ohpinamake Prize for Indigenous Artists

ohpinamake Prize for Indigenous Artists

University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collection

Joi T. Arcand, (ēkāwiya nēpēwisi), 2017. Neon channel sign, 121 x 183 x 25 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Seneca College, Peterborough, Canada. Photo: Carey Shaw.

June 21, 2024
ohpinamake Prize for Indigenous Artists
Open call

Application deadline: October 15, 2024
University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collection
107 Administration Place
Saskatoon Saskatchewan S7N 5A2
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–4pm,
Saturday 12–5pm

T +1 306 966 4571
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The University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collection (USAGaC) has now opened the application call for the third annual ohpinamake Prize for Indigenous Artists. “ohpinamake” is a nêhiyawêwin term meaning “to lift others,” which was gifted to USAGaC by three Indigenous community leaders: elders Maria Campbell and Louise Bernice Halfe-Sky Dancer, and artist and alumna Ruth Cuthand (BFA’83, MFA’92). This prestigious award recognizes an Indigenous artist who works within the spirit of the term, and whose territories intersect with the current colonial borders of Canada.

This opportunity is made possible through the generous support of donors Jim and Marian Knock. Originally from Saskatchewan, the Knocks provided an initial 50,000 CAD for ohpinamake to be administered by USAGaC in the College of Arts and Science. An award of 10,000 CAD will be provided annually for the next three years. 

In further conversation with community, USAGaC has endeavoured to remove systemic barriers that keep Indigenous artists and others from accessing opportunities like this. From this space of engaged listening, we will continue to develop both the processes of application, adjudication, and the possible outcomes of ohpinamake over the remaining three years.

The chosen artist must clearly engage in a practice that “lifts others”. This can be understood as an active social practice or as the production of artwork that elevates Indigenous world-senses and creates community. It can also be understood as modeling behaviour that supports others in truly relational ways. Only Indigenous candidates will be considered for this award.

The University of Saskatchewan is committed to safeguarding the cultures and integrity of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous values, and Indigenous languages. We continue to grow our partnerships with Indigenous communities across the province, nationally and internationally and value the unique perspective that Indigenous students provide to strengthen these relationships. Verification of Indigenous Membership/Citizenship at the University of Saskatchewan is led and determined by the deybwewin / taapwaywin / tapwewin: Indigenous Truth Policy and Standing Committee in accordance with the processes developed to enact the policy.

Verification of Indigenous Membership/Citizenship with documentation is a condition of receiving this award. Please visit deybwewin / taapwaywin / tapwewin to proceed through the verification system.

The application form has only two questions, but they are important ones to ensure the jurors can understand how well an applicant’s work activates the principals and intention of this award. The online application form is available in English, French and Inuktitut. There is also an opportunity to upload media as a PDF.  Applications and additional infomation can be found on our website. Please direct all queries to art.galleries [​at​] usask.ca.

Application opening: June 21, 2024
Submission deadline: October 15, 2024

The artist will be chosen by a jury of cultural workers and community members. The chosen artist will receive 10,000 CAD. The award recipient will be announced in Spring of 2025.

Previous recipients
KC Adams and Joi T. Arcand are the 2022 and 2023 recipients of the ohpinamake Prize for Indigenous Artists, respectively. More information on their artistic practices can be found on our website

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University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collection
June 21, 2024

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