Tanya Willard portrait
The Kamloops Art Gallery is pleased to announce the appointment of Tania Willard as Aboriginal Curator in Residence. Her residency with the Kamloops Art Gallery will begin in October 2013 and run until April 2015.
The Canada Council residency program supports Canadian Aboriginal curators at their chosen host institution to develop their curatorial practice. The purpose of the program is to expand the national pool of Aboriginal curatorial professionals who are of First Nations, Inuit and Métis origins.
Tania Willard is from the Secwepemc Nation and has recently returned to live and work on the Neskonlith Indian Reserve near Kamloops. Willard has extensive experience working with aboriginal contemporary arts organizations and has had great success in her past Canada Council Aboriginal Curator residency at the grunt gallery in Vancouver. It was through this residency that Willard co-curated Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture with Kathleen Ritter, former Associate Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery, featuring 27 contemporary Aboriginal artists. Beat Nation is currently touring nationally until 2014 and will be presented at the Kamloops Art Gallery June 29 to September 7, 2013.
Willard is also a practicing visual artist who has worked as an artist in residence with Gallery Gachet in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side and the Banff Centre's visual arts residency, fiction and Trading Post. Willard’s curatorial and artistic practice is engaged within the shifting ideas around contemporary and “traditional”, often working with bodies of knowledge and skills that conceptually link the intersections between Aboriginal and other cultures.
Willard will curate projects that will bring together artworks with a curatorial focus on disrupting prescribed notions of craft verses contemporary art to initiate a conversation that recognizes a continuum of artistic exploration in Indigenous aesthetics as it relates to shifting culture(s) and influences.
The Kamloops Art Gallery incorporated in 1978 is the principal gallery in the Southern Interior of British Columbia supporting contemporary and historical visual arts and practices on a local, national and international level. The Gallery hosts between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors a year.