Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is honoured to co-present a talk by Cathy Mattes with the Wood Land School. As an internationally distinguished curator Mattes is known for her curatorial strategies that emphasize audience participation and direct engagement. As an educator at the University of Brandon, Mattes makes connections between politics and art with the understanding that artists can enact social change. Drawing attention to marginalized art histories, Mattes contributes essential labor towards shifting dominant narratives in the presentation of contemporary art and curatorial practices.
Cathy Mattes is a proud Michif writer and curator based in rural Southwestern Manitoba. Her practice focuses on the intersection of Indigenous issues and art, with an emphasis on community, which she sees as a complicated concept, to be explored, questioned and located. Interested in creating better conditions for Indigenous cultural workers, Mattes has served on the board for the Urban Shaman Gallery, and collaborated with Indigenous cultural workers in Australia and Venice. Her curatorial projects includeFrontrunners, Urban Shaman Gallery and Plug In ICA; Blanche: KC Adams & Jonathan Jones, Chalkhorse Gallery, Sydney Australia; Rockstars & Wannabes, Urban Shaman Gallery, and Transcendence – KC Adams, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. She has lectured nationally and internationally, and in 2010 she was selected as a delegate on the Canada Council for the Arts’ Aboriginal Curators Delegation to New Zealand and Australia. In addition to her freelance work, Mattes was the curator at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba between 2003 and 2005, and has been a consultant for various government agencies and arts organizations. She is an Assistant Professor teaching art history at Brandon University in the Visual and Aboriginal Arts Department, and is pursuing her PhD at the University of Manitoba in Native Studies.