Amy Malbeuf, Cream and Sugar, 2017

Summer Institute Session II:
Indigenous Art History at the BUSH by Cathy Mattes 

Wednesday, August 15 | 10:30am

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to present “Indigenous Art History at the BUSH,” a talk by Cathy Mattes as part of Site/ation by BUSH gallery (Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Peter Morin and Tania Willard). As an internationally distinguished curator Mattes is known for strategies that emphasize audience participation, direct engagement, and Michif cultural protocols and practices. As an educator at Brandon University, Mattes makes connections between politics and art with the understanding that artists can enact social change. Drawing attention to marginalized art histories, Mattes contributes essential labor towards shifting dominant narratives in the presentation of contemporary art and curatorial practice.

For this presentation, Mattes will speak about her curatorial work, including the Rielisms exhibition, and Inheritance, a recent exhibition of work by Amy Malbeuf that included collaborative elements such as ‘kitchen table talk’ and jigging after artist talks.

Mattes’s talk is part of Plug In ICA’s second session of our 2018 Summer Institute, Site/ation facilitated by BUSH gallery. BUSH uses a radical approach to curating and art-making, born from active engagements and lived experiences on the land, land marking, contemporary art, the reserve, and the gallery. Using Indigenous methodologies to build a transformational space, that is open to everyone, BUSH seeks to de-centre the gallery, and the city as epicentres of contemporary art.

Cathy Mattes is a proud Michif writer and curator based in rural Southwestern Manitoba. Her practice focuses on the intersection of Indigenous issues and art, with an emphasis on community, which she sees as a complicated concept, to be explored, questioned and located. Interested in creating better conditions for Indigenous cultural workers, Mattes has served on the board for the Urban Shaman Gallery, and collaborated with Indigenous cultural workers in Australia and Venice. Her curatorial projects include Frontrunners, Urban Shaman Gallery and Plug In ICA; Blanche: KC Adams & Jonathan Jones, Chalkhorse Gallery, Sydney Australia; Rockstars & Wannabes, Urban Shaman Gallery, and Transcendence – KC Adams, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. She has lectured nationally and internationally, and in 2010 she was selected as a delegate on the Canada Council for the Arts’ Aboriginal Curators Delegation to New Zealand and Australia. In addition to her freelance work, Mattes was the curator at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba between 2003 and 2005, and has been a consultant for various government agencies and arts organizations. She is an Assistant Professor teaching art history at Brandon University in the Visual and Aboriginal Arts Department, and is pursuing her PhD at the University of Manitoba in Native Studies.

All our public programming is Free and open to everyone. We hope you will join us for this talk as well as our Open Studio and Summer party on August 24th. Check our website and social media for details.

Plug ICA gratefully acknowledges the RBC Foundation and the Johnston Group for their support of our 2018/2019 Summer Institute Program.

Plug In ICA extends our gratitude to our artists, generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. With special thanks to our Director’s Circle. You make a difference!

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all. Enable us to continue presenting excellent programs! Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget:

For media inquiries please contact: Sarah Nesbitt: or (204)942-1043.