Nigit’stil Norbert, Pick Up Sticks, 2012

Concealed Geographies

KC Adams, Jason Baerg, Merritt Johnson, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Justine McGrath, Nigit’stil Norbert

A Space Main Gallery

September 22 – October 27, 2012

Curated by: Suzanne Morrissette, Julie Nagam

Copresented by: imagineNATIVE

13th Annual imagineNATIVE Festival runs from October 17 to 21, 2012 WWW.IMAGINENATIVE.ORG

Concealed Geographies is an exhibition focused on Indigenous stories of place as told by artists KC Adams, Jason Baerg, Merritt Johnson, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Justine McGrath, and Nigit’stil Norbert. Each artwork establishes a sense of place, as something which is envisioned and experienced in highly individualized ways. Collectively, these artworks bring to light the stories and relationships that are part of their embodied knowledge and have a strong connection to the land.


Winnipeg-based artist KC Adams (Metis) is a BFA graduate of Concordia University. Her focus has been the investigation of the relationship between nature (the living) and technology (progress) with works sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, printmaking and kinetic art.

Jason Baerg is an Indigenous curator, educator, and visual artist. Recent curatorial projects include exhibitions with Toronto’s Nuit Blanche and the University of Toronto. Baerg graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Masters of Fine Arts from Rutgers University. He currently is teaching as the Assistant Professor in Indigenous Practices in Contemporary Painting and Media Art at OCAD University. Dedicated to community development, he founded and incorporated the Metis Artist Collective and has served as volunteer Chair for such organizations as the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition. Creatively, as a visual artist, he pushes new boundaries in digital interventions in drawing, painting and new media installation. Recent international solo exhibitions include the Luminato Festival in Toronto, Canada, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and the Digital Dome at the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jason Baerg has adjudicated numerous art juries and won awards through such facilitators as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and The Toronto Arts Council. For more information about his work, please visit

Merritt Johnson is a multidisciplinary artist, working across performance, object and image. Her work explores subjection to division, material and physical limitation, clumsiness of being, and the meanness of survival. She earned her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art. Johnson is of mixed Indigenous (Mohawk, Blackfoot) and non-Indigenous heritage. She lives and works in Brooklyn, exhibiting and performing in traditional and nontraditional venues throughout North America. Her work was recently included in the anthology Salish Seas, published by Talon Books, and Antennae: the Journal of Nature in Visual Culture.

Cheryl L’Hirondelle is a mixed blood (Metis/Cree) multi/interdisciplinary artist and musician. Her work investigates the junction of a Cree worldview in contemporary time and space.

Justine McGrath is a Toronto based artist who recently received a BFA from OCAD University. Her art practices include using found objects and scavenged materials to make wearable sculptures. From these materials she constructs strange beings that combine human, plant, and animal characteristics. Many of her installations deal with representations of her mixed heritage and concepts of hybridity. The result is a series of work that is dark, soft, natural and fantastical. She was recently awarded the Anne Adler Kagan Award.

Nigit’stil Norbert is a photo-based artist from Yellowknife and recently received a BFA from OCAD University. Her art practices are rooted in her interest in the convergence of old and new ideas, as a place for considering the formation of new traditions. Her most recent explorations have involved stop-motion photography, unique beaded photographs and focuses on the historical and contemporary representation of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Norbert’s work has been exhibited in Canada and the United States. Her piece Representation was included in the recent exhibition Decolonize Me, at the Ottawa Art Gallery.

Suzanne Morrissette is Curatorial Resident at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. She received a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design University in Vancouver. In 2011 Morrissette received an MFA from OCAD University in Toronto with a focus in Criticism and Curatorial Practice. Morrissette has contributed to co-curated projects in Canada including: You Are Here at the Art Gallery of Ontario and past now at the Graduate Gallery in Toronto which later travelled to the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario.

Julie Nagam is a faculty member at OCAD University in the Aboriginal Visual Culture and Liberal Studies and a PhD Candidate in Social and Political Thought at York University. Her research interests are a (re)mapping of a colonial state through creative interventions and currently her artistic practices are focused on an oral sound project of a site-specific area of the city of Toronto. She has conducted research on site-specific locations on the Indigenous history of Toronto, for the Visible Cities Project + Archive in Toronto, Inuit artists in Pangnirtung Nunavut; on rural and northern women artists in Manitoba for Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art; and women’s issues for the Icelandic Center for Feminist Research.