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2018 Sobey Art Award: Prairies & North - Joi T. Arcand

Joi T. Arcand is the 2018 Sobey Art Award finalist representing the Prairies & North

Joi T. Arcand is the 2018 Sobey Art Award finalist representing the Prairies & North

Joi T. Arcand (Nadya Kwandibens)
An artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory, Joi T. Arcand is currently an artist-in-residence at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon. Recent solo exhibitions include Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff; ODD Gallery, Dawson City; Mendel Art Gallery and Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatoon; Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina; and Gallery 101, Ottawa. Her work has been included in numerous national group exhibitions, and has been exhibited internationally in Asheville; Seattle; Bilbao, Spain; and London, UK. Arcand has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for PAVED Arts and was a co-founder of the Red Shift Gallery in Saskatoon.


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. 


Juror's Statement
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.

Northern Pawn, South Vietnam, from the series Here On Future Earth, 2009/15| Inkjet print, 50.8 × 66 cm | Collection of the Saskatchewan Arts Board.
oskinikiskwewak, 2012 | Inkjet Print, 91.44 cm x 121.92 cm | courtesy of the Artist. (David Barbour)
ᐆᑌ ᓃᑳᓅx (ōtē nīkānōhk), 2018 | installation view | 2018 Sobey Art Award exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, October 3, 2018 – February 10, 2019 | vinyl installation. (NGC, Ottawa)

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