2018 Sobey Art Award: Prairies & North - Joi T. Arcand
Joi T. Arcand is the 2018 Sobey Art Award finalist representing the Prairies & North
She also founded and edited the Indigenous art magazine, kimiwan (2012–2014), and recently curated Language of Puncture at Gallery 101. She received her BFA from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005.
Kristy Trinier on Joi T. Arcand
Joi T. Arcand is an artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in central Saskatchewan (Treaty 6 Territory), currently based in Ottawa. Her early work in photography and digital collage images was informed by her interest in graphic and typographic arts. Arcand's practice imagined what an Indigenized public space could be, by rendering streetscapes and communities with typographic inclusions of nehiyawēwin, or Plains Cree (Y dialect), language. Her work has evolved to place site-specific neon signage in Cree syllabics throughout the interiors and exteriors of buildings. It expresses phrases that provide hope and encouragement for Indigenous peoples, especially those discovering the language of their people and territories through generations of linguicide, while challenging settlers and newcomers to learn the original language and visual culture of the territories upon which they now reside. This act of realizing a futurity for Indigenization of public spaces is a powerful and radical way to counter the systemic effects of colonization, creating spaces that reflect the language, culture and values of Indigenous peoples expressed in our natural and built environments.