Heather lgloliorte

Heather lgloliorte
Canada Excellence Research Chair
Visual Arts

PhD, Cultural Mediations, Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture Carleton University Master of Arts, Canadian Art History
Carleton University Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Fine Art, Minor in Art History Nova Scotia College of Art and Design

Area of expertise

Decolonial and Transformational Indigenous Art Practices

Brief Biography

Dr. Heather lgloliorte (Inuk-Newfoundlander, Nunatsiavut) is an internationally-renowned curator and art historian whose work centres circumpolar Inuit and other Indigenous arts and knowledges within global art contexts such as contemporary art exhibitions, public art installations, museum collecting practices, and new media art and film productions. Her research foregrounds Indigenous perspectives and creativity, with a particular emphasis on the training and mentoring of Indigenous youth from remote and northern communities, while focusing on decolonizing institutions and challenging colonialist understandings of resilience, health, resources, and technologies.

Until 2023, she held the Tier 1 University Research Chair in Circumpolar Indigenous Arts and was an associate professor in the Department of Art History at Concordia University. At Concordia, Heather co-directed the Indigenous Futures Research Centre and directed the nation-wide Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq / Pijariuqsarniq Project (2018-2025), an initiative that supports Inuit postsecondary students to explore professional career paths in all aspects of the arts, including collections management, curatorial practice, arts administration and other areas of the visual and performing arts, in order to address the longstanding absence of Inuit in agential positions within Canadian art history and museum practice.

Igloliorte has been an independent curator since 2005. She has created or co-created more than 30 curatorial projects throughout her career. Her first major exhibition, the oral history project “We Were So Far Away”: The Inuit Experience of Residential Schools (2008-, Ottawa, Legacy of Hope Foundation), is still in circulation across Canada today.

With asinnajaq, Kablusiak, and Krista Ulujuk Zawadski, Igloliorte curated the inaugural exhibition of the new Inuit art centre, Qaumajuq, INUA: Inuit Nunangat Ungammuaktut Atautikkut (Inuit Moving Forward Together) which ran from 2021-2023 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. This ground-breaking survey exhibition of contemporary Inuit art from Alaska, Canada, and Greenland – together, Inuit Nunaat - features over 100 works made by dozens of artists in diverse media ranging from sound and video, painting, textile work, wearable art, installation, sculpture, and more.

Other notable exhibitions include ARCTIC XR/ ARCTIC AR (2022), which was presented in conjunction with Árran 360° at the Sami Pavilion of the Venice Biennale and toured across Canada and internationally; the Memory Keepers series (2019-2020); Among All These Tundras (2018-2021); Decolonize Me (2011-2015); and SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut, the first nationally-touring exhibition of her region, which toured across Canada (2016-2020) and was awarded the 2017 Award of Outstanding Achievement in Education from the Canadian Museums Association.

In recognition of her significant contributions to curatorial practice in Canada, in 2021 Igloliorte was both awarded The Hnatyshyn Foundation's Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art, and became the first Indigenous person to receive a Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal