Join us for the launch of two new publications at the FOFA Gallery:
The Indigenous Artist's Survival Guide to Art School by Laura Grier (author in attendance)
Kind of a Collective by Vince Rozario, Lan “Florence” Yee (author in attendance via Zoom), and Mattia Zylak (author in attendance)
The Indigenous Artist’s Survival Guide to Art School is an “auto-zine” created by Sahtu Délı̨nę artist and printmaker Laura Grier. The guide presents resources, poetry, lists, encouragement, and reflections from Grier’s personal experience as an academic and artist within a colonial institutional setting. This accessible zine is aimed at an Indigenous readership looking for tangible information about navigating art school, while not homogenizing Indigenous lived experience and perspectives.
Laura Grier is a Sahtu Délı̨nę First Nations artist and printmaker, born in Somba ké (Yellowknife), and based out of Alberta. Through the use of traditional print mediums, they instrumentalize the power of the handmade to reflect Indigeneity, language, relational ontologies, and lived experiences of urban displacement and inherent Dene spirituality. Laura’s work is inspired by the dynamism of Indigenous art practices and uses printmaking as a tool for resistance, refusal, and reflexivity.
Kind of a Collective (KoaC) was a peer-mentorship project that ran alongside Lan “Florence” Yee’s exhibition at the FOFA Gallery, "What Academia Has Done to Me." Starting with the central question: ‘How do we collect ourselves?’, the project aims to support emerging artists in developing forms of creative practice that are neglected by traditional university arts education, namely: collective and community-engaged practices. KoaC brought together 10 participants who were invested in collectivity, yet struggled with questions of labour, sustainability, and marginalization. This publication is a record of our many conversations and hopes to distill the unfathomable scale of change for a just future into smaller, quieter gestures and ways of relating, grounded in more immediate realities, that may ultimately stay with us longer.
Lan “Florence” Yee is a visual artist and serial collaborator based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. They collect text in underappreciated places and ferment it until it is too suspicious to ignore. Lan’s work has been exhibited at the Darling Foundry (2022), the Toronto Museum of Contemporary Art (2021), the Art Gallery of Ontario (2020), the Textile Museum of Canada (2020), and the Gardiner Museum (2019), among others. Along with Arezu Salamzadeh, they co-founded the Chinatown Biennial in 2020. They obtained a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from OCAD U.
Mattia Zylak is an arts worker based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal. She holds a BFA in Art History from Concordia University and an MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice from OCAD University. Mattia is pursuing an MA in Arts Leadership from Queen’s University where she is researching alternative forms of governance (or ungovernance) within the context of Canadian artist-run centres. She has worked at non-profit art galleries including SBC Gallery of Contemporary art (Montréal) and Gallery TPW (Toronto). Mattia is currently the General Co-director & Operations at La Centrale galerie Powerhouse (Montréal), an artist-run centre dedicated to multidisciplinary and intersectional feminist practices.
Vince Rozario is an independent critic, curator, writer, arts administrator, and community organizer based in Tkarón:to/ Toronto. They have presented curatorial projects at the Art Gallery of Guelph, Xpace Cultural Centre, the Gladstone Hotel and the Canadian Filmmakers’ Distribution Centre. They have published criticism in C Magazine, Momus, and ArtsEverywhere, and contributed to exhibition texts for Whippersnapper Gallery, InterAccess and Gallery 44. They were the winner of the 2018 C New Critics Award and the 2021 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators. They are a co-founder of Bricks and Glitter, a grassroots, intergenerational QTBIPOC arts festival, and currently serve on the board of Whippersnapper Gallery.