Artist talk with Ruth Cuthand
January 15, 2015 – 7pm to 8:30pm
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to present a talk by visiting artist Ruth Cuthand on Thursday, January 15 at 7PM. The talk will be in conjunction with the current exhibition Ruth Cuthand: Back Talk.
The talk is free and all are welcome to attend.
Ruth Cuthand: Back Talk is a comprehensive, mid-career retrospective of one of Saskatchewan’s most signiﬁcant contemporary artists. For over 30 years, this Saskatoon-based artist has been challenging mainstream perspectives on colonialism and the relationships between “settlers” and Natives in a practice marked by political invective, humour, and a deliberate crudeness of style. The exhibition brings together a comprehensive selection of artworks produced between 1983 and 2009.
Ruth Cuthand was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in 1954, and is of Plains Cree and Scottish ancestry. Her works “talk back” to mainstream media and colonial society, addressing the frictions between cultures, the failures of representation, and the political uses of anger in Canada. Her subjects include “white liberal” attitudes towards Aboriginal women, the Canadian response to the 1990 Oka crisis, Mormon-Native relations in Cardston, Alberta (the artist’s childhood home), and more. Featured prominently in the exhibition is the complete suite of twelve award-winning beadworks, the Trading series, which depict, on a cellular level, the diseases that ravished First Nations upon European contact. In 2009, the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina received the prestigious York Wilson Endowment Award to purchase six of the beadworks; the Mendel Art Gallery owns another three.
As an artist, teacher, and cultural activist, Cuthand has been extremely inﬂuential for other artists in Saskatchewan, and contemporary Aboriginal artists across Canada. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with both a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree. In 1990, she had the ﬁrst solo show of her career at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Her solo exhibition, Location/Dislocation, was held at the Mendel Art Gallery in 1993.
Back Talk is organized and circulated by the Mendel Art Gallery and TRIBE, Inc., Saskatoon. This project has been made possible in part through a contribution from the Saskatchewan Arts Board Culture on the Go program.