Discover the visionary creativity of First Nations artists in the new TVO Original podcast 'The Art of Sovereignty'

Premiering Wednesday, May 18, 2022, this eight-episode series highlights connections between art, Canadian history and Indigenous sovereignty

Toronto, ON, May 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The new TVO Original podcast The Art of Sovereignty profiles eight First Nations artists who were integral to the creation of the Indigenous contemporary art movement in Canada and brought Indigenous stories back to the forefront after generations of cultural practices being outlawed across the country. It’s a must-listen series for anyone interested in learning more about Indigenous contemporary art.

Premiering Wednesday, May 18, 2022 on TVO Today, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and anywhere podcasts are available, TVO Original The Art of Sovereignty features enlightening conversations that focus on the history of First Nations sovereignty in Canada through the artwork and lives of acclaimed artists Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Alex Janvier, Robert Houle, Carl Beam, Faye HeavyShield, Robert Davidson and Bonnie Devine.

“We had a long-standing practice of hiding our culture because it was banned and we didn't want to be caught… so we went underground. Morrisseau broke that taboo by painting our stories.”
– Wanda Nanibush, curator of Indigenous art, Art Gallery of Ontario. (Quote from The Art of Sovereignty podcast.)

Hosted by Anishinaabe journalist Chris Beaver and Kanyen’kehá:ka journalist and artist Shelby Lisk, The Art of Sovereignty shares details about the artwork and lives of the featured artists, as well as their perspectives on some of the most important political moments in Canadian history, the barriers they faced and the lasting impacts of their work. Starting in the 1960s with Norval Morrisseau, all of the issues the artists were speaking about—land and treaty rights, natural resource extraction, environmental damage, cultural appropriation—are issues that are still affecting Indigenous communities today. 

Listeners will also hear from curators, educators and contemporary artists such as Greg Hill, Carmen Robertson, Anong Beam and Wanda Nanibush, who highlight how these eight artists and their works continue to influence the way we think about Indigenous art and sovereignty. 

“The story of Daphne [Odjig] was, in many ways, the story of Indigenous people, but also of Indigenous contemporary art practice, as it has evolved over the past 50 or 60 years.”
– Bonnie Devine, Anishinaabe artist and curator. (Quote from The Art of Sovereignty podcast.)

List of episodes and availability dates:

  • Episode 1: How Norval Morrisseau moved Indigenous art from museums into art galleries. Featured speakers: Scots-Lakota writer and art historian Carmen Robertson and Anishinaabe curator of Indigenous art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Wanda Nanibush. Available on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
  • Episode 2: Daphne Odjig and the power of Indigenous matriarchy. Featured speaker: Anishinaabe artist and curator Bonnie Devine. Available on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
  • Episode 3: Alex Janvier: “We are the land, and the land is us.” How Indigenous sovereignty and land stewardship are connected. Featured speakers: Denesuline and Saulteaux artist Alex Janvier and Greg Hill, Kanyen’kehá:ka artist and the Audain Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada. Available on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.
  • Episode 4: Robert Houle and the power of political art. Featured speaker: Shirley Madill, executive director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and author of Robert Houle: Life & Work. Available on Wednesday, June 8, 2022.
  • Episode 5: How Carl Beam rebelled against stereotypes and forced a new way of thinking about Indigenous art. Featured speaker: Ojibwe artist Anong Beam, daughter of the late Carl Beam. Available on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
  • Episode 6: Faye HeavyShield on agency, ownership and individuality in art. Featured speaker: Kainai-Blood sculptor and installation artist Faye HeavyShield. Available on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
  • Episode 7: Robert Davidson on reviving Haida culture through art. Featured speaker: Haida sculptor Robert Davidson. Available on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
  • Episode 8: Bonnie Devine on natural resource extraction and Indigenous ways of knowing. Featured speaker: Anishinaabe artist, curator and first chair of the Indigenous Visual Culture Program at OCADU, Bonnie Devine. Available on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

Listen to the new TVO Original podcast The Art of Sovereignty on Wednesdays, starting May 18, 2022. An audio trailer is available here.

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Sonya William
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