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Proposal for the Hart House Centennial Commission: Shelley Niro

Shelly Niro
Passing Through, 1993
Hand-tied black and white photographs, oil on canvas
Art Gallery of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan

For its centennial celebrations in 2019, Hart House commissioned a major, permanent artwork by an Indigenous artist to transform its historic Great Hall. One step towards redressing settler colonial narratives, this permanent commission seeks to acknowledge the history, narratives and people who came before us, honour the land upon which we live and work today, and imagine other possible futures for current and future generations from an Indigenous perspective.

Learn more about Re-Imagining Place: Hart House Centennial Art Commission.

About the Artist
Shelley Niro is a multi-disciplinary artist from the Six Nations Reserve, Turtle Clan, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, and currently lives in Brantford, Ontario. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and received a Master of Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario. Her family members, and especially her mother’s crafts, continue to be an integral part of works that draw on transgenerational memory and oral history. Creating work in a wide range of media, including photography, beadwork, film and installation, Niro often employs humour to challenge stereotypes and create new ways of understanding the experiences of being an Indigenous woman. Her video The Shirt debuted at the 2003 Venice Biennale and was included in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival in Utah. In 2017, Niro was the recipient of the Scotiabank Photography Award and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.