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The Indigenous-art champion

Nadia Myre, MFA 02
July 4, 2022
By Richard Burnett, BA 88

Nadia Myre is a major figure on the international contemporary art scene. The Department of Studio Arts associate professor is an Algonquin member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg First Nation whose creative practice addresses themes of identity, memory, resilience and what she describes as “the politics of belonging.”

Myre’s impact at Concordia includes her role as Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts Practice and her founding of the Kìnawind Lab. Derived from a hybridized spelling of the Anishinaabemowin personal pronoun Giinawind, the Studio Arts initiative is “rooted in the preservation and interrogation of ancestral knowledge and practices.”

Acclaimed by the New York Times and the Washington Post, Myre’s work can be found on permanent exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Canada and Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec as well as on display at Canada’s high commission in London, embassy in Paris and consulate in New York.

Proudest moment

“When I won the Sobey Art Award in 2014 and was named a member of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec in 2019.”

Career challenge

“Prior to teaching at Concordia, I worked as a visual artist — and I still do. The life of an artist can be tricky to navigate, especially when you don’t know how you’ll pay for rent and food.”

The Concordia factor

“Concordia was a beautiful, energetic and immersive place when I was a grad student thinking about my practice and what I wanted to do and accomplish. Coming back to the university to teach, mentor and serve as the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts Practice has been incredibly rewarding.”

Career advice

“Having faith in what you do is really important. Be tenacious, but also flexible and open to new opportunities. And build and cultivate your own personal networks — they will become really important down the road.”

Favourite pastime

“I love travelling. It’s all about the encounters. I love being in a new place, soaking in a different culture and meeting new people.”

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