Born in Stephenville Crossing Ktaqamkuk and of Mi’kmaq descent, Jordan Bennett’s ongoing practice utilizes painting, sculpture, video, installation and sound to explore land, language, the act of visiting and familial histories. His work challenges colonial perceptions of indigenous histories, stereotypes and presence with a focus on exploring Mi’kmaq and Beothuk visual culture of Ktaqamkuk. Over the past ten years, Bennett has participated in over 75 group and solo exhibitions, both nationally and internationally.
He has been the recipient of several awards and honours, most notably longlisted for the 2016 and 2015 Sobey Art Award, and presented with a Hnatyshan Foundation REVEAL – Indigenous Art Award and awarded the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Councils Artist of the Year.
Jordan Bennett’s diverse artistic practice explores land, language, history and futurity. Grounded by his connection to the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk visual cultures and worldviews of Ktaqamkuk (Newfoundland), his work enacts forms of translation, making the past present through the creation of dynamic works that express the fluidity, vitality and continuity of Indigenous culture, language and art. His paintings and large-scale public artworks abstract from Mi’kmaq quillwork patterns and Beothuk imagery to create a new visual language, while his multimedia and installation works seamlessly integrate audiovisual technologies with land-based media to create thoughtful works that focus on themes of home, visiting, learning and transformation. Through this cross-disciplinary, multimedia work, Bennett contributes a new visual language in the Atlantic region, providing a counter narrative to colonial history and re-centring Indigeneity in the present.
Maritime-born, Lisa Lipton is a multidisciplinary visual artist, musician and director whose projects explore the potential for crossing genres of film, mixed-media installation, performance, theatre and music. Her visions reflect an interest in directorial and curatorial practices, collaboration and social interaction, as well as working within non-traditional contexts to explore the boundaries of performance and filmic production. Lipton was shortlisted for a Sobey Art Award in 2015, and longlisted in 2017, 2016, 2013 and 2012. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and she recently released a new sci-fi project, Soon All Your Memories Will Be With Me, at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta College of Art + Design, where she also works as an instructor in sculpture. She received her BFA from NSCAD University and MFA from the University of Windsor.
Raised in the rural Newfoundland community of Pollards Point, Jerry Ropson (rɒp‘sʌn) is an artist, educator and amateur dancer. Using elements of drawing and narrative, he has focused his practice around site-specific installation and storytelling. Having exhibited throughout Canada and abroad, he often seeks out public and non-traditional sites. He has participated in numerous artist residencies, including those at the Banff Centre, St. Michael’s Printshop, Fogo Island Arts and NSCAD University.
He currently divides his time between rural Newfoundland and Sackville, New Brunswick, where he teaches in the Department of Fine Arts at Mount Allison University.
Working in video, audio and installation practices, Lou Sheppard is of settler ancestry, was raised on unceded Mi'Kmaq territory and currently lives in K'jiputuk (Halifax). A graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, their work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally, and was included in the Antarctic Biennale and the Antarctic Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennial. In 2017, Sheppard was selected for the Emerging Atlantic Artist Award by the Hnatyshyn Foundation.
Their current project, a choreographic translation of the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria, is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Sheppard recently completed a residency at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris, and will be an artist-in-residence at the Khyber Centre for the Arts in Nova Scotia and the Doris McCarthy Artist in Residence Program in Toronto in 2018.
Lou Sheppard is one of the three recipients of the inaugural Sobey Art Award Residencies Program.
An Atlantic Canadian, interdisciplinary artist, D’Arcy Wilson has participated in numerous artist residencies and exhibitions across Canada, most recently exhibiting her work at The Rooms, St. John’s; the Owens Art Gallery, Sackville; Cape Breton University Art Gallery, Sydney; and Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen at the University of Moncton, as well as presenting performance projects at M:ST, Flotilla, and Connexion ARC in Fredericton.
Wilson is currently based in Corner Brook, where she is Assistant Professor in the Visual Arts Program at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Campus. She holds an MFA from the University of Calgary and a BFA from Mount Allison University.