Visual Art and the MMIWQT Crisis

Tuesday December 10, 6:30 – 8 pm
Gardiner Friends: $15; General: $18


Cannupa Hanska Luger, Every One, 2018 and Kali Spitzer, Sister, 2016. Gardiner Museum

Award-winning Cree journalist Connie Walker moderates a panel featuring exhibiting artists Cannupa Hanska Luger and Kali Spitzer, and Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director of the Ontario Native Women’s Association. The conversation will centre on the role of the visual arts in addressing the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls, queer, and trans community members.


This panel is part of the Canadian premiere of Cannupa Hanska Luger: Every One & Kali Spitzer: Sister, currently on display in the Gardiner’s lobby.

Every One is a monumental social sculpture commemorating victims of the MMIWQT crisis. Responding to data collected by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Luger created a call to action video shared through social media that invited communities across the United States and Canada to make 2-inch clay beads, each one representing a unique person who has been lost. Hundreds of participants held workshops, both with Luger and on their own, making the beads in studios, community centres, universities, and private homes. These experiences generated over 4,000 beads, as well as numerous conversations, stories, and occasions for healing through clay.


Cannupa Hanska Luger, Red Shawl Society Solidarity Action, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM 2018, Photo: LeRoy Grafe

Every One references and stands in solidarity with the photograph Sister by Kali Spitzer. Spitzer explores the individual stories behind the MMIWQT crisis through portraiture and self-representation, working in the medium of tintypes, a photographic process popular in the 1860s and 1870s, particularly with settlers in the Canadian and American West. Spitzer reclaims this process, adapting it to create images of contemporary Indigenous survivance.

Together, Every One and Sister encourage us to recognize and honour the stories embedded in the MMIWQT crisis, and to contemplate our own responsibilities and relationships to it.



Cannupa Hanska Luger, Red Shawl Society Solidarity Action, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM 2018, Photo: LeRoy Grafe

The Gardiner Museum is an accessible venue with a ramp from the street leading up to the main lobby entrance. The entrance is accessible via two sets of double doors with an access button. Accessible restrooms are available on the second and third floors. Third floor washrooms are also gender neutral.

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