Jeneen Frei Njootli is an artist (Vuntut Gwitchin) and co-creator of the ReMatriate Collective, who has been living and working as an uninvited guest on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, Sto:lo and TsleilWaututh territories for a decade. In her interdisciplinary practice, she uses media such as performance, sound, textiles, collaboration and workshops.
For her recent Media Arts Residency at the Western Front in Vancouver, she hosted a free workshop on how to create and update Wikipedia pages for Indigenous women artists. In 2017, Frei Njootli was the recipient of the Contemporary Art Society Vancouver Artist Prize, and in 2016, she won the William and Meredith Saunderson Prize for Emerging Artists. After graduating from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2012, Frei Njootli completed her MFA at University of British Columbia in 2017.
Jeneen Frei Njootli’s interdisciplinary practice engages her cultural history and personal experience through performance, sound and installation. Her Gwich’in territory (Old Crow, Yukon) and culture are taken up in her approach to land and social networks, and her work interrogates the histories of her materials, their relationship to trade, ceremony, politics and the body, particularly her own. For example, she has made instruments using caribou bone and antler – animals key to Gwich’in culture and survival – sonifying the materials in performance with contact microphones, which are then played through effects and loop pedals to bring them to life as language. Njootli has written: “As Indigenous peoples, we are tied up in the spectacle of history, not only the Americas, but globally.” Her evolving, self-reflexive artistic methodologies critically expand a cultural understanding of this country, and how this spectacle, along with other histories, marks and shapes bodies and traditions.
Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling have been collaborating since 2006. Their projects take shape as public installations, social situations and events that circulate as photographs, videos, printed matter, and artists’ multiples.
They are currently fascinated with the contact high intrinsic to collaborative research, especially in their recent projects with children. Jickling and Reed are recipients of the 2016 Ian Wallace Award for Teaching Excellence (Emily Carr University of Art & Design); a 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Public Art (City of Vancouver); and a 2018 VIVA Award (Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts).
Arvo Leo grew up in Roberts Creek, BC, as well as numerous towns in New Zealand. He currently lives in Amsterdam, where he is an artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten and an active member of the Dutch Orchid Society.
His work has recently been shown at Le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine; Kunstverein München; Vancouver Art Gallery; La Loge, Brussels; Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Göteborg International Biennial; Western Front, Vancouver; La Mirage, Montreal; Berlin International Film Festival; and Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva. Leo received an MFA from the Piet Zwart Institute in 2011 and a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2006.
Krista Belle Stewart’s work engages with the complexities of archival material through processes that allow for both intimacy and coincidence, as well as for the atemporal meeting of actors across time. Working with video, photography, design, ephemera and textiles, Stewart straddles the gaps between personal and institutional histories through transparent mediation.
Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal; Plug In ICA, Winnipeg; House of World Cultures, Berlin; International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York; Mercer Union, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery, Artspeak, and Western Front, Vancouver; and Esker Foundation, Calgary. Born in Kamloops, Stewart is a member of the Upper Nicola Band of the Okanagan Nation and lives and works in Vancouver. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and an MFA from Bard College.
Krista Belle Stewart is one of the three recipients of the inaugural Sobey Art Award Residencies Program.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Lagos and Thunder Bay, Howie Tsui works in a variety of media to construct tense, fictive environments that subvert canonized art forms and narrative genres, often from the traditional Chines literati class. Tsui synthesizes diverging socio-cultural anxieties around superstition, trauma, acculturation and otherness through a distinctly outsider lens to advocate for liminal and diasporic experiences.
He recently mounted a solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and has been featured in group exhibitions at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Para Site, Hong Kong; Centro Cultural Jaime Torres Bodet, Mexico City; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.