Lecture to explore artists’ view of the ‘white man’

Posted: March 10, 2015 1:50 p.m.

Dr. Gerald McMaster, curator, artist, author and professor of Indigenous and Critical Curatorial Studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto
Dr. Gerald McMaster, curator, artist, author and professor of Indigenous and Critical Curatorial Studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto Photo courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ontario

A provocative title accompanies this year’s presentation of the Dr. Barbara Powell Distinguished Lecture.

“Not afraid to look the White man in the face” is presented by Dr. Gerald McMaster, curator, artist, author and professor of Indigenous and Critical Curatorial Studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto.

“It’s always an honour to be invited to return to Regina, especially to the university,” says Dr. McMaster who grew up on the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan.

“Those who enjoy art should enjoy my lecture. We, of course, know only too well European views of Indigenous peoples, but little or nothing is known of the reverse. From an art historical perspective, the audience will realize that Indigenous artists have a long history of looking at Europeans and Euro-North Americans, and that is quite profound and almost totally unknown.”

McMaster notes designations such as “pale face,” long knives” and “black robes” are just some of the phrases used when Native Americans refer to the European outsider.

However “an indigenous visual vocabulary has yet to be articulated,” says Dr. McMaster.

The lecture on campus will serve as a homecoming for Dr. McMaster. He taught at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now First Nations University of Canada) from 1977 to 1981.

“It was a time of great promise, which I think has been largely fulfilled. There seemed to be a good reception for staff and students of SIFC” says Dr. McMaster who now lives in Toronto. “It was also the university where I was to meet my wife Lynn and together we have fond memories of the University and of Regina.”

The annual Dr. Barbara Powell Distinguished Lecture is the flagship event of the Humanities Research Institute.

The lecture was established as a tribute to Dr. Powell who died in 2002. She was the founding Co-ordinator of the Women’s Studies Program and Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Regina. She also played a seminal role in the founding of the Humanities Research Institute.


Barbara Powell Distinguished Lecture
Date: Thursday, March 12
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: RIC 119 - Main Campus
Reception to follow