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Student profile

Caroline DeFrias

Caroline DeFrias (they/them) is an artist-academic-curator, moving through and within various disciplines and mediums which best facilitate their ideas and projects. CDF currently learns, works, and creates as an uninvited guest on Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal.

CDF comes from two Azorean immigrant families, with both parents as the first members, for their mother the only member of their families to be born inside Canada. Within a personal framework of cultural intimacy and assimilation, CDF maintains a strong curiosity and passion for the ways in which we understand, construct, represent and display objects of cultural significance. In their academic work, their research focuses on decolonial methodologies within gallery spaces, critical curatorial practices, and a keen investigation of display politics with a bent towards challenging tacit and violent gallery constructions. In their artistic work, CDF calls upon the same problematic relationship of (re)presentation and essence, operating through a hybrid of mixed-media and film photography to explore and deconstruct images which operate as anchors between visual representations of their cultural heritage and gender identity and the living and fluid identities in and of themselves.

Originally from Toronto, in 2017 CDF moved to Mi'kma'ki (Halifax) where they achieved a Combined Honours BA with distinction in the Historiography of Science & Technology and Social Anthropology, with a certificate in Art History and Visual Culture. Currently, CDF is an Art History MA student at Concordia University.

Working Thesis Title: TBD

Supervisor: Dr. May Chew

Research Interests:

  • Decolonizing methodologies
  • Critical museology
  • Critical whiteness studies
  • Curatorial practices
  • Repatriation of so-called "artifacts"
  • Queer and feminist theory
  • Archival ethics and theory
  • Historiography
  • Indigenous art histories
  • Artist run centres
  • Place-making and hospitality

Teaching Assistantships:

  • ARTH365 "Studies in 17th and 18th Century Art and Architecture" with Dr. Isabelle Pichet
    ARTH 388 "Narration and Art: Thinking with Mieke Bal" with Dr. Laurie Milner

Research Assistanships:

  • Dr. Alice Ming Wai Jim



  • Cover artist, featured artist. Salt & Citrus 2(4): Folklore. 2022 (forthcoming).
    Graphic designer: Khyber merch: Speculative Fabulations: Spectacularly Fabulous Shirt, Summer 2022.
  • Featured photography: Salt & Citrus 2(3): Rebirth. May 2022.
  • Cover art: Hinge 27. Halifax: 2021.
  • Album artwork: Alec Martin. Rivera. 2021. EP.
  • Poster, programme: Little Death. King’s Theatrical Society. March 2020.
  • Cover art: Things I’m Happy I Never Sent You. 01. Zine. King’s Society of Contemporary Studies: 2020.
  • Album artwork: Alec Martin. Behind the Garage. 2020. EP.
  • Album artwork: Alec Martin. Mood Lighting. 2020. EP.
  • Album artwork: Alec Martin. Mirrors (Demo). 2020. EP.
  • Poster: Taco Pica Community End of Summer Show. 2018.


  • “Exploring the Mediating Forces Between the Artwork and the Art Observer: an Analysis of the Spectacle of Mona Lisa,”
    University of King’s College Early Modern Studies Conference, 2020.
  • Etobicoke School of the Art’s Art Talk 7, OCAD, March 2017.
  • Etobicoke School of the Art’s Art Talk 3, OCAD, March 2017.


  • Co-curator: “Rock,” Khyber Centre for the Arts, Aug-Sept 2022.
    Assistant programmer: “Canadian Shorts,” Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival, 2022.
  • Artist/Curator: “Portfolio Day” Exhibition, Etobicoke School of the Arts, 2016.
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