Saskatchewan

New Indigenous art curator set to start at Remai Modern in the fall

Saskatoon’s Remai Modern has announced a new member to their curatorial team.

'We all need to be included in getting work in there,' local artist says

Tarah Hogue will join Remai Modern as its inaugural Indigenous art curator in October 2020. She is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta. (Submitted by Tarah Hogue)

Saskatoon's Remai Modern has announced a new member to their curatorial team.

Tarah Hogue will join the museum as its inaugural Indigenous art curator in October, coming to Saskatoon from the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG). Most recently she was inaugural senior curatorial fellow of Indigenous art at the VAG.

Hogue, a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta originally from Red Deer, said she is excited about coming back to the Prairies.

"I'm really looking forward to returning to that setting and being able to focus on artists from Treaty 6 territory and from the prairies more broadly," she said.

Hogue said she grew up surrounded by art and culture thanks to her mother, who had a career working in textiles. She said she got to travel to museums in Europe and the U.S. as a child and was inspired by what goes on behind-the-scenes in the art world. 

Local artist hopes gallery improves outreach

Hogue hasn't started developing any projects yet for the Remai Modern, but a Saskatoon artist said he hopes Hogue's position will be an opportunity for local Indigenous talent.

Kevin L. Pee-Ace, who is a member of the Yellowquill and Peter Chapman First Nations, paints full time in Saskatoon. He said there is a lack of connection between the art gallery and artists in the community.

"I have nothing against what they are bringing in in terms of world class art and artists," Pee-Ace said. "But I do believe that they do lack local flavour."

Artist Kevin L. Pee-Ace is an artist in Saskatoon. On his website he describes his current style as a modern fusion of traditional and contemporary, depicting traditional floral motifs reminiscent of beadwork. (Submitted by Kevin L. Pee-Ace)

Relationship building part of new job

Hogue said her work in Saskatoon will include research, working alongside artists, planning exhibitions at the Remai Modern, publishing catalogues, building collections of Indigenous art and building relationships with the community.

"Indigenous art is near and dear to my heart," Hogue said.

"Any exhibition that brings a new lens or a deeper focus to that work in those art histories, that's really what excites me."

Pee-Ace said Remai Modern made a good first step bringing on a curator for Indigenous art and that the museum could be a stepping stone for local talent and their careers.

"Those possibilities exist in a small community like Saskatoon," Pee-Ace said.

"We all need to be included in getting work in there to do exhibitions … but it remains to be seen if this is the direction that the gallery wants to pursue."

Reopening of art museum

Remai Modern is scheduled to open its doors to the public on August 13. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Remai Modern, which has been closed for months due to COVID-19, will reopen its doors to the public on August 13. Members of the museum will get exclusive access a week earlier. 

With files from Saskatoon Morning

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