Lifetime Achievement Award

The UAAC-AAUC Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a past or present member of UAAC who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession over the whole of a career either through leadership, creation, education, curatorial projects, service, or publications.

2023 UAAC-AAUC Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Gerald McMaster

The 2023 UAAC Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented to Dr. Gerald McMaster. Learn more about Gerald.

As an artist, his work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally; but it is as a curator and educator that he has arguably had his greatest impact, from his development of the Native Art program in the late 1970s at Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now the First Nation University of Canada), then as curator of Contemporary Indigenous Art at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (from 1981-2000); curator of the Canadian pavilion at the 1995 Venice Biennale (where he was the first to spotlight an Indigenous artist, Edward Poitras); Director’s Special Assistant for Museum Exhibitions from 2000-2004 at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC; curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario from 2005-2012; Artistic Director of the 2012 Sydney Biennale in Australia; curator for the 2018 Venice Architectural Biennale; and from 2014-2022 professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University in Toronto, where he established the Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge, which featured in his 2021 keynote address at the UAAC conference.

Gerald’s art practice, his curatorial work, his pedagogy, and his writings — including, most recently, Iljuwas Bill Reid: Life & Work for the Art Canada Institute — all work to center Indigenous epistemologies, creative work, and what he calls “the vitality of Indigenous voice” within our contemporary global contexts and crises.

YearRecipient
2023Gerald McMaster
2022Ruth Phillips
2021Sherry Farrell-Racette
2020John O’Brian
2019Sandra Alfoldy