary artist Dayna Danger, who continue to work between Montreal and Toronto.

Adrienne Huard

Alumni

Adrienne is Turtle Clan of the Anishinaabekwe. Born in so-called Winnipeg,...

Justine Kohleal

Position: Alumni

Justine is a Toronto-based curator and art critic. Prior to her appointment as RBC Curatorial Fellow at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Kohleal worked as an independent curator and arts writer in Edmonton, AB. Select past curatorial projects include [INTERFACE] (Fringe Gallery, Edmonton); No Job More Dangerous and Intellectual Play (dc3 Art Projects, Edmonton); Sounding the Alarm: The Poetics of Connection (Art Gallery of Ontario); and Beth Stuart: Length, Breadth, Thickness and—Duration (The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery). She acted as a curatorial assistant to Gerald McMaster and Denise Birkhofer at Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto for The Faraway Nearby: Photographs of Canada from The New York Times Photo Archive and to writer and curator Kari Cwynar for Duane Linklater’s installation Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality (Evergreen Brickworks, Toronto). She has interned with The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Foundation Centre for American Art and with the Art Gallery of Ontario. Kohleal holds a curatorial M.F.A from OCAD University and a B.A. from the University of Alberta with a focus in Art, Design, and Visual Culture. Currently, her research focuses on the intersection of space, the body/senses and boredom within performance-based art and curatorial practice.

Justine Kohleal

Alumni

Justine is a Toronto-based curator and art critic. Prior to...

Maya Filipp

Position: Lead Software Developer

Maya’s speciality lies in open source software and working with emerging technologies. She has worked extensively with international developers on various projects and has even been invited to present one of her projects at Mozfest in London, England.

She brings traditional software industry knowledge to the Academic world. Her passion lies in building unique software that brings knowledge to others and re-decentralizing the Internet.

She is currently the lead developer on the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art (VPIA).

Maya Filipp

Lead Software Developer

Maya’s speciality lies in open source software and working with...

Madeleine Heaven

Position: Alumni

Madeleine Heaven is an aboriginal multidisciplinary artist. She holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting from Ontario College of Art & Design University where she experimented and expanded her practice to various forms of media and technologies. Under the direction of Dr. Gerald McMaster, Heaven currently works on Indigenous Views of the Other project. She is responsible for digitizing and cataloging indigenous works, and building network opportunities with institutions throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Madeleine Heaven

Alumni

Madeleine Heaven is an aboriginal multidisciplinary artist. She holds a...

Team Member Tak

Tak Pham

Position: Alumni

Tak is an architectural historian, and currently he is assistant curator at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina. He holds a BA Hons. in History and Theory of Architecture from Carleton University, and a MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University. Tak has curated exhibitions and public programming at OCADU’s galleries, Montgomery’s Inn, Art Toronto 2015, Y+ Contemporary, Riverdale Gallery and Xpace Cultural Centre. He has contributed writings to Espace Art Actuel, 8eleven gallery, and Xpace Cultural Centre. For Wapatah, Tak was responsible for database and research on the Indigenous Views of the Other: North West Coast project.

Tak Pham

Alumni

Tak is an architectural historian, and currently he is assistant...

Karina Iskandarsjah

Position: Alumni

Karina is an Indonesian visual artist and independent curator from Singapore whose work explores non-dominant histories, hybridity, intersectionality, and the experience of geographically displaced individuals. In 2018 she worked under Dr. McMaster at WAPATAH: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge as a research assistant where she was a part of various projects including the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art (VPIA). Karina holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University. She is currently a Programming & Outreach Assistant at Trinity Square Video and part of the small, dedicated team that runs Glory Hole Gallery.

Karina Iskandarsjah

Alumni

Karina is an Indonesian visual artist and independent curator from...

Dr. Brendan Griebel

Position: Alumni

Brendan Griebel is a researcher and curator of Inuit material culture, focused on the intricate relationships that exist between history, materiality, and collective identity. He specializes in facilitating the documentation of community knowledge surrounding the making, use and interpretation of cultural objects ranging from archaeological artifacts and traditional technologies, to architecture, museum collections, and digital media. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Toronto, and has spent over a decade engaged in land-based and experiential research with Inuit scholars and knowledge holders throughout the Canadian Arctic. Brendan is a long-term collaborator with Nunavut’s Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq (Kitikmeot Heritage Society), and a member of Carleton University’s Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre. He is also the Co-Founder and Director of The Museum of Fear and Wonder, an Alberta-based institution dedicated to the emotional and psychological properties of objects.

Dr. Brendan Griebel

Alumni

Brendan Griebel is a researcher and curator of Inuit material culture, focused...

       
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