OCAD University

OCAD welcomes performance artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle

for a free public lecture

TORONTO, October 2, 2008—The Faculty of Art of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) is pleased to welcome performance artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle for a free public lecture on Wednesday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m.

L’Hirondelle’s lecture is presented in conjunction with her visit to Toronto to perform her latest work, êkâya-pâhkaci (“don’t freeze up”; see description below), at the Toronto Free Gallery on October 16 at 8 p.m. L’Hirondelle is presented by the Fado Performance Art Centre during the 2008 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

Cheryl L’Hirondelle (a.k.a. Waynohtêw, Cheryl Koprek) is an Alberta-born artist and musician of Metis/Cree non-status/treaty, French, German, and Polish descent. Her creative practice is an investigation of the junction of a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) in contemporary time and space. Since the early 1980s, L’Hirondelle has created, performed and presented work in a variety of artistic disciplines, including music, performance art, theatre, performance poetry, storytelling, installation and new media. In the early 1990s, she began a parallel career as an arts consultant and programmer, cultural strategist/activist, and director/producer of both independent works and projects within national artist-run networks.

L’Hirondelle’s performance work has been featured in various texts including Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women, edited by Tanya Mars and OCAD Professor Johanna Householder, and Candice Hopkin’s Making a Noise: Aboriginal Perspectives on Art, Art History, Critical Writing and Community. In 2004, L’Hirondelle and Hopkins were the first Aboriginal artists from Canada to be invited to present work at Dak’Art Lab as part of the sixth biennale of contemporary African art in Dakar, Senegal. In both 2005 and 2006, L’Hirondelle was the recipient of imagineNATIVE’s Best New Media award for her online net.art projects: treatycard, 17:TELL and wêpinâsowina.

L’Hirondelle’s music has also garnered several nominations and awards, including Best Female Traditional Cultural Roots Album (2006) and Best Group (2007) from the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards for Fusion of Two Worlds, the first CD from her Aboriginal women’s ensemble, M’Girl.

From plastic surgery interventions and performances to photography and digital works, ORLAN has been a formidable presence in contemporary art for over four decades. Since the 1960s, her work has transcended the numerous “posts” and “isms” of the art world’s different movements, all the while interrogating our bodies and identities, questioning art’s relation to life, and testing the lines between the real and the virtual.

ORLAN joins OCAD as its third artist-in-residence in its Nomadic Residents program from September 29 to October 3, presenting a free public lecture on Tuesday, September 30, 6:30 p.m. For details and additional information about ORLAN, please visit the www.ocad.ca.

An Evening with Cheryl L’Hirondelle
Wednesday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Ontario College of Art & Design
Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
www.ocad.ca | 416-977-6000
All are welcome; admission is free.
Limited seating is available; guests are advised to arrive early.

êkâya-pâhkaci, a performance by Cheryl L’Hirondelle
Thursday, October 16 at 8 p.m.
Toronto Free Gallery
1277 Bloor Street West, Toronto
www.torontofreegallery.org | 416-913-0461

About êkâya-pâhkaci
êkâya-pâhkaci [ee-guy-uh-puck-a-chee] (don’t freeze up) by Cheryl L’Hirondelle operates through an intersection of nomadic site-specificity, visual patterning, language, narrative, movement and rhythm. In this work, Cheryl stages a performance presented under an adaptable traveling tent from where she relates and offers information to the audience using her body, voice and graffiti/tagging. The audience, by proximity and in accepting her invitation to witness her activities ‘comes in from the cold’ and becomes part of her ‘camp’.

About Fado Performance Art Centre
Founded in 1993, Fado was established to provide a stable, knowledgeable and supportive forum for creating and presenting performance art works created by Canadian and international performance artists. Fado is the only artist-run centre in English Canada devoted specifically to this form. Fado’s activities include presenting performances, artist talks, festivals, residencies, exchanges and workshops, as well as publishing in a variety of formats, including video and for the web. For more information please visit www.performanceart.ca.

About the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, October 15 to 19, 2008
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is an international festival that celebrates the latest works by Indigenous peoples on the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio, and new media. Each fall, the festival presents a selection of the most compelling and distinctive Indigenous works from around the globe. The festival’s screenings, parties, panel discussions, and cultural events attract and connect filmmakers, media artists, programmers, buyers, and industry professionals. The works accepted reflect the diversity of the world's Indigenous nations and illustrate the vitality and excellence of our art and culture in contemporary media. For more information please visit www.imaginenative.org.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Media Contacts:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile: Ext. 1327)

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