Jordan Bennett x2

Headshot of Jordan Bennett. Photo by Richie Perez.

Jordan Bennett x2: Souvenir
June 15 to December 10, 2022
Curated by Ryan Rice
Onsite Gallery, OCAD University
199 Richmond St. W. Toronto

Jordan Bennett x2: pi’tawita’iek: we go up river
June 15 to Spring 2025
Curated by Lisa D. Smith
Butterfield Park, OCAD University
100 McCaul St. Toronto

Please see our website for more information.


Jordan Bennett, Moose Calling Moon – Wikumkewikús. 2020, giclée print, 24” x 24”

Jordan Bennett x2: Souvenir

Curated by Ryan Rice, Kanien’kehá:ka, Curator, Indigenous Art, Onsite Gallery and Associate Dean, OCAD University.

Lead Exhibition Sponsor: KPMB Architects

Jordan Bennett’s solo exhibition Souvenir draws upon his inspired intentions to visit, activate and respond to the innovative heritage embedded, woven and veiled in the richness of Mi’kmaq material culture and design. His interdisciplinary and intuitive approach grants new vitality to overlooked cultural expressions that carry elaborate Mi’kmaq cosmologies interpreted through customary geometric motifs embellished in a highly valued era of porcupine quillwork and basketry souvenir trade commodities that was thriving in the 19th century. The exhibition brings together Bennett’s newly designed site-specific work, museum collection loans, and installation to celebrate the vitality and influence of Indigenous aesthetic as contemporary practice.


Jordan Bennett, pi’tawita’iek: we go up river, detail of mural on the southside of
100 McCaul St., OCAD University, 2022

Jordan Bennett x2: pi’tawita’iek: we go up river

A large-scale outdoor mural by Jordan Bennett
Curated by Lisa Deanne Smith, Curator, Onsite Gallery
As part of ArtworxTO

pi’tawita’iek: we go up river on the south wall of OCAD University’s main campus, adjacent to Butterfield Park, will ground the space in Indigenous material culture. This public artwork is rooted in Bennett’s relationships with Mi’kmaq porcupine quillwork. He brings forward and reimagines their graphic patterns, bright colours and inspiring stories. In visiting with these cultural artworks Bennett connects with their visual language and furthers this visual conversation through his contemporary influences and experience.


Jordan Bennett Biography

Jordan Bennett is a Mi’kmaq visual artist from Stephenville Crossing, Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland). He lives and works on his ancestral territory of Mi’kma’ki in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Bennett’s ongoing practice utilizes painting, sculpture, textiles, video, installation, public art and sound to explore land, language, the act of visiting, familial histories and challenging colonial perceptions of Indigenous histories and presence with a focus on exploring Mi’kmaq and Beothuk visual culture.

In the past 10 years Bennett has participated in over 90 group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, as well as created numerous public art commissions. Bennett is currently working towards several public artworks nationally as well as group and solo exhibitions, including the upcoming solo show Souvenir, curated by Ryan Rice at Onsite Gallery at OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario. He is the recipient of several awards and honours, most notably the 2020 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award. He was a longlist winner in 2020 along with being a 2019 recipient of the Van Houtte Masters’ Fund Program, a Hnatyshyn Foundation REVEAL award and was presented with the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s Artist of the Year.

Bennett has taken part in several artist in residency programs including NSCAD Lithography Workshop: Contemporary Editions, Halifax, NS in 2019, With Secrecy and Despatch, Campbelltown Art Centre, Campbelltown, Australia an Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM in 2015 RMIT University international Artist in Residence Program, Melbourne, Australia in 2014, Shared Lands- Centre D’artistes Vaste et Vague, Carleton-sur-Mer, Quebec and Woodland School, What Color is the Present, Visual Arts, The Banff Centre, Alberta in 2013.

He is the recipient of several awards and honours most notably one of the 2020 winners of the Sobey Art Award, long listed for the 2018, 2016 and 2015 Sobey Art Award, a Hnatyshan Foundation REVEAL award and presented with the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Councils Artist of the Year. Bennett holds a BFA from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University and an MFA from The University of British Columbia, Okanagan.


Free public events

Jordan Bennett: Artist and Curators’ Conversation as part of the Mi’kmaq By Design Lecture Series
Wednesday, June 15, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 100 McCaul St. in Room 230
Join Jordan Bennett in conversation with Ryan Rice and Lisa Deanne Smith about Bennett’s art, design and public art practice. Click here to reserve your tickets

pi’tawita’iek: we go up river Launch
Wednesday, June 15, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Butterfield Park, 100 McCaul St.
The mural, pi’tawita’iek: we go up river activates public space and in its multiple connections (to the land, between the artist and his ancestors and with our communities) widens our perception of Indigenous creativity.

Souvenir Launch
Wednesday, June 15, 5 to 7 p.m. at Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond St. W.
The solo exhibition draws upon Bennett’s intentions to visit, activate and respond to the innovative heritage embedded, woven and veiled in Mi’kmaq material culture and design.

Stay tuned in for more free upcoming public events!


About Onsite Gallery
www.ocadu.ca/onsite

Onsite Gallery, the flagship professional gallery of OCAD University, offers powerful, thought-provoking exhibitions of art, design and new media to stimulate conversations on critical issues facing Toronto and the world.

Gallery Hours
Wednesday to Friday: 12 to 7 p.m.
Saturday: 12 to 5 p.m.

Gallery admission and all events are free.

Onsite Gallery is an accessible venue with all gender, single user washrooms.
» Detailed accessibility information found here

Please note: masks & proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required for entry.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the university is dedicated to art, design and digital media education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines.

Contact Information:
Susan Jama
Programs & Community Coordinator, Onsite Gallery
susanjama@ocadu.ca

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