Meryl McMaster to represent Canada in New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.

Meryl McMaster, Lead Me to Places I Could Never Find on My Own I, 2019

Meryl McMaster to represent Canada in the major exhibition New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.

Toronto, ON, April 17, 2023 – The Canada Committee of NMWA is delighted to announce the selection of Ottawa-based artist Meryl McMaster by the curatorial team of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. for inclusion in the exhibition New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024, presented from April 14 to August 4, 2024.

One of the first major exhibitions to follow NMWA’s reopening after an expansive renovation, New Worlds is the seventh and largest installment of the museum’s Women to Watch exhibition series. Presented every three years, Women to Watch is a dynamic collaboration between the museum and its national and international network of outreach committees. The committees work with curators in their regions to create shortlists of artists. From this list, NMWA curators select the artists and works to exhibit at the museum.

For the 2024 iteration of the Women to Watch series, the Canada Committee of NMWA worked with curator Mona Filip to propose a group of five remarkable artists whose works relate to the theme of New Worlds in deeply unique and meaningful ways. They included, alongside Meryl McMaster, Anna Binta Diallo, Anique Jordan, Dainesha Nugent-Palache, and Marigold Santos.

Visionary artists reimagine the past, present alternate realities, and inspire audiences to create different futures. During the past few years, our world has been transformed by a global pandemic, advocacy for social reform, and political division. How have these extraordinary times inspired artists? Works by the 28 artists featured in New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 explore these ideas from perspectives that shift across geographies, cultural viewpoints, and time.

Meryl McMaster creates contemplative, dreamlike photographic self-portraiture that crosses timescales, blending moments, lifetimes, generations, and geological eras. Drawing from her nēhiyaw (Plains Cree) and Euro-Canadian ancestry she constructs site-specific scenes with labour-intensive garments that connect her to the land and its layered narratives. McMaster’s work reinforces the intersections between actual and imagined experiences, in hopes of better understanding oneself, our histories, lineage, and the more-than-human world.

McMaster’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (2023), Urban Shaman, Winnipeg (2021), McCord Steward Museum, Montréal (2021), Canada House, London (2020), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2019) and The Image Centre, Toronto (2019). She was shortlisted for the Rencontres d’Arles New Discovery Award (2019), was the recipient of the Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award (2018), REVEAL Indigenous Art Award (2017), and the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship (2013). McMaster is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, Montreal, and Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto.

McMaster is now the second Canadian artist whose work will be included in NMWA’s Women to Watch tri-annual exhibition. Participating for the first time in the previous edition, the Canada Committee engaged curator Kitty Scott and Toronto-based artist Jen Aitken was selected to represent Canada in Paper Routes: Women to Watch 2020, which foregrounded contemporary artists working with paper as their medium.

For more information on New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 and a full list of participating artists please visit

About the Canada Committee of NMWA
The Canada Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts is comprised of Katherine Graham Debost, Alexandra Lambert and Robin Young. NMWA’s national and international committees advocate for women artists and the museum on a worldwide scale. Located in regions across the U.S. and around the globe, NMWA’s affiliate groups raise the museum’s profile and champion women artists far beyond the museum’s walls in Washington, DC.

Media Contact
Alexandra Lambert
Canada Committee of NMWA